I may have mentioned a few times that spelling is the hardest part of our homeschool lessons. Now that Sophie is reading it’s better – but she’s more apt to remember how to spell a word because she’s read it, instead of being able to sound the word out. Believe me, I’m happy that something is clicking – but I really want her to be able to sound words out instead of memorizing them. Bella is a little bit better on sounding words out, but not by much. Spelling is like pulling teeth – and I wish it didn’t have to be so hard.
Disclaimer – I was compensated for my time and received a complimentary subscription for the purpose of this review. I was not required to write a positive review and all thoughts, opinions and photos are mine.
We were recently introduced to Nessy Reading & Spelling, an online program that strives to teach children in a fun way how to spell and read. For those children who learn differently, Nessy Learning believes that children who have fun learning are more engaged, and then more likely to remember what they are learning. I tried Nessy Reading & Spelling with both girls to see how they would like it, and if it would be something that might be helpful as we tackle spelling yet again.
I need to mention that the program covers both reading and spelling, but we focused more on the spelling program with Sophie and the reading program with Bella. Note Bella’s thrilled expression.
Sophie’s thoughts on Nessy Reading & Spelling
Sophie really, really likes Nessy Reading & Spelling. It is set up as a game, which for Sophie was very fun since she likes playing games on her Kindle Fire. It also helped that I was letting her play a game during the day outside of her regular screen time schedule. After logging into the game called the Land of Ness, she was ready to go. I let her do the program by herself, even when she asked for help so that Nessy Spelling would be able to see what level she was on with spelling and be able to customize the program for her. I honestly thought she would give up, because after 10 minutes she had to spell a compound word and was getting frustrated – but she got through it. I think she’s still spelling words by memory instead of sounding them out, but the program seems to be good practice for her, which is good. Plus, she likes it which is a great win!
Bella’s thoughts on Nessy Reading & Spelling
Bella did not like either Nessy Reading or Spelling. I was sure that because Sophie liked Nessy Spelling Bella would, but nope. She had a hard time hearing the words she was supposed to spell out, and then when I wouldn’t help her she refused to try again. Sigh. Welcome to my world. We are still working with Nessy spelling, but it’s a slow go. Right now I can’t tell if the program is helping her or not, so since I figure all work is good we are continuing with it.
We moved on to Nessy Reading and she did a little bit better with that. Bella can read, she just has convinced herself that she can’t but it was clear when she logged into Nessy Reading that yes, she really can. Bella enjoyed the reading game more, I think because it was a bit more interactive (for her) and she was able to get correct answers right away.
Bella was born with congenital full extropia, which meant her eyes didn’t work together and she needed double eye surgery when she was 18 months old. Because of that surgery, Bella doesn’t have depth perception, which means she sees in 3 dimensions instead of four. It can be hard for Bella to type answers on a keyboard to match up to what she knows should be on the screen, so I think that added an extra layer for her. However this is a life skill that she will need so we keep working on it!
My thoughts on Nessy Reading & Spelling
I think Nessy Learning has a solid program in Nessy Reading & Spelling and I’m sure it works well for a lot of people. I like that I can set the girls up and walk away so that I’m not beating my head against the wall asking them to spell C-A-T over and over again. I like that there are *helps* built into each level that the student can access if they need help. I like that the reading program is easy to see which level the child should be on and caters to that as soon as the initial lessons are done. That being said, I don’t know if this is the best program for the girls but we are working through a few more lessons to see.
My favorite thing about Nessy Spelling are the PDF worksheets that I can print off and have Bella do offline. Those she loved! There are PDF lessons to go along with each level of Nessy spelling, and by printing out each lesson I was able to have Bella work on them after she finished the online program. I simply printed off one copy of each PDF, and then I stuck them in page protectors and gave her a dry erase marker to use. It’s been a great review for her and it’s easy for me because I can stick them in a binder and use them on the go!
Final Thoughts on Nessy Reading & Spelling
Nessy Learning has published an ebook called Dyslexia Explained to help parents understand what Dyslexia is and how to explain it to their child. You can welcome to download a free copy of Dyslexia Explained to read for yourself. While my girls don’t struggle with this, I was able to glean some tips to work with Bella – and it was very interesting to learn more about Dyslexia. You can also follow Nessy Learning on Facebook for more tips and information.
If you have a struggling speller and/or reader I would recommend trying out Nessy Reading & Spelling to see if it might be a program that will work for your student. Their prices start at $12/month or $100/year for 1 student, and then if you have multiple students the pricing goes up. As of now they do not have a family plan. However, you can use this code to save 15% off your order: NRSBLOG15. But hurry, it expires Monday, October 16, 2017.