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.
When we were given the opportunity to review Reading Kingdom again, Mr. Imagination and Little Miss were pretty excited to use it. Little Miss has been wanting to learn to read, and Mr. Imagination remembered having fun with it a couple of years ago, the first time we reviewed this product.
After a week or so, I saw that Mr. Imagination was pretty bored with Reading Kingdom. He is a fluent reader now, and his abilities are way beyond this program’s usefulness for him, so I let him quit. Little Miss, however, is loving it still. She’s been using it an average of 3-4 days a week through the review period (about 5 weeks, I think), and still enjoying it. In fact, it’s a great incentive for her to get her other work done, so she can do Reading Kingdom for 20 minutes! She often does two sessions a day, which is all the program allows, although I allow her to stop whenever she wants to. She enjoys getting to do computer work like the older children, and the activities are just games to her, for the most part. She was quite frustrated at first as she learned how to click in the right places and where the keys are on the keyboard. She struggled with correlating the lower case letters shown her on the screen with the capital letters on the keyboard, but it helped that a picture of the keyboard often popped up with both capital and lower case letters on the keys and the correct one highlighted. I still did have to help her find the correct one for awhile, but for the last couple of weeks she’s been doing great.
Each child has his/her own dashboard, reached by clicking on their name on the main dashboard. The child is to click on a picture of an owl to continue with the program. You can also check their progress by scrolling down a little; here is the chart showing where Little Miss is with it. By clicking on the title of one of the sections, you can see the individual lessons, and also use this area to redo a previous lesson.
Now, the real question is, does the program work? Will it teach a child to read? I think it can. I know for sure that Little Miss is much more aware of individual words on a page; she was picking out words in the Bible one evening last week as we were reading together. I was pointing to the words as we went, and she learned to recognize a few, quickly, which she had never done before. I haven’t spent enough time watching her do her Reading Kingdom lessons to know if she can read all the words she has been introduced to, but the one time I did stop by her and check, she was able to read the sentence fairly easily. One thing I noticed that she’s picked up from it is the skill of moving from left to right on a page, which is quite important for reading well.
Would I buy a subscription to this program? I might, if it was a matter of needing something educational for my young child to do and I was overwhelmed and not able to spend the time to teach her to read. For children with no major learning issues (I have dealt with severe dyslexia, so that colors all my experiences with this sort of program), it would likely result in a child being able to read fairly well. I don’t see it building a very strong foundation in phonics, though; it seems more like sight reading to me. That being said, though, awhile after we used it two years ago, I introduced “ing” to one of the boys who had been using Reading Kingdom, thinking he had never seen it and would not know what it said. He easily read it, and when I expressed surprise, he told me he had learned it with Reading Kingdom! That showed me that this system can work. Maybe I just think it’s too lazy on my part! Anyway, I’m going to allow Little Miss to continue using it as long as she enjoys it, and see how she progresses. It sure helps me out!
Check it out for yourself! If you go to this page, hover over the Resources tab and you’ll see several sample lessons. Go through a couple of those, and see if this program would be a good fit for your child. Also, click on the image below to see what 31 other families have to say about it. Three families have also used ASD Reading, developed for children on the autism spectrum, from the same company. I always enjoy reading other people’s reviews after I have posted my own.