Review of Reading Kingdom Online Program10:39 AM
Reading Kingdom is not a new program for my family. In fact, 3 years ago, we used it with my now 12-year-old. He was a struggling reader barely sounding out words, and -- within 6 months -- he was reading proficiently at grade level. We were given the opportunity to review Reading Kingdom again just this year, with my struggling 10-year-old. I was so glad we did! Found at www.ReadingKingdom.com, it's been such a useful tool in getting my learners at grade level in a frustration-free manner.
First of all, I firmly believe that boys can sometimes develop the reading part of their brain at a slightly later time than girls. This isn't always the case (I have a self-taught 8-year-old who is reading at grade 6 levels), but most of my boys (and even my girl) were really not "ready" to begin reading fully until almost 9 years old. Before this time, they are "decoding", letter by letter, and not really understanding all that they are reading.
The Reading Kingdom approach embraces the fact that your child may not be reading well using the "sound it out" method (which I do still support), and gives kids a variety of tools to help them learn to read through sight words and other related words. This way, your child goes through the program learning to sound things out, but also with dozens of new words each week that they know. And since only 1 in 5 words can be sounded out, this is big!
Kids are given lots of opportunities to experience these words. They are asked to find them in a group of random letters. They are asked to type them on the keyboard. They are read aloud and reinforced over and over. As children progress, you -- the parent -- can see how far they've come. It's quite encouraging to see your struggling reader actually learning things!
How did we use this program? My son used it 4 times a week, usually sitting to do two lessons at a time. These are short lessons, taking no more than 10 minutes each in most instances. With the exception of the diagnostic test at the beginning of the program (which is necessary to know where to "place" your child), it's a very quick session each time. My son enjoys his time at the computer, and the graphics and sound is of good quality.
Note that this program can be used on most any device, including PC's, Macs, iPad, Android devices, and Chromebooks. We only used it on our touchscreen computer, however, with a keyboard attached. Also, many phonics proponents may argue that the program doesn't focus enough on "sounding out", but I found that there was just enough of this. Considering that reading requires "sounding out" sequencing, writing, sounds, meaning, and grammar, I feel that this still continues to be one of the most comprehensive online programs on the market.
If you've been discouraged with the progress your child is making towards reading, you want to give your child an "edge" over other students, or you're simply looking for a comprehensive reading curriculum that students can complete on their own (Reading Kingdom doesn't require parental help beyond setting up the account -- and parental interference is discouraged), this may be the program you've been looking for.
As a mom who now has a house full of readers, and is seeing my struggling learner making BIG strides towards his reading (the most in any 2- month period), I'm very encouraged and would guess that this program could also help anyone in your home with the need to get caught up to a third grade reading level.
Update: My son just read through his first book! This is a huge accomplishment for us. He picked out a 2nd grade reading book, and he wasn't even able to make it through a sentence before this program. While I really believe that kids have to be "ready" to learn to read, and no program can force their development too much, Reading Kingdom will always be our first choice for confronting learning challenges head on. It has proven too effective to ignore.
You can access a free trial of the program to try before you buy. Let us know if it's helped you!
And here's a rather lengthy video that explains more about the program. I recommend you give it a view if you want to see the mission behind it!