Read – Kids learn to read and write in 20 easy lessons by Olivier Romanetti of One Tree Hill Studio is a universal app for iOS targeting kids aged four through 8 (or second grade) which helps them to acquire core reading skills including letter formation, sight words, reading comprehension, writing pad, alphabet, listening and more. The narration can be done in a United States narrator, English narrator, Australian narrator or Indian narrator. You can also speed up or slow down the words per minute and pitch of the speaker as well as turn on and off the background music. The app uses phonics teaching sight words in combination with word decoding. It also includes multi user capabilities and lesson progress
The app features twenty different lessons with over 100 different exercises and interactive stories. It is designed for the beginning reader through approximately second grade. Letters are introduced in the app by frequency – something that my son struggled with a bit because he felt they were “out of order”.
- Letter tracing: Using a finger or stylus your child traces the letter using a supplied model and repeats five times to demonstrate mastery
- How do you spell it: Listen to a sound and pick the correct letter from a field of six options.
- Choose the right word: Listen to a word pronunciation and pick the correct answer
- Listen & Write: Listen to the word and put the letters on the line to spell it
- Match Words & Sounds: Match a sound with the written form of it – perfect for practicing sight words
- Interactive Writing Pad: Children can “construct” words and sentences by dragging and dropping individual letters, making letter combinations which are read aloud as the app is played.
- Stories & Questions: Starting at lesson 5, stories are given in the context of the app and the user is tested for reading comprehension
- Learn the Alphabet: This helps kids connect letter names and letter sounds with both uppercase and lowercase letters
- Sight Words & Phrases: Over 100 sight words and sight phrases used in the English language
This is a brightly colored app that engages kids to learn core reading and writing skills. The activities are presented in a patterned way which requires children to finish specific tasks before moving on which is important for early learning skills. I also liked that as you traced letters or spelled words out that they were sounded out which helped kids attribute the letter sound to the written letter. Our favorite section – since my son knew many of the sight words was the original story content. My son enjoyed hearing the stories – although I did have to adjust the word speed so he could follow along more easily – the words were spoken quickly and at times the highlighting and words didn’t match what was being said. We also liked the sight phrases since my son has moved on beyond his core sight words and wanted to work more on putting words together.
In terms of improvements – at times it was hard to discern the word as it was spoken and it would be nice if you could have a second choice. It would also be nice if the app dynamically adjusted based on if you were getting answers right or wrong. A visual cue especially for the easier lessons would be helpful too if a child is getting answers wrong – for example showing a picture of a mat along with the spoken word and spelling it out. I would also like to see the option to “test” so that children can test out of content they might have already learned which would make it repetitive. Some of the letter formation was different compared to what my son learned in school, but that may vary based on geography. My son also asked for some sort of “trophy” or reward that you could earn after completing levels which would demonstrate mastery. It would also be nice if you could transfer progress from device to device – my son played both on my iPhone and iPad and was frustrated when he had to repeat things he had done before. I’d also like to be able to export my lesson progress. I’d also like to see more options for the letter formation as my son didn’t learn with the manuscript option in school.
Overall, this is a content rich app which will help kids with a number of skills including letter formation, letter sounds, reading comprehension and sight words. It is a great app to help kids with learning or one to help them practice over the summertime and prevent the #summerslide. The app includes a parental gated area with a multiplication problem that does have external links. There are no in-app purchases.
Requirements: Compatible with
Size: 0 MB
NOTE: A fee was received to expedite this review to the top of our waiting list but this payment has not influenced the objectivity of the review and all opinions have been offered honestly.
Alison, the American iMum is from Massachusetts. She lives there with her two sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. My older son loves technology and loves testing out the “latest and newest” apps and tech. I love sharing information about apps and products with others to help them make decisions without feeling overwhelmed with all of the choices.