Everybody Learns is an online learning support company who provide materials for parents and teachers to help maximise your children's learning potential. Everybody Learns believes that everyone has the potential to read and write to high levels, you just need to find the stimulus to harness it. We've been reviewing some foundation level, first writing and reading exercise workbooks from the Everybody Learns range.
The Lexia First Reading and Writing workbook series accompanies the Lexia Reading programme which is a piece of software that you subscribe to to help your child develop their reading skills. The workbooks work very effectively without the software though and Lara has really thrown herself into them.
The Lexia reading and writing workbooks come in pairs and can be used from foundation level right up to older readers. I started Lara on level 3 book 1 which I think is a little below her current reading level but I wanted to get her used to the types of exercises to expect in the Lexia books (and, being the school holidays, I didn't want to frighten her off with too much 'homework'). I think Lara is probably a little unusual in that she absolutely loves the challenge of sitting with an exercise book and working her way through them - we've had a lot of success in the past with maths workbooks but I'd never tried reading and writing skills beyond simply tracing letters.
At the very early levels, the Lexia workbooks do feature letter tracing, but by level 3 and 4 they feature a lot more comprehension and practice of the common phonemes using real works and sensible sentence-building exercises.
Lara actively chooses to fill in a page or two every time she happens to walk past the table. She can spend 5 minutes, or 30 minutes. The book she is currently working on features words she knows well and uses sounds she knows well but it is great practice for her to write full sentences and to repeat common patterns and sounds. If she whizzes through this book, I will move her onto level 4 which seems a bit more advanced.
As a parent to a second child, I can really see that Holly is soaking up everything that her big sister learns. Even at 2.5 years old, Holly wants to be reading and writing and will copy her sister. I can't see it being very long before Holly starts the first of the Lexia workbooks to start learning letter sounds and shapes with me.
Lara's school is a very "mellow" and relaxed school and I simply cannot imagine them ever sitting down to perform a reading or writing activity that follows this much structure. I think this is why Lara enjoys it so much - it is something very different for her and so she doesn't see it as a chore, or a challenge.
The Lexia First Reading and Writing workbook series also features a brightly-coloured laminated alphabet frieze that you can use to decorate a room. You can buy complete sets but generally the individual packs of workbooks come in pairs which costs about £8.49 which is a really good price compared to the less-comprehensive workbooks you can find on the high street. I'm really impressed and can imagine Lara happily continuing to work her way through these books alongside her existing school work.