teach your child to read

Text Copyright ©2012 by Peter Legrove

Screenshots And All Graphics (c) 2012 by Amaranth Games

All rights reserved. 

The screenshots are all courtesy of Amanda Fae from the Amaranth Games website. 



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Teaching has not really changed much over the last 100 years or so. In some places the blackboard has turned into a white board. But the teacher still stands in front of the class and lectures to the students. Yet over the same period of time, technology has had incredible advances.

Nowadays most kids are brought up with a computer.  So you would think that we could use the computer to teach, especially reading.

There are a number of programs out there that I have used to try and teach reading. They are mostly the game type of learning that you play by yourself and the computer corrects you. You spell the word and the computer says ‘yes’ or ‘no’.

But there is not very much out there that you can actually use to teach with.

With the multimedia classroom and the computer hooked up to the TV, you can now have a wide audience on the one computer.  


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Before we start there are a few little things that you should NEVER EVER do when you are teaching your children. It is very easy to destroy your child’s confidence, so you have to be extremely careful in what you say and do.

Always PRAISE your children whenever they do something correct, and keep PRAISING them. But if they make a mistake NEVER criticize them in any way, just go back to the lesson again. A careless comment can throw your child completely off her feet. Then it can take a long time to undo what a careless comment has done.

This is very important, NEVER and I mean NEVER ever criticize.

Always encourage your kids because they thrive on encouragement and it makes them come alive.

Criticism is a motivation killer, and that is the last thing you want. Getting kids motivated to learn is hard enough without destroying the kid’s confidence.

Also I’ll let you into a little secret. Your kids do what you say. So if you say, “Your reading is terrible” or “You will never learn to read” your kids will actually act out what you say. And sure enough they will never learn to read, because you told them they couldn’t.

Always PRAISE the good learning experiences and say nothing about the bad times.  

Kids are very sensitive to tones, so be very careful which tone you use when making comments about your kid’s reading. Your child will pick up the critical tones as easy as if you said something.

NEVER ever make a sarcastic remake about your child’s ability, because that cuts like a knife, and that is the last thing you want.

While we are on the subject of what not to do, add this one, NEVER, another NEVER EVER compare your kids to anybody, not even their brothers or sisters.

Sometimes that is very hard to do, but refrain as it can have a dramatic effect on your child, making them feel they are not as good as their siblings. And that effect can last a lifetime.

Also NEVER compare your child to other kids in her class, who you have never met. That has a terrible effect on the child, as they know the kid and you do not, and they might think that is the worst kid in the class. 

Be careful about what you say to your kid and how you say it.

What you say!! Can destroy the joy of reading, and that is the last thing you want. So PRAISE, PRAISE and more PRAISE, goes a long way to instill in your child the ultimate joy of reading.

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Now Back To Learning To Read

Most experts all agree that you should read to your kids. They recommend reading in bed before going to sleep, as well as reading at other times.

But!! Time seems to be one of the major problems facing parents these days. There are just too many distractions that use up this time. So we multi-task. That is, we do two things at once.

With the kids of the 21st century spending more time on the computer than on books, I have been looking for a way to teach reading using the computer. Now I think I have found it.

One very modern method of teaching reading is to find a computer game that prints the conversation on the screen as opposed to speaking it.

When you listen to some computer game language you find it is very limited and repetitive. But most computer games have very little writing other than the instructions. You just play along while listening to the repetitive instructions.

So you need a game where the written conversation is quite large and varied.

And one game that fits this bill, is the game “Aveyond”.

I like this game as it can be used for little kids as well as older students who have fallen behind.

The graphics are very simple and very good and seem to appeal to younger viewers.

When you look at the game the little figures in the game look like little kids. But when the dialogue comes on, the faces are of older children possible teenagers, so the game should interest both age groups.

If you do not like the faces you can go to the Goodies page and download a new set of faces for the characters. I like the faces they have now. Therefore I never downloaded the new faces, so I cannot tell you what they are like.

As you can see from the screenshots below

· The sentences are easy to see and therefore very easy to read.

· On the background screen the little figure could fascinate younger children.

· The face in the dialogue box is of a teenager or young girl therefore attracting the teenage player.

· The graphics are very enchanting and suit the theme of the game.

· The sentences are quite short therefore easy to remember.


The dialogue is very good, a bit simple, but on wide screen the words are big so you can both see and read them together. Also some dialogues are quite long so you can get in a good reading session before you have to play the game.

· Just keep reading and hitting the spacebar until you run out of dialogue.

