Bookbot is Born – Reading out loud without fear

I’m not sure that I believe that everything happens for a reason, although that thought can be comforting when bad things happen in your life. But I do believe that sometimes the stars align and something amazing happens. Let me explain by way of an example.

I have two children: Ella and Archie. Ella is a bright young thing who loves to read and learnt to do so at a young age. She learnt almost through osmosis: we read to her and she gradually – and painlessly – learnt to read herself. There’s nothing she likes more than curling up in her bed with a good book.

Then there’s Archie, an equally bright young thing who doesn’t love to read and is still struggling to learn how to. He adores books: history books, books about dragons, anything about Star Wars… He accesses these books any way he can, mostly through audiobooks and us reading them to him. He just can’t read them himself, and when he tries he’s left feeling frustrated, sad and exhausted.

Over time we began to wonder why Archie was struggling so much. And so began my dyslexia journey. How we reached a diagnosis of dyslexia is another story, but armed with that diagnosis I made it my mission to do the very best I could by Archie. I read about dyslexia, I talked to whoever would listen to me about dyslexia and I decided to become an MSL tutor.

It was at that point that a great friend of mine told me about an app that a friend of his was developing. “It’s going to be a game changer,” he enthused, “You should meet the developer and chat to him. I think you’ll like what he’s doing.”

And so I met Adrian, a man whom I describe as a genius with a heart of gold. He also has a son with dyslexia, Forester, and Adrian also wanted to do whatever he could to help his son.

That was when the stars aligned.

Why? Because Adrian and I share a vision to make a real difference in the world of children who struggle to read. Archie and Forester are not alone: there are far too many children in the world who cannot pick up a book and enjoy getting lost within it.

So Bookbot was born. Bookbot reading app helps children achieve independence in their reading by building their confidence. It behaves like a virtual reading assistant by listening to your child read out loud, helping them as they go along.

With Bookbot reading app, Archie can choose a book that is suitable for his current level of reading and take himself off to read it. He doesn’t need me to sit with him and read it to him. For Archie, this allows him to enjoy reading independently and he gets a real kick out of it. (I believe there’s always a time and a place for reading with your child, by the way, no matter their age or ability).

Bookbot reading app uses its own library of books, books that our small but passionate team have written and produced. These books are written using a phonics approach. They are decodable, which means that children get to experience success by learning a ‘code’ that unlocks the skill of reading.

We love our books and we want to share them with as many children as possible. You’ll find some of our books here on this site. We really hope you and your children enjoy them.

Happy reading.

Editor Note: We went through an almost identical journey with a little one who displays classic dyslexia symptoms, lots of research, and a realisation that the symptoms, namely inability to read easily, by otherwise highly intelligent kids, often with letter reversal, memorisation compensation, and different pattern skills, is a difference not a disability! Just like some people are tone deaf, or can’t draw, I struggle to swim well despite coming from NZ etc, I see it purely as a difference not a disability.  With typical classic dyslexia my little one shows exceptional pattern recognition in pictures, just like her father who I believe is an undiagnosed dyslexic but an excellent procedural air traffic controller – which requires a good mental ability with patterns. With audio and speech recognition, (which bookbot uses) the difference is easily adapted for a reading based society. My journey led to creating what I felt from use was some great reading material for the site, and far more knowledge about the learning process, as did Debs :-). What impresses me about Bookbot is that struggling readers, especially dyslexics – since they are often very capable at most other things – are often very self-conscious about their efforts and failures, so reading with a bot-buddy can really help them build confidence. 


See books from Bookbot Reading App here in FKB below



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Comments 2

  • I’ve had a similar experience with my children, except it was the eldest that struggled and is still struggling. The youngest reads in leaps and bounds, blowing my expectations for how long it is expected for a child to learn to read.

    Either way it’s still important to have a good library for your children to find the right books.


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