Today I am reviewing the ABeCeDarian Interactive A Workbook from the ABeCeDarian Company. It is possible to buy level A in a work book form, but for the purpose of this review I will be talking about their new Interactive Workbook and the accompanying teacher’s manual:
What is ABeCeDarian?
ABeCeDarian is a research based, multisensory decoding program for beginner readers, designed for ages five upwards to learn to read and write. ABeCeDarian Interactive A Workbook is designed to be used online. It works best on a tablet (iPad, Kindle Fire, etc.), but it is possible to use it with your regular PC.
How did we use ABeCeDarian?
I had planned to use this with my five year old, who is a non reader and who I have suspected for a while is not quite ready to read yet. As we began to work through the program I could see that it just wasn’t clicking with her. She is fairly newly five and I think just developmentally not ready to read. She knows all her letters but really does not seem to understand the concept of blending.
My seven year old is an emerging independent reader and I asked her if she would mind reviewing the product for me. Of course, she found it very easy, but did enough to be able to share her opinion with me. I had her sitting on my lap whilst she did it so that I could become familiar with the product also.
How Does ABeCeDarian Work?
- The Teacher’s Guide
The teacher’s guide is huge at 166 pages and can be downloaded for free here. The instructions for the parents are contained in the first 53 pages. It is incredibly thorough and explains everything the parent will be doing, as well as all they will not be doing! Honestly, if you are concerned about teaching your child to read, this may well be the curriculum for you. I believe the guidance and instruction found in the teachers manual would help any parent feel confident of their ability. I have taught four of my children to read and am very laid back now I have reached my fifth, but even I can see the value of the information found in this ebook.
The first part teaches you, as the parent, the rational behind the lessons and then in the second part offers scripted lessons. Literally, they tell you exactly what to say, what to expect and how to help your child if she struggles. You can not fail 🙂
- The Interactive Workbook
Each lesson begins with a letter puzzle, often focusing on just one word, in this case mop. The parent says the word mop, emphasising the first, then second and finally the third sound. The child then unscrambles the letters to make the word mop:
The student then practices writing the letters of the specific word, again here it is mop:
After which they write the word, first tracing it and then copying it:
By the time the student has moved to lesson 17 the student is both reading and writing simple sentences:
What We Thought of ABeCeDarian
A7 found it easy to use and simple to work through each lesson. As already mentioned, this program does require the involvement of a parent. The lessons are scripted and the parent and child are taken through each lesson from start to finish. Both A7 and I disliked this aspect, but I feel that a newly home educating parent would find this reassuring.
I think this is potentially an amazing curriculum which I will look forward to using with B5 in September (thus giving her a few more months to mature).
Advantages of ABeCeDarian
- Direct and simple to understand. The teacher guide explains complex ideas in a way that even I could understand!
- No ‘bells and whistles’, which is a great advantage for children who are easily distracted
- No Busy work
- Each lesson is heavily scripted, although depending on your point of view, this could be a disadvantage. I believe this would be very helpful for an inexperienced teacher/parent
- Children learn to write alongside learning to read
- A free placement test is available on the ABeCeDarian website.
- ABeCeDarian has several FREE resources that are to be used in conjunction with the program. There are letter tiles, word lists, etc.
- ABeCeDarian has samples of all their products.
- There are no rules to learn whilst learning to read, giving a more fluid and natural experience over all
- There is a support group available to help you get the best out of the program
Disadvantages of ABeCeDarian
- Each lesson is heavily scripted, although depending on your point of view, this could be an advantage
- There is no feature which allows you to save your children’s work
- There were 53 pages of instructions to read before I could start this program! It was all very interesting and I really did feel like I personally learnt a lot, but this was not a grab and go curriculum for the first week or so. That said, once the reading was done it was very much grab and go, so this wasn’t too much of a disadvantage.
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See what other reviewers had to say about this program: