Friday, November 18, 2011
TOS Crew Product Review ~ Read Naturally - Read Live!
Read Live (from Read Naturally) is a comprehensive set of research-based programs that assess reading while engaging students. It is a motivating curriculum that supports fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, and phonics.
The above words can be found online at Read Naturally's description of Read Live, and I must say, the above words are accurate and true. Read Live is a web based reading program that improves students reading ability along with their self-confidence. Yes, it's hard work, but most anything worth doing is.
When I first logged onto the Read Naturally website to set up our family's Read Live account, I thought the set-up process to be a little confusing. It is a multi-step process that is probably better suited to an administrator in a public or private school setting than the average homeschool mom. But I understand why Read Live operates the way that it does; it allows for multiple teachers and students to access the program, and keeps cheating at a low and accountability at a high. And overall, the set up process isn't that difficult - just a bit more time consuming than I'm used to.
The program itself is very thorough. VERY thorough. The placement method is solid and works well, but the option is given to place the student in any chosen level by bypassing the placement testing.
Each lesson is, again, VERY thorough. At first it seemed a bit repetitive to me (listening to the piece being read as many as 10 times!)but the continual improvement the student makes is worth the time spent on each lesson. And the beauty of the repetition is that the student is able to see instant progress. It's very encouraging for the reader, which in turn encourages the homeschool mom, which makes me smile because I'm all about encouraging moms who homeschool!
The vocabulary games are really good and the subject matter for each reading piece is interesting and engaging. Many topics we read could be considered cross-curricular, covering history or science in addition to language arts.
Overall Read Live is an excellent program. It's value is tremendous. The program is not likely to work wonders for your child if you don't use it regularly (just like any other curriculum), but if you and your reader(s) will take the time to complete the lessons you will see results. Second to teaching our children God's Word, their reading ability is the hinge on which the door of all future educational success hangs. Read Live will increase your child's reading ability and comprehension, along with their fluency and self-confidence. It's worth the financial and time investment. A top-notch, five-star program in my book.
As it is an online program, users need to have regular access to a computer. And as a disclaimer to Christian homeschoolers, much of the reading material that is scientifically related mentions evolution. The child is being timed while they read, and each piece is read multiple times, so they will hear evolutionary spiels over and over again. We have some set methods in place when it comes to evolutionary content in our home, and it has worked fine to discuss content from a Biblical perspective with this program. However, each family is cautioned to make the best choice for their family and I would be remiss to fail to mention this aspect of the program.
At the website www.ReadNaturally.com you can learn more about all the products available. You can also find a tab for a free 60-day trial of Read Live on the main page.
A 12-month subscription to Read Live costs $149.00. The recommended ages for students is 1st through 8th grade, although it can be used as an intervention program from 1st grade through adulthood. For more information, you can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org
Since it is an administrator controlled program, the primary homeschooling parent (usually mom!) needs to set aside time to work with the child as they complete their Read Live lessons. This is probably given, since it would be nearly impossible to assess reading progress if you aren't actually there to hear the student read...but I thought I'd mention it anyway :)
As always, I received this product free of charge for review purposes.
To read what other TOS Crew members had to say about Read Live and other Read Naturally products, click HERE.
Thank you for taking the time to read this product review and may the Lord richly bless you as you homeschool!
Day 133 done :)
Jan L. Burt