I have two children who struggle with reading. Since my husband also was a late reader, and they are continuing to make progress, I’m not too concerned at this point. But, I do want them to have the best start possible. So we try lots of different methods to improve their reading.
When I was given the opportunity to review the Dyslexia Gold Full Bundle from Dyslexia Gold, I was anxious to see how it’d work. I’d done some research of eye tracking before, while working on my master’s in elementary reading and lit, but had forgotten about it in the years following.
As I learned more about this vendor, it was like my brain opened up and all my past research came flying back into my mind. Here’s a quick summary of what I have learned:
Some people have trouble tracking words across the page. When given stand alone lines or single words in isolation, they appear to read fairly well. But, when you add multiple lines, or have them read from a book, they struggle. Their confidence drops. Their speed drops. And they look like someone who is struggling greatly with reading.
It makes sense! When the letters all look like they’re floating away, it’s much harder to gain fluency in reading. Each word is a struggle to pinpoint and read.
Often, there is cerebellum difficulty responsible for this. The eyes are lacking the ability to focus and work together.
When you have readers who:
- Frequently lose their place when reading
- Know how to read but struggle to gain fluency
- Often skip word endings
They might be dealing with eye tracking difficulties. And a program like Dyslexia Gold, which helps students train their eyes, might help!
What Is the Dyslexia Gold Full Bundle?
I was given two accounts to the Dyslexia Gold Full Bundle products, so my two struggling readers could each give it a try. The bundle contains access to four different products:
- Engaging Eyes
- Fluency Builder
- Spelling Tutor
- Times Table Tutor
Each program is online. Students can access any of them from their dashboard.
My students spent the most time on this program. They wear 3D glasses (see photo above) and play a variety of fun games. My children particularly enjoyed the target practice one pictured above.
They had to focus on each target and line it up right. When they were ready, they hit the space bar to fire.
At first, this was challenging. They had to learn how to focus, and have their eyes work together. But as they progressed, it became more comfortable. Their scores slowly improved.
Another game on here had aliens pop up out of what looked like moon craters. The students were supposed to whack each one as it popped up, using their eyes to track. Unfortunately, my kids figured out a hack and just hit the space bar repeatedly, even when there wasn’t an alien. They didn’t have to do much tracking, but they did have fun.
The target game and the alien one were the only ones that popped up automatically for my kids. So they did them. But, as I dove into the program, I discovered so many more activities and games. It would have been nice if these rotated as well, just to spice things up a bit and add some variety.
On one, there were rows of letters. One at a time, they enlarged. Students were instructed to hit the space bar each time a certain letter came up (like d). This was very helpful for my son, but not so much my daughter.
This is the other program my children did several times a week during the review period. It focused on letter sounds and phonics skills. Here is my daughter working on it. She had to listen to each word, and drag it to the correct column (long a or short a in this case.)
Segmenting has always been a struggle for this particular child, and the Fluency Builder program really seemed to help. She is getting better at swapping out word sounds and rhyming as a result.
Since we already had a spelling program that was working, we didn’t use this program as much. I did have my son check it out a couple of times. It uses a dictation style of teaching spelling, where students write the words on a separate piece of paper and then correct their answers.
While the other portions of the program can be done without a ton of parent involvement, this one seems to need more.
Times Table Tutor
Since my son is working on memorizing multiplication facts, I had him check out the Times Table Tutor. He hated it. (He didn’t like how many times he was asked to do the same problem.)
But, the repetition worked to help him memorize many of the facts.
Times Table Tutor was very simple. And untimed, which made for a less distressing practice.
It is auditory based. Students listen to the multiplication problem. Then they click on the right answer:
After working through the facts like this, it moves onto more of a quiz style. This is what frustrated my son. He felt like he had to do it so many times.
In reality, it only took him about fifteen minutes. But, it apparently felt like an eternity to him because it was so repetitious.
What We Thought of This Program
Progress reports were built naturally into Dyslexia Gold, which I appreciated. Every so often, it’d ask the students to call their teachers over for a timed test. Both of my children showed improvement on these tests.
And more importantly, they are both reading better outside of the program.
My son loses his space less frequently. That helps him have confidence and he has definitely increased his speed.
My daughter really benefited from the targeted phonics practice. The combination of auditory cues and repetition really helped to cement some concepts in her mind that she’d been struggling with.
Some parts of it were repetitious. And I feel like there’s so much in here that isn’t as easy to find (like all the other games in the Engaging Eyes section).
Some directions were a little unclear. My kids weren’t sure exactly which activities they needed the glasses for. They wore them the first several times they did the alien game, but I don’t think they are necessary there, as there don’t seem to be any 3D elements.
But, the most important thing for me is that this program worked. It improved the reading confidence of my two struggling readers.
And it was low-intensity for me as a busy homeschooling mom.
It did definitely take more than the advertised ten minutes per day – but that’s because each of the four programs is designed to take about ten or fifteen minutes. If your child is doing more of them, they will be online a lot longer.
I wasn’t the only person reviewing this product. To see how Dyslexia Gold worked for other members of the Crew, click on the banner below!