Disclaimer: The above review is my own honest opinion of this product. I would NEVER recommend a product I did not try.
The Reading Kingdom Review
June 19, 2013 by
My oldest child is seven. He currently reads on a third grade level, but his lack of interest or motivation affects his ability to understand what he reads sometimes. Maybe I push him too hard....strong maybe! He absolutely loves playing games on the computer which works out fine for me, because we have two computers in the office. So, while I'm doing work or blogging, he is on his dad's computer right across from me.
It's Summer time, and since his reading comprehension and writing skills were his downfall this year in school, I considered sending him to Summer school since I was told for a month they will continue doing reading lessons. I soon found out it was more like camp and decided to keep him home since there are so many fun things he can do and places he can go with me. Luckily, we have the opportunity to try out and review The Reading Kingdom program, the timing couldn't be better!
The Reading Kingdom program is an interactive program that helps kids ages 4 to 10 learn to read and write to a third grade level, using games and activities. It monitors your progress and performance. Parents have the option to increase the response time for each level and skip or redo a level.
Getting started: My son had a pretty good time in the beginning, since he loves computer time. The skills assessment portion tests your child's ability to recognize and choose letters. There were a few round of letters or a word showing up on screen and my son having to type it using the on screen keyboard. This was a bit too easy for him and he was losing interest until the portion where the word would disappear from the screen and he would have to type the word from memory. He quickly neared level four and I decided I would let him stop there and go play his regular games. I didn't want to put too much pressure on him too fast, because he wouldn't want to do it again tomorrow. I will continue the review when he reaches the sentences portion.
July 8th - Mid Program: He has been using this program for a few weeks now and it has been a bit simple for him even after I asked them to move him up two levels. He is currently on level three which requires you to recognize and locate words in sentences. Although we can increase response times, we cannot decrease the response time which is what we need. The wait time between questions/sentences and when he is permitted to respond using the keyboard is longer than he requires and causes him to say his famous "Aww man, this is taking too long". When he answers too quickly, a character appears in the top corner shakes its head as if the wrong answer was given. So although he answered correctly, because he did not answer at the slower pace of the program his response registered as incorrect. Another issue we had was when he had to locate the word "need" in a paragraph. As he clicked on each "need" in order, the program did not recognize it and the voice just repeated the word "need" over and over again. At that point I ended his computer time.
My thoughts: I think this is a great program for a child who is not yet advanced in reading. For a child learning new words, learning where keys are on a keyboard and being introduced to computers this may be a great start. Not necessary for an older child who already reads well. We will continue until he finishes the final level, because my purpose of trying this program was to see if it would help with his reading comprehension.
Although my 7 year old may be a bit too advanced for this, I think it's perfect for my 4 year old who has shown interest in trying it himself by hanging onto his brother's chair anytime he is doing the program. My 4 year old cannot read yet, and after seeing how this program works, I believe it would be a valuable tool for him so he will also be advance by the time he's my older son's age. I'll
try this program with my four year old as well and update this review with his experience at a later date!