Review: Reading Kingdom Online from Reading Kingdom

logo_zpslqivlqrr Reading Kingdom Online 
from Reading Kingdom is an online program for 4 to 10 year old children that can teach them to read up to a 3rd grade level. Many programs rely on phonics alone as the only method for teaching children to read. Unfortunately phonics does have some draw backs.  There are many words in our English language that don’t follow the typical phonics rules.  This makes learning to read English pretty frustrating. Reading Kingdom takes a different approach and uses six methods to teach reading: Sequencing, Writing, Sounds, Meaning, Grammar, and comprehension.  The program is designed to change and adapt to any child moving along at the individual learner’s pace.  

How We Used Reading Kingdom

Joyanna is just 5 years old right now and excited about learning to read.  She and I worked on this program together. When your child first logs on they are given a placement test so that the program can understand exactly where to begin. Joyanna is adept with all of her letter sounds (even the letters with multiple sounds). She’s able to read 3 letter words and words with some blends.  She can read short sentences with understanding.  The placement test involved having the child look at a word and then click choose from a row of letters just those letters found in the word that was seen.  Joyanna had no issue with that at all.  The next piece of the placement test had her using keyboarding skills.  A litter would fall from the top of the screen and she had to find that letter on the keyboard which would lead a little machine on the screen to zap the letter.  Joyanna has never really used a keyboard much.  She REALLY struggled with this task.  She missed MOST letters.  After this task she was placed in the pre-reading level.

logo-book_zpspyipjsoaThe pre-reading level contains two sections.

  • Seeing Sequences – In this section children have to do the same task I mentioned above in the placement test.  They have to select from a row of letters the correct letters, in sequence, from a word they are shown. Joyanna had zero issues with this.  After a few days it became tedious for her as there was no challenge.
  • Letter Land – This section is also just like the section I mentioned before where children learn keyboarding skills.  They strike a key as the letters fall from the top of the page zapping the letter or popping a bubble containing the letter.  Joyanna had more of a challenge with this section.  It was a skill she didn’t have.  Unfortunately it wasn’t a skill that particularly thrilled her to learn.  After playing the tedious Seeing Sequences section she really had no interest in this section.  But I urged her to push on.  She was successful at it thankfully as I just kept urging her to press on.  She just kept asking me when she’d get to read!

It was not easy getting Joyanna to persevere however we did finally master Letter Land at which point she was offered a reading assessment so that she could placed in the correct reading level.  Reading Kingdom has five levels of readers each containing six books.  The children will learn to read the book, write and spell the words in the book, all before the graduate to the next reading level.  There is an assessment after each level that ensures the child is ready to move ahead.

Joyanna ended up in the very first level.  It was rather easy for her. I think her low placement had more to do with how she was feeling about the program at the time than what she could actually do. I could have changed her level myself but I always think review is a good thing.  However, she actually moved ahead quite quickly.  Every time a new word is presented she was asked to write the word.  If she could do so successfully she was able to skip the lesson.  If not she would have to do the entire lesson.  Here she finally found some success doing what she likes to do and she started to truly enjoy the program.

My Overall Opinion

Over all I think it is a great reading program.  It is certainly nice that it doesn’t really require much from a parent.  I always stayed nearby but if I needed to dash off to turn over laundry or change a baby’s diaper she could keep going on her own.

Children can learn to read really well and enjoy the process.  The trouble I had with my daughter and this program has more to do with her particular style.  Unlike her older brothers computer games are not all that exciting to her.  She prefers a crayon and paper.  If she can cut and glue she is in heaven.  Once we finally got rolling she was pretty set and learning well.

At first the whole thing moved pretty slowly. However, once a child learns a word they really really know that word and everything about it.  This is a great for building confident reading skills.  I’d like to see Joyanna continue with it and I hope I convince her to do so.

Reading Kingdom Review

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