Sunday, March 28, 2010

TOS Crew Review -- Super Star Speech

"Mom, where's my shiwts?"

I think I cringed as much as Faith did at the time. What followed was a slow conversation to figure out exactly what she was asking me -- shirts or shorts? She couldn't say it any more clearly.

At the time I scoured the internet for ideas on helping kids articulate the 'r' sound. Although she was only 7 and many sites told me not to worry until she hit 8, how could I not? We worked on saying the sound over and over. She worked hard, I worked hard, and eventually she did either grow out of it, or conquer it. An occasional reminder was still needed, but now she never mispronounces it. As glad as I am that we made it through that challenge, I wish I had this resource in my hands at that time.


There are resources for reteaching math, for tutoring English, for improving handwriting, but I could not find anything to help my child learn to pronounce her words properly. Well, now there is such a book available for homeschoolers. Super Star Speech offers just that.

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Product
: Super Star Speech
Details: Speech therapy made simple! I received the introductory book that helps in identifying areas needing work and beginning some basic speech therapy with your child with easy to use games and activities. The book includes 34 pages of information, assessment tools, and specific instruction and activity guidelines for leading your child through speech therapy sessions. The appendix contains another 30 pages of activities and games to bring more interactive fun to the process of improving your child's articulation.
Price: $18.95 (also available ring bound for $22.95, or in an ebook version for 40% off)



What we loved . . .
  • Easy to use. Although the author has a Masters degree in Speech Language Pathology, you definitely don't need one to use this book. I thumbed through it, read the introduction, and called my little ones in one at a time to check their articulation. This was so incredibly easy to use and interpret.
  • Hours of speech therapy ideas. The book is not huge, but it does not waste space either. Debbie offers a very practical guide that equips the parent to really tackle the tough area of speech therapy head on. Lots of activities, approaches, ideas, and resources to keep making progress without getting redundant. Each page is boiled down to just what you need to know without unnecessary background or technical information.
  • Helps narrow the issues. I could not believe as I gave my son the articulation test how minimal his issues were. While overall I knew he spoke well for a four year old, I was still surprised to see that his only real issue is with two sounds and those sounds are formed almost the same way. This book is like having your own personal speech pathologist.
  • Word lists. Kind of a silly thing to appreciate so much, but I really like having the lengthy lists of words to use in focusing on the trouble sounds. It seems I always draw a blank when trying to test or teach a specific word or sound. The lists give you plenty to choose from.
  • Two great formats. I like to hold the materials in my hand, so I did like having the printed copy to flip through and use with my kids. However, the ebook has the advantage of being easily printable which would be a great format for the games and activity pages in the back which you would likely want multiple copies of to use with more than one child, or even to repeat favorite activities with the same child.

Some considerations . . .

  • Some pictures aren't clear. The articulation test is based on groups of pictures. Most of them are easy to identify. However, my four year old needed some promptings to say the word I was looking for. This was not a big hurdle to overcome, and it did produce some laughs when he identified a baby as a girl and an orange as a golf ball. Some pictures have been revised in the newer edition to help with this issue, so if you purchase the ebook you might not face this issue at all.
  • Not a guaranteed solution. Many people struggle with speech issues into their adult years, even with professional speech therapy. This one book might not be the complete solution for your child either. It also takes a lot of consistent, diligent work on the part of teacher and child to see improvement and success. I do think that this book is an excellent tool to help parents in this process.

I am so grateful to have this book to help me in working through these last couple sounds that my four year old needs to master. He still has a ways to go and I know I need to work this into our schedule consistently, maybe even in place of reading for a bit until we see some more progress. He is definitely becoming more aware of the times when he does not say the "k" and "g" correctly, and is working hard to get his tongue in the proper position. The tips and teaching helps in this book have been exactly what I needed to even know where to begin in this area.


Homeschoolers likely don't have access to a speech pathologist to send their child to regularly, but that doesn't mean they are without tools, or that they cannot at least begin to tackle this problem on their own. If you have a child with articulation concerns I would strongly encourage you to take a look at Debbie Lott's books and resources. This book is just one of many that she has put together with the homeschool parent in mind.


For more TOS Crew reviews on this product, check out the TOS Crew blog.


Disclaimer: This workbook was provided to me free of charge from Super Star Speech as part of my participation in The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew. I received no additional compensation and the opinions expressed here come from my personal experiences and sincere thoughts.

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