Reading Readiness (RR) is a comprehensive, computer program for complete beginning reading. RR includes two CD-ROMs, ten Readiness Readers, and installation instructions. Installing the first CD was easy and right away my five year-old jumped right on it. She was so happy to have a program that she could truly use and grow from! I was immediately impressed with the progressive learning and the gorgeous professional look and feel of the program. The development must have taken a long time because this is not shoddy work. All a homeschool mom could need is here - they have truly thought of everything. You only need to provide the children!
When you open the Windows/Macintosh ready CD, The Teacher Control Panel comes up. You will see the dashboard where you will chose your starting place. The dashboard gives you the following choices: Teacher Control Panel, Guide to Reading Readiness, Manual, Teacher Materials, and the online Readiness Readers. You will want to read the very thorough Manual to familiarize yourself with what you have before you and to understand how you will navigate the software. It is easy enough to figure out on your own, but there are things you may miss if you do not read the Manual.
You will then want to click on the Teacher Control Panel because that is where you will set up your child's learning. All Student List is where you will add and store the name(s) of your students. I currently have three in my list, ages 5, 7, and 9. The nine year-old wanted to do it just for fun! I then clicked on Classroom Setup and created a group name. Then I clicked on Roster and added my students to the group. Here is where the classroom aspect comes into play because you can have a large list of students and many groups. I will not be using this portion, but if I were in a co-op or another group situation, I could.
The Lesson List (tests are also included) is extensive and impressive. Here is what your child will systematically learn:
Identify shapes that are the same lesson 1
Identify shapes that are the same lesson 2
Itentify letters that are the same
Match uppercase letters lesson 1
Match lowercase letters lesson 1
Match upper to lowercase letters lesson 1
Match uppercase letters lesson 2
Match lowercase letters lesson 2
Match upper to lowercase letters lesson 2
Match uppercase letters lesson 3
Match lowercase letters lesson 3
Match upper to lowercase letters lesson 3
Sequence uppercase letters
Sequence lowercase letters
Identify sounds that are the same lesson 1
Identify sounds that are the same lesson 2
Identify sounds that are the same lesson 3
Match beginning sounds to pictures lesson 1
Match beginning sounds to letters lesson 1
Match beginning sounds to words lesson 1
Match beginning sounds to pictures lesson 2
Match beginning sounds to letters lesson 2
Match beginning sounds to words lesson 2
Match beginning sounds to pictures lesson 3
Match beginning sounds to letters lesson 3
Match beginning sounds to words lesson 3
Match end sounds to pictures
Math end sounds to words
Match short vowel sounds to pictures
Mathc short vowel sounds to words
Rhyming Pictures 1:
Match pictures that rhyme lesson 1
Long Vowels 1 (Silent E):
Match long vowel sounds to pictures lesson 1
Match long vowel souunds to words lesson 1
Long Vowels 2 (Combinations):
Match long vowel sounds to pictures lesson 2
Match long vowel souunds to words lesson 2
Rhyming Pictures 2:
Match pictures that rhyme lesson 2
Beginning Consonant Digraphs:
Match beginning digraph sounds to pictures
Match beginning digraph sounds to letters
Match beginning digraph sounds to words
Beginning Consonant Blends:
Match beginning blend sounds to pictures lesson 1
Match beginning blend sounds to words lesson 1
Match beginning blend sounds to pictures lesson 2
Match beginning blend sounds to words lesson 2
Match beginning blend sounds to pictures lesson 3
Match beginning blend sounds to words lesson 3
Ending Consonant Digraphs:
Match end digraph sounds to pictures
Match end digraph sounds to words
Ending Consonant Blends:
Match end blend sounds to pictures
Match end blend sounds to words
Rhyming Pictures 3:
Match pictures that rhyme lesson 3
Irregular Vowels 1:
Match vowel sounds to pictures lesson 1
Match vowel sounds to words lesson 1
Irregular Vowels 2:
Match vowel sounds to pictures lesson 2
Match vowel sounds to words lesson 2
Irregular Vowels 3:
Match vowel sounds to pictures lesson 3
Match vowel sounds to words lesson 3
Rhyming Words 1:
Match words that rhyme lesson 1
Reading and Spelling 1:
Blend sounds to make words lesson 1
Find words by word family lesson 1
Spell words with 3 letters
Reading and Spelling 2:
Blend sounds to make words lesson 2
Find words by word family lesson 2
Spell words with 4 letters
Build words with 4 letters
Reading and Spelling 3:
Blend sounds to make words lesson 3
Spell words with long vowels
Reading and Spelling 4:
Blend sounds to make words lesson 4
Spell words with irregular vowels
In addition to this lengthy list of lessons, included in the program are the following: ABC Book, Short Vowel Book, Long Vowel Book that your child can click on and learn from. They are interactive and game-like, but give your child the freedom to play too. Also included are reports on your child's progress that are broken down for each student with percentage of each lesson correctly done, pre and post test scores, mastery date, and where they learned it. (In our case it says, "Home.")