· Some dialogues are just one sentence, but others carry on for a number of clicks of the spacebar.

· As with all reading there are many new words that you must explain. If the word is specific to the game, say so, then the child doesn’t spend so much time learning that word.

When you are walking around in the game and you meet another person, just hit the space bar and a dialogue comes up. 

Some young players are enchanted by the game, and I have had them ask me to read the dialogues. Because they want to know what is going on in the game.

This is not really a type of action game. Here you have to think about what is going on and plan ahead a little bit. Also your actions in the game can determine how the game ends.

One problem is you can’t go back with the dialogue. I think this is a problem, because if the student does not understand what is happening in the dialogue, you cannot go back to re read it. If there is a way to go back I have not found it yet.

Reading this way is very helpful. As you are given instructions as well as background information, so you have to understand what is going on.

Also the reading part is not continuous and only one person speaks at a time so there is only one dialogue on the screen at one time. 

Because the dialogue is set as part of the game, the kid does not get distracted or bored easily. You have to read the dialogue as part of the game to understand what is going on. But I must admit I can get quite bored just waiting for the kid to finish playing so the dialogue will come on again.

If the kid has a problem playing the game and does not know what to do, you can download the complete walkthrough from the Amaranth Games website.

Now you can read the walkthrough and tell the kid where to go. That will save a lot of endless walking around the beautiful towns and villages.

As with all reading, you must use your finger to point to the word you are saying. Here you can use the mouse curser under the words, only on small screen. On full screen there is no mouse curser. You must always point to the word so the kid knows what sound means what word.

I use the rubber end of a pencil as this will not damage the screen. If you have a flat screen be extra careful as you are not supposed to touch the screen.

Sedona – A bustling western city

As the game uses some very old English words for names, I have to use phonetics to sound out the words. I think they are using Gaelic or old Irish for the name of towns and some people.

Just a recommendation.

You must control the space bar. Or the kid could keep clicking through the dialogue, just to get back to the game. To move through the dialogue, you just have to hit the space bar.

As you can’t go back once you have clicked on the dialogue then it is finished. So make sure you control the game and after the kid has read the sentence move onto the next sentence. This way the kid has an incentive to read, so they can get back into the game.

A picture of Rhen wandering around the great eastern city, Veldarah.

I would recommend just reading for about 20 minutes, as some experts say our concentration span is about 20 minutes.

These experts haven’t watched kids play computer games, because then the attention span can last for hours.

Actually the reading breaks up the game, as most segments of the game are not too long. Then the kid has a bit of a break between readings.

Over time the kid could lose interest in the game. If this happens just read for about 15 minutes then let them play by themselves.

When you are teaching reading this way it is a good idea to try and juggle between work and play. If you have too much work and not enough play, the kid could become disinterested quite quickly, and then they might not want to play the game again.

Let them have their time to play the game. Also after a while the kid could stop and ask you what the dialogue says, as they are interested in finding out what is going on in the game.

Incorporating play and work is one of the bases of learning. Most kids should learn more if they are playing a game, as opposed to sitting behind a desk listening to the teacher drone on.

The Montessori teaching method is based on playing. The kids do things by themselves or in groups, which is slightly different from the standard teaching method of the classroom.


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The Montessori Method of teaching writing and reading has been teaching children for over a hundred years. It is still going strong today because it has stood the test of time.

If your child is getting left behind in writing and reading. Then this is the program you are looking for.


This play and learn approach is behind some adult games. Like the “Rich Dad Poor Dad” game that teaches you about real estate investing, while you are playing a game similar to Monopoly.

An overview of Veldt.

Aveyond, Aveyond, my Aveyond.

Where are you my Aveyond.

Discover the secrets and passions of Aveyond.

A timeless place in an enchanted country.

Follow the adventures of ‘Rhem,’ a very attractive young girl, as her life takes her on many a quest.

Find out why she is suddenly taken from her quaint, beautiful little village, ‘Clearwater.’ A village in the clouds surrounded by waterfalls and cliffs. 

To suddenly end up as a slave in a family with a horrid little arrogant boy.

This time in another beautiful town, ‘Ghalarah.’

I don’t know where they get the names from, but they are as beautiful as the graphics.

Then suddenly she is a sorceress or sword singer and is in now in the big city of ‘Veldarah.’

When you get into ‘Veldarah’ check it out. It is another beautiful place with beautiful graphics.

This is only the beginning. Now for the rest, download the game and check it out for yourself.

Click here to follow your quest to .