Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.
A couple of months ago, I was offered the chance to review a program from Reading Kingdom again. We have used programs from this company in the past, and while the children had fun with them, I didn’t find them overly helpful for us. One of the choices offered this time, though, was Spelling Ninja. Mr. Imagination tends to be imaginative with his spelling, as well as in daily life, so I thought maybe this program would help him. He has been using it now for about six weeks.
There are 15 levels in Spelling Ninja. Each level has 10 pages. Each of those pages has a sentence, with a picture to illustrate the sentence. The sentence are progressively longer as the child works through the program.
Each sentence is read to the child, and then he can read it to himself. When he is ready, he clicks a button or hits enter to show he is ready to move on. Then, he is supposed to type the sentence. In the first level, only one word is blanked out at a time to be typed, but gradually the number of words that are blanked out is increased until, in level 9, where Mr. Imagination is currently working, most of the sentence is blanked out! The idea is to increase his capacity for remembering the words and how they look. He is given a certain amount of time to type each word, and if he can’t get it in that time, the program shows him the word again, and then he has to give it another try. If he has too much trouble with a sentence, he has to type the whole thing again. He can’t move on until he has typed each word perfectly.
When Mr. Imagination first started using Spelling Ninja, he got very frustrated, to the point of tears. He was having trouble finding the keys he needed on the keyboard, and it was also moving too fast for him. I got into his settings and changed it so that he had more time, and that helped. It also helped when he finally learned to check that Caps Lock was off! He has been spending ten minutes a day using this program. To be honest, I haven’t seen much progress in his spelling abilities. I think it’s good practice for him, and maybe someday he’ll learn to pay attention to the spelling of the words he writes. It’s not a magic cure, but hopefully will be a piece in the puzzle of teaching spelling! It is definitely helping his memory for words, since he has to remember eight or ten words of a sentence to complete a page correctly. It should help him learn to use punctuation better, too, since he must type that in correctly to finish a sentence. I really like that he can use the program by himself; I only have to be involved if he runs into trouble.
Click on the image below to read reviews from other families of this and two other programs from Reading Kingdom! I plan to read a few to see if Spelling Ninja helped their children, and if I can pick up some tips to make it work better for Mr. Imagination.