Rime to Read
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
If you are like me, maybe you didn't realize the word "rime" is a word. I don't like "cute" spellings and so initially was not impressed with the name for that reason. However, I learned through this review, that a rime is a word that has the same sound and spelling (at in cat and hat) and not just the same sound ( care, wear, hair, etc.).
I reviewed this book series with the help of my 5 and 6 year old sons. They liked reading on the computer and using the mouse to turn the pages. The also liked the length of the books and asked to read more. They both are learning how to read and working on reading for fluency. The books kept their attention and I liked the feature that allows for a new rime to be read outloud if they are having a problem with it. Rhyming is a hard concept for my boys to learn, and I liked working on different rimes.
However, there are also features that I didn't care for or that didn't work for our family.
We were given access to all 20 books. The feature that allows you to see what books you have already read or started to read didn't work for us. Even if it had worked, since I had more than 1 child reading the books, I am not sure how that would be a helpful tool unless each child had an account. I did not know if there was a certain way to introduce the books. My daughter who just turned 4 and doesn't read was intrduced to the books. She liked the pictures, but showed no interest in trying them. I did not push it, but she does show interest in the other reading program we use.
Also, some of the books did not have all new words highlighted. For instance in book #3 when the word bad and Dad are used, the word bad and had were not always highlighted. My one son struggled with reversals so I was encouraging him to click the words he was not confident reading. When one word -bad- was written, but not highlighted, it was clickable - however- the voice said "cat" for this word.
We also had issues with the printing feature. I wanted to print out a book to bring with us to our homeschool group. You get one chance to print the book. I admit I am not very good at printing, but when I followed the directions (or tried to) I ended up with a huge piece of paper and 1 word on it and a picture. It just seemed like a waste of paper. Perhaps there was a way to print smaller and then assemble into a book, but we didn't get that far. I imtended to ask my husband to print the books for me in a small size, but never found the time. Unfortunately the school printing tasks generally do fall to me and have to be extremely simple to do. In thic case, the process wasn't easy for me
The biggest drawback for us is the cost.
Rime to Read costs $9.99 for a set of 4 books or $44.99 for all 20 books. To me, the program is a lot less thorough than other reading programs I have seen. I think the cost of a virtual, online program would have less overhead and should be more affordable than a paper and ink version. AS a matter of comparison, "Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons" has step by step instructions and a definate flow and plan. It also incorporates writing, but costs only $20 new.
This just didn't work for our family. I am sure there are features I am overlooking and the program probably does fit alot of people. I *do* want my children to be able to rhyme, and do think it is important, but this just did not work for us. I think if the cost were lower and the printing were easier then I would recommend this program. I do appreciate the purpose and the mission behind the books and think it is wise to be virtual when possible. .