Are you in the midst of teaching a child how to read and find they need something more than you are currently using?
Or do you have a child who’s gone through the process, but still struggling to put the pieces together?
If either of those are true or you just have a child desiring MORE practice than you personally have time to give them, then you very well might be interested in an online learning program called Reading Kingdom.
What is Reading Kingdom and How Does it Help a Student Learn to Read?
When your child logs in for the first time, they are given an assessment to determine placement in the program. There are several different parts where they could be placed after the assessment with skills from each level presented in the assessment. If they can’t do a particular section, then they will not be assessed for later ones. Rather, that determines where they start in Reading Kingdom.
Reading & Writing Skills Part 1 has two sections: Seeing Sequences and/or Letter Land. Seeing Sequences has 3 levels to complete which have them learning visual sequencing skills. Specially, they are asked to type (or touch if using a touchscreen device) letters in the order shown going from left to right. Letter Land has 4 levels to complete and engages the child in finding a given letter on the keyboard in a set time frame. This one is more game like with the letter either popped if in the under sea scenario or shot if it is the alien one.
Reading & Writing Skills Part 2 is what many might consider the ‘meat’ of the program. There are five levels within the section, each with several books they will be able to read along the way. There are word exercises which help develop their skills and each of those levels have a progress check for the level they must pass to move to the next one. If they do not pass that check, there is a review for them to complete.
Check out this video to show you more about the program and how it works:
Our Experience with Reading Kingdom to Help a Child Learn to Read
This is actually our second time reviewing Reading Kingdom. The last time had my youngest really NOT ready for this particular program and my third born was really well beyond the scope of the program. This time, though, my youngest is the prime target age for Reading Kingdom as he is in kindergarten now and in the throws of the whole learn to read frenzy. Sadly, his desire to read is not matching his desire to consistently work at it with some of the book based phonics programs we have tried in the past year.
J’s initial exposure this time was not the best. We started the assessment on my newer laptop with a touch screen and didn’t realize that by default the program forces the child to use the screen rather than the keyboard. Once we got that figured out things went a little smoother. He wasn’t happy to be placed right at the beginning and at first I wondered if our little technology mishap caused him to be placed below where he needed to be. However, I quickly saw through observation that he wasn’t always getting the left to right mapping done correctly and he really did need to learn where letters are on the keyboard. So, I have had him working through it all as determined by the program rather than having him retake the assessment.
He likes that for this particular school time he is able to work independently. Yep, that’s right. Reading Kingdom actually wants the parent or teacher to let the child follow all the instructions on their own. No sitting there guiding them or giving out clues to help them get things right. I’ll admit that I struggled a little with this at first, but can see that it does no service to him in the long run if he isn’t figuring out key components on his own.
He is sitting on the verge of finishing up Reading & Writing Skills Part 1 with just a little bit more to finish in the Seeing Sequences section before he will automatically move into Reading & Writing Skills Part 2, level 1. Seeing how excited he gets when unlocking the next section of his ‘passport’ with a cute little picture playing with more detail each time, I suspect he will be thrilled to start putting things together and reading simple books.
So far we have only used the laptop for his time on Reading Kingdom. However, it is compatible with the iPad and I think he might like that even more. I do like that he can have time working on his own (while I do something like prep for dinner or get in my much needed exercise.) And, the more he achieves in this program the easier his book based work seems to be. As he is just turning 6 this fall, I am not stressing that he be reading on his own in a matter of weeks or months. However, I can see the combination of this program and book based ones which require me to lead the instruction working well in concert to help him learn to read. Who knows, he might be reading ME a bedtime story soon!
Do your children enjoy educational websites that are game like in nature?
Have you found programs like Reading Kingdom helpful for your child who is learning or struggling to read?
Don’t just take my word for how we found this to be. Visit the Reading Kingdom Review post on the Schoolhouse Review Crew website to see what other homeschooling parents thought about this and other self-paced courses.