ttrs_review

Is it a spelling program or a typing program? TTRS Review

PM Bottom Line:  a great resource to teach a kid to spell without teaching a kid to spell.  Self-paced and independent, it’s easy on the parent and allows the child to take control.  I’m about to finish two full years and will re-subscribe for another. 

 

Touch-Type Read and Spell (TTRS) is found at readandspell.com.  Their home page summary states that “TTRS is a multi-sensory course that teaches touch-typing skills to help children and adults improve their reading and spelling.  TTRS can be used as a standalone touch-typing course and is especially useful for those with dyslexia and other learning difficulties.”  And that “Proven over 20 years, TTRS is a structured program of phonics and aims to develop literacy skills, confidence, self­-esteem and motivation.”

 

TTRS is for all levels, from early readers to grown ESL students to adults who want to learn to type.

 

I have a child, now in middle school, who struggles greatly with spelling. I have tried many programs and, as she got older, it was more difficult to find something that might build her spelling skills while not seeming too “babyish” for her.  It can be defeating enough for an older student to be working below grade level without adding the graphics and topics that are more geared toward little kids.

 

Most of the reviews for TTRS at the Homeschool Buyer’s Co-op mention it was purchased for a child with dyslexia and/or dysgraphia.  And TTRS definitely bills themselves as a solid option for them, which seems to be confirmed by the reviews.  While we do not have a diagnosis, some recent diagnostic tests point toward some learning challenges that are also found in students with dyslexia.  But even before our testing, I suspected as much so my interest in TTRS was piqued.  I liked that:
  • I could tell her we were “done” with spelling, basically. It was a stressful subject for both of us!
  • I could call it her typing program instead.  Her older sister had done a typing program and now it was her turn.
  • It was established in 1992, so it’s well developed and tested.
  • And she actually learns typing!  Which I think is important. It’s a skill I use quite regularly and am very glad I have.
  • It’s self-paced.  She goes as she goes.  But it’s structured clearly so there’s no going off-track.
  • I can monitor her. I can log in and see how she’s doing, what type of words she’s on, her scores.
  • It’s set up to offer a lot of positive feedback for the student, which was really encouraging for my student.
  • It looks like a “grown up” typing program.
  • It’s hands-off for me!  I know, I’m such a lazy homeschool mom.  I like to call it productive, not lazy, OK?
As we’ve gone on, I’ve also appreciated that:
  • The student types real words and real word patterns.  You don’t use the asdf and jkl; typing patterns of other programs.
  • The student sees and hears the patterns repeatedly – it’s multisensory AND repetitive for students with working/short-term memory issues.
  • You can turn the sound on and off, as well as the graphic hands that guide finger placement.
  • There are many lessons, but they are very short (five to ten minutes each).  This lets us easily set our time for typing lessons. One day we might have a just a few minutes and another day we can spend more time.
Some other (possibly negative) issues to consider:
  • It does not have fun, cartoon graphics, so younger kids or those looking for a more game-like atmosphere might not enjoy it as much.
  • This program is based in the UK.  Sometimes when I listen in on a lesson, I am not sure what the word is that’s being used!
  • There are so. many. lessons.  I like that this program can be with us for a long while, slowly and steadily building and reinforcing both typing and spelling skills. But someone with a “let’s get it over with” mindset could be discouraged when seeing 24 levels, each with 31 modules!
Screenshot from the parent/teacher portal, showing one lesson
Screenshot from the parent/teacher portal, showing one lesson

Since I’m about to renew for a third year, you can probably guess that I am happy with this program. My daughter has worked steadily through the levels and modules.  Her typing skills are improving and, more importantly, our goal of better spelling is definitely being attained.  We have no stress over spelling and while she is not going to win any spelling bees in the near future, she can spell common words needed in her every day life and school work.  She still asks me how to spell things, instead of “how do you spell xxxxx” and looking at me blankly, she now asks “do you spell xxxxxx this way?” And she is usually right!

 

That might seem like a small thing. But if you’ve ever walked with a struggling speller, you know how wonderful this feels!

To be clear:  this did not happen overnight! We have used this for two years now. But it did happen and without any tears or frustration (mine OR hers).

As usual, I always check with Homeschool Buyer’s Co-op first when I am interested in buying a homeschool product.  And as usual, this is the way to go. At readandspell.com, subscriptions to the program start at $15 per month with the best value being $150 for one year (2 months free).  At the Co-op, you can get one year for $79.95 (plus a $1.95 co-op fee).  This is for ONE student.  Pricing increases for more students, with the Co-op offering the best pricing.

 

I had no problems purchasing, accessing and setting up TTRS and have had no problems using it these past two years.

 

This post may contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I might benefit in some way. Please feel free to check out the full affiliate statement and disclosure here.

Want to be a Productive Mama?

Actually useful tips you can use right away to save money, earn money, save time, nourish your family, teach your kids and just be productive? Really? Really. Sign up now!

Powered by ConvertKit

2 comments

  1. Thanks you for your thorough review. I appreciate the time you took to write this up as I’m also considering this for my 5th grade dyslexic son who needs to learn to both type and spell.

  2. I’m so glad it helped, Jenny. Please let me know how it ends up working for you. I also have a fifth grader, but she’s a typical learner, so I might use something else. Good luck!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *