ABeCeDarian Interactive A Workbook: A Learn to Read Review!
What in the world is an Abecedarian, you may wonder? I found the answer in the teacher’s guide! I had never heard this word before. Fascinating, and a clever company name!
a-be-ce-dar-i-an n. 1. One who teaches or studies the alphabet. 2. One who is just learning; a beginner.
a•be•ce•dar•i•an adj. 1. Having to do with the alphabet. 2. Being arranged alphabetically. 3. Elementary or rudimentary. [Middle English, from Medieval Latin abecedarium, alphabet, from Late Latin abecedarius, alphabetical : from the names of the letters A B C D + -arius, -ary.]
(From The American Heritage Dictionary, Third Edition)
While the company refers to the Interactive A Workbook as an app on their website, it’s actually run from the browser of a computer or tablet. This caused some initial confusion for me because I was expecting to download app with colors, sounds, and animation. However, the interactive workbook is very straightforward and simple, much like a regular workbook on paper except in a browser, and with the option to trace letters on screen as well as some drag and drop letter activities.
The simplicity isn’t necessarily a negative thing! There are no distractions for kids when trying to make it seem fun, it’s simply learning to read. Honestly, at first I wasn’t sure what I thought. Once I got past the expectations that it was supposed to be an app vs. a workbook online then I realized it was an excellent learning tool for kids.
The workbook doesn’t come with any instructions or feedback (for wrong or right answers) in the browser. It’s designed for parents to sit with their children while they do the work.
However, there is a very comprehensive teacher’s guide! Honestly I found the teacher’s guide almost as beneficial as the app itself. If you have ever had any concerns about how you will teach your child to read then this teacher’s guide will calm your nerves and lay out an excellent method of instruction to follow. The manual is 164 pages, with several pages for each lesson in the program. There are 48 lessons total.
If you’re curious what the teacher’s manual says it’s available to download for free from their website! Click here to download the PDF file.
My six year old is currently learning to read very, very slowly. We’ve tried multiple methods and programs. She can sound out some words, but her confidence is seriously lacking. I was hoping this program would be simple and straightforward enough to help her cement her reading skills, and I think it will! I’m including it in our beginning semester of first grade so we can finish the entire program.
Initially when logging in to the program I had trouble figuring out how to access the program itself. I finally figured out that there’s a link to the workbook in the right side menu. Once that is clicked then you will arrive at a black screen. This is the loading screen, though it doesn’t say that anywhere on it. I thought the app wasn’t working at first, until I learned that this black screen was normal. Even on our lightning fast internet it still takes at least three or four minutes of solid black screen before the workbook appears. So, patience is required here.
There are a few simple instructions on how to navigate the workbook at the beginning of the book–how to click on the upper right to turn pages, etc. Then it jumps straight into the activities pages, starting right away with having children sound out letter sounds to make simple words.
Since we were mainly using Chrome on the Macbook instead of a touch screen I found it easier to just print the tracing pages by taking a quick screenshot of them and printing from my computer. It only took a second. I think that writing with a pencil is much more beneficial than trying it on the screen anyway! I know others who have reviewed this program are using a stylus on a tablet for the tracing pages. We own a stylus, but my children keep losing it, so printing the pages it is!
By lesson 20 children have progressed to reading simple sentences.
Here’s a peek at the last lesson!
In summary: This is a simple, but effective program for teaching kindergarten age children to read and it has a great (free!) teacher’s guide. We can add this one to the list of review products we’re pleased with!
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