Reading has never been a subject that my kids have struggled with. I say that without an ounce of boasting, it simply is what it is. Still, can you get too much practice? I don't think so. This month, we've been reviewing a reading product that is providing that opportunity. Reading Kingdom
is an online program for children aged 4-10 years old, and aids in getting them reading to a third grade level.
This may be used as a stand alone reading curriculum, or as a supplement to whatever you are already using. For us, it was a supplement.
The material uses a patented, and researched six skills method by Dr. Marion Blank, who also happens to be one of the world's top reading experts. These skills cover:
These are all used together to reinforce and cover every reading base.
Before you begin, there is a small checklist to go through. Your child should be at least 4 years old, and able to sit quietly for at least 15 minutes. They should also be able to use the computer mouse. And while your student will be completing this as independently as possible, you should be available to help log on and get started.
Once you've gotten that taken care of, your child will need to take a skills test to determine the best level placement. And here is the really important part, do not help your child at all with this!
The program keeps a record of the mistakes that are made, so it can present the correct lessons, so you can see that if you step in, the results might be inaccurate.
It is supposed to be an independent program, but that doesn't mean that you, the parent, will be out of the loop. This also provides progress reports so you can see at a glance how the lessons are going. You can check in with your account at any time and look at the report to observe the progress. Also, they will be mailed to you, and notified if attention becomes necessary.
This is best worked on at least 4 times per week. Naturally, the more lessons that are completed, the faster that your child will be able to move through the work.
Both of my girls have been working at the third grade level, at the suggested pace. A quick side note, you are not able to move to a different level without completing all of the current level's work. Should you find it necessary to move for whatever reason, contact the support team directly, and they will be able to help you.
I wasn't sure that at this stage, my daughters would benefit much from the program. I figured that they knew what they needed to, and this would sort of bore them. But after even observing the girls as they went through the placement test, I saw that yes, they could benefit from some review and more. It helps that the teaching is done through colorful games.
We actually reviewed this program about a year ago. Honestly, it wasn't my favorite. The biggest reason was that we were using it on the wrong computer! In order to get the most out of these lessons, it is very important that you use this on a computer with a big enough screen, and, you need to have high speed Internet. If you do not have these, prepare to be frustrated, as it will take forever for the pages to load, and your children may begin to make some noise!
The computer we've been using it with this time is way faster, although I will say that the pages still sometimes take more time than we like. However, the lessons have been so much more enjoyable for the girls. Oh, and with a screen bigger than you know, a notebook, we can actually see the images ;)
I am happy to say that having corrected these issues on our side, we've had a much sweeter experience. The evidence is in my daughter asking to do multiple lessons each day! That's a great thing for a child who can be quick to become frustrated with school lessons when they get a bit challenging. It's been good to have this to help her focus on slowing down, and taking the time to read each word, and not gloss over it all, resulting in more mistakes. We have a little ways to go in that area, but she's working on it. I think the pricing is alright, more so for us if we were to choose the monthly option, to split up the payments. That lump sum listed below, and paid for once a year, would be tricky for us. The 30 day free trial makes it worth it to try it and see if it works with your family. You have nothing to lose if it doesn't. I also like that if using the monthly option, you can cancel at any time. Click the links below for more info.
Ages: 4-10 years old
Price: Initial free 30 day trial. Thereafter, $19.99 per month, or $199.99 per year (with 20% discount)
Additional children get 50% off -$9.99 per month, or $99.99 per year. You may cancel at any
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