I am blessed with three boys who enjoy reading. However, I was looking for something to give the younger two a boost in their reading skills. Luckily, I was asked to review Reading Kingdom Online for Reading Kingdom. I was excited to get started!
What is Reading Kingdom?
Reading Kingdom is a unique approach in teaching kids to read, or, in our case, filling in any gaps in their reading skills. Reading is taught in a variety of ways with phonics based being the most popular. Phonics based is a method that many classical education parents and teachers love to use. Children are taught to blend letters together (e.g. a+t=at). Phonics based can be an excellent tool; however, there are so many exceptions to the rules and new methods are taught and learned. Another popular method is a whole language approach. This process can be very slow and hard for kids to grasp on their own.
Reading Kingdom is not based on either of these popular methods. It uses a six skill method to teach words to children. Children will use sequencing, phonic sounds, writing, grammar, word meanings, and reading comprehension to learn to decode words. It is designed to help children ages 4-10 with their reading skills.
So what are my thoughts about the program?
This program and method is unique and can benefit MANY out there who have kids who just don’t fit in one box for an approach or method. This program is completely computer based which can be a good thing if you travel a lot or would like to have something for your child that will free you up as a teacher. Reading Kingdom does ask that you do not help your child. On one hand, it can be frustrating as a parent. On the other hand, it can be very beneficial for the child.
How did we use it?
Well, we got off to a bumpy start getting connected. Once we were connected, I began implementing this into our studies. First, a placement test is given and, as I stated earlier, Reading Kingdom asks that parents do not help. Although I did not help, I continued to supervise while they took the placement test. Nemo (my youngest) was the first to try this. To say that he became very frustrated with the program is an understatement. He can read very well. In fact, he is well above average for his age, but using the computer was not easy for him. Turtle Boy (my middle) was the same way. Once they had finished, I probably spent more time poking around the program than they did combined. After much frustration, I just do not think they are ready for a program like this. For another kid who may use a computer more often, this would be great! I hope they bring out a version that is easy to use with an iPad because, well, my kids are iPad experts!
I think this is a good program, just not a good fit for our family. I encourage you to look into it and give it a try your family.
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