A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this app.
Kids can learn to read independently with PocketPhonics Stories. They'll start by learning letter sounds and letter formation -- uppercase or lowercase, cursive or print -- and then build words. From there, they'll read books made from words created from the sounds they've already mastered, building on that until they're reading fluently. Kids are evaluated on a one-, two-, or three-star system for each level, based on how accurately they form the letters and the answers to the quizzes. They can replay levels to improve their score and work toward mastery. PocketPhonics Stories is a focused, complete way to teach kids to read, though it's best used with an adult, as it isn't the type of app that kids will want to play again and again for fun.
Ease of Play
Verbal instructions walk kids through the activities, which advance automatically or require tapping an arrow.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that PocketPhonics Stories is a comprehensive phonics program to teach kids to read. It's designed for multiple kids, so it's great for a classroom or family with more than one emerging reader. Parents set up a class or group and then add each reader. Kids master a set of letter sounds, a mix of vowels and consonants, and then read books built around those sounds. Parents can view reports of a kid's progress through the letter sounds and books as well as how much time a kid spent on them. You can get emailed notifications, if enabled, when kids complete a lesson, and you can print a certificate. There is a version that's free to try and allows you to buy certain letter sounds individually.
Is It Any Good?
While pricey, this complete program for teaching kids to read offers a lot of material, customization, and reporting. It's very effective and covers a lot of ground, but it's not a jazzy and fun app, as many preschool apps are, so it may not be an app kids choose to explore on their own. Parents can encourage kids to put in a little time each day working through the program by printing the certificates they earn or by just sitting with them while they work through the activities and books.
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