When we decided to make the move to the UK, I was filled with huge anxiety. The main trigger for this, at the top of my quite extensive list, is helping the girls to adjust to their new lives as we make them move across the world to a place they’ve never been. One of the biggest issues I know they are going to face is with their schooling. That is why I contacted our local Wise Eye Reading Academy.
What Did I Want To Achieve? Why is their reading ability so important to me?
Children in South Africa go to Grade One when they are six-years-old turning seven, or later. Children in the UK go to Grade One the September after they turn four! Now, I am not a teacher, I have not thoroughly compared the curriculum between the two countries educational systems. I am just a mom who is filled with anxiety as I stress and worry about how I can best help my children to ‘catch-up’ as much as they can before we get to the UK.
When I went to speak to the local Wise Eye Principal member, she was so kind and so informative. She explained what the Wise Eye Reading Academy is about and the way their programme works. She listened to me, my concerns and my expectations and between us we agreed to give it a try.
Unfortunately, my youngest is too young for their computerised programme at age four-years-old, although they do have products available to buy that I could start her on at home. Most of the lessons they give are computer based and this requires a certain level of hand-to-eye, and brain development that a four-year-old just isn’t ready for. Fair enough, I can’t argue with science!
Is It Really Necessary?
I am very fortunate that my kids are quite clever. I know a lot of people are going to roll their eyes and think I am biased but it’s actually a fact. They don’t need extra attention in school. They are quick to catch on, and their last term’s school reports rank them both in the top 10% of their respective classes.
Putting my eldest in extra reading lessons with Wise Eye Reading Academy isn’t about me trying to fast-track them. It isn’t about trying to ‘catch-up’ either. It’s about doing what I can to help her to be as confident and as prepared as she can be when it comes to reading. It’s about laying a solid foundation with the fundamental basics of reading. In my mind, if she can confidently sound out a new word to herself, then I believe she won’t feel so ‘out of her depth’ in the new school environment, even if she is slightly behind her new classmates.
Contrary to what a lot of people think, reading programs aren’t just for children who need extra help, or extra attention. They are also for advanced learning as well, and everyone in between!
First Things First!
After the initial consultation we were advised to take her for a Visagraph test. This is an eye test which is used to test a person’s’ reading based on their eye movement. It is used to identifying if there are any issues the teachers need to be aware of so that they can tailor the reading programme to suit the specific needs of the learner. The report gets sent to the Wise Eye Principal Member at the reading academy you have selected.
It is important to note that not all Wise Eye Principals make use of the Visagraph test. Some use the in-house Wise Eye evaluation method. Each Principal uses the method that they prefer.
It was only after this test, because she is quite young for the programme, they said that they would accept her! I was so happy. I paid the registration fee, and the first month’s fee there and then. We did a little schedule juggling and she started the very next day!
Included in the Registration price for the Learn To Read Junior is a pack of material to use at home. Aimed at Grade R and Grade One learners, it includes the following:
The Learn To Read Junior set consists of:
- Scanning card for better eye muscle movement necessary for reading.
- A Manual with stories and activities which helps learners to improve reading fluency, reading speed and comprehension in Grade One.
- Letter-cards to help establish sounds and assists with building words.
- Flash words and numbers book with the blue flash-machine. This works to establish sounds, extends vocabulary, improves spelling, improve short-term memory and broaden the width of their eye span.
The flash machine is by far my daughter’s favourite part of the homework sessions we do. I was surprised to find that it’s not just letters that the kids are supposed to remember in the correct order, but also numbers.
As I said, they do have packs available for younger children, including flashcards, an activity book and a DVD.
What Is The Wise Eye Reading Academy Objective?
With over 17 years of success, Wise Eye Reading Programme boasts phenomenal achievements of
creating poor readers to become exceptional readers, and exceptional readers to become superior readers
Why Wise Eye?
The Wise Eye Reading Academy programme has many benefits that you wouldn’t necessarily attribute to being important to reading, such as:
- Effective eye muscle movements
- Effective coordination between both eyes
- Length of eye-span
- Establishing a smooth reading pattern
- Ability to track visually with competence
- Vocabulary and comprehension
Is It Working?
From my personal experience, our local Wise Eye Principal Member has gone above and beyond to make my child love her twice weekly sessions with her. It is definitely not just another extra-mural activity. It is a fun learning based programme that is really making a difference to my daughter’s confidence in reading. She gets a new reader book from school on a regular basis, and confidently attempts new words with little help from me. So yes, for us it is working.
Get In Touch Today!
I am so glad that I chose Wise Eye Reading Academy. If you are interested in contacting them, they have reading centres across South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Mauritius. Their programme is aimed at children who are in Pre-School right through to Adulthood. They teach each person according to their individual needs and all programmes are available in both English and Afrikaans. I can’t recommend the Wise Eye Reading Academy highly enough!
Disclaimer: This is a collaborative post. The entire review is based on my own experience.