Ever since my kids tried an “online school program” that was really more of a game, I’ve been dubious of computer school programs. I wanted my kids to be out in the world and learning things, but I also recognize they need to know how to use a computer and interact.
So, I decided to give Lexia Reading a try. I’m glad I did, it’s shoring up some weaknesses in my kids’ reading that I haven’t had a chance to work on.
How do you set up Lexia Reading?
First you the parent sign up, and set up your classroom. I had a few bumps getting that set up, but thankfully the people at Lexia were more than willing to help me fix where I wasn’t getting it right. Then your kids come in and take the reading assessment. This is where my surprise came in.
My strongest reader tested the lowest, and by several grade levels below his level. But, then I looked at his test, and how the testing goes:
- He has a very bad habit of not completely reading the passage and guessing the answer. He was being called on this.
- He’s a terrible speller, and still occasionally reverses B and D. That put him back a couple of levels all by itself.
Lesson learned: when your child is taking their placement test make sure they take their time AND they check their answers before entering them.
I’m actually glad this happened to him because he’s being forced to reread and make sure he knows the answer before he continues on. Nothing makes him more upset than to be taught a lesson a second time.
The flow of a Lexia Reading Lesson
Your child signs in and they are given several different areas to work on for their level. I’ve noticed my kids tend to pick the easier areas first, but they have to complete every lesson before they can move on.
Here’s a screen shot of a “game.” You’re reconstructing 2 syllable words the computer has said. Each game starts with a short bit of instruction and then continues on to “drill the students” with a fun game. If they miss the problem more than 2 times in a row they are given more instruction.
Once they’ve gotten a certain number right (it varies per game) they get a fun animation that always makes my kids laugh.
During a 20 minute session my kids can usually get 2-3 lessons done at a time, keep in mind they are doing materials that are review for them because of their poor spelling skills.
Why I like Lexia Reading
I can log in as teacher and see how my kids are doing. The teacher section gives me an overview of what areas they’re working on, what areas they’re struggling in, and what areas I might need to teach more on. If there is an area I want to help them with while not on the computer, I can print off a lesson covering exactly that, OR save it to my Nook and use the lesson from there.
If you’re feeling really unsure about your ability to teach your kids this is a great program because it’s scripted, and gives you just what to say.
I LOVE it because I can “fix it and forget it,” I get the site loaded and walk off, leaving me free to work with other kids.
Actually I have to walk out of the room, otherwise I try to correct them and tell them the correct answer when they’re about to get the answer wrong, and that would take away from their learning.
Things to be aware of with Lexia Reading
- I tried my kids using Lexia Reading on my laptop and they struggled with it because I didn’t have a mouse, just the touch pad, so that may be an issue for some.
- It can be time consuming. Lexia strongly recommends 20-40 minutes on their site at a time. If you’ve got multiple kids that can be a large amount of time, but it’s time you are probably already spending working on the subject.
- It is Common Core Aligned. For some this is a big plus, for others it’s a big drawback.
Overall Lexia has been a great addition to our homeschool. While we are not using it as our primary reading curriculum, I can easily see how it could be used that way with more parent interaction.