Tuesday, July 24, 2012

HearBuilders Auditory Memory - A Review

Home Edition (1-4 players) - $69.95
For a much better deal, use Coupon Code: BLGAM30, for 30% savings.  Expires 8/31/12.

Grades K-8th

Phone:  (800) 277-8737
Other Products Available:

PreK-3rd grade

PreK-5th grade

PreK-5th grade

So just what is the HearBuilders Series?  Well, Super Duper Publications has included samples of 6 activities on their website.  Go check them out. 
They also have included a 10 page document giving detailed information on the "Theory-based, systematic approach".

Here is a brief description from their site, explaining briefly about HearBuilder...

Webber® HearBuilder® Auditory Memory includes five activities to help students practice important auditory memory, closure, and comprehension skills. Students become Recall Agents and help save MemoryTown from Dr. Forgetsit while learning key strategies for remembering numbers, words, sentences, and stories.
The Home and Professional Editions target
  • Memory for Numbers (3-7 digits)
  • Memory for Words (3-5 words)
  • Memory for Details (1-4 details)
  • Auditory Closure (sentence completion)
  • Memory for WH Information (2-3 sentences/2-4 Questions)

Learn more about the great minds behind this software by reading some of their biographies.

What to expect:

This software program is designed to help your children listen carefully and retain the information for an extended period of time, to be able to recall the details at a later time.

The parent can set up each individual student, up to 4.  You can pick if your child will stay on a certain level, or gradually increase difficulty, or play with background noise to increase the difficulty even more.

Your child can pick from different categories.
Numbers - Listening for the secret code

Words - Click on the pictures in the order the words were called

Details - Click on the agent described such as "blue pants, no backpack"
Auditory Closure - Complete phrases, such as "peanut butter and..."

Planning - Listen to a plan then choose correct answer from multiple choice

If your child gets six correct answers in a row, he earns a break called "Super Six".  This will earn him a quick little game to break up the intensity of the listening.

If your child gets several wrong in a row, the program will offer helpful hints for remembering information for an extended period of time.

The skills get increasingly more difficult as your child progresses through the rounds.

A progress chart helps you to see how your child is progressing in the levels.

How we used it:

I used this with all 3 of my daughters (3, 10, and 13 years old).  I set my 3 year old to stay on the beginning level.  I set my 10 year old to stay on a medium level.  Then I set my 13 year old to increase to the highest level.  It is nice that the software gives you this flexibility.  Otherwise, it could quickly become too difficult and frustrating for your child.

My 3 year old thought the game was a lot of fun.  She has asked to play it many times.  Her favorite categories are Details and Planning.  With Details, the announcer might say "Click on the boy wearing shorts with no backpack".  She then has to remember that description long enough to click on the correct person.   With Planning, she listens to two spies tell about their secret plan. Then she answers a random question like, "What was the name of the store where they were meeting."

She was able to answer most categories on her own.  She did need help remembering number sequences for breaking the lock.

My 10 year old didn't ask to play, but did seem to enjoy it while playing.  Her 3yo sister would usually come over and join her to help play.  She did well in all categories.  But occasionally she would get enough wrong that the program would offer her some helpful hints for remembering.  I think playing this game will be helpful for her.  She sometimes struggles with processing what she hears in order to recall it later.

My 13 year old only played it a few times.  She felt it was too repetitive.  She does have a point.  My 3yo didn't seem to tire of it.  And my 10yo could easily switch back and forth between different categories to help keep it more interesting.  But each category is basically the same thing over and over.  For example the Details category.  You might look for "the girl with a backpack wearing blue pants", then next time for "the boy wearing glasses and a blue shirt", etc. So you are finding a new person each time, but you are still selecting the correct person over and over.

So do I think it is helpful?  Yes.  I think this program would, over time, help a child learn to really focus on what she is hearing and process and retain it, to use the information at a later time.

Do I think it is fun?  It depends on the child.  My 3yo hasn't tired of it.  My 10yo will play it for about 15 minutes at a time without complaint.  But my 13yo finds it repetitive.  My favorite is the Details category, while I quickly tired of the Numbers category, entering the combo numbers over and over.  So maybe the younger your child is, the more likely they will enjoy the game.  And of course, the more they play it, the more difference it is going to make.

For a much better deal, use Coupon Code: BLGAM30, for 30% savings.  Expires 8/31/12.

Disclaimer: I received this product free of charge, as part of the TOS Homeschool Crew. The above is just my opinion. Please remember that opinions may, and do, vary.


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