I’ve found that with work picking up for me these days with my nonprofit, I’m not always able to focus for hours on end and have to trust that my children can be self-led to complete their work. However, I have the world’s smartest kids and sometimes I’ve found that they have perfected the illusion of completing schoolwork without actually doing it. This often leads to my husband or me sitting with them all as they complete their schoolwork and listen while they read out loud or share what they have learned. Fun times.
Ah, reading, the basis of a great education. After all, reading is the gateway to so many things, right? But what if your child has trouble reading? What if their reading skills aren’t as strong as they have the potential to be? What if the adult in charge of schooling doesn’t really have the time or focus to teach proper reading skills to strengthen those muscles. We’re sharing how to improve reading skills with Lightsail for Homeschoolers.
I was compensated for my time in reviewing this product. As you’ve come to learn, all opinions are honest and reflective of my experience.
What is LightSail for Homeschoolers?
The LightSail for Homeschoolers language arts platform provides parents with a comprehensive and engaging online reading and writing program for children in grades pre-K through 12. A foundation in the science of reading and writing combined with the experience of a team of home educators creates a family-friendly learning experience advancing skills in reading, writing, vocabulary, and fluency. The LightSail literacy platform that has enhanced learning for over 5 million school students is now tailored especially to the educational goals of homeschoolers.
It includes 4 pillars of literacy and it’s all packaged efficiently for you on their online site.
Instead, I’m directing them to discuss the information with each other – and help process what they’ve read in a peer-to-peer way. This curriculum supports that and more. What’s even better is the fact that my children can consume the books from the expanded library in the form they like best. I have a bit of nostalgia when seeing that so many of the books are published by World Book. If you don’t recognize that publisher, just know that for so many afternoons I poured over the set of encyclopedias that we had in our home thanks to my dad being employed there. Those were the days.
As the manager of the dashboard, teachers have the ability to assign books that they want their students to read. So you can help them along with their reading levels or maybe even push them out of their comfort zones a bit if they like sailing through books just to say that they’ve completed them. Please tell me you all have one of these students in your home too.
How can you use LightSail the best way?
LightSail contains an extensive collection of tens of thousands of engaging books and multimedia content from respected publishers such as World Book and Lerner Publishing, as well as trusted homeschool and faith-based publishers. Parents customize this collection to the individual needs of their children and their family values through LightSail’s ChildSafe Content Control Service and reading- and grade-level appropriateness controls.
The ChildSafe Content Control Service means that some categories of the books are automatically blocked and it took a while for me to work my way through the list to unblock most of them for my children. I did notice that quite a few of the blocked categories dealt with LGBTQ/sex/BLM/religion – all things we speak freely about in our house while also keeping it age-appropriate. I can understand the desire to keep things from children, and I also appreciate the fact that they aren’t cut altogether, just up to the parent or teacher to release.
Students can complete their individual power challenges which will do a better job at placing them in the correct Lexile group – something I admit to not keeping an exact knowledge of. I keep telling you all that we’re looser with the homeschool grades and categories than most. I was surprised to see that two of my children who I thought were a bit behind placed hire in their Lexile scores than anticipated. Looks like that mandated reading of things they pick for themselves helps quite a bit.
Writing activities complement reading assignments, and LightSail’s chat feature allows parents and children to interact and engage through the platform. Furthermore, LightSail parents have real-time access to meaningful data about their children’s reading and writing trends, comprehension, and growth that allows them to guide, create, and enhance the learning experience.
This is where we actually struggle the most. In a digital world, it’s proven difficult in our homeschool to get the kids to write in a way that is conclusive. In order to foster this, we’ve had them all write letters regularly to people in our family. Paired with the writing assignments in LightSail for Homeschoolers, they have more to talk about and they can put those skills to the test both on screen and on paper.
LightSail for Homeschoolers is interactive, so there is no reason for your students NOT to be actively involved in their lessons. From clicking on words to strengthen their vocabulary to learning how to pronounce the words properly, it’s all there. It seems the program designers have thought of every scenario and helped us land in a positive way each and every time. I have one child who loves listening to books, and another who would rather have their books in paper format but will deal with digital. Overall, everyone is happy.
LightSail also holds the entire collection of World Book Encyclopedias and I’m ashamed at how giddy I am to show the kids how to use them to create research projects surrounding subject matter they love. We’re working on picking our research projects for this school year, and learning how to use the encyclopedia sets to support what we’re researching.
The look of sheer confusion about using a set of books as a quick base for research when “Google makes this so much easier, mom” made my 1980 born self squee! Spending hours looking through the encyclopedia sets we got each year was one of the best ways to spend lazy afternoons in my home. It also helped to have a parent who worked for the company, because encyclopedia sets were PRICY back in the day. Now, they’re online and still chock full of information.
And what better way to see if the program is a fit for your homeschool than a special launch price? You can snag your curriculum for $99/year for Premium; $65/year for Standard as long as you register your students through 8/31/21.