Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Schoolhouse Review: Super Duper Publications HearBuilder Software

Do you ever speak and no one listens? Or maybe they "hear" you but don't comprehend a word you are saying?  It can be simple things like "turn off the light" or  "fold these towels" or even "read these two pages while I help your sister."  At times you would think I speak in a foreign language to my children.  For some reason, I often wonder if I'm invisible or if their ears are messed up.  If this sounds at all familiar to you,   Super Duper Publications has a computer software program that can help at your house, too.

PhotobucketHearBuilder Auditory Memory Program Home Edition is a software program for 1 - 4 players in Kindergarten - 8th Grades.  (Read more about the RESEARCH that went into the design of the program.)  The Princess and the Boy Scout were perfect for this review as they will be in 6th and 8th grades when we start our full time school program in a few weeks.  I was "super duper" interested in seeing how well HearBuilder would help improve their listening and comprehending skills.  AND I couldn't wait to give it a try myself.  Where I used to be able to remember anything and everything, I find it more difficult the older I get.  I need all the help that I can get.

From the Website:

Join Recall Agents Kim and Joey to save MemoryTown from Dr. Forgetsit while practicing important auditory memory, closure, and comprehension skills. HearBuilder Auditory Memory teaches key strategies for remembering numbers, words, sentences, and stories. This research-based software includes five essential listening activities:
  • Memory for numbers (3–7 digits)
  • Memory for words
    (3–5 words organized by syllable)
  • Memory for details (1–4 details)
  • Auditory Closure (Sentence Completion)
  • Memory for WH Information
    (2–3 sentences/2–4 questions)

Each of the multi-level tasks in HearBuilder Auditory Memory takes your students on a different mission to foil the wacky plans of Dr. Forgetsit. The humorous and captivating adventures will keep your students motivated as they develop and strengthen their abilities to recall verbal information.
Home Edition:
  • Use with 1–4 children
  • Choose general levels of play for each child
  • Monitor child's progress
  • Print progress reports
  • Add background noise at expert level to give children practice attending in distracting situations

A strategic memory training program, HearBuilder is designed to be used for 15 - 20 minutes each day until your child completes the program but you can personalize this timeframe as you see fit.  I simply asked the kids to play a "game" on the computer and did not give them a set amount of time to do so.  The set-up was simple -- I put the CD into my computer and typed in their names as new players and set the level where I wanted them to begin.  There are four levels of play (Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced and Expert) that strategically teach key concepts for remembering numbers, words, sentences and stories.  Background noise can even be added as they work through the program.  I chose to start the Princess at the very beginning and the Boy Scout on the Advanced level.  

It was very interesting to me to watch the different approaches and learning styles of my children.  The Princess sat right down and got started.  As she tried to remember number sequences, she did so with no stress.  For her, it was what it was.  If she messed up, she just started anew.  I wish I had started her at the Intermediate level instead of the Beginner level because she thought the Beginner level was a bit slow.  I could have easily deleted her account and started over at the Intermediate level but she did not want to "lose what she had already done."   

The Boy Scout had a totally different approach.  As he played, he demanded that we all be very quiet (I was working quietly in the kitchen through many of his sessions) and he was easily frustrated as he tried to remember what was being asked of him.  He put a good deal of pressure on himself at first to get everything correct the very first time.  He actually asked me at one point if he could just "cheat" and write down the answers.  Obviously, he NEEDS this program. 

Because much of our school curriculum is auditory-based (i.e. read aloud), I knew that HearBuilder would be a good fit for my family.  I like that the kids were able to improve their listening and comprehension skills in a fun way that they didn't perceive as "more" school.  They both enjoy computer games and like to tackle a challenge.  HearBuilder set them on a task to save Memory Town from Dr. Forgetsit and they were determined to do just that.  They enjoyed the different missions as they worked to save the town.  I enjoyed that they were strengthening skills that will help them forever -- in school, at home, in life.

Here's what my super duper kids had to say:

The Princess says it was fun but takes a lot of patience.  It's not just an easy-peasy game but makes you memorize a whole lot better.  It is definitely something I want to keep using and finish the whole thing.

The Boy Scout says if you have super-competitive kids then this is definitely for you.  It helped me remember things (even though mom started me on the hardest level) and I am trying to finish all of the tasks BEFORE my sister does.

HearBuilder Auditory Memory Software Program Home Edition is available for $69.95 and can be purchased HERE.  BUT you can use the SPECIAL DISCOUNT CODE  BLGAM30 and save 30% if you purchase by August 31.  That really makes this a good deal for your home!  You can even TRY IT OUT before you purchase.

With plenty of fun learning materials for kids, Super Duper Publications has quite a few things that have made my "want to buy" list.  And the Apps available have made for great additions to my new iPad (many of them FREE!).  We are enjoying both the Super Duper Age Calculator and the Using I and Me Fun Deck Apps.  There is also a neat section of FREE handy handouts that I am finding quite useful in our homeschool -- some really great stuff on Poetry and Sentence Structure.  I recommend you spending some time perusing the Super Duper website for yourself.


~Disclaimer:  I was given the opportunity to try HearBuilder Auditory Memory Home Edition by Super Duper Publications as a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew.  The opinions stated are mine and mine alone.  I was not paid to share my thoughts and feelings with you.  I received this software in exchange for my honest review. You can check out the Crew Review and see what other members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew thought of  Super Duper Products  

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1 comment:

  1. You make an interesting point about how auditory memory can be important when you use a literature based curriculum with lots of read-alouds. I hope that continued HearBuilder practice will help my son do better with all of his subjects.


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