Nessy – Help For Children With Dyslexia – Review

Nessy was recommended to me by a friend who had used it with her daughter. We think Jess is dyslexic, although she has only had very basic tests which show a problem but nothing was confirmed. We had so many problems with numbers & letters back to front, letters completely missing from words even when she had written it 10 minutes before, she has always had difficulty telling time and so much more.

The Nessy reading & spelling  program was developed by a team of specialist teachers & psychologists at the Bristol Dyslexia Centre, with dyslexic children in mind. It is aimed at 5-12 years but I think Jess would have struggled with it before she was 7. There are 10,000 schools worldwide that use the program so your child may have already have knowledge of it.

We have Nessy Reading & Writing & also Nessy Numbers. Both are used equally on an almost daily basis.

I have noticed that some of the reading games can be done too easily, just by looking at the initial letter of the word rather than actually reading it, this is a minor issue though.

Jess loves the games and earning nuggets that she can spend in ‘Monkey Town’. I personally feel that the games could get boring if they are doing them too often. But, it’s not me that uses it so I asked Jess to tell me what she thinks.

Please ignore the spelling & (lack of) punctuation as she is working 18 months behind her age. She’s slowly catching up and is doing a lot more work than she did at school.  This is partially down to Nessy 😀

Jess – 9

I am home Ed and I use Nessy. Nessy is a fun way for kids to lean I find it very useful at times like the  first time I went on Nessy I did not know how to tell  the time properly but now I know that for pm all you need to do is take away  twelve and that is just on Nessy clock island. On Nessy tables of doom I learnt my 3, 4, 6 and 7 times tables

On Nessy reading and spelling I am learning to spell properly also on Nessy there is something called monkey town. In monkey town there are rewords like if you complete an island you get an egg and you can see the egg via the big tree in monkey town and there are loads more rewords to collect

Ed Place Review

Ed Place is one of the programs we use as part of our home education. It has 1000s of interactive worksheets covering English, maths and science which are created by qualified teachers.  There are video’s for some topics but according to the children it can be a bit hit or miss as to whether they are useful or not. The worksheets cover from KS1 through to KS4.

Both me & the children can check their progress and see overall and individual topic scores on the dashboard. It also tells us which are their best, and worse, performing topics, very handy when choosing what to do more work on.

I have found that Abbie (12) doesn’t care about the badges she earns but it really motivates Jess (9) to do more. The normal cost is £99 for all 3 subjects for 1 year but we actually get it at a reduced cost as part of a home education group subscription (please send me a message if you would like more details). They also have a 14 day trial for £1 so you can check if the children like it or not.

I would personally give it a 4.5 out of 5 as I think it’s a brilliant program. The normal price brings the score down sightly for me.

Here is a short video of Jess doing a science worksheet:

Below are the children’s own thoughts about it.

Abbie – 12

Ed Place is a learning platform that I unwillingly use from time to time, I like the scoring system though. Me (12) and my sister (9) use it as we are home educated, and it’s admittedly one of the better learning sites.

It has Science, English and Maths and depending on what year the child is set on, there will be different topics, eg: I’m on year gsce level (year 10-11) and my maths basically all algebra…

But on quite a few topics I don’t think it explains things very well leading to low scores and frustration. Over all I’d only give it a 3/5.

Jess – 9

I think it’s fun and I like getting rewards like badges. Its good that you can check your scores and timeline, I can check what i have done on other days with this.

I would give it 4 out of 5

Our overall score for Ed Place is:

4 Stars

Usborne Quiz Tins – Review

Another home educating mum recommended that we try the Usborne quiz tins for the children. Being home educated we make a lot of general knowledge information into games whenever we can and these were ideal to save my brain from trying to work out the questions, and answers, myself.

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I bought them mainly for my then 8 year old Jess who suffers from dyslexia. I loved the idea that the cards can be used over and over as they are wipe clean. We tend to just use a piece of kitchen towel, this cleans them perfectly.

