Reading Kingdom Review
I am home educating my six year old son who is in first grade and two preschoolers who are five and four years old. Setting the foundation for strong reading skills is a top priority in my classroom. In addition to our reading curriculum, I also utilize supplemental resources to ensure a comprehensive reading program.
We are using Reading Kingdom which is an online program that is designed for children ages 4-10. It was created by Dr. Marion Blank, who has drawn upon her 40 years of experience as a leading expert in literacy to develop an excellent reading program that helps children learn to read and write up to a third grade level.
In my opinion, what makes Reading Kingdom an exceptional program for use with my children is that it expands on the traditional phonics method to teach words that cannot be sounded out phonemically (the majority of words in the English language). In fact, my six year old son has wisely questioned me in the past asking, “Why can’t I sound out so many of the words in my book…that doesn’t make sense?” With Reading Kingdom…..learning to read finally “makes sense” to him.
All three of my children are using Reading Kingdom and since it is a customized program it is adaptable to their particular needs. When starting the program, the child will take a Skills Assessment which identifies their abilities in pre-reading, reading and writing. Once the skills are assessed, it will start the child at the appropriate level. While the program is challenging, I appreciate that the material is not overly frustrating but instead promotes their strengths and helps them to overcome any weaknesses that are exhibited during completion of the lessons. This virtual tutoring technique promotes their self esteem and encourages them to actually want to complete their daily lessons.
When the child has completed each of the five levels of reading/writing there is a Progress Check which tracks and assesses whether the level has been mastered enough to move forward. If the child needs extra help in a particular skills area then the program is able to automatically adjust and provide additional tutoring and activities in that level.
While my children use this program independently, I do occasionally sit in as a passive observer. As a mom and an educator, I feel a great sense of pride observing my children actively engaged in this program as I watch their confidence soar when they “master” a skill. I also value the parental updates from Reading Kingdom which sends information directly to my email informing me when my child needs extra help or attention with the program. For example, I received an email recently that stated, “It may be helpful for you to sit with Adam during the next few lessons to determine what may be happening.” I quickly assessed that he was not focusing when his brother and sister were in the room and subsequent lessons are now done alone so that he can fully concentrate on the program.
Reading Kingdom is a good program for beginning readers and pre-readers too. I found the section, “Is this program right for your child?” to be particularly helping in assessing that both my four and five year old children were ready to begin using the program. In a short period of time, I have noticed significant improvements in their pre-reading abilities including identifying letters and sight words. All three of my children report that they “love Reading Kingdom because it is a lot of fun”. In fact, with adorable animal characters and engaging activities, they often don’t even realize that Reading Kingdom is a learning program. They consider it to be a fun game that they are “playing”. It effectively holds their attention and they ask me to complete at least one lesson per day.
Reading Kingdom is proud to be used by celebrities like Cindy Crawford with her own children. I highly recommend the Reading Kingdom online program for pre-readers, beginning readers and any child who may be struggling to read.
You are invited to visit the Reading Kingdom website to take a virtual tour of the program or to sign up for the online program. To see if this program is right for your child, you can even sign up for a free 30 day trial!
Disclosure: I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a sample of the product for review purposes. The opinions are my own, based on my personal experience with the product.