Disclosure: I received a free app download to facilitate my Reading App review. Regardless, all opinions are my own and those of my family.
Do you have young kids learning to read or have a classroom of young kids learning to read? Whether you’re a homeschooler, teacher or a parent looking to encourage reading, Rhyme to Read is a valuable app!
Rhyme to Read is a beginning reading program made up of 20 books. It can be used for beginning readers or readers that may need additional help. The only recommended prerequisite is a knowledge of letters and consonant letter sound connections. Our older two children (ages 6 and 8) are both delayed readers due to their special needs, so I was definitely looking forward to trying out the Rhyme to Read app.
The Rhyme to Read app was created by two educators. Lynn Klaiman is a learning specialist and Sara Hines has a PHd in Special Education. This alone intrigued me since we have three special needs kids. I felt like I was going to get an opportunity to introduce our kids to something special from those that understand special needs. I was definitely right!
Our whole family has been enjoying Rhyme to Read. My original intent was to work it into part of our homeschool day and have each child use it individually so they wouldn’t have distractions and could easily focus on what they are reading. What ended up happening, though, is our preschooler wanted to get involved, too, so it has now become part of our nighttime story time! We’ll all gather around, and our oldest son and daughter will each read one of the books (or a few!). Even our preschooler (age 4) has started recognizing some of the words!
What really stands out about Rhyme to Read is it truly is structured in a way to help kids build upon what they have learned. In addition to being progressive, each book highlights a short vowel sound (4 books per short vowel sound) and word families (like bat, cat, rat). Plus each word family is color coded so they recognize the word families. Our kids are very visual, so the color coding really stood out in their minds. They could clearly see how the word families relate and had a much easier time reading those words because of this feature. It also repeats and re emphasizes the word family to really help it “stick.”
Color coding the word families also helps them to recognize the differences – that words begin with different sounds. This really helps stress the phonemic sounds, which has been key to our children’s learning. Phonemic awareness is really what has helped our children start to overcome their barriers, and Rhyme to Read definitely provided them with it. They are happy and confident when reading the books on Rhyme to Read versus being frustrated, which is often the case.
In addition to phonological awareness, Rhyme to Read does also introduce sight words. Sight words are in black font to help them recognize them. I always get nervous when sight words pop up because that is one of the things our kids have struggled with most. The way it eases into them, though, and then offers a page at the back to review them really helped them to recognize the sight words, which is a huge step in their reading! There are thirty-five common sight words total that are previewed the first five times they appear.
All three kids really enjoy the characters and pretty much know them by name now. Since their names are often part of the word families this has once again helped them to recognize the word family. I truly love that they do enjoy it as well! Plus I love that it has really been a great way to wind down together enjoying reading for once. Even if we’ve had a stressful homeschool day, this is reading time we all enjoy together.
Rhyme to Read is available on the App Store in 2 versions. The 1st Version is free and includes Book #1. You can then opt to make in app purchases of the additional books at $.99 each. The 2nd Version includes all 20 books for just $9.99 – a great value! We have been using it on our 2nd generation iPad with the current iOS, though it can be used on Apple devices with iOS 6 and higher.
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*Giveaway Coming Soon!*
Stay tuned! I’ll be sharing a giveaway of the full Rhyme to Read app soon! 3 will win! It will be open worldwide ages 18+. Check back soon to enter to win!