Monday, March 7, 2011

TOS Crew Review: Reading Kingdom

As a member of The Old Schoolhouse review crew I was given the opportunity to review the Reading Kingdom. Reading Kingdom is an online reading program that teaches sequencing, motor skills, sounds, meaning, grammar and comprehension. This program is recommended for ages 4-10 and teaches reading to a 3rd grade level. Dr. Marion Blank, the inventor of the Reading Kingdom, has been honored with the Upton Sinclair Award which is given to individuals who have made a significant contribution to education. She began with the Phonics Plus Five program and Reading Kingdom is an online “version” of that program.

Reading Kingdom teaches introduction to Reading & Writing, Keyboard & Mouse Training, Skills Survey 1, Seeing Sequences, and Letter Land. Once those are completed the child moves to reading & writing level 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.

For this review I worked with both my 3yo and 6yo. My 3yo is a pre-reader and my 6yo is reading at about a 2nd grade level. I chose to do this review with both of my younger children because I knew my 3yo would benefit from letter recognition lessons and my 6yo would learn from the keyboarding practice available with this program. As we began this program I quickly realized that I would have to help both of my children with this program because of the short time limit for activity responses. In other words, my children were not able to find the letters on the keyboard quick enough for this program's pre-set parameters. This led to frustration despite my kids knowing their letters. So together my children and I worked on this reading program together. They were still learning but I provided a little extra guidance in the beginning to help them find the letters on the keyboard.

For example, in Letter Land the child learns to match and recognize letters by sight.

Then it progressively gets more difficult. . .

As the child progresses through Letter Land then they start reading and writing. In various portions of the reading and writing section the student is asked to match a singular word to its plural and choose the correct letter order for a given word. My 6yo particularly enjoyed this part of Reading Kingdom but I was always close by to help mitigate his frustration level by not being able to find a letter on the keyboard. Eventually, the more and more we played with this program both of my children became more adept at finding the letters on the keyboard quicker and needed less of my assistance.

Overall, both of my children enjoyed this program and learned a great deal from it. Working with both of them from the very beginning to prevent frustration with key hunting helped tremendously with their success in this program.

Program details:
Cost is $19.99 per month or $199.99 for a year. Each additional child is $9.99 per month.

Would you like to read more reviews from fellow crew members?

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  1. Thank you for taking the time to review our Reading Kingdom program...With regard to your 3 year old we would like to point out that we strongly recommend against using the program with children under 4 years of age. The motor skills required for effective use of the keyboard and mouse are simply too difficult for the vast majority of children under that age. However, for children who are having some challenges in using the keyboard and mouse, we strongly recommend using the methods described in this tutorial

    Thanks again! We'll be featuring your review on our Facebook page --

  2. Thank you Reading Kingdom for your feedback. I should have noted in my post that my daughter was just a few weeks shy of her 4th birthday and is advanced for her age hence why I tried the program with her. She certainly did learn a lot with your program though.



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