Read Naturally, Inc. is a company that specializes in improving reading fluency. They have several products and services to aid students in improving their reading skills. I will focus on their Read Live program since I have received a trial of it in order to provide a review for my blog readers. This is what Read Naturally’s website has to say about their Read Live program.
“This comprehensive, research-based program includes Benchmark Assessor Live for screening students for overall reading proficiency and our newest intervention program, Read Naturally Live, with curriculum that supports fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, and phonics.”
As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew I received a trial membership for the Read Live program. My oldest daughter has always had some difficulty in reading and comprehension so I thought I would try the Read Live program for her. She does read well enough but it seems as if she has always had trouble when there were multi-syllable words as well as when she had to try to sound words out which means her reading suffers as does her reading comprehension.
Their Read Live program is designed to work with students from grade 1 through Adult. The concept behind the Read Live program is that each student develops the ability to read as well as they can speak and to retain the knowledge they learn from what they read without having to stop and focus on decoding the words in what they are reading. Not only is your child improving their reading skills but increasing their vocabulary and reading comprehension as well.
Rather than repeat what is already on the Read Naturally website, you can discover what they have to say about their program HERE on their website.
I will now tell you about our experience with Read Live. I started off watching the videos before attempting to set up my account with them. It seems to be set up for a school environment where a different person is in charge of administration and management of the overall school programs and where there are several teachers and various classrooms. For us, since I am basically the parent, the teacher and the administrator, it was a little less obvious how I needed to set up and distribute the licenses and manage the program to get started. Being homeschoolers, we do not deal with that typical”school” structure and that part of the program was a bit cumbersome but still is a minor problem when looking at the program as a whole. Since I know many folks that would be discouraged at this point and just walk away from a program before they use it, I thought I would bring it up right away so that they can know that it is a lot better once they get past the set up and start to actually use the program itself.
I started off by deciding a reading level I believed my daughter should be at and then had her read the story provided for assessment at that level. Your child reads the story out loud while you, as the parent or teacher, note any mistakes and tell your child to stop reading after one minute has passed. You compare your child’s results against a chart that tells you whether they have read within the acceptable score at that reading level. We read from two levels before deciding where my daughter best fit to begin the program.
Once my daughter was set up at her reading level, she signed into her own account and started the program.
Upon signing in for the first time, my daughter was given a choice of stories to select from for her first lesson. For each lesson, the program has the following steps that your child needs to complete before moving on to another lesson: key words, prediction of story, cold timing, read along, practice, quiz, retell, and a last step in which she had to pass all the requirements for her goal for the lesson. The following video shows exactly what your child does for each lesson and explains what is required to complete a lesson.
Now that you have watched a video showing how the program works, I can tell you what my daughter’s and my thoughts were after having gone through one lesson. I liked that the program doesn’t just focus on reading ability but included improvements for vocabulary and reader comprehension. I was not sure at first on having timed read aloud sessions but in the end I could see how it was improving my daughter’s reading fluency. I know my daughter hated having to repeat each reading section in order to meet a pre-determined words per minute goal but she was so excited when she finally met that goal. I could hear how she improved each time she completed another attempt. She also did not like that she had to listen to the read aloud step several times before moving on to another step in the lesson. Again she finally saw how she needed to do that in order to be able to meet her reading goal. We both liked how there were opportunities to click on a difficult word to hear its pronunciation as well as its meaning and use. I have seen some improvements in my daughter’s reading but we have not used it as long term as I feel is needed to see a major improvement. However I can see the benefits to using the Read Live program not only for students that need an intervention to improve reading skills but also for those who are on track as well. There is a good balance in the program for both independent work on the student’s part as well as needing to have a teacher’s assistance during the lessons. I feel this helps to not only ensure the student is doing what they need to be doing to complete each lesson but so the teacher can monitor the progress of the student as well. In addition, each story in the program is non-fiction so that my child also gets the benefit of actually learning something new. After having read through each story several times, the new information she learned was committed to her memory. I appreciated that it was something significant rather than just fiction she had read as part of a program.
You can visit the Read Naturally website to discover more about the Read Live program. The website has many videos you can view as well as information to read about this program.
You can purchase a 12-month subscription to Read Live for one child at $149.00 by calling 800.788.4085 and speak to a Read Naturally representative, or sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. They have various pricing options depending upon how many students you would like to use their program.
In addition to reading about Read Live from the Read Naturally website you can visit the TOS Homeschool Crew Blog in order to read what my fellow crew members had to say about both the Read Live program as well as One Minute Reader (a home reading program).
You can sign up for a free 60 day trial of Read Live at http://www.readnaturally.com/products/readlivetrial.htm.
Note: I received a trial of Read Live for free as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew in order to provide an honest review for my readers.