Supporting my children at home to learn is an important part of my life. Since both of my kids were about 6 months old, I began reading them books, playing games and talking continuously to my children. Kids learn to understand and express language early in life, and we as parents have to engage in conversations and reading, starting at home. If we teach children that books are enjoyable, reading is fun then kids will eventually pick up on that. We are our children’s teachers. It all starts at home, which is why I read books to my kids daily.
Zoe started kindergarten in September and has done extremely well. Her teacher said her reading is progressing and she can tell I work with her. They get sent home 20 words per sheet to practice. Zoe is currently on list 8 of knowing sight words. When Reading Kingdom reached out to review their online reading program for kids I was more than excited as Zoe is all about learning to read.
Reading Kingdom is online reading and writing computer program developed by Dr. Marion Blank, that uses 6 skill models of reading instruction incorporating elements of phonics and whole language. Reading Kingdom is the only system that teaches the 6 skills of sequencing, motor skills, sounds, meaning, grammar and comprehension that will teach children 4-10 years of age how to read and write at a third grade level. As you can imagine I was intrigued.
We have been using Reading Kingdom for about 2 months now. The online reading program encourages children to use the system at least 4 times a week, with holidays and many Dr. appointments Zoe has been playing about 3 times per week, 15 minutes per day. Once signed up, the program evaluated Zoe to see which level she would begin at, so this was great news so she wouldn’t be disinterested of words or things she already knew. This was important to me, that the program customized based on her readiness. The intro assessment included seeing sequences and letter land. For seeing sequences she was not required to perform level one. For level 2 and 3 she had a very good performance. Letter Land skipped her to level 3.
During these sessions Zoe used the on-screen keyboard (you may also use a physical keyboard) to find the word shown. Reading Kingdom will show a word such as baby. Under that will be letters that are mixed in with other letters where the child will need to recognize and choose the letters for baby. Here is an example.
Going from left to right, Zoe clicked on each letter to spell “baby”. Once Zoe chose the correct letters, the program moves on with another word or the same word. She then had to remember the sequence for the word baby however the row of letters disappears so she needs to remember how it was spelled. Once it disappears she types in the letters for baby. This was a fabulous skill for memorizing, which we all know is effective in teaching kids to read.
For letter land, kids learn to use a keyboard which you may not think is necessary, however with our expanding digital world, this will become an essential skill for children to learn early on in life. Kids will learn the basics of letters on a keyboard as well as some punctuation including how to make a capital letter using the shift key. In Letter Land, it will again show a few letters where the letter is highlighted and children need to type that letter. Once this is done a full word is shown, where kids need to type the word or just a highlighted letter. This is very repetitive so kids learn where the keys are plus the words successfully.
Both of these skills took Zoe some time as she isn’t the best with the keyboard since she doesn’t play on the computer often however she did well on both sections. Do not help your children as the program works by determining the child’s reading level based on the material taught. During the first two skills, I enjoyed how well the program used repetitiveness, said sounds, the letters, showed fun kid-friendly graphics with the words and how it taught left to right sequence. The program continuously congratulates the child and if the child misses the wrong letters it will show the child again what letters to press. Zoe is now on reading/writing level 1 and so far I am loving it. For the reading/writing levels there are 5 levels with 6 books in each level meaning 30 books total. I am really liking how the level will teach a child a short word and increases the complexity. For instance the word girl is used and repeated over and over, then goes on to girls. All the words in the book are taught at the beginning of the level, so the book can be read successfully. Zoe knew a few words so those words were not required and it skipped past them. Because the beginning skills took a while and she just started level 1 of the reading/writing I can’t say much about it but I do love the little games she can play by choosing the picture. A few pictures will be displayed and the program will say “click the girl”. Another image will show up and say type the word so she would have to type girl. The program will also show super sight words through the detect and select format (though I do not believe we have made it to these yet.) In level 1, she is going to learn 36 new words, 63 new words + variants and a total of 99 new words once she gets through all 6 books.
So my overall thoughts? Love love love Reading Kingdom and would recommend to ANYONE I know. The program works with your child based on what they know and it knows when a child knows something so children never get bored. They are always learning new words, it is repetitive and reminds children if they need help. While playing levels children earn points to get stars in their passport.
Once the passport is full it is time to move on to the next skill or level. Zoe’s has already learned new words she never knew before and asks to play almost daily, though she is only 5 we only allow her those 15 minutes 3 times a week. Graphics, animations and sounds are engaging plus kids can click on a word shown to hear the program say it first.
For parents there is a thorough reader report to show parents how children are progressing with their progress and performance. It will show if an area is not required, in progress, completed and what types of performance they did such as needs attention, good, very good, or excellent. Additionally progress reports are emailed for you to see how well your child is doing.
According to Reading Kingdom and depending on the child’s abilities the program takes about 12-15 months or as few as three to six months for children who already have reading skills. I believe we will complete in about 6 months time. Reading Kingdom also states at completion a child will be reading at about third grade level. Zoe was tested at the beginning of the year in kindergarten and was already at a 1st grade level.
Reading Kingdom is fully customized for each child, is fun and easy to use. I have already seen a difference with Zoe so truly believe it works! Though, not a teacher, I took some early childhood education courses and feel this method is effective. The program uses a scientifically designed, adaptive curriculum that teaches students exactly what they need to learn, when they need to learn it.
To learn more about Reading Kingdom and to try it for free for 30 days visit www.readingkingdom.com
Disclosure: Reading Kingdom provided through Mom Bloggers Club and Reading Kingdom. All opinions and thoughts 100% my own