The tin contains 75 wipe clean question cards, 5 answer cards and a scorecard. There are 5 categories on the cards which are Long Ago, Science, Dinosaurs, Animals and Travel so will suit lots of different interests. There are 15 cards in each category which have 8 questions on each. That is a total of 600 questions. All the cards are colour coded for ease of sorting them out.

Most of the questions are multi choice which are perfect for children, the rest of the questions (about 5%) are simple one line questions.

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As I said earlier I bought them for our 8 year old but I have caught her older sister having a look on a few occasions she seems to like the long ago cards. My adult son and his girlfriend have also been sat answering the questions more than once.

So far the cards have already been used in several different ways. We have given them to her just to write the answers on by herself and then marked them, we have asked her the questions and given her a choice of answers and also asked the same questions without the answers to check if she is learning.

I would recommend them for when you are going on holiday or long trips as they are perfect for warding off boredom and stop the ‘are we there yet’ type of questions. Perfect for ages from 5 upwards, but some of the questions are quite challenging, even teenagers and adults will have to think about the answer so they are perfect for the whole family.

Available Now At Amazon

TinyMe Personalised Books Review

A couple of years ago I had the opportunity to review one of the personalised books from Tiny Me.  The book we picked was the Australian Adventure one for our then 6 year old.


In the story your child joins Cheeky Monkey as the star in this book as they travel around Australia in search of their friend Kanga Jack. An exciting, adventure filled story full of fabulous friends, new and interesting places and lots of fun facts about Australia. Great for developing an understanding of Australian landmarks, native animals, cultural foods and geography.  The main thing that Jess loved was the fact that her name was on the front cover and also mentioned a total of 25 times in the book.

The book is aimed at pre-school to early primary and I think it’s ideal for that age group. This is a perfect present for a special occasion such as Christmas or a birthday.

Gulliver’s World, Warrington Review

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In September 2015 the children stayed in Gulliver’s World in Warrington for a 2 night themed break.  I was lucky enough to win this in a competition, the cost would have been a little over £300 at the time. They went with my adult son and his partner, so it was a nice break for us as well.

My son said it was a bit disappointing as several rides were shut and if he had paid he wouldn’t have been happy.  It was also quite dated, but then again it’s not Alton towers you are paying for but a theme park aimed at under 10’s mainly and the entrance price reflects this. One thing everybody really liked was the Swizzles themed room, there was a large bowl of sweets!!!

The rest of this post is Abbie’s own words about the break.  I should point out she was 10 at the time of writing.

“In one corner of our room there was a huge love heart like the sweets ‘hearts’ and there were 2 stools, again a stack of ‘hearts, the main bed was bright and colourful and our room was quite small but the double decker beds had a TV each and separate remotes and the whole room was in the theme of a tree house!”

 

“After the first night we got up reasonably early to get our breakfast and there was A LOT of choice! There were cereals and juices to whole cooked English breakfasts and pancakes! I mainly had the cereal as that’s what I normally have (and a few pancakes!). Drinks as well were unlimited.”

“The rides were pretty good, the only thing wrong with the part was amount of baby rides, there were TOO MANY!!!”

“There were not many big kids rides except the odd few, I think the whole theme around this place is little kids witch doesn’t surprise me ‘cos’ if you see the morning show in the park before the rides open…… yep, INCREDIBLEY babyish!”

 

“There is also a indoor water park like the outside ones just inside. There is a little paddling pool for, again, the little kids but there a reasonably large play house cross with a climbing frame thing in the middle with a VERY scary bucket that fills to the top with water and then pours it all out with a splash, and I mean a VERY big and scary bucket!”

“Finally, while I was there I didn’t notice many food places (probably having too much fun, or just not looking!;) but as it turns out there were quite a few places. There were quite a few ice cream stalls (like every place in Britain), an odd pizza and burger place and there were also a few cafes dotted around the place.”

“I really enjoyed the weekend, it was made better by having Uncle Phillip & Auntie Rebecca there. I don’t think I would ever go again though as the older I get the less there will be for me to do. If they ever bring in more ‘big’ rides I would think about it though.”

Overall the children enjoyed themselves and the combined rating was:

3 and a half stars