Teaching your child to read is usually one of the most stressful tasks a homeschool mom has to face. I’m now teaching my fifth and of course, every single one of my children have learned to read completely different from each other. My youngest struggles and it’s hard to get him to really stay interested for any length of time. He does respond well sometimes to online programs. I had heard of Reading Kingdom before and had actually been looking at their program for awhile. Then I was given a chance to review Reading Kingdom Online and figured we would take the plunge.
I was given a year’s access for two students in exchange for this review.
About the Product
Reading Kingdom Online is a program that was designed by Dr. Marion Blank, a literacy expert. She worked with her son, who develops software, to incorporate her system into a fun interactive website that will teach children, ages four to ten, to read and write through to a third grade level. (There’s a separate program geared to autistic students so if that is of interest to you, be sure to click on the graphic at the bottom of this post to read the reviews of Crew members that used that program.)
The program covers the following (copied from their website):
1. Sequencing: Processing and retaining the visual materials in reading
2. Motor Skills: Writing by using a keyboard and mouse (and by hand)
3. Sounds: Learning the sounds of language (phonics)
4. Meaning: Learning how words are used in our language (vocabulary)
5. Grammar: Learning sentence structure
6. Comprehension: Understanding the meaning of written language
As you can see, this program goes far beyond basic sounding out words!
When you first start the program, there’s a placement test. This is important since the program will help those at the earliest level to struggling readers. For beginners, there’s even a course you can do first to teach the child how to use a keyboard and mouse. The program is divided into Reading Writing Part 1 and Part 2. Part 1 covers Seeing Sequences and Letter Land. Part 2 contains five levels and a total of thirty books.
The program automatically starts where the student needs to be and keeps track of everything. When you log onto the Dashboard, you can very quickly see what has been completed and how well they are performing!
The website contains the motherload of information! There’s a link for additional resources and teacher tips. When I first gained access to the program, I received an email with a link to a book that I could download, “The Reading Remedy”, by Dr. Blank.
This video gives an overview of the program.
This is an online program, so it does require internet access.
How We Used It
I had Jeremiah and Jared to both use this program. Jared has had some reading struggles and has terrible spelling. I thought this program would help him. So far, he has aced everything he has worked on and it is really too easy. I think I just need to adjust his level. Then again, I am very aware that he is way past the recommended age.
I have seen a HUGE difference in Jeremiah’s performance!! He loves the program and never complains about doing it. In fact, he will often do more than I ask of him. He works on the program at least four days a week. He will now go around and read things that he used to ask me to help with because it was just easier and faster. Now, because I know he can since he’s mastered it on the program, I make him take the time to sound out things. He loves showing off how much he has learned and that makes me thrilled!!
We will definitely continue to use this program for the remaining time period and I plan on having Jeremiah finish with it even it that extends past the year. To find a program that not only works so well, but that he enjoys and frees up a little of my time is GREAT in my book!! As a parent, I love that I can easily download a student report that shows their progress.
Be sure to check out the site, they offer a 30 day free trial and you can’t beat that!!
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