Institute of Reading Development

Loretta NJ Z6May 6, 2005

I am looking into summer reading programs for my son. We got a flyer home from school for this program through Rutgers University. Its 5 two hour classes, about 18 kids for $299. Has anyone experienced this program? I find it hard to believe that they could make a lot of progress in five classes and catch him up. They claim that they teach through games and participation so that the child enjoys learning to read. That for me would be worth the price because if my son liked it, he would catch up. I can't find any reviews online but seems like they are sponsered by several universities throughout the country. When I called up, I was turned off by the hard sell.

I am also going to look into the Kuman program which I don't know anything about yet. Any experience with these programs or any other private program would be appreciated.

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I don't know anything about the programs you mentioned, but here are a couple of ideas that might be helpful, depending on your son's age. Some kids will "practice" reading (without knowing that's what they're doing!) if they have access to material that is fun to read. For example, joke books, or books of riddles, have sentences or short paragraphs that keep the child reading until he gets the answer. For a child who has trouble reading, being able to read in small doses is an accomplishment he can feel good about. In addition, the child may want to read (practice)the same material several times, as they try out the jokes and riddles on various family members and friends.

Allowing your son to get books that reflect his interests, that the two of you can read together as you take turns, could also get him to enjoy practicing his reading. Do you have friends or relatives who might be willing to send him letters he could read, and then write a short reply to? That is another way to encourage him to read for his own pleasure. Be on the lookout for things to send away for like brochures to some place he might want to visit some day. Hope you have a great time reading this summer!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2005 at 6:33PM
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I have two boys. I have tried a similar program to what you mentioned with 18 kids and found it frankly to be useless. It was not exactly the same one but similar. They play games and I took my son (he was 4) and I did not get much out of it.

Both my boys go to Kumon and I love it. Kumon is not for all kids. It's based on the repetition method and there are kids who get fed up of doing the same thing over and over again, I was raised in India and I was thought using a similar method and I think it's good for foundation building and so I push them to do it. I only use it for Math and my kids benefit from the practice and are doing great in school as a result.

For reading and english skills I would highly recommend hooked on phonics. My younger son has a speech delay and articulation problems but the hooked on phonics program in his daycare was highly beneficial and got him to reading quite early.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2006 at 11:03PM
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Loretta NJ Z6

I'd like to thank all of you who have PM me or answered here on this thread. It is a couple of years later and we never did try IRD though the flyers come home each summer. We did try Kumon and while I think it is a very good program, my son did test for a learning disability so Kumon was just too independent for him. He needed closer guidance and the councilors offered nothing really. It's all about the worksheets. He doesn't easily retain written words. He has to relearn them over and over again so even though he had no trouble doing a Kumon worksheet, he would not be able to correctly use what he learned or remember it. He also misreads the simplest of words. When he was originally tested, he was too young to be diagnosed as dyslexic but I suspect he is and he is being retested. He has been put in a special reading / language arts program in the school and he does make steady progress. They also offer him summer classes but I rather work with him in the summer. This year (he's 10 now), he has shown a lot of improvement.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2008 at 8:47PM
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I too got a flyer home from school which Had a well know area University name on it, and mentions of IRD throughout it. I looked at the website mentioned on the flyer, and found some great testimonials, and information. The web site looked like a part of the Universities web site. However, many of the links on the website didn't work... like the home link and links to other areas about the university. I called the number on the flyer, and it was definately not the university. The person on the phone was very nice, and professional, she asked some questions about my daughter, and told me that she could definately benefit from the program. At a couple of points during the conversation it sounded as if she were reading from a script. I wanted information, which I received. But, when the call was about to end she wanted a credit card number so she could enroll my daughter in the class. She explained that this is their heavy enrollment period, and wouldn't want us to loose out because the class was full. At this point there was no way I was giving a number until I could check this out further. For anyone looking to find out more information I would definately recommend The Teachers Corner. I still haven't decided to enroll my daughter in these classes, but I will certainly continue to do research. I have emailed some people in our school system to see if anyone can give me any information.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2008 at 4:37PM
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IRD's salespeople are required to memorize, or read from, a specific script. The sales managers listen in on calls to make sure no one deviates from it.

Also, regardless of when someone calls in, the salespeople are required to claim that it's IRD's "heavy enrollment period" and that if you don't give them your credit card number and sign up today, the class may fill up and your child will lose out. (The truth is that IRD's salespeople don't know how full any of the classes are, or how many spaces are still available in a given class.)

These are IRD's standard sales tactics, designed to infuse parents with a false sense of urgency and prey on their fears/concerns/guilt over their child's academic development.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2008 at 4:27AM
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I didn¡¯t hear of flyer home. For my daughter¡¯s reading problem, we use Beestar is a curricular-base web site. A friend recommended it to me. My daughter has been doing English language art exercises on beestar. It really helps.


    Bookmark   September 10, 2008 at 9:50AM
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I did do this last year summer before my son entered 1st grade. Frankly, for the money and the time, it wasn't worth it. Basically, they instruct you to read the story aloud with your kid, then read one page at a time, and have your kid read the same one page. They also had something at the class where they would act out the story.

They also tout that they perform a reading evalution on your child. It was a joke! The teacher listened to my son read about 3 sentences and decided if he should be reading primers or level 1 books. Of course, everyone in the class was at level 1.

First of all, the class had about 12 -15 kids. The parents weren't required to stay, but they had to come for the last 10 minutes. The teacher at the class I was in was rather passive. Kids kept interrupting the teacher to talk about what they did at home on the weekend or other irrelevant questions. I think out of the 2 hour class, 20 minutes was wasted with this.

Frankly, I've had better luck just getting good books that my son enjoys reading. Also, I highly recommend the Evan Moor Reading Comprehension books and the Nonfiction reading practice. These books are about 12.99 apiece on Amazon, and it's money well spent!

    Bookmark   October 13, 2008 at 4:05PM
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DO NOT ENROLL YOUR CHILD IN THIS PROGRAM! It is a scam. You are paying for your kid to do pointless activities, and all you get at the end of the program is "booklist" that you could easily find online. My kids dreaded going every week! If your child struggles in reading, save your money and go to a private tutor.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 10:01AM
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Is this program that bad?
We didn't use it. We also has been using beestar, not only for reading, but also for math and science. My daughter loves the math pro best.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2011 at 11:36AM
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Loretta NJ Z6

I have been putting audiobooks on the ipod. We had to move on so he would not be held back on all accounts. He enjoys it very much and listens all the time. The library is a great source for these. I read reviews on Amazon to find things I think he would like and that has been successful.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2011 at 1:31PM
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This organization is a cult and I highly recommend staying away from them, not speaking with them and certainly not signing up your child for their programs. I worked for them! They are a complete brain washing system of control and submission. All they want is money and they target the financially challenged to get them to pay anything they can through manipulation. These people are evil in every way. From the way they treat employees to the way they manipulate people into giving them money for fear and guilt of illiteracy and stigma with their children. Dispicable and evil people. Hang up!

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 12:17AM
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