Nessy Learning: Why This Reading Teacher Chose it to Homeschool Her Struggling Reader

Are you homeschooling a struggling reader?  Yeah, me too.  Even as a reading teacher, it's a challenge!  I equate it to throwing spaghetti against the wall.  Some sticks.  Some slides right off into a heap on the floor.  That’s how guiding a struggling reader can feel.  We search for solutions, the perfect one that will melt away our child’s reading challenges.  We try one after another.  We poke and prod, and sometimes, momentarily, we give up.  We feel as though our whole success as a parent, especially a homeschooling parent hinges on our child’s reading ability.  So when our children are delayed in reading, we feel off-balance and our confidence to teach them waivers. 

I know.  I’ve been there.  Multiple times.  The reading teacher in me is still humbled by the emotional side of my sons’ reading struggles.  I'm not immune to that not-quite-up-to-the-task feeling.  Thankfully, my training and experience have helped me to evaluate the quality of reading programs so that I don’t have to throw too many handfuls of spaghetti at the wall.

This Reading Teacher's Criteria for a Choosing a Reading Program:

  1. Orton-Gillingham based
  2. Engaging
  3. Plenty of Practice
  4. Personalized
  5. Budget-Friendly

Needless to say, there aren’t many programs out there that meet all of these standards.  The good news is that I found one that we love (and I think you will too)!  Nessy Learning!  It changes the atmosphere of learning to read from dreaded drills to engaging games. 

{I was given access to the Nessy Parent Pack and compensated for my time.  However, all opinions are my own and I was not required to share a favorable review.  BUT...I do love sharing amazing resources with you!}

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Nessy Learning is Orton-Gillingham Based

The effectiveness of Orton-Gilllingham based teaching for struggling readers has been proven over and over.  Nessy focuses on incremental instruction so that the student is not asked to work with phonics concepts that have not yet been taught.  If your child needs to strengthen pre-reading skills like rhyming and phonological awareness, Nessy provides it.  Blending and segmentation are practiced repeatedly to ensure that the student builds a solid experiential understanding of these essential skills.  One of my favorite aspects of Nessy is the teaching of the 6 Syllable Types!  Teaching these to my struggling readers has changed their approach to reading and spelling in dramatic ways.  They have moved from the guess and hope-for-the-best approach to segmenting words into syllables for decoding or spelling.  The syllable types are a powerful tool for all learners, but especially the struggling reader.  I love, love, love that Nessy includes them. 

Nessy Learning is Engaging

Log in to Nessy and you’ll see gameschooling at its best!  Whereas struggling readers typically need to spend hours and hours practicing skills, Nessy adds some excitement to those hours.  Nessy has become a wonderful addition to our reading practice.  And to be honest, there are weeks when Nessy is the reading instruction for the week.  I’m good with that!  When my son logs on and spends even a half hour of focused time playing Banana Wheels or any of the other Nessy games, I know he’s receiving quality practice and instruction.  It’s not wasted time or busy work.  It is a game.  It is learning.  Win! Win! Win!

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Nessy Learning Offers Plenty of Practice

Struggling learners need repeated experience with skills and concepts to achieve mastery.  Nessy provides it!  Nessy is full of fun games, videos, and printable worksheets.  All of these are great ways to mix up the format and keep things interesting.  One of the biggest problems I’ve run into with other programs is a lack of practice and reinforcement of skills.  I’d then have to spend time searching for additional activities and worksheets to fit what my son was currently learning.  Nessy changed all of that!  Instead of wasting time looking for additional worksheets or activities, I could spend that time reading aloud or playing games with my son, which meant even more experience and exposure to language.  And who doesn’t want that? :-)

Nessy Offers Personalized Learning

One of the greatest worries with an online program is that it will be a one-size-fits-all approach, marching our kids through one concept after another without focusing on mastery.  This only leads to frustration for everyone!  Nessy Learning adjusts according to your child’s performance in the games.  Additionally, you have access to reports and settings so that you are able to accommodate your child’s exact needs. 

The Nessy Parent Pack even includes access to Dyslexia Quest, a series of games which helps you to determine if your child struggles with some of the skills typical with dyslexia.  This isn’t a formal diagnostic but even as a reading teacher, it affirmed to me which areas my son was struggling with.  Of course, the kids just see this as the fun games on Yeti Mountain, but that’s the beauty of it!  Even my confident, self-taught readers love “playing Nessy.”

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Nessy Learning is Budget-Friendly

Private tutoring with a licensed reading teacher can cost over $40 an hour and it is well worth every penny, but the reality is that the big price tag of private instruction is not always feasible.  Nessy offers an alternative.  The Parent Pack provides a yearly license for one student to Dyslexia Quest, Nessy Reading & Spelling, Writing Beach, Nessy Numbers and the ‘Dyslexia Explained’ book for less than the cost of four tutoring sessions. 

Nessy even offers Freebies and Discounts!

Free trial

Dyslexia Explained e-book (Free)

Nessy Parent Pack (described above) (15% off using code PPBLOG15) This expires October 16, 2017

I encourage you to check out Nessy Learning.   Incorporating it into our weekly schedule has allowed me to catch my breath and stop throwing spaghetti against the wall!