Andy Helps You Read offers focused reading help for kids with ADHD, dyslexia, and special needs. While not as flashy as many early reading programs, the app does a solid job of helping kids learn how to read. The 20 lessons combine word recognition, letter formation, and reading practice opportunities to give kids a strong background in many of the fundamentals required to help them learn to read.
- 20 reading lessons
- Word practice
- Flashing practice
- Reading practice
- Developed by teachers
When kids first open the app, they’re prompted to tap on “Andy’s Helpers,” to get started. This short video tutorial features kids explaining how to use the app and offering their takeaway. It’s a solid way to introduce kids to the different components of the app. Parents are directed to the “Parent’s Place” where the creators of the app outline the overall structure of the app. This helps parents understand how the app is designed and how the design helps kids learn to read. It’s easy for kids to access the lessons. When they do, they’ll see three different activities: Word Practice, Flash Practice, and Reading Practice. The Reading Practice features narrated texts, but the narration could be improved by using an actual human voice rather than a computer. Each activity is also accompanied by calming piano music which kids can easily turn off.
The creators of the app have put a lot of thought into the app and they take the time to explain their thought process to parents. Kids can go through the 20 lessons in any order, but it is best to complete them in order. In the Word Practice section, kids see a common word, and then tap on it to hear it. The Flash practice section shows kids different lines and letters to help add a visual component to reading. In the Reading Practice section, kids read along with a short text, and then answer some fill in the blank questions at the end. All of the activities move at a good speed for beginning readers and are designed to help kids feel successful from the beginning. The only real downside to the app is that the narrator for the reading passages is just a computerized voice, so a lot of the inflections and emotion that could help kids understand unfamiliar words is absent from the narration. This leads to a few awkward sentences.
Parents are encouraged to provide much of the entertainment factor by rewarding kids with stickers for completing lessons and printing out a certificate once kids have completed all 20 lessons. However, the app does have some entertaining components of its own such as animated icons, different speeds of flashing practice, and interesting reading passages. Andy, an airplane, also flies around at different points in the app.
This app is priced higher than many reading apps, but the price isn’t entirely unjustified. Contained within the app are quality reading passages and lessons that prove to be highly beneficial to kids. While developers could add value by changing the narration, parents and teachers of struggling readers will likely find that the app comes with a lot of value, particularly if they can snag it at a lower price during a promotion.
All of the content in the app is child friendly. Kids can access the Parent’s Place and hear how the app is designed to help them, but they likely won’t sit through the entire video. The app also offers a short video tutorial that features actual kids to help motivate them to use and enjoy the app.
- NO external links
- NO social media
- NO 3rd party ads
- NO in-app purchase