Reading Kingdom (Review)

Friday, October 9, 2015

Teaching my children to read is one of the most important things I can do for them.  The ability to read and comprehend a text is indeed a gift.  There are many methods of teaching a child to read & it is one area that intrigues me.  A couple of years ago we reviewed an online reading program called Reading Kingdom.  We were once again given the opportunity to review Reading Kingdom Online by Reading Kingdom this year.  While my twins are near the higher age limit for this program, I felt that review work would be beneficial, particularly for one of them, so I signed up!
Reading Kingdom Review

Reading Kingdom is an online program that teachers reading & writing to 4 to 10 year old children. It uses a 6 Skill Integrated Method which was developed over the last 40 years by Literacy Expert, Dr. Marian Blank.  The skills include Motor Skills, Sounds, Meaning, Grammar, Comprehension & Sequencing. While a traditional phonics program teaches the child to read through sounds, integrating the other components allows the student to more easily decode the tricky English language, where many of the words do not obey the rules.  Using a blend of these skills allows the student to become proficient in both reading & writing. Reading Kingdom can be used as an independent reading program, or as a supplement to other reading programs.  

Reading Kingdom Review
When a child is initially signed up to Reading Kingdom Online, they will complete a skill survey.  This allows the program to place the child at a particular level that is suitable for them.    The program then customises for each child to ensure they get exactly the learning they need to allow them to progress in this new skill.  The child will then move at their own pace through the reading/writing levels (1-5). The daily lessons are quite short to keep the child interested.  They include cute graphics & lots of positive reinforcement to encourage the student to try their very best. The student is very quickly able to complete their Reading Kingdom Online lessons entirely independently.  

Reading Kingdom Online also includes a keyboard component.  To properly use this program, the students must have the ability to navigate around a computer keyboard.  While they can choose between a physical keyboard, or an on-screen keyboard, they still need to be able to quickly recognise where the correct letters are. If the skill survey finds that a child needs to learn this, letter land is the component of this program that will provide this training.  Parents can also request training for their children if they feel the child will benefit from some additional focus in this area.

We received a 12 months subscription for two students to Reading Kingdom Online. Both Eli & Jud have been using it over the past few weeks. We found the program easy to navigate & the contact person was very helpful when I needed some assistance. While one of my twins is a proficient reader & reads Narnia novels & the like, the other does struggle in this area (at least compared to his brother).  Since using Reading Kingdom,  I have been pleasantly surprised at the progress in reading of that particular boy. He seems to have had an overall jump in his ability in the past month! 

After the twins completed their skills surveys,  I was surprised to see both boys were placed at approximately the same point in the program.  I know that in both reading & writing they are at very different levels.  Mr. Proficient was placed far lower in the program than I expected.  He has consequently found it very boring as he is well below his reading & writing level.  All I can put the placement down to is that he is hindered by his keyboarding skills.  While he can work his way around the keyboard, he is rather slow and unfortunately for him, this inability limited his progress through the program.   The other twin had the same issues with the keyboard, but I feel that the review work at the lower level will only benefit him in the long run. 

Overall though, I am so happy to have had the chance to reuse Reading Kingdom.  It's unique way of teaching reading & writing gives an additional component to the boys learning programs that will ultimately help them become stronger in this important area of their education.

Reading Kingdom can be found at:

Reading Kingdom Review
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