TOS Review - Reading Kingdom

Saturday, August 17, 2013

I've made no secret here that our family loves to read.  In fact we've just converted a spare bedroom into a library to house our growing collection of books.  Although we love the feel of a page between our fingers, reading has not necessarily come easily to every child.  There have been ones who have struggled more than others & times when I've almost given up in despair.  You can imagine my excitement then when I was offered the chance to review Reading Kingdom for not just one, but for three of our children.  We quickly signed up Ellie (9), Eli & Jud (both 7) & they were on their way!

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Reading Kingdom is an online, interactive program that is designed to teach children aged 4-10 how to read and write to a third grade level.  It is designed for independent use by the child, although it commences by giving thorough instructions to the parents about it's projected use & how best to help their child obtain the best results. It regularly sends a report to the parent's email regarding their child's progress . Reading Kingdom uses Literacy Expert, Dr. Marian Blank's scientifically proven 6 Skill Integrated Method to teach both Reading & Writing.  This includes skills in Sequencing, Writing, Sounds, Meaning, Grammar & Comprehension. It doesn't focus fully on any one area, but uses a blend of these to assist the child in building their abilities.  English is a difficult language to learn properly as there are so many variations to sounds & numerous rules to learn.  The Skill Integration Method particularly helps children learn those more-difficult words that don't necessarily follow the rules.

6 Skills

Reading Kingdom is written so that the child can progress through the reading/writing lessons (levels 1 to 5) at their own pace.  It is recommended it be used as a supplement to other curriculum and ultimately builds proficiency in these essential skills.  An initial skills survey will place the child at their earliest area of difficulty & work from there. An individual learning  program is then customised to ensure they are not relearning work.  Reading Kingdom also has in-built tutoring for those areas the child may be having specific difficulties with which ensures a high success rate of learning.  Reading Kingdom uses a variety of methods to ensure the child fully learns the newest skill they are working on.

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Reading Kingdom also includes instruction on keyboard usage.  This is an essential part of every child's education in this era.  An introduction assessment will ascertain whether the child requires these lessons. Should the child not be thoroughly  familiar with the layout of a keyboard,  Reading Kingdom will ensure their learning program begins with some 'letter land' lessons.  Reading Kingdom gives the options of using either an on-screen keyboard or a physical one to suit the child's specific needs.

Each of our 3 participants used Reading Kingdom daily for this review.  They used it in addition to their normal learning programs.  All three children were able to easily complete 2 lessons each day.  They all began in letter land as they needed additional keyboard skills, however they very quickly passed this as they became familiar with the letter placements on the keyboard. My children were so independent in their usage of Reading Kingdom that I actually had to specifically sit down & watch them work so I could do this review.   All have only basic computer skills, yet still  found it easy to negotiate around the program independently & would often talk about different components & where they were up to.  I was able to have them login themselves & complete their lessons whilst I taught another student another subject. This greatly assisted me in our multi-level homeschooling.
I was pleasantly surprised how different the learning paths were for each of our twins.  Although both boys are (obviously) the same age, they are at different stages & have different learning needs.  Reading Kingdom catered individually to these differences and each boy's program was unique.    

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I listen daily to the twins as they read aloud from readers.  This is part of our normal school day.  I was pleasantly surprised at their sudden jump in reading ability after using Reading Kingdom for just two weeks.  This improvement has continued to progress at a much faster rate than it was previously.  Reading Kingdom has also helped their spelling improve.

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The only issues we had with Reading Kingdom was that my daughter (who is 9) thought the graphics & lessons were too young for someone of her age & reading ability.  Both of our twins (7) love their Reading Kingdom time and have grown & improved so much we will certainly continue with its use!!  Ultimately, Reading Kingdom is a great supplementary resource to any literacy program, but is not a stand-alone program in itself.  We have used it as such & have found it greatly assisted the children in their learning.
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Australian Students:
Reading Kingdom is an American program.  There is some variation in the sounds & spelling of different words as would be expected. I would recommend you use the 30 day free trial to see if this works for your individual student.   

For more information on Reading Kingdom please watch this:

Reading Kingdom provides a 30 day FREE trial.   
It costs $19.99/ month or $199.99/ year.  Additional readers are $9.99/month or $99.99/ year ( all currency in US$). 


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