As your child clicks on the first lesson, they will encounter shapes they have to identify. RR is a mastery program and your child will not move on in until they have demonstrated total mastery of the subject matter. The lessons are wide and varied and the instructors are friendly and speak very clearly. There will be no second-guessing what was said or confusion in the instructions - everything is clear and easy.
The Guide to Reading Readiness is just that, a guide that gives you an overview of the entire program.
The Teacher Guide breaks down the material for you, the teacher. The Table of Contents in this section is as follows: Introduction "To the Teacher", Skills Chart, Packets 1-24, and Reading Readiness Images. Materials are divided into the previously mentioned "Packets" of learning instruction. "Each packet has a specific focus (for example, alphabet recognition, sequencing alphabet letters, or beginning consonant sounds.) A packet contains information about the skill, one or more class activities, and one or more worksheets..." These are not required to complete the course or even necessary to use, but they are handy and nice to have as they cover a great deal of information and can be very helpful for reinforcement. They can also just be fun for that little one who is anxious to "do school" like his older siblings.
The 10 separate Readiness Readers that come with the program are soft-covered with nicely drawn, detailed pictures with cute animal characters with personalities. The stories are simple, but all correlate to specific learning. For example, the first book, Eleanor Has A Map, starts like this:
"Look at the map. It is my map. We can look at it."
"A bed is on the map. What is under the bed?"
"It is a fat bag. The fat bag is for me."
"What is on the map?"
"Look on the mat. I see a hat with a tag. It is for me." (It goes on for about 8 more pages from there.)
Further in the series (Book 5, Kisha's Big Job) we see stories like this:
"Kisha has a chore. A chore is a big job."
"Her chore is to shop. That is a big job. When will she shop?"
"Kisha will shop now. She will get many things. Shop, Kisha, shop!"
"Kisha will shop for cherries. Kisha will shop for cheese. She will get a thick wheel of cheese."
"Kisha will shop for a white shirt. She will get a shell. See how is shines."
And then Book 10, A Good Day for Music, is like this:
"Pierre sat on a log with his flute. It was dawn. He saw the sun."
"Pierre blew into his flute. He made one sound. Toot!"
"His flute woke a goose. The goose made a noise. Honk!"
"Pierre blew into his flute. Honk! He made a new sound. Honk! Toot!"
"He sat down to play his flute. The sun was high in the sky."
"Pierre's flute woke a cow. The cow made a noise. Moo, moo!"
So while these books are not used right away, they are something to look forward to later in the lessons. Even my little pre-readers were sitting and flipping through them!
The second CD is also notable. What I find impressive about this made-for-schools program is that they do understand the importance of learning at home. Included in the set is a separate CD that has the same ABC Book, Short Vowel Book, Long Vowel Book that you find in the main CD, but also a large selection of printable practice pages, and then the Readiness Readers in printable format. As a homeschooler this is really a great bonus because all the practice sheets are great for reinforcement as well as daily learning. I also appreciated the Readiness Readers in printable format for coloring and rewards for finishing. Many of the little paperback readers that come in sets like this are meant to be colored by the child after they complete the book. If you have more than one child and wish to use the books for all of them, this is not very practical. Now I can print out their favorite page, they can color it; we can post it on the fridge or send it to a proud grandma to show her what they have learned. So while this is a duplicate of some of the extras that you find on the learning CD, it could be useful in a co-op situation for individual students whose parents do not own the larger program. It is just a nice extra for us. They really have thought of everything one might need!
Isn't that amazing? For the reasonable price of $89.95, you receive a lot of high quality instruction! We are very happy to have this software and I would recommend it for any family.