Read With Phonics App Review
“The ability to read is the foundation of all education, you cannot progress without it. I wanted to make learning to read as easy and as accessible as possible, to give every child around the world the best possible start in life.” Read With Phonics App Developer, Sophie
Over the last month, I have been trying the Read With Phonics app with Sophie. She is now 3½ & has been learning initial sounds in preparation for reading both at her preschool & at home. After downloading the app onto my smartphone we have been using it daily – a much-coveted chance for her to use my phone & for us to spend some quality time together. She has absolutely embraced the app which is great as I would never want her to feel forced to learn. Luckily the creator also feels this way as the app is designed in such a way that fun is foremost & learning is the result!
The Read With Phonics app was developed by a Key Stage 1 primary school teacher in England – who is also called Sophie. She created the Read with Phonics app because learning to read is the most important skill taught to children when they start school. However, a significant proportion of children leave school with their functional literacy below their chronological age. She wanted to create a resource that made learning to read fun, to inspire children to read books & for those less successful older children to fall back in love with reading again.
How Does It Work?
Read With Phonics works by teaching non-readers their very first words up until reading their first book! Words are taught by breaking down the English language into 44 sounds which are split into 4 stages. To make it more child-friendly, the 4 stages are set in different environments – Water World, Forest World, Lava Land & Jelly City. The child then works through each of these worlds. Along the way, the children are supported by Albee the Alien. He is there to celebrate correct answers & also provide encouragement. All of the stages follow the same teaching timeline as is found in schools. This, therefore, provides an excellent home support for reading.
Learning Letters & Sounds
When the child logs onto the app they go to the home screen. This is where they can select from the 4 stages. Once they have chosen which content to learn, each of the letters sounds in that stage are shown on a new screen. It starts with the simplest of sounds – s, a, t, p & slowly progresses to trickier sounds such as ck. I love that, if your child has already made a start on a sound, this will be shown by highlighting a completion percentage of that letter. If that letter hasn’t been started then it will remain white. If a letter is complete, it is fully yellow. It’s a great visual way for both adults & children to see progress.
Once a letter has been selected, the child then plays through 7 different games. All of these games help the child to learn, practise & consolidate their understanding of the chosen letter. Every child starts on 0 & earns points for correct answers. The points add up & increase their level – a bar at the side of the screen showing level progress is always visible within the games. Positive reinforcement is key to learning & this reward system creates a desire to succeed. For each game, the child has three lives, losing a life for every incorrect answer. Losing all lives takes them back to the letter options screen. This encourages them to try that letter again from the beginning. This is good as it ensures they practice each letter sound over again until they master it.
How Much Does It Cost?
Great news – you can access some parts of the app for free! If you do want to unlock all letter sounds & games, then there is a payment feature allowing users to access more content. To unlock the whole app & its features there is a one-time payment of £7.99. I firmly believe it is worth the money as the content is such a valuable learning tool. Another bonus is that the app can also be used in an education setting – Phonics Schools. Setting up a school account gives teachers a way to track users. This is perfect for in the classroom as it enables teachers to see the progress of their students & gives great support for pupil assessment.
**A free download of this app was provided to enable us to write this Read With Phonics app review. All thoughts & opinions are our own.