Pyxwise Software Inc. is an independent developer of family friendly educational software targeted for mobile devices. It was co-founded by Lisa & Craig Welburn, two parents that started creating apps to help our own children learn how to read. Our award winning apps (the Simplex Spelling series and Spellyfish) focus on teaching critical literacy skills to children. The methods used in our apps are founded on proven research in the field of literacy.
Our son was struggling to read and after trying countless different approaches and curriculums without any success, we decided to research the best way to teach children to read. The scientific research indicated that a systematic phonics based approach gave better results and also revealed that good spellers are almost invariably also good readers, while good readers may or may not be good spellers. After much searching for a good systematic phonics based spelling approach to teach literacy skills, Lisa discovered that there were only a few options available on the market and that they all suffered from the same fundamental flaw. They try to take a phonics based reading approach (which teaches decoding skills) and apply it to spelling (which requires encoding skills).
Spelling is essentially the opposite skill to reading and is a more precise skill. It requires converting sounds into letters and letter combinations, while reading converts letters and letter combinations into different sounds. Based on the scientific research, we chose to teach phonics using a new "reverse phonics" approach. The reverse phonics approach that Lisa developed worked wonders for our son in helping him learn to both spell and read, but the worksheets that she created were time consuming to generate. Craig has a background in computer programming and he saw that the worksheets could be fully automated in software. He converted the "reverse phonics" method to a mobile app and added additional features that took advantage of the technology to improve upon the original approach. Thus Simplex Spelling was born.