Probably the most exciting part of our homeschooling journey has been seeing Angie learn to read. I recently heard about Nessy Reading & Spelling from Nessy Learning, and I couldn’t wait to try it out.
I received a free three-month subscription to the programme in exchange for an honest review.
Reading and Spelling Fun
Nessy Reading & Spelling is all about reinforcing spelling and reading concepts, so it’s perfect for families with struggling readers, poor spellers, or dyslexic children. Angie is a beginner reader, and I let her spell words her own way when it’s not school time, so I didn’t want her to feel like she was being made to do extra work just so Mommy could blog about it.
I love that Nessy Reading & Spelling is basically one big game. Everyone plays as a monkey and visits a series of islands. Each island focuses on practicing different skills. The explanatory videos are really cute, and Angie would have happily watched them over and over if she could. She had a lot of fun playing the games to practice the concepts, and got excited for the report at the end of each game. “Mommy! Will I get gold? I got gold!”
The core components of the Nessy Reading & Spelling programme are:
- Phonological skills
- Phonics and word recognition
Angie has started making her own “Nessy games”, by writing down letters, breaking them apart, and building words. I get very excited when I see her doing things like this, because the last thing I want is to make spelling a chore. (I hated spelling tests at school. I don’t think they’ll be featuring in our homeschool.)
She struggled a bit playing with the mouse as we were working on my laptop. It would probably have been a bit easier if she had used an iPad or tablet, but I suppose she had to learn how to use a mouse at some point, right?
Nessy Reading & Spelling Online and Offline
Nessy Reading & Spelling is an online programme with a lot of video content, so you’ll need reliable Internet access. Your progress is saved automatically, though, so if you are unexpectedly cut off you won’t have to start all over again.
Nessy also has downloadable flashcards, games and worksheets for each lesson, so that you can practice offline too.
Another feature I like is that in addition to being able to track your students’ progress online, you also get a weekly report via email. The report tells you which of your students learned the most words in reading and spelling, who spent the most time learning, and who played the most games. This could be a learning incentive if your kids are the competitive type!
Is Nessy Reading & Spelling For Me?
Take a look at some research on the effectiveness of Nessy Reading & Spelling in helping struggling students. The programme was developed by a team of specialist teachers and psychologists and uses the Orton-Gillingham approach to reading. It is aimed at children aged 5-12, particularly those with dyslexia, or those learning English as a second language. Although Angie falls into neither of those categories, I find that it’s helping her practice her reading and spelling skills in a fun way.
For more information on dyslexia, download this free e-book.
You can sign up for a free seven day trial to get a feel for whether it’s a good programme for your family. And when your seven day trial is up . . .
Nessy Reading & Spelling is offering a 15% discount for my readers. Use the code BLOG17 when signing up in order to receive the discount.