Thursday, June 19, 2014

Stress Release Reading Rulers

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

Details: Crossbow Education: Eye Level Reading Rulers: 10 duo window rulers one of each color: yellow, sky, celery, purple, grass, magenta, jade, pink, aqua and orange.  Place over text and start reading.  Gloss or matte surface, reduces glare, improves focus, assists tracking, narrow window isolates single line of text, wider window for reading paragraphs.  Crossbow is a family business that started back in 1992 by Bob Hext, who was a teacher at the time.  After dealing with struggling readers, and especially his dyslexic students he wanted to create resources to help students with reading issues; and so in 2005 the Eye Level Reading rulers became one of the leading brands for Visual Stress products in the UK.  Visual Stress is the difficulty or discomfort experienced by some people when looking at text against a white background.  It can happen after long periods of time reading, or immediately affected.  Visual stress affects over 20% of the population.  There are symptoms that help figure out if you are suffering from Visual Stress.

Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

My Review:  As a home school teacher for 5 years of preschool, and now home schooling a first grader as well, I have found that my oldest really struggles with reading, much like I did when I was his age.  For him, he not only struggles learning to read, but fights it because its so hard for him to concentrate, remember, and focus on the words on the page.  So when I was introduced to Eye Level Reading Rulers I had to jump at this chance to find out if my son is affected by Visual Stress, and how I can help him better if he is.  So here is what we started with.  I was given the Visual Stress Assessment that will help me figure out which colored ruler will help my son be less stressed when reading.

I used the abridged version of the Visual Stress Assessment Pack that Crossbow offers on their website.
Step 1: use the room your child reads in the most, set up a table where the child can sit with his feet planted firmly on the floor, and then choose the test reading sheet with the font your child reads the most.
Step 2: start with the ruler at the top of your color order, so you would start with magenta, then test the child by having them read without the ruler and then with the ruler.  Ask which was easier to read.  Then move through the whole list of 10 ruler colors, keep a pile of the rulers that your child responded to positively, separate from the pile of rulers they did not respond positively to.
Step 3: once you have a positive pile, do the reading test again to find out which one works the very best for your child.  Your child may have 2 that work best and that is okay.
Step 4: enjoy reading!

As I did this test on my 7 year old here is what happened: he liked the magenta ruler, he liked the sky ruler, he liked the pink ruler better than the magenta and sky rulers, then the yellow and pink rulers were the top choices.  In the end we used both the Sassoon 18 point font test sheet, and the Arial 14 point font test sheet for the tests.  I started with the 18 point font first, and then when I needed to find out which one or top two rulers worked best for my 7 year old we then used the 14 point font.  I am very pleased with how well the yellow ruler is working for him, and how well he is now able to focus and read without visual stress.  I recommend these products and highly suggest getting your child tested (since you can do it from your own home) to help them read easier.

Pros: easy to use test assessment, useful, works well, easy to carry along, love the paragraph section that is separate from the single line section

Cons: none

My Rating: Thumbs Up

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