Review Crew: Reading Kingdom

PhotobucketReading Kingdom is an online reading program for students ages 4-10, teaching them to read up to a 3rd grade level.

The program is designed for the child to complete a skills assessment before beginning.  The program then places the child at the appropriate place in the program and the child is to complete all lessons independently.

What’s included?
Reading Kingdom is an online subscription to the program.  Here’s the pricing:
$19.99 per month
$199.99 for one year subscription

The program has multiple reading levels from preschool to third grade.
We used the preschool level for Tiger.  In this level, the child practices sequencing letters from left to right and also finding letters on the keyboard.


How did we use this resource?
This program was used by Tiger who is just now learning letter sounds and blending.  He is a very beginning reader but is slowly making progress.  He spent some time on the program 3 or 4 days a week, working completely independently.

He completed the skills assessment and was placed at the beginning of the program which introduces letter sequencing and keyboard skills.

Even after weeks of working through the levels on this beginning portion (called Letter Land), he still had not graduated to the full program.  It took nearly 6 weeks for him to progress through the first portion and complete his passport in order to progress to Level 1.

What was Letter Land like?
The program would present a word such as “cat” on the screen.  Below the word would be a grouping of letters such as “o c b s a u t”.  Tiger was then supposed to move from left to right and select the correct letters in order to spell “cat.”  As he progressed through Letter Land, the word would appear only for a short time before disappearing.  He then had to remember the letters of the word in the correct order without the word in front of him.

The second portion of Letter Land had Tiger using the keyboard to find letters.  A word would appear on screen and then Tiger would have to type the letters on the keyboard.

What is Level 1 like?
Well, why don’t I just show you……..


What didn’t we like about this program?
Goodness gracious I think the skills assessment lasted forever.  Tiger was very frustrated and ready to give up halfway through.  I kept encouraging him to continue but it was tear-inducing for him.

The first portion of the program is extremely tedious.  Tiger does the same things in every lesson and has to complete all five sections of this beginning portion to complete his passport and graduate to the main program.  He finds the constant keyboard practice to be very boring.

The lessons took quite a bit of time for Tiger and he became easily frustrated with the pace.  Halfway through the lesson he was making very careless mistakes which may have been a factor in the slow pace of his program as it adjusts to the ability levels of the child.  I also felt that the lessons were very long and the repetition was not fun for Tiger (or for me watching him complete the lessons).

The graphics are not overly exciting and as Tiger completed levels and earned them on his passport he was rewarded with a little worm-looking man popping out of a colorful box.  That was his reward for the grueling days to complete each portion of his Letter Land passport.  Each new section was a new strange-looking individual that showed up.  He was disappointed.

When Tiger graduated from Letter Land to Level 1 he was very excited to see what the new level would be like.  He was instantly frustrated and upset.  The first screen had blanks and the onscreen voice instructed him to “type kid”.  My kid cannot spell kid and he had no idea how to begin sounding it out.  He was overwhelmed and waited until the onscreen hints were given so that he could type the word “kid.”

The program does not reinforce phonics and instead seems to teach memorization of whole words.  The program has a child working with the same word for an entire lesson in order to learn that word.  It didn’t work for Tiger as he could not remember how to spell words from lesson to lesson.

What did we like about this program?
Tiger was proud that he could follow the instructions and complete each lesson independently.

The program gives multiple and extensive hints when a child is stuck on a lesson.  The hints made it possible for Tiger to move forward and complete lessons on his own.

What did we think overall?
This is tough.  I think (or hope) that Tiger will enjoy the program more once he’s made more progress even if his progress is very slow.  As for the beginning preschool portion of the program, he did not enjoy using it as the repetition was frustrating and boring to him.  Level 1 seems to be much more difficult than the activities in Letter Land.

I felt that Tiger spent more time learning to type and locate letters on the keyboard than to sound out words or make any reading progress.  Once he had graduated into the main program, the level of difficulty was often too much for him.  He spent most of his time guessing and clicking on each option in order to find the correct answer.

This program would be best suited for a child who wanted to work independently.  It would work well for teaching sight words.

What did the crew think?  Read more reviews here!

Disclaimer: I received a free subscription to this site in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are mine.

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