Review: Mindy’s Bookworms

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Please join me in welcoming the newest WUHS sponsor: Mindy’s Bookworms! Mindy’s Bookworms is a self-guided, interactive website that helps children in grades 2-12 to understand a wide variety of reading comprehension questions and offers practice to improve their skills for reading comprehension tests.

Now, I know many of us homeschool folks don’t necessarily give reading comprehension tests, but understanding the concepts covered on Mindy’s Bookworms is an important part of reading comprehension, period, and we can all agree that having our children understand what they’re reading is the main goal in learning to read. Whether your child is reading for pleasure or for information, neither is going to be accomplished if he isn’t understanding what he’s reading.

Mindy's Bookworms Review

Then, there is also the fact that, while you may not administer reading comprehension tests at home, there is probably going to come a time when your child is going to have to take that type of test – either for state-required standardized testing or for college entrance exams.

Mindy’s Bookworms allows your child to work independently and at his own pace through a series of passages that roughly equate to first (or maybe it’s second…there are 12 levels) through twelfth grade reading levels. Each of my kids, ages 16, 12, and 10, used Mindy’s Bookworms and I felt that the instruction was equally beneficial for each of their varying reading levels.

Most state tests are created using Lexile scores. Lexile scores measure the difficulty level of a passage by looking at sentence length and vocabulary. The passages on Mindy’s Bookworms begin at Level 1, 200L and end at Level 12 1390L. From the website:

“The Lexile Framework is used throughout the country as a way to accurately measure the difficulty of a piece of text. It takes into account sentence length and word frequency to create a numerical value. This numerical value can then be used to track a student’s reading progress and help them find appropriate reading materials.”

First, the student finds his reading level by reading through a few passages to find the one that he can read making three mistakes or less. Josh and Megan both preferred to read theirs aloud to me, but they could have done this step independently.

Once the child knows which level he’s on, he chooses one of 10 passages to read to himself. I let my kids choose any of the passages that sounded interesting to them within their reading level. It didn’t seem to matter if they went in any kind of order among the ten choices.

The student reads the passage then answers ten multiple choice questions that cover concepts such as:

  • Main idea
  • “Right there” (The answer is in the passage and the student just has to find it.)
  • Compare/contrast
  • Fact or opinion
  • Sequencing
  • Cause and effect
Mindy's Bookworm Screen Shot[7]

Once all ten questions have been answered, the student clicks the “submit” button to get her score for the questions. She can then go back through each question, one by one, to see which ones were right or wrong.

I loved that this step tells the student what type of question each of the ten was so that he can get better at recognizing the question type and knowing what to look for. Not only that, but there is also an explanation of what each question was looking for and suggestions on how the student should have gone about finding the answer.

Mindy’s Bookworms is a great tool for helping to improve reading comprehension (because they can learn what to look for in their own reading) and help a child gain a better understanding of how to successfully navigate a reading comprehension test.

The twelve levels provided enough challenge for each of my three kids and the feedback was a valuable learning experience.

Whether you’re looking to improve your child’s understanding of reading comprehension questions for his own personal improvement at home or to help him achieve a higher level of success on standardized tests, Mindy’s Bookworms provides a valuable learning tool. It’s something that I would find valuable for practice in the weeks prior to taking a standardized test, even if I didn’t choose to use it year ‘round.

The website is a subscription service with a monthly fee of $9.95, with the first seven days being free

I received this product free for the purpose of reviewing it. I also received monetary compensation for the time invested in writing the review. The opinions expressed are my personal, honest opinions. Your experience may vary. Please read my full disclosure policy for more details.

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Kris Bales is a newly-retired homeschool mom and the quirky, Christ-following, painfully honest founder (and former owner) of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers. She has a pretty serious addiction to sweet tea and Words with Friends. Kris and her husband of over 30 years are parents to three amazing homeschool grads. They share their home with three dogs, two cats, a ball python, a bearded dragon, and seven birds.

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