I LOVE to read. I think it is the most important thing to learn. Hopefully there is a healthy love for reading there too! After all, if we know how to read, there is nothing we cannot learn and do. But I have a 10 year old son who is a very reluctant reader. He always wants to know if “there’s a movie for that?” I also have a six year old son who is excited and eager to learn to read. So when we were given the chance to review Reading Kingdom Online with their program, Reading Kingdom, we were so excited. We received a yearly subscription for both boys. Yippee!!
Reading Kingdom is unlike any other reading program I have come across. It doesn’t rely on just one method of learning, so its not just phonics and its not just whole words either. This program does not start out by teaching sounds the letters make, and it doesn’t teach kids the memorization of words by sight. Reading Kingdom is a reading and writing system developed by Dr. Marion Blank, a world renowned expert on literacy, also the Director of Light on Learning Institute at Columbia University. It uses a 6 skill model of reading instruction that incorporates elements of phonics and whole language while teaching additional skills required for reading and writing success without requiring kids to learn any of those complicated rules.
Every child is different right? I know every one of my four is so very unique, it keeps me on my toes when it comes to their learning! With this program our children learn using sequencing, phonics sounds, spelling, vocabulary, grammar and reading comprehension to decode words. Once a word is learned on Reading Kingdom, it is mastered. They are able to read it, spell it, use it in a proper sentence, sound it out, and of course they know what it means too. And I love that this program customizes itself to my children as they work, based upon their specific reading needs from past lessons.
My six year old son began with the Skills Survey. This is where the program assesses his skills in reading and writing. Based on his progress, he begins in a place that is just right for him. In this way he is always learning; challenged but not not frustrated and definitely not bored either. He started with the pre-reading program. There are two parts to this:
- Seeing Sequences–Select letters from a list creating words in sequence by reading them (left to right) as your child learns to read. This is where my younger son began and he just loved it! The fun, (and funny) characters ~ a very game-like atmosphere.
- Letter Land–A fun way to learn the keyboard as they pop bubbles and shoot spaceships. Both of my boys used this program to enhance and strengthen their typing skills. My youngest son especially loves this part!
Once he completed Letter Land, he was ready for the reading assessment to determine what level he needed to begin with. There are five levels of readers and each level contains six books for your child to use as they learn. There is an assessment for them to complete at the end of each level before the program moves them to the next level. Nice, right?
My youngest son began at the very beginning; level one and reader one. I love how he loves this program! There is such a simplicity to it all; each lesson done in such a way that the child cannot help but succeed in the end. For example, when learning the word “girl” you see the letters and hear the word. You are then asked to spell it and then identify it from a number of other words. My son loves the little spaceships and helicopters that show him a bunch of letters; the goal is to find he group of letters that makes the word being learned. Through these kinds of exercises they are learning not just letters but also word formation. Its great problem solving too; some of these get rather tricky. These methods are great! I believe myself this is such a big piece of the foundation our children need to become successful readers. And readers who love to read!
My oldest son (he does not like to read or write) started with level 4 of the program. I also had him complete Letter Land since he is not very familiar with the keyboard and being able to know where everything is, really makes a difference. 🙂 These lessons are short and simple (great for my reluctant 10 year old son!). Since this incorporates reading and writing this is the only material he is using right now. The stories are simple (I wish they were a bit meatier for him) but at the same time, it encourages him in his reading. He doesn’t fight reading and writing so much with Reading Kingdom, right now. Hopefully this can grow into a desire to read more as he gets older. This was a great fit for him though since the lessons were so interactive and short enough for him to stay focused. I believe he is becoming more confident in his abilities too with this program.
Reading Kingdom Online offers a subscription program you can try for FREE for 30 days. After the 30 days the cost of the program is $19.99/month for one student or $199.99 per year. Additional students can be added for $9.99/month. You can find some Sample Lessons and free resources and even start a 30 day free trial at Reading Kingdom! It can’t hurt to give them a try.
This program is a great addition to any reading curriculum for younger students or those who are struggling in their reading skills. Both of my children really enjoy working with this program! And I love that my boys are both becoming more confident and eager when it comes to reading and writing. This one is a winner for sure!