Testimonials

I was contacted by John Dyson, Managing Director of Australian Literacy and Maths Online, to see if I would be prepared to write a short testimonial about our educational experience with their educational software. I said that I would be more than happy to do this. When I first started writing the testimonial I was just looking at educational improvement and I stopped because that is not the whole story of the journey. I then thought about other parents in Australia with similar issues and concerns and decided to share the whole story.

Our daughter had struggled through primary school, her literacy and numeracy levels were poor at best. Through her primary school years our daughter had been provided support within the school and also we had provided an after school tutor. Despite all this our daughter was still struggling and disengaged from education. The problem exaggerated when she entered High School

As parents we wanted to help but we just didn’t know what to do, it was a very emotional time for our family. I had researched literacy and numeracy issues and read a lot over a period of time, there seemed to be so many options, points of view and tools. Basically we became confused.

In early 2014 I came across a website called Australian Literacy and Maths Online, I looked at the information and although interesting, seemed to be more school focussed and put it aside. By mid-2014 the situation had become more difficult with our daughter, to put it mildly. I remembered the Australian Literacy and Maths Online website and thought I would give them a call just to check them out.

It was not what I had expected. I spoke to John, I have to say I was initially quite reserved but John asked me numerous questions, such as, where was my daughter’s literacy levels currently, what year level was she in, what interventions had been tried and the list went on. John was not negative about anything we or the primary/high school had tried in the past or were trying now.

At the end of the conversation John felt that Australian and Literacy Online could help our daughter. John explained clearly that it would also take a commitment from us as parents. If we were not prepared to do that then there was no point in moving ahead with their programs.

John suggested I talk to my partner and daughter and gauge their interest and then get back to him. I did this and we had an interesting weekend of family discussion off and on. I phoned John back on the Monday and said we were ready to go.

John explained that he would enrol my daughter into Lexia software first and provide me with class access as if I were a teacher. He advised that, as the situation stood, our daughter was so far behind that we would really need to us Lexia 5 times a week for 25 minute sessions Monday to Friday, leaving the weekend free. Once our daughter finished Lexia then he would enrol her into Reading Plus. Also she would be enrolled into Symphony Math which would require 5 times 20 minute sessions per week.

From our daughters perspective she would go back to foundational literacy and numeracy in the initial stages. As explained, when she first enrols into Lexia she would take an auto placement assessment which would put her at the level she needed to start at. With Symphony Math she would start at level 1.

From our perspective, we would need to login to the teacher dashboard and watch the training on demand videos before our daughter started. This would then give us a full understanding of the process we were to begin. I have done this several times especially revisiting the report training videos. We would then need to login after each session our daughter complete and look at the reports.

The reports were so clear and concise that we could see ours daughter progress but also the exact areas she was having difficulty. Next to the difficulty shown there was a printout that had a number of different teaching strategies, with tools provided, so that I could help our daughter. To cement this, also provided was pen and paper work that we printed out for our daughter to complete and then we mark.

We also contacted John and Jill at Australian Literacy and Maths Online when I needed advice, the help was professional and invaluable and at no further cost.

Our daughter finished Lexia and Symphony Math at the end of 2014 and has been on Reading Plus since the beginning of 2015.

The process for Reading Plus was exactly the same, training videos, viewing reports and provided with off line resources to help our daughter in reading comprehension, vocabulary, writing etc. As well as the support we have had from Jill and John from time to time.

By the time our daughter finished Lexia her self-confidence was up and she was fully engaged in her own education, finally! Since she has been on Reading Plus, the different genres of text she has read has opened her whole mind up, she is reading for pleasure and her school work has improved out of all proportion as well as her attitude to school.

I asked my daughter if she would write something to share with other Australian families which she was excited about doing. Amazing, who is this young Lady!!!!!!

Hi, Mum asked me to write something about Lexia, Symphony and Reading Plus. I wanted to write something but I said to Mum I would only do it if she let me say exactly what I thought and she didn’t change any of it! She agreed so here it is.

I didn’t really want to do any of it at first but we had a bit of an argument last year. Mum was really upset and Dad was just going on and on about giving it a go. I told them that they had got tutors for me, teachers who had made me do stuff which didn’t help and now they wanted to try something else. When I said I didn’t want to feel even more stupid than I was Mum started crying and then I started crying. Anyway when all that was over Mum said that I wasn’t stupid at all and that we just needed to find something to help me at school. Mum said, try it for a month and if you don’t want to do it after that then I wouldn’t have to. So I agreed and we had a hug and a bit more of a cry. Mum got it and she told me that the month didn’t start until I went onto the programs but there was some stuff she had to do at first so she could learn about the programs.

