*This post contains affiliate links. See my disclosure policy for more information.
When I formed a partnership with The Struggling Reader to attend the Teach Them Diligently Convention in May, I agreed to use their products with my struggling reader. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on them. Affordable products that would allow me to test and identify my struggling reader’s strengths and weaknesses, remediate them, and retest whenever I wanted/needed to? Yes! On top of that, Bill and Kristen Eckenwiler are reading specialists who really understand the reading process, and they have a heart for helping families and struggling readers.
I received The Struggling Reader’s complete product line in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. I was not required to write a positive review.
The Struggling Reader – Phonemic Awareness Diagnostic Inventory
I decided to begin our journey with The Struggling Reader with phonemic awareness. That was, after all, the first issue I noticed with my struggling reader—a lack of phonemic awareness. I knew that we had improved since those early days, but I also felt like we might still have work to do. It made sense to start there too, since phonemic awareness is critical and basic to the reading process.
At first, I was intimidated by the testing process. That was before I found the CD in the back of my test booklet and realized that there was a good explanation there. Feeling more confident, I read the instructions for testing again, glanced through the test, and called my daughter over to begin.
The test is laid out very well. For each skill, there is a brief assessment. The instructions are clear, and the skills tests are abbreviated for children who show mastery of that skill. The score sheet makes it easy to keep track of how the child scored on each skill, which is helpful when you’re ready to work on the skills that are weak areas.
Since I kept score as I went, I finished scoring and administering the Phonemic Awareness Diagnostic Inventory at the same time. I quickly went through and marked the skills my daughter needed to work on the most, and we began to play!
The Struggling Reader – Phonemic Awareness Instructional Activities
After completing the diagnostic inventory, it was easy to target the skills where my daughter needs the most work. The Instructional Activity book’s games are divided by skill and by whether the game can be played as an individual or a group. All of the activities are multisensory activities, and each one lists exactly which senses are engaged in that game. It is easy to find what your child needs and will enjoy!
My daughter’s favorite game, of all the ones we did, is called “Silly Chicken.” (It deals with deleting the final phoneme from a word.) She calls this game “Baby Talk” because the words sound funny when the final sound is removed. It is wonderful to work on weaknesses and laugh at the same time. (In the past, reading skills work has been accompanied by tears far too often.)
These games are easy to play (most just require you, your child, and some of the phonemic awareness cards), and they’re fun too. We won’t mind coming back to these as we continue to work on phonemic awareness. Added bonus: There are so many games to play for each skill that there’s sure to be at least one game your child will enjoy!
A Discount for The Struggling Reader Products!
Through July 31, 2013, The Struggling Reader is offering a 20% discount! To get this discount for your family, please contact The Struggling Reader using the contact form on their site. Tell them the products you would like to order (the discount is not limited to phonemic awareness only!), and they will send you an invoice you can pay online that reflects the 20% discount!