Two Websites I’m Loving for Summer Learning

As the parent of two children with learning disabilities (dyslexia and CAPD), I’m always looking for balance. They need to continue to learn over the summer but I also want them to have a brain break.

This year, I’m trying out two online tools and so far I’m impressed. Side note: I do not get any money for reviewing these, and I actually paid for the programs myself.

Mindplay

My oldest is going into 6th grade, so he’s graduated from many apps/websites that I’ve used in the past. A friend recommended Mindplay, and I decided to try it when she told me about her son’s fluency gains. It definitely has a more grown up feel to it.

What I love about this program:  

Reports! As a parent, I can log in and see how much time he spent working (not just goofing around), exactly where he’s struggling, exactly where he’s excelling, and how close he is to using the program with fidelity (days/minutes spent doing the work.)

I also love that if he doesn’t understand something, the program doesn’t stay stuck on it forever. The program will move to different skills, and then circle back and re-teach. This avoids some frustration.

What’s not so great: 

It’s not game-like, so it feels a bit like school. However, compared to 7+ hours per day of school, the 30-40 minutes spent per day to use this supplemental program with fidelity is not bad for summer break.

Website: Mindplay.com

Hear Builder

My rising 4th grader is using Hear Builder at the recommendation of our audiologist. She has Central Auditory Processing Disorder, so this program works on following verbal directions, working memory, comprehension, etc.

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What I love about this program: 

It’s a game-like program, so she actually asks to play it! Yet, it’s also targeted. I sit next to her as she plays, and there are some activities where I can literally SEE her CAPD! She will usually pick up part of the sentence, but not all of it. She’ll comment “this is hard” – yet it’s not hard enough to frustrate her. It’s a perfect challenge.

What’s not so great:

It has a super young feel to it, but she likes it so far. It may not be the best program for middle school or older.

Website: HearBuilder.com

Final thoughts:

I would never replace direct intervention (with certified teachers) with a computer program, but as a summer supplement, I really do like these two so far. They are easy to implement, won’t break the bank, and give us a boost during the dog-days of summer.

What are you doing this summer? 

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