Are you struggling to keep up with your homeschooled kids who are voracious readers? Are you looking for a wealth of vetted Learning Arts resources all in one place? Do you and your family simply love reading? Then look no further than LightSail for Homeschoolers homeschool reading curriculum!
LightSail offers a comprehensive and complete homeschool reading curriculum that is full to the brim with super cool features. I’m super excited to share some of my favourites with you!
I received a free LightSail for Homeschoolers subscription and am being compensated for my time. I am not required to give a positive review. As always, I am sharing my honest opinion with you. Please read my full blog disclosure.
Firstly, I have to say that trying to select just 7 cool features of LightSail for Homeschoolers is hard! When LightSail says that they are The Most Complete Language Arts Platform, they are not kidding!
*LightSail for Homeschoolers are offering a special launch price ($99/year for Premium; $65/year for Standard) until the 31st of August! It’s a steal for what you get!
This all-in-one programme has tens of thousands of books, podcasts, video clips and other pieces of multi-media content to encourage kids to become life-long learners, passionate readers and enthusiastic writers. It’s an entirely personalized experience as the programme adapts and challenges readers, from pre-K through 12th grade.
1. LightSail for Homeschool has Fantastic Support
The first feature that I really appreciate is the amount of support you get from the platform. I easily get totally overwhelmed by sites that are full of different pages, tabs, and features. LightSail has solved this by creating a helpful welcome video, which pops up as soon as you sign in.
The video is bookmarked so that you can easily go back and rewatch certain parts or even skip parts that aren’t relevant. This was a cool feature because I wanted to explore each item in depth before going back to the video. There are also small play buttons dotted around, which play short videos about a particular element.
2. The Power of the Power Challenge
Another amazing feature is the Power Challenge, which is a placement test that your child takes when they begin with the platform. We did the challenge over a few days, with some free reading in between. Once done, the boys got their Lexile Score, which gets updated every 15 days.
A Lexile Score is the way LightSail suggests books at the correct level for each reader. Dominic is a slightly stronger reader, and it was clear from his result. Now he has access to books that are at the right level, but also challenging enough to help him to improve.
3. LightSail is a Comprehensive Homeschool Reading Curriculum
I have always been a big fan of online homeschooling and electronic resources. I adore books but they can be expensive, especially if you have kids who are avid readers like mine. And as their tastes and abilities change, it can be hard to keep up!
The sheer size of the LightSail libraries offers kids everything they could possibly want to read. My boys are going through a bugs and creepy crawlers stage at the moment. So what we’ve been doing is using the search feature to find books and video clips on the subject.
I love how delighted they are to have the power to search for and find exactly what they want. It’s another way for them to take ownership of their learning. And with the ChildSafe content controls, there’s no worry that they will come across anything that could frighten or upset them.
4. Power Texts Help Kids to Improve
Power Texts are another super feature of LightSail. These are books and resources that are at the correct Lexile level for your child. I love seeing my kids reading a text with confidence and I know they feel proud of themselves too.
The Flip-Flop Mode requires kids to read a Power Text, and then allows them to read in Free Mode. This works really well for us because my kids are ADHD and can easily flit from book to book. With this tool I know that they’re reading a text that will help them to improve their skills. And then they can go wild after that.
5. This Homeschool Reading Curriculum also Encourages Authentic Writing
LightSail for Homeschoolers goes further than just offering lots of great reading, but can also link an authentic writing task once a book has been completed. As a teacher, I know how important it is to teach children how to produce authentic writing.
This type of writing is more engaging, more interesting and more useful than writing for the sake of writing. And when it follows on from a book that was enjoyable to read, it becomes even more powerful!
There’s also a super fun Informal Writing Workshop. Here kids spin a wheel and are prompted to write things like a tweet, comment or hashtag. Scroll down the writing page and give it a try. It’s so much fun!
6. Get Kids Buzzing with Spelling Bees and Vocabulary Clozes
The way LightSail teaches vocabulary is super nifty. There are clozes within books while kids read, and at the end of the book, there’s the option to take a spelling bee. Context is so important when learning new vocabulary, so I really like how the platform tests new words in a text.
Children have a Word Work button on their dashboard, where they get to practise any words they might have had difficulty with. They also receive badges for retaking clozes, much to the delight of my kids. Gamification always works!
7. Kids Build Fluency with LightSail for Homeschoolers
The fluency part of platform is also super cool! I remember how daunting reading aloud in class was for me. LightSail overcomes this by allowing kids to record and re-record themselves reading aloud, and then submitting their reading for grading or feedback. I think it’s a fantastic way to build confidence in a safe environment.
A retelling phase is perfect for extending read alouds. With this task, kids can practise so many different skills such as paraphrasing and presenting, to name a few. Once again, kids are encouraged to use authentic English, which is always a winner in my books!
8. Some Features of this Homeschool Reading Curriculum that Need an Honoury Mention
As I said at the start, LightSail for Homeschoolers is so full of great features that it was hard to choose just 7. There are a few more that I feel also need a mention:
- Get lots of clear and understandable data on how your kids are doing.
- Kids have access to their own data, to encourage ownership of their learning.
- There are action clips in the texts to keep kids engaged and delighted.
- You and your kids can set goals and you award gifts for reaching them.
- You can put together a library collection, which is perfect for unit studies!
- Kids can socialize with other kids through book clubs, reading tournaments and a safe chat space.
- The personalized reader helps struggling readers and kids with special needs.
- Kids can write their own book and share it!
Any Questions about LightSail for Homeschoolers?
I know this is rather a dense post, but I really wanted to do this homeschool reading curriculum justice. If you do have any questions about the platform, please contact me or drop a comment below. I would be more than happy to answer any queries you may have.
Or if you’re ready to jump in and get access to the Most Complete Language Arts Platform, then click the button below to register. I assure you that you’ll be as happy as we are with LightSail for Homeschoolers!