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Schoolhouse Review: READS

Company Name: EGM Educational Systems LLC

Product: READS Parent/Child Comprehension System

Website: http://ourhomeworkhelper.com/

What I Received: Parents Guide, Speedy Speller, Question Card & Ring, Rewards Chart, Stickers, Magic Finger, and Reading Guide Strip
Price: $19.95

Recommended Grade: 1st-4th or for children reading at a 1st to 4th grade level.

What exactly is READS?  READS is a supplemental program that helps children with comprehension. The heart of this program is the comprehension cards and Speedy Speller. READS can be used with any reading material.
The READS Parent’s Manual has only 16 pages, so you can get started the same day it arrives at your doorstep.  It’s simple and straight forward. It includes all the questions from the Question Cards, a question and answer section, and of course how to use the program.

The Question Cards have a picture of Henry Hopper, READS helper, he provides a visual clue to aid your child with understanding the question.  Some cards have a carrot on them. They are the cards that will challenge your student with more in-depth questions. There are 30 questions to choose from.

Once you and/or your student have chosen a question the child is to take that question card with him/her. The recommended reading time is about 20 minutes.

When done you have your child answer the question and talk about his answer and have a great discussion.  I loved discussing the answer with Brent. I found out a few things I didn’t know about him too.  His thoughts and why he thought that way.

READS helped me to slow down and listen to my son. It’s sad but sometimes I get caught in the rush of my day, trying to get all our studies done that I am not having conversations with my own child! I was thankful that READS reminded me stop, focus, and give Brent my attention. So that was an extra bonus for us!
I chose to use this with my 5th grade son Brent. He has told me that he has a hard time comprehending what he reads. That by the time he gets to the end of his reading he has forgotten some or most of what he’s read.

How we used READS: Each day Brent and I would look over the comprehension cards and pick one. I would read it to Brent and then have him read it. He would then read for 20 minutes the assigned pages from his reading book and/or history or science book.

This is what’s so wonderful about the program, it can be used across the curriculum. Especially when using living books for science and history. If using a textbook you would need to be more selective on which comprehension card to use.

When he was done reading I would ask him the question on the Comprehension Card and have him answer in complete sentences. At first Brent would try and give me a one word short answer or the famous “I don’t know”.
At the time of me writing this review Brent has been using READS for 4-5 days a week for 4 weeks. It has raised his comprehension to  a new level. No more one or two word answers. Brent is giving answers that have been thought through.

One of the steps is having the child take the comprehension card with them to read over and ponder before they start reading. I found this step very beneficial for Brent. I felt it gave him something for his mind to grasp and hold on to during his reading time and kept him focused. I noticed he has taken ownership of his reading, thus his comprehension has greatly improved. 
A big motivator with starting the READS program was the Rewards Chart. If Brent completed five days of READS he would get a Frosty on Sunday. READS provides stickers to place on the Rewards Chart.
Rewards Chart
My final thoughts: I’ll admit that my first thoughts of READS was this is way to simple. How is answering these questions going to help? And, can’t my child just narrate back?

What I found with Brent, as I mentioned above, knowing the question before reading and taking the Question Card with him really helped him to comprehend and focus on his reading.

Reads is simple to use, it doesn’t take a lot of time, and you’ll have some great discussions with your child.

The Speedy Speller came in handy. If Brent didn’t know how to spell a word he used his Speedy Speller. The Magic Finger was too distracting for him. Brent preferred his own finger over both the Magic Finger and Reading Guide Strip.

It’s amazing that something this easy to use works, which reminds me, I haven’t mentioned what READS stands for . . .

Quote from 11 year old Brent, “I like READS because I get a prize at the end of the week and I like books.”

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**Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this product through the Schoolhouse Review Crew in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.


  1. What a neat product! Great review.

  2. Thank you Stephanie. Brent looks forward to his reward =)

  3. I'm wishing I had tried harder to get this one, now. Looks wonderful. :)


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