The other week I brought up how there are so many different options for teaching your littles how to read and asked what you are using. Right now we are using a very neat program from Reading Kingdom ~ (http://www.ReadingKingdom.com). This is entirely new to me, but I believe it has toured with the TOS Review Crew in years past. I was very excited to be chosen and my girls, for the most part, are eager to participate.
I want to go ahead and tell you if you join using my referral link I’ll get ONE MONTH added on to my subscription for FREE. This is that link!
Reading Kingdom Online specializes in teaching six areas of reading including Phonics (Sounds), Sequencing, Writing, Meaning, Grammar, and Comprehension. For the purposes of this review, we were expected to use the completely online application at least three times a week. I have been blessed with a one-year subscription to Reading Kingdom for two students and I am using Reading Kingdom with both my not yet reading four-year-old (the Princess) and her advanced reader six-year-old sister (AppleBlossom). However, Reading Kingdom recommends that you utilize the app four times a week for best results. We are doing it every weekday and sometimes on the weekends. There is a feature that shows you how often your student is logging in, most often ours is stating 3.8 days a week. I have to admit that confuses me, and I often feel that we’re doing it more often than that, but that is not what is most important as I know it is getting done. However, the smiley face that appears and the text turns green when it shows 4 days a week and we can make it a goal.
Reading Kingdom Online is an online application that makes up a reading course available to be used in school or at home (or the best of both in homeschool settings!) designed to teach children to learn to read or read better. It is geared toward students ages 4-10 or from preschool to a third-grade reading level. As a mama to only littles, a lot of this is new to me in the teaching reading scenarios… AppleBlossom has bloomed into a great and eager reader while her preference is to choose books with pictures (illustrated chapter books) she can handle most anything I offer these days. Looking at lists and leveled readers it appears to me she can read on a 4-5th-grade level. However, I’d love to have something to truly show me what level she has accomplished.
In starting our adventure with Reading Kingdom…
I assumed it would be extremely simple for AppleBlossom and an entirely new learning concept for the Princess. I’ve been surprised and pleased to notice places where AppleBlossom has acquired an appropriate amount of practice on a skill she needed reinforcement with as well as master concepts that I would not have necessarily related to her reading skills such as spelling, repetition, and more. AppleBlossom is reading aloud, working on proper inflection, earning points and the basics of a computer game (new to us!), she is learning a QWERTY keyboard and the purpose of the spacebar.
The Princess comes into Reading Kingdom knowing her letters (on most days) and the main sounds they say. She too is learning the basics of a computer game and a QWERTY keyboard as well as the purpose of the spacebar. However, she is learning to recognize common words as well as practice her letter recognition and act on it.
Most commonly the girls will beg to do Reading Kingdom, although after a while when the Princess reaches a point where things have become quite repetitive because she is not quite mastering a concept she will become frustrating and ask to quit. She is learning though and getting better with each participation.
In the past using on sight word and phonics programs it was interesting to see all the added elements in addition to sounds to Reading Kingdom with the inclusion of typing for one, but so much more, as well as I, mentioned previously. Reading Kingdom is completely self-explanatory and I did not have to search any obscure FAQs page to get us started or on our learning journey.
When it comes to teaching your littles to read, or even working with an older struggling reader it takes patience and repetition. Sometimes more repetition than a tired mama brain wants to handle on a given day, much less to make it exciting and interactive for an imaginative child to gain and stay passionate about reading. Previously as a nanny and reading advocate I discussed with my parents the fact that they just had to find that one book that sparked imagination and desire to read. Yet what I am finding is that with Reading Kingdom you can start the reading process with excitement. Mama might get burned out with ‘spell the word more‘ but the Reading Kingdom owl will say it again and again (with frustration in her voice!) until the kiddo can get it. And then she can pop balloons, or fish bubbles, or rescue kittens, or whatever else the application system presents at that time. With excitement! enthusiasm! and a sense of accomplishment! These kids are learning and then when they realize they can read little bits of things, they want to and then it is your child reading the princess book to you, instead of you to them. Then you share, then memories are being made.
I mentioned you do not need to read the FAQs to get started, however, the Reading Kingdom website does have an expansive interactive FAQs section with lots of answers to possible questions.
On the note of screen shots, I was going to try to get you more, but the girls were so busy learning I couldn’t get them to stay on a page long enough. “It’s timed mama!”
How do we use it?
Most often I have the girls take turns using Reading Kingdom on the hand-me-down 3rd generation iPad in the Safari browser. It only works in vertical portrait mode. I saved the bookmarked page on the home screen in a folder labeled Blossom School and they know not to do anything else and to bring it to me immediately if something clicks off on another screen. They’re also not allowed to use the iPad in any room, except for the one that I am in. The Reading Kingdom Online website does not work on the 1st generation iPad. It uses the latest HTML5 technology and this is beyond iOS 5. Other times we have successfully used the application on a Linux Ubuntu laptop running Chrome as well as an iMac iOS X desktop running Chrome also.
In addition to enjoying the paid application of Reading Kingdom Online there is a lot more, even free material that is located on the Reading Kingdom website such as some printable worksheets and a Great Books for Kids book list divided by ages. You know me, I’m always on the look out for a great book list!
I am very impressed with Reading Kingdom. I probably wouldn’t have signed up for it outright, but then there is a free month trial and that intrigued me. After a month, my girls are enthusiastic about Reading Kingdom Online and more so about books in general. A desire and a passion to learn! A love for learning is my ultimate goal in schooling and it is a step in the right direction with Reading Kingdom.
The Princess says, “I love Reading Kingdom!”
AppleBlossom says, “I think it helps me learn a lot. I like the games.”
I wanted to repeat and tell you if you join using my referral link I’ll get ONE MONTH added on to my subscription for FREE. This is that link!
Connect with Reading Kingdom on Social Media:
Here is a video overview of the program: http://goo.gl/UhGdgP
Here is a one page PDF about the program: http://goo.gl/sGGX4U