Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Reading Kingdom - A Review

We have two very eager early learners in our family, and they are super excited about learning to read.  Bella is four, the youngest age for which this program is recommend, and Avery is five.  They both cannot wait to read on their own.  Books are huge in our family.  Despite my lack of shelving (Can a dozen bookcases really be enough for any one family?) I continue to pick up books on a regular basis.  We take a very relaxed approach to education, especially reading.  I've tried a curriculum here or there more out of curiosity, but I still hold the belief that a child often read to will learn to read when he is ready.  It worked for the older ones, so why shouldn't it for the ones we're bringing up now?  However, times have certainly changed over the years.  As a home educator the biggest change I have noticed is the sheer amount of tools we have at our fingertips to help us integrate knowledge into our homes through the ease of access via the internet.  Our latest tool being Reading Kingdom.

Reading Kingdom Review
Reading Kingdom Online is a complete reading curriculum that is perfect for the home educating family.  It is unique in that it is not a phonics based program.  Rather, it integrates six specific skills that help children more easily learn reading AND writing.

Our budding readers and writers have been enjoying their experience with Reading Kingdom Online.  They are both at the beginning stages of learning to read, so the program has met them at the beginning.  Both children are learning to identify the letters of the alphabet through the typing portion of their exercises.  Lowercase letters float on the screen, and they locate them on the keyboard to shoot them off the screen.  Although parents are not supposed to provide help, an effort in keeping the program completely customized to their learning level, I have had to provide some coaching.  It is simple for them to match a lowercase letter with another lowercase letter.  However, matching a lowercase letter with an uppercase letter is a skill they are still working to master.  Reading Kingdom Online is bringing them along nicely and strengthening this skill rather quickly.

The added benefit of this portion of the program is that they learn the keyboard, which I think is the main point of the exercise.  Honestly, it never dawned on me to teach them to type at this young of an age.  It does make a lot of sense though with the amount of technology that gets used in our home nowadays.  Not to mention the fact that through this program they are using the computer to learn to read, so knowing where the letters are right from the beginning will save in a lot of frustration.

The other portion of the level they are currently working teaches them to spell words by recognizing the correct letters.  A line of letters is shown to them that contains a short word mixed into letters that are not part of the word.  The child clicks on the appropriate letters and makes a word.  Through both of these exercises they are learning valuable letter identification skills and laying the foundation needed to progress further through the program and their journey toward being a proficient reader.

Currently, we are using the Reading Kingdom Online as a supplement to our regular schedule of learning activities.  The two young ones spend a lot of their day playing, but they do enjoy technology and learning through the laptop and tablets.  This has been a fun and worthwhile addition to our educational resources.  I know that Bella and Avery will gain a lot from our one year subscription.  It is recommended that they spend about 15 minutes working with the program at least four times per week in order to complete it in one year.  Though our family is home to budding readers this program is also suitable children through third grade as well as struggling readers.  Despite Harmony, age 10, being beyond the scope of Reading Kingdom Online she very much enjoys watching the younger kids work the program and was initially jealous that it wasn't for her as well.  It really is a fun and engaging approach to learning to read.

Through the past several weeks I have watched both Bella and Avery grow in their individual skill sets.  They enjoy learning the keyboard, and their letter recognition has greatly improved.  This comes out in their other daily activities.  Learning to read is a fun adventure made even more enjoyable and encouraging for them through this added resource.  It's exciting to think where they may be at the end of this school year with the help of Reading Kingdom Online.

Reading Kingdom Review

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