Anyway I started the Lexia and Symphony programs. After the first week I told Mum that Lexia was OK but I was finding Symphony really hard. I had never done maths like that before. Anyway Mum said I had another 3 weeks to go before I decided.

On the second week Mum had some extra work for me to do, not on the computer, and she wanted to explain some things and we worked through some sheets together. So we started doing this after I came off the computer programs in the evening.

At the end of the last week things were starting to make sense and I said I would carry on doing the programs with Mum’s help. At the end of last year I was reading for the first time, maths was easier and I finished both programs.

Mum told me that the next part was Reading Plus and I would start that next year. I wasn’t sure about that because I thought it would be more stuff like Lexia but she said we could do the month trial thing again and if I didn’t like it then I could stop.

Reading Plus……AWESOME……. I did a test at first in the program and then I went into See Reader and Read Around, I could choose what I wanted to read about and then I got questioned about what I read. I could then write about what I had read. Mum said I only had to do this program 3 times a week but it was so much fun I did it every night and sometimes on weekends. Mum had offline worksheets on somethings when I was having difficulty. A couple I had difficulty with was fact versus opinion and judging validity, which makes you think!

I will be finished Reading Plus early next year I think but I am already reading at year 10/11 and I have got up to 380wpm in my independent reading rate, Oh and my spelling is good now.

I think these programs are great, hard work but great, and with Mum’s help, Dad helped as well, I think everybody should do them. Bye and good luck! J.

As a parent regardless of your child’s age I can’t say enough about either ALMO, their programmes and the difference it has made to our daughter and our family!

The Peters Family.

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I was asked if I would write a testimonial for ALMO.

We home school our children and have used Lexia, Reading Plus, Symphony Math and Big Universe.

We started just with Lexia and then as time moved on we implemented the other programmes.

2 of our children are using Lexia and 2 have moved onto Reading Plus. 2 are still using Symphony Math but 1 will be finishing soon. And all have access to Big Universe, which I set reading tasks appropriate to what they are learning.

Lexia is a phenomenal tool both for our kids and for me as a home school parent. The development, repetition, branching and offline resources are exceptional. This allows me directed teaching time to the point of difficulty and backed up by further written work to cement understanding with my kids.

The relationship between Lexia and Reading Plus is Symbiotic. Moving onto Reading Plus, from Lexia further develops all their higher order skill sets in reading comprehension, vocabulary, reading fluency and writing. Again the offline resources are amazing.

Symphony Math. Absolutely brilliant, covering most of their foundational math skill requirements. Developing understanding in Maths concepts as well as maths fluency.

Big Universe, what can I say. I have over 7,000 K to 12 graded books at my fingertips covering a huge number of subject areas.

I would recommend ALMO and their programs unreservedly!

Taylor Family.

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When our eldest of 3 boys hit 10 years of age he still wasn’t reading functionally. This was despite having good oral comprehension, a passion for literature and high motivation.

As parents we put in a lot of effort to help our son overcome these difficulties in developing his reading, reading fluency and comprehension. We had repeated pretty much every approach and used every tool that we could find to help our Son learn to read. As he got older, these approaches/tools were often dull and juvenile with no improved results, nor did they engage our son.

I was super keen to find something to help him that would be engaging and age appropriate. My sister-in-law recommended Lexia Core5, her son had been using it at school. I did some research and then contacted Australian Literacy and Maths Online (ALMO). After talking to both John and Jill I decided to sign up and try the programme with my son.

It was the right tool for us at the right time. Lexia Core5 has been great. Age appropriate and gave him a sense of autonomy and control. The in-built reward system has been very helpful and we attached tangible rewards to set goals. It was also very useful that I could monitor progress easily and thoroughly. He was engaged and motivated.

Within 6 months he had started reading the young teen chapter books that he had been wanting to read. Now he reads frequently throughout a day for pleasure and we are seeing a flow-on to other literacy areas that he had previously seemed ‘stuck’ in.

Phyll’s help has been ‘EXCELLENT’ and has really given me confidence and direction with some of our other literacy lessons. I think this has contributed greatly to overcoming some of those ‘stuck’ areas and helped them to be confident in demonstrating their skill to others.

On completion of Lexia Core5 our son was rolled over onto Reading Plus by ALMO. This has been developing all his higher order literacy skills, such as, reading comprehension, vocabulary, reading fluency and efficiency. Again our son is fully engaged in the programme.

From the results of our eldest son we decided to enrol our 2 younger boys in Lexia Core5. They had not had the same difficulty with reading as our eldest. However, it has been useful for them too. With our middle son now rolled over onto Reading Plus.

We will be enrolling our children into the ALMO programmes in 2016.

The Watson Family.