Reading Kingdom Review
As a homeschooling mom of three young children, I am dedicated to providing them with the highest quality education possible. In my opinion, strong reading skills are a critical foundation to the learning process. In addition to our daily curriculum, I find it helpful to utilize supplemental resources to ensure a comprehensive reading program.
Reading Kingdom is an excellent online program designed for children ages 4-10 and “teaches them to read and write to a third grade level.” Created by Dr. Marion Blank, Reading Kingdom utilizes her 40 years of experience as one of the world’s leading experts in literacy to develop an exceptional reading program.
I was initially drawn to Reading Kingdom when my five year old son started to question his phonics programs stating, “Why can’t I sound out so many of the words in this book….that doesn’t make sense to me?” I realized that he was correct and that there had to be additional methods to expand on traditional phonics. That is when I discovered Reading Kingdom where I learned that:
The dominant method of reading instruction – phonics, or sounding out – does not work!
The simple fact is that the vast majority of words in English cannot be sounded out. This is true even in a classic phonics book such as Dr. Seuss’ “The Cat in the Hat” which begins like this:
The sun did not shine. It was too wet to play.
So we sat in the house all that cold, cold wet day.
In this text only 8 of 23 words (the bolded words) can be sounded out. The other 15 (or 65% of the total) cannot. Put simply, if phonics worked, the word would be spelled “foniks.” To get around this problem, phonics has almost 600 rules that are impossible to memorize and riddled with exceptions.
Reading Kingdom has been very effective with my son because it is a customized program that is able to adapt to his particular needs based on previous interactions. Adam started by taking a Skills Assessment which identified his abilities in pre-reading, reading and writing. Once his skills were assessed it started him at the appropriate level so that he was challenged but not overly frustrated with material that was either too limited or advanced. Reading Kingdom is designed to promote his strengths while helping him overcome any weaknesses. I appreciate that this tutoring technique really boosts his confidence and makes him eager to continue his daily lessons. At the end of each of the five levels of reading/writing there is a Progress Check which assesses whether the child has mastered that level. If so, Adam moves forward but if he needs extra help in a particular area the program automatically provides additional activities until he has mastered that level. I have observed Adam thoroughly engaged in the program and he is motivated to master each level which gives him a great sense of pride in his abilities. He particularly likes “earning” books as a reward for completing a lesson. There have also been times that Adam has difficulty concentrating on that particular day’s lesson and I recently received an email from Reading Kingdom informing me that it might be helpful for me to sit with Adam during the next few lessons to determine what may be happening. I followed this advice and quickly realized that he was being distracted by his younger brother empowering me to make changes to ensure that his lesson is uninterrupted on a daily basis. After using this program for several weeks, I have noticed that Adam’s confidence is much improved when reading independently and in fact, he recently read his first level 2 book by himself….we were both overjoyed and filled with pride!
Reading Kingdom is also a good program for pre-readers too. My daughter is four years old and after I read the section titled, “Is this program right for your child?” I determined that she was ready to begin with this system. She loves it, particularly the cute animals and fun sounds. The lessons are the perfect length so that it holds her attention and she asks to do at least one lesson every single day.
I highly recommend the Reading Kingdom online program for any child who is learning to read or may be struggling to grasp critical learning skills. I find this program to be particularly effective because of it is not only educational but fun too so my children really want to do their lessons. Even celebrities like Cindy Crawford use Reading Kingdom with their own children.
Reading Kingdom has a fantastic 30 day free trial that doesn’t require a credit card to sign up. What an excellent way to try this program risk free! You are invited to visit the Reading Kingdom website to learn more about this fantastic online program, sign up for a 30 day free trial or visit the Reading Kingdom store.
*I did not receive any financial compensation for this review, though I did review a sample of the product for evaluation purposes. The opinions are based only on my experiences with the product.*