Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Rime to Read -- help for the early reader


Rime to Read is a new website designed to help parents teach their children to read.  Rimes are rhyming words that sound alike, and are spelled alike:  pat, cat, rat, mat.  Rime to Read contains  20 rime based books.  Each short-vowel sound has 4 books in its set.  These books introduce new rimes, reinforce previously learned rimes, and introduce sight words.  Each book builds on previously learned rimes and sight words to provide reading practice and build confidence in new readers. 


In our homeschool, we teach phonics to our children, however we always struggle to find appropriate books for our very early readers.  Even those designed for early readers often include words that are too difficult for them to sound out, or the illustrations in the books were too distracting.   We have finally realized that we can not rely on major publishers or the library for these books, and have begun to buy them whenever we find them.


Written by a reading specialist and a first grade teacher, the Rime to Read books are simple, their illustrations are not distracting, and they are short.  The books also increase in difficulty as you progress.   They differ from most other early readers, in that they are rime based, making it less confusing for the struggling reader.  The books are also color-coded, with different colors for rimes and sight words.


One of the benefits of the Rime to Read program is that it combines the virtual product with the physical product.  Because they are a web-based product, your children can repeatedly access the books via the internet, and take advantage of the program that lets them hear the rimes spoken to them.  The books can also be downloaded to your computer once, to save or print.  This allows you to hold the book in your hand, to read with your child whenever, or wherever, you want.  For some children, the allure of the computer itself may entice them to practice reading.


My current early reader needs the practice.  I would love to tell you that he adores this product, but to be honest, he doesn't adore any curriculum at the moment.  He doesn't like to stop his play to do any type of schoolwork, even if it's on the computer.  Despite his lack of enthusiasm (which is not a reflection on the product itself) I can see the benefits of Rime to Read for him.  The rimes did make it easier, and the books are structured for success.  He is easily discouraged, and needs the encouragement of frequent success at reading.  Every time he succeeds at finishing a book, his confidence grows.  Being more confident makes him willing to try to sound out longer words and read more difficult books in the future.  Rime to Read provides a framework of success and increasing challenge for him.


The Rime to Read books are available at the price of $9.99 for each set of 4 same-vowel books.  The first set includes these books:  Pat, Dan, Dad, Pam and Sam.   The entire 20 book set is available for $44.99.  The first book can be previewed free, after you register HERE.   You can also read what the authors themselves say about the Rime to Read books and why they work.


I confess that at first I felt $45 was a little expensive for 20 beginning reader books.  I spent less than that for our phonics curriculum, bought on sale, which is non-consummable and has been used with 4 children so far.  (I always try to buy curriculum that is non-consummable and re-usable.)  However, I realize that sometimes we have to buy additional products, and spend more than we normally would, to help a child succeed in a subject.  It also encouraged me when I realized this product is non-consummable, and can be used with subsequent children.  $45 buys lifetime access to the website and its books.  If you save the books when you download them, you also have lifetime access to printed copies of the book. 


I do believe that Rime to Read is a worthwhile investment for  homeschool parents.  Although all children can benefit from Rime to Read, its greatest value will be for the children who struggle with reading.  For those children and their parents, Rime to Read is a wonderful tool.  As a parent of struggling readers, I'm thankful I was given the opportunity to review this product.


Click the banner to read more reviews on this product by other Homeschool Crew members.

Trusting in Him,

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