Monday, March 07, 2011

TOS Review–Reading Kingdom

I have a love of reading, my children do not seem to share this passion for books. I really struggled with teaching my middle child how to read. My main problem was that I could not remember HOW I had learned to read. Oh sure, I knew how to decipher words and sound things out, what I didn’t know was how often a word needed to be repeated to be cemented into my son’s brain.
I am still trying to improve C-Man’s fluency with reading so I was more than excited to try out The Reading Kingdom. An online subscription based program for teaching children ages 4-10 to read and write using the computer keyboard and monitor.

Here is what the website states:
“The Reading Kingdom is a fun, easy-to-use online program that teaches
children 4-10 years old how to read and write to a third grade level.

  • It customizes itself to each child

  • Most children can do the program on their own after just a few weeks

  • It's fun and children enjoy doing it

  • It's created by Dr. Marion Blank, one of the world's top experts in literacy

  • It works with any other curriculum a child may be using

  • And, it's the only system that teaches all 6 skills needed for reading & writing success!”

  • Pricing is a monthly subscription of $19.99 (additional children are $9.99 a month) or 199.99 a year with no minimum monthly purchase. They also have a scholarship program for those who may find the pricing a burden.
    First month free trial cancel anytime!
    Free is good right?

    My experience with this program is a bit frustrating. Now don’t get me wrong we enjoyed it and my son practically begs to play his “spelling game” as he calls it. Cute isn’t it he doesn’t even see it as a reading program. The frustration we had came from my son trying to “beat” the program.
    My son would input his answers so quickly that it misread his answers and so he ended up spending more time on a beginning level than he should have. This is really no fault of the program other than being deliberately slower to respond in order to accommodate younger children learning to use the keyboard. If parents were able to adjust the response sensitivity it would be an improvement.
    That being said, this is a great program. It takes your child step by step through the process of learning first how to key in the correct response, and then by teaching one word at a time with repetition. The skills learned are then reviewed to ensure retention. Once your child has mastered the mouse and can find the proper letters on the keyboard look out because they will just take off. You will get a reader report that keeps track of your child’s ability and your child has a cute little owl friend with great visuals to help decipher any unknown words.
    One thing I will mention is if your child has a large sight word vocabulary already they may do what my  son did and try to beat the program until they reach the higher levels. They will know the material but become quickly upset when the program does not move them on. I suggest during the beginning stages a parent sit alongside the child. Other than that this is a very intuitive program that surveys your child’s abilities and then builds on them.
    Please stop by TOS Crew to see the other crew member’s opinion of this program.
    Disclosure: I received a free subscription to in exchange for my honest opinion. No other compensation was given.


    Anonymous said...

    Hi Mandy!

    ...just wanted to let you know that we are starting a MFW Homeschool Highlights link up in the coming weeks. If you're interested, stop by and let me know!

    :: Happy Homeschooling! ::
    Kathi @ A Heart Like Water A Heart Like Water

    Reading Kingdom said...

    Many, thanks so much for your great review of our Reading Kingdom program. We really appreciate it and are going to feature it next week on our Facebook page - I invite you to stop by.

    We'd also love to hear how your son does as he progresses through the program. And if you encounter any issues, please contact us
    ( We're also working to update the program to deal with any problems children might be having in using it, so your feedback is very important to us.


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