Frederick: Learn to Read puts a whole new spin on the world of reading apps! It’s designed to gently guide learners from their ABCs all the way through 35 levels to complex skills such as –ture and –gn endings. There is no direct teaching in the app. It’s all based on exploration and play, which is the perfect way for many students to learn. Players can explore sounds and spellings, then engage with minigames to sharpen their skills. The app also provides comprehension exercises as well as phonics and spelling guidance. Kids as young as two will catch on quickly, yet it is perfectly appropriate for adult literacy and ESL learners. As the developers say, “Learn to read instantly, with the spin of a wheel!”
35 levels of phonics and word analysis (first 3 are free)
Powerful strategies to help learners (word building, nonsense syllables, and more)
Engaging and fun with no pressure
Endless effective practice
Follows standard phonics development
Frederick: Learn to Read is a very well-thought-out and high quality app. The design is excellent, encouraging intuitive understanding of critical phonics and sight words knowledge, building comprehension skills, and more. The app’s interface is easy enough for learners of nearly any age or ability. No frustration here! Developers were careful to follow proven teaching sequences for the skills they introduce, and app provides high quality practice. It can easily be used as a supplement for nearly any reading program. My only wish as a teacher would be for it to keep records for several students- sometimes my students have to share a device, and it will be a challenge to allow all to work at their own levels and pacing with the present design. The app does include a “teacher mode” which unlocks all levels, making it possible to let kids work where they need to, but the teacher would need intimate knowledge of exact skills needed and match that up with how the app has the skills sequenced.
The developers certainly did their homework on this app! It’s obvious that they used research-based information to break out the levels and to provide several very effective practice activities. There’s just the right amount of competitiveness where kids can strive to “beat” rounds of the games, and the exploration section does a great job of slowly and carefully building foundational skills. Even using just Frederick’s free levels (levels 1-3), kids can master critical early reading skills such as alphabet learning, letter sounds, and short vowel-three letter pattern words like CAT and PIG. That alone is worth some investment, since students must completely understand these skills to succeed with later ones.
The full app goes over a whopping 35 levels, teaching word attack, spelling, and phonics skills up to the challenging letter clusters typically taught in fourth or fifth grade. And there’s nothing babyish about it. Students of all ages from toddlers through adults, will enjoy and learn.
Learning through play in this way is a very powerful strategy that can be effective for just about anyone, but teachers and parents who work with special needs individuals might want to give this one an extra look. It provides needed repetition that is most helpful for students with cognitive impairments and some kinds of learning disabilities. Adults can also access the “teacher mode” and allow students to work on the skills they need to master in real time.
Frederick: Learn to Read is actually quite entertaining. There’s something about learning without limits or structure that is appealing and relaxing. In addition to the exploration section, Frederick includes a number of minigames that kids will love. Even the free version has games, and once you decide to invest in the full version, there are even more entertaining options.
This app is a great value. It starts with a free trial version that includes the first three levels with some practice games, which is wonderful. The full version costs $19.99, which is still a fabulous bargain, considering that the app will keep students engaged and learning for years.
This app is mostly child-friendly, but one big concern is that children can easily access the in-app purchase to open up the additional levels. A simple tap on the screen takes them straight to the purchase now system, and all that separates them from the App Store is the adult’s log in information. Any purchases from apps designed for young children should be behind a more secure parent gate.
NO accessible external links
NO social media
NO 3rd party ads
YES in-app purchase accessible by children with store password