Disclosure: Crossbow Education provided complimentary products to use with my children, and I was compensated for my time.
Because I have a struggling reader, I often find myself researching every possible way to teach the subject. I have looked up and tried out more reading curricula, methods, and tools than I care to recount, and have found some great products along the way.
A recent search led me to Crossbow Education.
They specialize in teaching aids for children with Dyslexia and visual stress. Today, I’m going to share with you some of the great resources they offer. Though they are especially helpful for children with Dyslexia, I have found that they are great for both of my children–one who is a struggling reader on the spectrum with symptoms similar to severe dyslexia, and the other who is an advanced reader for his age.
To help those who struggle with visual stress, Crossbow offers a variety of reading rulers. These are offered in several different color options, and you can order sets with one of each color in order to try out which color works best, or you can order sets of a single color if you already know which color you need.
In addition to helping with general visual stress the guides are great for children with ADD and/or Dyslexia who might struggle with focusing on one area of text.
Visual Spelling Support
My struggling reader learns much better when activities are very hands-on and incorporate more parts of his brain. When he can put pieces together and form connections, things make more sense to him.
In this way, the spelling support has helped him not only with spelling, but also with reading as he forms the connections between the words and letters. One of Crossbow’s best selling products is their boxes font. This is great for students who are visual learners! You can print out letter shape boxes which students can then fill in and begin to connect the shapes of the letters and words with the words themselves.
If you aren’t interested in creating your own words with the boxes font, they offer The First 100 Words set, which includes wipe-off cards with an illustration and the word on one side, with the same illustration and the boxes on the other side. These are great for many things, including handwriting practice. (Note: I did find the write-on/wipe-off cards to be a bit flimsy, so you should be aware of that when planning to use and reuse them).
One of my favorite things they sent us was this magnetic foam alphabet set. From the website:
These foam magnetic tiles focus on the relationship between sounds and their spelling..Stage 1 contains 67 foam magnetic tiles in 4 color groupings: Consonants, Consonants that make to major sounds, vowels and the ‘h’ digraphs. Stage 2 contains 36 foam magnetic tiles in 3 color groupings: Digraph endings, Blend beginnings and Blend endings. Stage 3 contains 36 foam magnetic tiles in 5 color groupings: 3 Letter Blends, Magic ‘e’, Vowel Phonemes, Changeable Vowels and ‘r’ Controlled Vowels.
We were sent the entire set, but you can purchase stage 1, 2, and 3 separately on their site. I found these letters to be a great tool for teaching digraphs and blends in particular.
We were also sent some learning games, which I was very excited about since I love to use games in our homeschool!
The first is a fun and colorful game called Spelligator. The premise of this game is that you use the letter tiles (some include blends and digraphs) to make words, building them with 3 tiles at a time, and add onto the tiles to change and create more and more words.
For my boys this game was a bit confusing, but the game did offer a “rookie” level, and we modified it for ourselves also to make it more suitable for our family.
Note: My contact at Crossbow Education has let me know that this game is being discontinued, so if you are interested be sure to get it soon!
The second game we received is called Spingoes. There are 2 different types of this game–long vowel rhymes and short vowel rhymes, and the game enforces phonological awareness with word families. The game includes reproducible bingo cards, and a spinner which I love because it can be used for other games as well.
Note: The spingoes games are also being discontinued, so get them now if you are interested.
I am excited to offer up an AMAZING giveaway! Crossbow Education is going to offer up a FREE plain window reading ruler to the first 30 people who fill out this form. This is a great way for you to try out one of their best selling products! You can also save 15% on all purchases (before shipping) by using the code CBSAVE15