Now that I have my new iphone, I have been having fun looking for good educational apps for my son (3.5 years old) to use to help his learn to read, write, and spell better. Prior to becoming a mother, I was a reading specialist and worked with struggling students and those with learning differences. I have been also trained in Orton-Gillingham, Lindamood- Bell LIPS, and Phographix- all are programs designed to be used with dyslexic and struggling readers. So I think I know a good learning app when I see one. Here are a few that I think are worth your while to download.
Montessori Crosswords ($2.99)
I know this app costs money, but I think it is worth the money. I love how the constants are in red and the vowels are in blue. This really helps a young reader to know the difference between the sounds. It is very user friendly, which I really like so Cooper can do it on his own. You can tap each of the letters and it will give you their sounds. It also has sound boxes you can tap and it will give you a clue as to which sounds belongs in that spot. From a reading specialist point of view, you just cannot go wrong with how it helps a child sounds out each sound and then blend the sounds together to create a word.
ABC Pocket Phonics ($2.99)
This is my favorite beginner reader app!! Hands down you get a lot in this one small app. It teaches handwriting skills, both upper and lower case letters. You can also select which handwriting style you wish for you child to learn (D’Nealian or Zaner Bloser), as well as cursive. It has the child first practice writing the letter while saying the sound aloud. Then the child is asked to build a word using the sound they just learned to write and say. Once the word is build, the sounds are read individually and then blended together. I think the thing that sold me on this app is that the letter sounds are stressed instead of the letter name. Teach a young child to identify letters by their sound rather than their name, helps young readers blends sound easier. Their is a lite version of ABC pocket phonics that is free. I suggest downloading the free version first, just to make sure you like it, but I promise you, you won’t regret the purchase!
Little Writer (handwriting app) (Free)
I like this app., but I would not have paid for it, but it is a good free app. It allows you to trace upper and lower case letters, numbers, shapes, and some words. You don’t have the option to pick the font, but it is a traditional font style. There is a small animal that must eat apples in the order which you are suppose to trace. As you move your finger along, the apples disappear. It is cute and helps show the correction directionality. It does not refer to the letters by their sound, rather only their letter name. I wish it also did the letter sounds, but for a free app I guess that is okay.
That is all I have found so far. If I find any more neat apps, I am sure to share them with all of you!