In being a member of the the Schoolhouse Crew Review Team, I was introduced to Reading Kingdom . I was offered a yearly membership to Reading Kingdom Online to use for both my four year old son and seven year old daughter. This learning program takes a completely different approach so it certainly perked my interest. Both my kids take well to learning games and educational material on-line so I figured I would give this a try.
About the Program: Reading Kingdom is an online fully interactive program designed to teach children ages 4-10 years old reading and writing up to a third grade level. The approach taken is created by Dr. Marion Blank. The program focuses on children learning through a blended six skill integrated method in reading. The skills include Phonics (Sounds), Sequencing, Writing, Meaning, Grammar, and Comprehension. The approach teaches children reading and writing together instead of alone and steers away from being solely phonic based. The focus this program has is completely free from all the different variations of sounds and difficult words that don’t typically follow known rules of the English language.
The program is designed for a child to use independently. The independent route is stressed to parents, caregivers, and teachers at the start of each student account. There are through instruction in how to proceed in reaping the intended results in the program for the student. At anytime the progress of any student can be seen under account settings. Reports are also sent by e-mail of student progress. In proceeding, it’s recommended a child should be at least four years old, able to sit still for a 15 minutes lesson, and able to use a mouse.
Program Pricing: Anyone can sign up for a 30 day free trial, and after that it is only $19.99 per month or $199.99 per year for the first child with each child after costing an additional $9.99 per month or $99.99 per year. One is also given the opportunity to add more months to their account by referring a friend! Each time someone you refer creates a new account with a paid subscription, they add one free month to your subscription.
To begin, I created an account then watched along with my children a video that talked about what would commence. It was stressed not to help my children at all on the placement test so they could be placed completely were they should be in the program. The placement test took my children roughly fifteen to thirty minutes to complete. When each test was completed, Reading Kingdom placed each of my children in the right level based on their skills during the test.
My four year old son was placed in Seeing Sequences & Letter Land. I believe he could have been placed at a higher level but had some accidents when attempting to click the correct answers on the test. Once you click an answer you can’t go back to change it which I found to be a bit unforgiving. My son also kept asking if the test was over yet while doing it. The extended time it took to finish the test was a bit trying for him. But after starting the sessions for each week, he’s grown into the program and seems to be enjoying it. Sessions last about 15 minutes and he’s even opted to do more than one each day!
My son has currently been fine tuning his keyboarding skills and learning how to spell words in the right sequence for a month now. He still has trouble remembering to press the SHIFT key to capitalize a letter but he’s getting there. If he’s having trouble spelling a word by making a mistake, an on screen keyboard will pop up and show him were the correct keys are located. The animations are colorful and keep him occupied. He loves seeing how many points he’s earned at the end of each session. I feel that his computer skills are improving and as well as his sight recognition of words after use.
My daughter is 7 years old and also was giving this program a try but she told me she found it boring and didn’t want to do it again. I feel that perhaps the program was a bit repetitive for her liking or the animations to childish. She usually likes on-line educational programs but wasn’t a fan of this one.
Aside from this program not working for one of my children it most certainly did for another. I believe learning styles are going to come into play for Reading Kingdom. I would stress that parents give the free trial a try to see if this is a right fit for your child.
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