Reading Kingdom is an interactive online reading program for ages 4-10. The program is designed to adapt to your child's needs. As the child moves through the program Reading Kingdom will customize to the child.
Reading Kingdom uses a 6 skills model of reading instruction that incorporates phonics and whole language. The 6 skills are: sequencing, motor skills, sounds, meaning, grammar and comprehension.
I selected Lance my just turned 8 year old son to use Reading Kingdom. This past year he has learned to read short vowel words and consonant combinations such as /ck/, /sh/, and /ch/.
The program was painless to set up. Before taking the assessment you can choose for the child to use the keyboard or use the mouse to click on the letters shown on the screen. We chose to have Lance use the mouse.
Lance was excited to get started. The program starts with a Seeing Sequences and Letter Land assessment. This actually took Lance about two weeks to complete.
Reading Kingdom stresses the importance of the Seeing Sequences portion of the assessment. The child sees a word or a group of letters for instance 'girl', under that word are letters 'sgabicrl' the child needs to click on each letter in the order of the word above it. As the child progresses it gets a bit more difficult.
Letter Land gives the child practice with the keyboard. They gain confidence as they learn and recognize the layout of the keyboard and become more efficient.
Lance was eager to complete the assessment so he could move on to the reading lessons. At the end of each 15 minute lesson, he was happy to see his progress. Below you can see that he has completed 75% of Seeing Sequences, 70% of Letter Land and 13% of the program.
On the right side there are check marks, a bunny, child on a ladder and sun. Those let you know how your child did on the lesson he completed.
As you can see, Lance did Very Good with sequencing and Excellent with Letter Land.
Once Lance finished the assessment his first lesson started with the word 'girl'. He was asked to write 'girl'. He misspelled it. Because he missed the word he was shown the word on the screen. It disappeared and he was to click on the word girl. Once he was able to identify the word he moved to partial words and was asked which one could make the word girl, he had to choose. He actually did very well on this part.
I didn't understand why some of his first words were: girl, some, kid, and boys. I do understand that they want the child to learn these words so when they read the online book they will know the words and will feel successful but it didn't seem right to start with vowel combinations that Lance was not familiar with.
Here are the words that were in Book 1: kid, girl, kids, girls, some, a, boys, and more.
Some Kids, is the title of Book 1.
How did we use Reading Kingdom? It's not required but I sat with Lance for most lessons. Mainly to get a feel for the program. Once the assessment was over and I saw that the program started with words that Lance hadn't learned yet, I would coach him. When he was asked to write 'kid' I'd say the word and stress the sounds.
What did he think of the program? He didn't care for it and thought it was boring but thankfully he completed each lesson without complaining. He also mentioned that it became more difficult for him or in his own words, "It got more hard", he said this after the assessment was done.
What did I think? I still haven't wrapped my finger around the philosophy of the program. I would have liked it to start with short vowels and move from there. I prefer a good mix of phonics and some sight words. When the program started with words like girl and some, it seemed more of memorizing than learning the 'ir' sound or about the silent final 'e'.
I would like Lance to continue using Reading Kingdom maybe the more we use it the more I'll understand why the program jumps right in with words.
You can sign up for a free 30 day trial. If you decide you would like to continue with Reading Kingdom the cost for a monthly account is $19.99 or if you prefer yearly $199.99. You can add more students for $9.99 a month per child and $99.99 a year (per child). Reading Kingdom also offers a Scholarship Program. You can find Reading Kingdom on Facebook and Twitter.
If you would like to read more Reading Kingdom reviews, please visit the Schoolhouse Review Crew website.