Our Family

Our Family

Monday, September 3, 2012

Schoolhouse Review Crew: Reading Kingdom

My first year on the Crew, I had an opportunity to review an online reading program, Reading Kingdom, that opened the world of reading to my son Alex like nothing else that we tried and gave him the tools and confidence that he needed to begin reading.  You can read the review I wrote here.  During that review time, Anthony was just not quite ready to use the program (more on that in a minute.)  Now that he is older, and after the success we achieved with Alex, I was happy to have an opportunity to review Reading Kingdom again.

Reading Kingdom is a fun online reading program that teaches children ages 4-10 how to read and write to a 3rd grade level.  The program was created by Dr. Marion Blank Director of the Light on Learning Program at Columbia University and one of the world's top experts in reading.  Reading Kingdom is so much fun that children want to play it and usually after a few sessions are able to do so completely independently.  The program offers customized reading instruction for your child and is the only online program that teaches all 6 skills necessary for reading and writing success: sequencing, motor skills, sounds, meaning, grammar, and comprehension.  Children can see their progress by earning points for their passports and watching a bar graph showing how much of the level and program they have completed.  Parents can log in and see their child's progress or can receive weekly email reports.

You can read more about their approach to teaching reading by clicking here.

What makes Reading Kingdom different from other reading programs?  Find out more by reading this article here.

The program starts off with an optional keyboard and mouse training for young children who are not familiar with the keyboard.  Next the child completes a skills survey to determine which of the 6 levels of the program they need to begin.  The pre reading level has two components.  The Seeing Sequence portion teaches visual scanning and memory while Letter Land teaches to find and click letters smoothly.  After completing that level a second skills survey is taken.  The reading and writing portion has 5 levels with 6 books at each level.  The first level starts with short simple words and moves on to increasingly complex language.  Before reading a book the child is taught all the words he needs using 4 different game like formats.  Before teaching the word, the child is asked to type it and if they already know it that word is skipped and the program moves on to the next word.    A session generally takes about 15-20 minutes to complete.

Reader Report

Reading Kingdom offers a free 30 trial.  After your trial, subscriptions to Reading Kingdom are $19.99/month (with no monthly minimum), or $199.99 per year (20% off). Additional children in your account get 50% off ($9.99/month or $99.99/year). You can cancel your subscriptions at any time

Sign up for your free trial here

We LOVE Reading Kingdom!!  As I said in my introduction paragraph, Reading Kingdom was very helpful in teaching Alex to read the last time we reviewed the program.  We already knew and loved that the program teaches reading and writing in a fun and interesting way and I loved their approach to doing so.  But, since our last review, there have been several improvements made to the program that have made it even better!  The biggest frustration I had with Anthony the first time we reviewed the program (he was 5 at the time) was that he got frustrated that he didn't have enough time to put in his whole answer.  One of the changes to the program is that the parent can go in and adjust the amount of time the child has to answer.  The student now earn points for their correct answers and as they earn them it opens up new levels on their passport.  This has been very motivating to Anthony and he often completes more than one lesson to see his points grow!  We love the improvements on the reader report that shows exactly where your child is both in their level and in the complete program.  It makes it so much easier for me to see how he is doing without having to sit and watch him.  Parents can move the child forward or back a level if they choose to with a quick note to customer service who respond quickly and courteously.  

Anthony enjoys playing Reading Kingdom so much that he even requests to play it on the week-ends.  But the most important part of that is not just that he is having fun, but learning the skills he needs to read and write successfully.  That knowledge goes beyond being able to recognize the words in the game.  He is remembering and reading those words he has learned when he sees them other places.  We look forward to continuing with  Reading Kingdom program.

To see what other crew mates have to say click here.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary subscription to Reading Kingdom for the purpose of writing a fair and honest review.  I received no other compensation.


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