Parents of school age children will without a doubt be familiar with phonics that are used to help teach those all important sounds needed to aid reading, writing and spelling. I’ll happily admit when my older girls started learning the phonics sounds way back in nursery I was pretty clueless as I don’t remember being taught using that method when I was back at school – possibly showing my age a little there! I had to work hard, learning on the job to enable me to offer them the help they needed.
Fast forward 10yrs and I found myself doing it all again with my little man, but this time I felt like I had a bit of a head start thanks to the knowledge I already had. Also luckily for me in those intervening years the internet and the use of phones and tablets came into play, meaning I had some back up for when I needed some extra help!
There are so many wonderful games and Apps available now for children that can be used as learning aids and I have featured a couple on the blog previously. However, I’d never heard of an App especially dedicated to Phonics until recently when Read With Phonics designer, Sophie, got in touch to ask if we’d like to road test her creation. With Leo having just started in Reception it sounded perfect to help him learn in conjunction with his letter and sounds lessons at school and I readily agreed.
Created by Primary School teacher Sophie, the Read With Phonics App has been especially designed to be used alongside the curriculum taught in schools to Reception and Key Stage 1 children. With the help of Albee The Alien, kids can explore the four worlds – Water World, Forest World, Lava Land and Jelly City – and play 116 games designed to help them learn the 44 phonics sounds.
Each letter/sound has it’s own set of 8 games which includes introduction of the sound, word comprehension and picture matching. With each new sound players have 3 lives with which to complete the level and once used they must restart the level again before moving onto the next. Games are designed to help with segmenting and blending skills and become progressively harder as you move through the game. Also in line with the curriculum the order in which the sounds appear mirrors those taught in schools. Throughout the mini games there are over 1200 words for children to learn to read as they utilise the phonics sound knowledge they have gained, forming a fantastic foundation for learning to read.
When I showed Leo the App for the first time he couldn’t wait to get started – he’s like a little sponge and just loves to learn! He was already pretty familiar with a lot of the sounds so initially blasted through the first levels only needing a little encouragement from me when he was doubting himself. The App is completely child friendly and ad-free making it ideal for independent use, however I would recommend some adult help especially for younger children.
The games are nice and short and held Leo’s attention throughout with him being extra keen to earn more points and unlock the next level. The graphics are bright, colourful and engaging and as a parent I really liked that the game structure was the same for each letter allowing Leo to become familiar with what was coming next. The voice for the App was provided by creator Sophie who sounds clear and concise throughout – it’s also really nice to have an App that has an English accent as many others we’ve used are American. I also liked that the App can be used off line so is perfect for a quick play to banish the boredom on the go.
Leo and I both love this App! From Leo’s point of view it’s a fun game to play that connects to the work he is doing in school and as a parent it’s a fun educational game with a purpose that I don’t mind him playing as he is learning without even realising it! It’s a game that he can continue to play and re-visit as he continues his phonics and reading, both in school and at home, which I’m certain will help give him that all important extra edge.
Read With Phonics can be downloaded FREE however there is a charge to unlock higher levels. Prices start at £2.99 with full package to unlock all levels costing £7.99.
To find out more about the App and how Read With Phonics can be used in Schools please visit their website.