Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Creating Successful Readers: A Review of Reading Kingdom

text: Creating Successful Readers: A Review of; logo of Reading Kingdom and A Mom's Quest to Teach; background photo of books

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

I am excited to review Reading Kingdom with our son for a second time. We first reviewed Reading Kingdom, an online reading program that customizes to your child, in 2018. (You can read that review here: Reviewing Reading Kingdom.) Even though our second grader is quite a skilled reader, he still struggles with spelling which I think is due to the fact that he picked up reading naturally. I also think he skips over words if he is unsure of the meaning on occasion. My hope is that, by using Reading Kingdom with him, he will bring all the skills that go into being a fluent and proficient reader together – that he will bring together comprehension and recalling his favorite stories.

What is Reading Kingdom?

This online reading program uses an innovative reading system so that your child can learn to read and write successfully. It is designed for ages 4-10 (with the option for parents to change the artwork to be more appropriate for older children). There are six key reading and writing skills that are taught together so that children will become successful readers. The "Six Skill Integrated Method," developed by Dr. Marion Blank, focuses upon the following:

    text: Creating Successful Readers: A Review of; "Teach a child to read and you have imparted the most important skill a child will ever learn." Reading! logo of A Mom's Quest to Teach; Reading Kingdom; image from Reading Kingdom online program
  • Sequencing 
  • Writing 
  • Sounds 
  • Meaning 
  • Grammar
  • Comprehension 
Throughout the activities (which are fun and educational), children will use the words they are learning in context. Sentences are provided in which words are used and then illustrations follow which reinforce the words being taught. 

There are five reading levels that are further divided into books. These books are then divided to teach each of the words that will be used in the book (the final lesson for that section). As your child works through the lessons, they will have the opportunity to skip lessons for words. This is the adaptive nature of Reading Kingdom. It changes to fit your child's skills and abilities. In order to ensure that your child understands each word before they reach the story to read, they will use the "Intensive Word Teaching Method" which uses four formats to teach a single word's:

  1. Spelling
  2. Pronunciation
  3. Meaning 
  4. Usage in context
4 screenshots from Reading kingdom showing spelling, pronunciation, meaning, and usage in context skills being worked on
I really love this graphic that Reading Kingdom provides. It shows four of the ways children learn words.

How Did We Use Reading Kingdom?

As our son had previously used Reading Kingdom, I had him pick up with where we left off. Even though it has been about two years, I knew that the program would adapt to where our son was in regards to reading and writing. As he progresses through the level, he is skipping more and more words as the program continues to adapt. For example, in the current section he has skipped two words and probably would have skipped 'hop' if he remembered how to spell 'hopping.'

I required our son to complete a lesson on Reading Kingdom at least once a day so that he maintains using it for over five days a week. (It is recommended that a child uses Reading Kingdom at least four days a week – with using it five days being better.)

dashboard from Reading Kingdom showing program, subscription status, and more
Your children will be listed here on the Dashboard. You can see when it was last used and for how many days per week.

After clicking through the dashboard, your child will be on the start page where they make a few decisions. If you have gotten subscriptions to other programs, they can use those instead of Reading Kingdom or they can use the Extra Games which are useful for reinforcing typing and memory skills.

Click to Continue Reading Kingdom screenshot

When our son clicks to start, he is asked by the program to spell that lesson's word or to recognize it in a sentence. From there the program adapts to his skills and he progresses through as many as 21 screens depending upon his skills.

photographs of screen from Reading Kingdom showing different ways in which children are taught the words
Here are some of the activities that our son completed during his lessons.

Each lesson offers similar activities ranging from having to pick out the word in sentences to spelling the word when only a few letters are provided in the word. Finally, to close the lesson, he has to type an entire sentence using the word.

Typing the sentence on Reading Kingdom
For this activity, our son had to type in the words, spaces, and punctuation as the computer read the sentence.

Reading Kingdom has been his primary language arts lesson provider during the course of the review time. While we have continued with his spelling lessons, I have incorporated the words from Reading Kingdom into his spelling program so he can reinforce his knowledge of the words elsewhere. And since the lessons do not take a long time to complete, it has been very easy to even have him complete a lesson during the weekend.

What Do We Think?

I really like Reading Kingdom. I think it offers a variety of activities and educational games to reinforce the learning of each word. I think that, because each lesson follows a similar pattern, it will be of great benefit for some children as they like to know what is going to happen next.

Reflecting upon our previous review, I find that the biggest problem we had was the program not loading properly. I do not recall us having any similar problems (with the audio starting before the screen appeared or needed to reload or refresh the page) during our review period this time. Everything with Reading Kingdom is going very smoothly.

Our son does complain about having to complete his Reading Kingdom lessons. I really do think this is because the program is stretching his abilities. He still struggles with finding all the letters on the keyboard (even with using the games on Reading Kingdom available to help with typing). I think he allows this to influence his view of Reading Kingdom. Personally, I think the program is really helping him.

His favorite part is the Passport Feature which changes as he gets points. He is very eagerly awaiting the next level to see what the sun does next in the Passport.

Passport on Reading Kingdom
When you click the Passport, the sun clock inside spins and has your child's name listed. 

What Else Do They Offer?

If you are looking for something to help your child with Autism Spectrum Disorder, there is ASD Reading available. This online program focuses on reading, writing, and comprehending. No prerequisite skills are required - meaning all children (even those who are non-verbal) are able to use the program which will adapt to the child's skills and needs. There are several members of the Homeschool Review Crew who reviewed ASD Reading so please be sure to check out their reviews.

And don't forget to check out the other reviews of Reading Kingdom from the Homeschool Review Crew!

Do You Want to Learn More?

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  1. We really liked Reading Kingdom, too, but my son's only complaint was having to use the keyboard correctly. He struggled with remembering to capitalize some of the words or use the space bar. These are all skills I want him to develop, so I was glad that it stretched him!

    1. Yes! I want my son to work on spelling and typing and I think that is why my son grumbled when it was time to work on Reading Kingdom. Because he was using those skills he didn't want to work on.