Monday, March 7, 2011

The Reading Kingdom review


"We believe that reading is the single most important skill children need to succeed in school and in life and that every child has the right to learn to read. Shockingly, nearly 70% of children are failing to reach a proficient level in reading.* And failure in this critical area is the single greatest indicator of serious problems later in life. Our dream is to bring literacy to all in the United States and help those abroad who want to learn English by creating easily accessible and highly effective education methods."~The Reading Kingdom



11 years ago when we embarked on our homeschooling adventure the single most thing I was afraid of was teaching my child to read. How could I possibly do it? I understood that reading is the most important step in a quality education. Today there are many tools to teach your child to read. The Reading Kingdom happens to be one that lets your child have fun while working on their reading skills. It's colorful with cute little characters and is so easy to use that once we set it up, my daughter could work alone. Target age is 4-10 years for this website based curriculum.





How the Program is Organized



The Skills Survey
The program begins with your child taking a Skills Survey. Through simple, game-like activities, it reveals the skills a child has and does not have so that the program can start at exactly the right place to encourage the greatest success.

The Teaching
Once the Skills Survey is completed, the teaching begins. The program is organized into six levels.

Pre-reading Level

Teaches the Visual Sequencing and Keyboarding Skills that underlie reading and writing. A child goes through one or both of these programs if the Skills Survey shows that these components are needed.

Level 1
Gets your child reading, understanding and writing meaningful ideas by teaching key nouns (kids, girl, bird), verbs (actions such as eat, walk, fly) and "helping" words (the, some, is, can, are). Once a set of words has been taught, the child gets to read a book containing those words, along with words previously taught. As in all subsequent levels, there are six books in Level 2.

Level 2

Greatly expands the range of ideas your child reads and writes by adding new nouns (puppies, man, water), verbs relevant to those nouns (run, fix, move, including words that convey motivation such as need, want, like), pronouns (she, I, we), additional "helping" words (that, also, both, of) and question words (who, what, which).

Level 3

Enhances your child's ability to tell and understand stories by teaching the words to convey past tense (was, did, were), along with increasing the range of nouns (ground, rocks), verbs (push, think, hurt), "helping" words (most, on, any), and adjectives (sad, happy, nice, -y as in dirty, rocky).

Level 4
Gets your child reading subject matter that is different from typical stories and essential to school success. It introduces a wide variety of objects and beings from the natural world (animals, rainbow, moon, tongue, group, people, earth) and higher level question words (why, when, how). These are then incorporated into books that convey science type information.

Level 5

Has your child reading rich stories which provide a sense of fun while teaching complex cause and effect relationships by expanding the range of nouns (computer, letter, fish) and verbs (change, know, float), and introducing a set of complex ideas (luck, true, never, change, sure).

Keeping Track
Within a few weeks, many children are using the program totally on their own. Even though you may not be there during the lessons, you'll have no trouble keeping track of how your child is doing. After a session is completed, you can open a link that offers you a summary of how the session went, where your child is at, what's happening next and so on.

Progress Check
The Reading Kingdom has been designed so that a child moves ahead only if the learning is solid and secure. At regular points, a child is given a brief Progress Check to see if there is mastery of the material that has been taught.

If the Progress Check shows that your child is doing well, in the next session he or she moves on to new material.

On the other hand, if the Skills Survey shows some weaknesses in the learning, then in the next session, your child starts a set of review lessons that enable him or her to get past any difficulties. The review process may take one to two weeks to complete. Once it is completed, the child returns to learning new material.


Pricing

You receive a free 30 day trial. After that, subscriptions to Reading Kingdom are $19.99/month (with no monthly minimum), or $199.99 per year. You can cancel your subscription at any time.
If you can't possible afford to pay, you can apply for a scholarship. Also Educators can apply for a discount.



We received our subscription to The Reading Kingdom for free thanks to TOS. This review was based on my opinion of the product only. No other compensation was received. To read other review about this product, please visit the Crew Blog.

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