Spellmagic is a spelling system in the Easyread range. It uses Guided Phonetic Reading to move the learner away from whole words sight reading, towards a decoding approach. Then, as the child builds familiarity with the structure of different words, the ability to encode (ie spell) starts to become natural, without any word lists to memorize or inconsistent rules to remember.
My son has always struggled with reading and only really started writing anything in year 3. His reading had improved but he was a very reluctant writer and unable to spell even basic words.Please forgive my spelling! I can't say Cameron loves spellmagic but I have managed to get him to do it fairly regularly and his whole approach to spelling has changed! He actually attempts to sound things out rather than taking a random guess even with phonetically spelled words. He, like others, has had to concentrate on the reading exercises as he gets frustrated if he makes any mistakes with the spelling but I am hoping he can move onto the spelling exercises soon. It might be a conincidence but I think his general confidence has improved too... I think I am more relaxed because I feel like I am doing all I can with the support of Easyread to help him and have more understanding of his difficulties.
My daughter, Emma has always struggled with her spelling and this was starting to affect her confidence and making her reluctant to write. However we discovered Spellmagic and it has been a turning point for us! Emma has worked her way through the Spellmagic programme and we have found it has really helped her with her spelling. Although Emma still finds spelling a challenge she has really improved and is much more confident in writing. We have also found that her reading has improved and that she is gaining much more enjoyment from books - in fact she is now a real 'book worm' which is lovely to see. Emma has really enjoyed the programme and the support we have received from the team has been great!
Our son used spellmagic after he'd completed easyread. He took to it again very easily and we had no difficulty encouraging him to use the programme each day. He's never really looked back as the programme just clicked. Usual fun characters and always the interesting commentary provided by David!
Going through the characters and building up the words to stories took away the fear of letters and reading. It was so much fun that our younger child insisted on joining the course. It was possible to use the Spellmagic for a different language.
Excellent System for problems with reading and spelling
Gently and systematically uses phonics, pictures, sound and games to gradually increase confidence and make real progress. From hating reading and hating spelling, our son (year 4) is now happy to have a go, and never gets bored or frustrated with this (we have used easyread as wellwhich is great.) Thanks!!!
My ten year old son has always struggled with reading and spelling. I have tried numerous programs with him, to no avail. No amount of trying to make it fun for him was working and he was starting to shut down. Then we found Spellmagic! We are only a month into the program, but he loves it! He asks to do his daily lesson and can't wait to sit down and figure out the daily story. The biggest change I've seen is his ability to slow down and read each word; before Spellmagic he would race ahead and make numerous errors in his reading. Slowing him down to decode will certainly augur well for spelling, as he has to slowly build a word back up to spell. The program is so much fun for him, so he practices reading and spelling effortlessly! It really is "magic" to have him slow down to decode and read, then encode to spell the word again. This program has multi levels of support, for both child and parent. My sons feels he has a relationship with David even though they have never even spoken! There are numerous incentives sent to him as prizes and achievement rewards. He is incentivised by these and the daily games he gets to play; he is learning to set short term goals. The best thing is my son now knows he can decode anything, as long as he uses the skills he learns in Spellmagic! He is writing words in a whole new light, slowing down and building each word! I am excited to see his skills continue to unfold in this program and his continued enjoyment to read and spell. Thanks Spellmagic; YOU'RE REALLY MAGIC!
From a very early age it was clear to my husband and myself that our (now 7 and a half year old) daughter was going to struggle with spelling. Although she gradually progressed with her reading, her spelling was like that of a different child. Articulate, creative and confident orally, she could not write the simplest of words...even with only 2 letters! We tried many different strategies with her as her confidence began to diminish...flashcards, memory games, even taking her to a private teacher specialising in helping dyslexic children. Incredibly, nothing had any lasting impact. Words she worked so hard to memorise one day when have 'gone' the next and this whole process left her (and us)more disheartened than ever. Her school were lovely with her, insisting she was above average intelligence but said that sadly there was no funding available in our LEA to give her any specialist help. I spent weeks researching all sorts of possibilities, purchased CD roms which had great ratings but turned out to be yet another creative way of helping children to memorise words...and she COULDN'T. I have to admit, we first discounted easyread because it sounded expensive, but we do really regret that now. From the day we signed up, we have never looked back..and now have enrolled our younger son as well! It really does deal with the root cause of the problem in a way that no other programme I have come accross does. It is professionally run with first class support from staff...I'm talking about 30 minute telephone consultations on a regular basis. There is no promise of a quick fix and even though we are 5 months into the programme, it is still early days. Her reading speed and confidence are sky high and we are seeing some improvements in spelling the shorter words independently but real differences in her spelling are not due for a few months yet. We are so excited to see where she is in 6 months time. Spellmagic has taken the pressure off her and the worry off us. We only wish we'd heard about it sooner.
For my 13-yr old daughter, the Spellmagic program has fulfilled all my expectations and then some. Being a lay-person, but having researched several other spelling/reading programs as well as having tried a few of those, I would say the authors and creators behind EasyRead and Spellmagic have certainly "done their homework". They make no promises of instant fixes, in fact they clearly state the process will be lengthy. We have been working the Spellmagic program for approximately six months and it is the one thing we do in our week day routine that we both still look forward to. For my "struggling learner" that's rare. The lessons are short, 15-20 minutes, and the stories engaging for even my 13-yr old. In the early stages of the program, she was regularly rewarded with little prizes in the mail! And I mean fun little gadgets! And if the prizes weren't enough, there are daily computer games she can play at the end of each session. However, without a doubt the most important feature of Spellmagic to me is their customer service. Before our decision to purchase the program, I spoke a few times to the staff in the UK. Every person I spoke with was knowledgeable, courteous, patient (listened well to ALL my questions - multiple times), and professional. Replies to questions via email have consistently been quickly returned - even quicker since they expanded their offices to the US and set up a shop in CA. Their passion for helping children learn to read is obvious. Their passion for helping parents learn to help their children is also equally obvious. My daughter may look forward to the short lessons, but I look forward to the amazing, on-going, helpful information they link to on the EasyRead website regularly. I'm excited to find what this new website/blog will open up to! So you may wonder, has my daughter's reading/spelling progressed in six months? Undoubtedly, yes! At about the 4-month mark she began spelling phonetically. Up until that time, vowels weren't important to her! For us, this is huge! For a child with CAPD and severe eye-tracking issues - the EasyRead system has been the answer. I feel they have covered every aspect in composing a program that meets most every need for a struggling reader/speller using the scientific evidence out there. Add to this a personal touch from the staff making for an excellent tool in our box of tools needed to help our struggling daughter become a confident reader. I don't know that any of the tiniest detail was missed... every i dotted, every t crossed!