Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Reading Kingdom: The Online Individualized Reading and Writing Program

I recently got a chance to test out a new online reading program called Reading Kingdom. I jumped at the chance given that I am a Reading Specialist and the fact that I am always looking for new products out there to help children learn to read.
Here is a little bit more about the program from their Reading Kingdom Website.

  • "It customizes itself to each child" (I liked the series of tests it gave LoLo to see what reading level he was at, but they were a little long for a 4 year old)
  • "Most children can do the program on their own after just a few weeks"  (LoLo could do it after I showed him one time!)
  • "It's fun and children enjoy doing it" (LoLo REALLY enjoyed it and would beg to play it)
  • "It's created by Dr. Marion Blank, one of the world's top experts in literacy"
  • "It works with any other curriculum a child may be using" (we use it in conjunction with our phonics lessons)
  • "And, it's the only system that teaches all 6 skills needed for reading & writing success!" (which are: sequencing, motor skills, sounds, meaning, grammar, comprehension)
The program is very colorful and has cute graphics that are very kid-friendly.  LoLo liked all the pop-up characters that gave praise, and I liked that it loaded quickly between activities (once I got my wireless issue resolved).  The program is very easy to navigate and has a control panel for adults so you can see your child's progress.  It even has a section in which basic keyboarding skills are taught for children who are not computer independent.  LoLo liked these activities, and actually learned to type slowly!

We are still working our way through the entire program (after a few weeks) and will make sure to include an update when we complete it.  I like that there are so many portions to this program so I can continue to use it throughout the school year (makes it worth the yearly cost).  There are many different stages in which it will re-assess LoLo, so if he excels of falls behind it will adjust the curriculum. 

The only negative I have about this program is that the introduction to reading and writing section is a little too long and repetitive with the pre-reading assessments.  LoLo lost interest after a few assessments and I had to encourage him to continue; however, once he got to the next section he enjoyed it even more.  After all, what kid really likes doing tests anyways?!

I would recommend this program to anyone who has a very young reader, or who has a child who is struggling to read in first or second grade.  Though the content is recommended for ages up to 10, I feel that the graphics and process might be to "young" for an older child.

Have you ever tried this program?  If so, leave me a comment-I want to hear what you have to say!
Questions about the program?  Leave me a comment and I will get back to you with an answer.

Disclosure: I received a free year trial of this program to facilitate this review.  All words and opinions are my own unless specifically referenced.

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