In the last month or so Ben’s reading has come on in leaps and bounds. He has discovered that he can read and is obsessively reading everything. He’s constantly sounding things out and reading things to his sisters. One of the things I love most is that he will try and read literally anything with words on, he’s not confined to the reading books he brings home from school.
Of course this love of reading is something Dave and I are keen to foster in all our children and so we are doing everything we can to encourage him and keep him enjoying reading. With this in mind, when we were asked to review the Oxford Reading Tree app from Gazoob we were happy to oblige.
We weren’t sure which level we should download for Ben – it wasn’t immediately clear if the levels on the app correlated with the levels on the Oxford Reading Tree books. In the end we decided to just invest in the whole lot on the basis that it would actually be great for Chloe too. (Chloe has just started to bring home her very first reading books.)
Basically the app offers a range of levelled Oxford Reading Tree texts with the option to have it read to you, or for you to read it yourself and then check your answers. Ben was being a bit lazy at first and just liked to have it read the words for him until we pointed out that perhaps he could be practising and testing himself!
Ben really likes the occasional animation or sound effect on some of the pages and of course reading on his tablet adds a certain novelty value.
Although there are some games and puzzles I expected there would be more. More games to encourage reading of high frequency words, phonics, sentence building and perhaps even some comprehension activities. Perhaps I was expecting too much? I just felt that in terms of buying the books to read on his tablet I’d rather he just read a “proper” book in his hands. There wasn’t enough added value to my mind. I think Gazoob are missing a trick with this to be honest.
Overall I think the app is a good investment but I’m hoping there will be some more added extras in future updates!
*Disclaimer – We downloaded the Oxford Reading Tree app free of charge for the purpose of review. All thoughts and opinions are my own*