Friday, January 7, 2011

Review: See-N-Read

I have to say, one of the blessings of being on the Homeschool Crew is learning about items you never knew you needed before.  We recently received three such items--samples of the products available from See-N-Read.  Oops, I should say four.   In addition to the three tangible reading tools there is a "virtual" version to help with reading online.

The tools are thin rectangles of plastic, mostly blue-gray in color with a clear window allowing you to focus on one line of text.   The 3 x 5 1/2   size is perfect for paperback and softback books.  The 3 x 8 1/2 inch size can be used with textbooks and anything written on typing paper.   The third sample is a Memory Mark.  It is availalbe in the same sizes, but rather than being clear the window is cut out to all for highlighting or underlining text.  I was concerned that the cut out feature would compromise the intregity of the plastic and would quickly tear but I've been using it for a month with no problems.

As I mentioned, I wasn't aware we needed these tools.  My Schnickelfritz has really improved his reading skills this year.  Sure, he occasionally skips a word or substitutes "a" for "the,"  but I thought we were doing well.  We did much better though when he held a See-N-Read tool over the page--no more skipped words.  He even mentioned that things didn't seem to wiggle around as much--I didn't even know he perceived words on a page that way. 

I confess to have kept the Memory Mark for myself.  I don't like the tools for casual reading as I felt they slowed me down, but in some cases slower is better--like Bible study.  And I was able to make crisp, clean underlining (wiggly lines take my attention away from the words I was trying to focus on the first place).   We found a second handy use for the Memory Mark in math class.  By turning the tool vertically it helped Fritz keep his columns lined up in multiplication.

There is a free 7-day trial available for the eSee-N-Read, a virtual tool for use on PC's.   We're not big fans of reading at the computer but it would certainly help in this age of downloading and reading out-of-print books available on sites like Project Gutenberg.    You can also find research articles and  testimonials  on the effectiveness of these tools at the website.

The eSee-N-Read costs $29.99 for  one seat license, $69.99 for 3 and $99.99 for  5 seats.  It is available for most Windows formats and a Mac version is coming soon.  The smaller See-N-Read and Memory Marks are $2.99 and the larger sizes are $3.49.   There are discounts for purchasing in bulk.

You can see what my fellow Homeschool Crewmates think of the See-N-Read products by clicking here.
Disclaimer: I received free See-N-Read and Memory Mark procducts and a free trial of the eSee-N-Read for the purpose of completing this review.  I received no other compensation.

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