Monday, March 7, 2011

TOS REVIEW ~ Reading Kingdom


Reading Kingdom is an online program that teaches kids ages 4-10 to read using Dr. Marion Blank's method of reading.  From the website:
"The Reading Kingdom uses new teaching methods pioneered by renowned literacy expert, Dr. Marion Blank. These methods do not rely on standard phonics techniques which have yielded a national 40% reading failure rate. For better or worse, the vast majority of words in English cannot be sounded out. To adapt phonics to this reality, it uses almost 600 rules which are almost impossible to memorize and riddled with exceptions. The Reading Kingdom, on the other hand, has no complicated rules and empowers children to learn using simple and easy to follow techniques that leverage the tremendous skills they have mastered in learning spoken language. In addition, the Reading Kingdom is the only program that customizes itself to a child. In this way children do not become bored learning something they already know or frustrated by material that is too advanced for them."

I used this program with my two youngest kids ages 6 and 8. The program has a cute owl mascot that leads your little learner through their lessons.
The lesson pages are very engaging with bright colors and fun animations and sounds. Many giggles commenced as they answered questions and saw how their response triggered sounds and silliness.

While using this program in the beginning my kids were frustrated as they had to listen closely to whether the program wanted them to "type" or "click".  Also the child could not be too quick to respond nor too slow or the program would count it as a wrong answer.  Learning these nuances took time.

I teach reading using the phonics method so the approach the website took was different for my kids.  Avery was doing the mouse and keyboard training and I found that helpful for those skills.
Neil is all ready a proficient reader and seems to be stuck on Level 1 of the program.

The parent can check the progress of the student on the parent tab.  Here is Avery's progress as of this morning.

Reading Kingdom gives you 9 Reasons to sign up.  The pricing is  $199.99 for the year or $19.99 a month.  They offer a free 30 day trial to check them out.

Overall my kids had fun with this program.  If you are looking for a phonics based program than this is not for you.  If your child learns better with Blank's method than this program would be a good fit.  I highly recommend you give the 30 day trial a go before purchasing.
See what my other crew members thought of Reading Kingdom here.

Disclaimer: I received a free one year subscription to Reading Kingdom in exchange for an honest review as a member of the TOS Crew.

1 comment:

Reading Kingdom said...

Thank you for taking the time to review our Reading Kingdom program. I really appreciate it.

...I would just like to clarify that the Reading Kingdom program does teach the sounds of letters and letter blends (phonics), but it does so in the context of the other skills required for reading mastery. The Reading Kingdom teaches 6 skills that Dr. Marion Blank, the Director of the Light on Literacy program at Columbia University and the creator of the Reading Kingdom, has determined are required for reading and writing success. These skills are visual sequencing, motor skills for writing, phonics (sounds), syntax (grammar), semantics (meaning) and comprehension (text).

Thanks again!