> Bless Their Hearts Mom: Can Reading be Taught a BETTER Way? With Reading Kingdom, it CAN!
Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Can Reading be Taught a BETTER Way? With Reading Kingdom, it CAN!

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.  All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.

Reading Kingdom banner

As you know, Miss Grace is dyslexic, so her reading level is technically 'behind'. We've tried other programs aimed at Dyslexic children, but she always gets bored and claims they are aimed at little kids, and then doesn't seem to get much from them. So when I was offered the chance to try out the Reading Kingdom reading program, I was thrilled!

Reading Kingdom is actually 1 of 2 different online reading programs offered by Mojo Learning. Reading Kingdom is for kids ages 4-10, and teaches them how to read and write, up to comprehension at a 3rd grade level. But it is also great for kids with ADHD and Dyslexia, who need to work on reading gaps from traditional reading programs.

Their ASD Reading Program is for kids ages 4-15, who are on the autism spectrum. It also teaches them to read and write, up to the same 3rd grade level, but incorporates modifications and additional formats, to suit those students better. But BOTH programs teach reading through use of Phonics (Sounds), Sequencing, Writing, Meaning, Grammar, and Comprehension, not just the traditional means of phonics ONLY.

WHY is that so important? 

Look at this picture:

phonics sample
Courtesy of Reading Kingdom
Your child was probably taught how to read using traditional phonics, right? But did you know that fewer than
1 in 5 wordscan be "sounded out", and there are 1,768 ways to spell 40 sounds? Plus there are almost 600 spelling and pronunciation rules, such as the silent e rule, for kids to memorize. But even those have exceptions tot he rules, making memorization extremely difficult for kids with any type of learning issue. It's no wonder even typical kids can get confused, when they start learning to read around age 4, when phonics are used! But to a dyslexic kid, it really doesn't make sense!  Just look at the sentence above and count the different ways "ea" can be pronounced. Yup 13 different ways! So as you can see, JUST teaching phonics may not help your child, if they don't understand the contextual clues either!

reading kingdom samples 1

For Miss Grace who struggles AT the phonic level, but has an amazing capacity to remember by SIGHT, different words, Reading Kingdom is perfect for her! By helping her with sequencing and TYPING (aka the writing) of the word she doesn't know how to spell/read, she gets to use BOTH sides of her brain, thus planting a firm picture OF the word into her memory. For dyslexic kids this is SO important, as it is how they place things into LONG term memory! And with having her read small paragraphs and find the sounds that ARE alike, it helps not only her reading, but her reading comprehension!

You see, THAT is one of the differences with Reading Kingdom, from other reading programs: children are taught words in meaningful sentences, of common usage that they understand. Then those sentences are combined with other such sentences, to make meaningful paragraphs, like they would find in any fiction or non-fiction book. By teaching the word, then the context, then applying it with other sentences. Kids LEARN form and function, and pronunciation as well! And I think this is where the program has made such a HUGE difference for Miss Grace!

readign kingdom samples 2

When you start the program, it does have your child take a Skills Survey, so it can start them where they feel comfortable, yet allows for them to be challenged from the start. Miss Grace got distracted while taking hers, so actually had a slower response time, so it put her back a level. But I was ok with that, as I figured the way the program was set up, it might help to have review, and it has! For example, Reading Kingdom, the program bypasses the teaching of any words that a student already knows, once they show they know it, either via the Survey, or by usage. Then as they make any errors, the system allows them to retry and make corrections. This allows your child to feel more confident in their ability, and allows for any accidental hits on the screen (errors) to be shown. When the system determines your child has mastered a level, then they will get moved on to a new level. But if it feels more mastery is needed, then it added more activities (what your child will think of as games, aka more FUN!) in the areas NEEDED, so they can move on.They don't have to repeat EVERYTHING they just did, like in other programs. Instead they have fresh games and activities to work on. This keeps the program fresh and fun for them!

reading kingdom parent board

I like how as a parent/teacher, I can go in and adjust the settings, so she can have quicker/slower response times, to allow for how she can use the keyboard/mouse (they also have activities to help your child learn those separately from the Reading program). I can set her age, so it knows if she is a new learner, or a struggling one, set whether English is her native language, and if I want her to have to master ALL of the words at each level, set her mastery level, and allow additional text reading. As a teacher I feel this allows me to know she is getting the MOST out of the program! I like how you can see all your kids on one parental screen, making it easy to keep up with everyone. 

It is recommended that your child use the program 4-5 times a week. If your child is starting at the beginning, it could take them about a year to finish all the levels, or if they learn quickly, less than that. For kids like Miss Grace, who are brushing up and filling in gaps, 6 months is the norm. The program ONLY let's them use it for a set time period, about 15 minutes, to keep kids from getting bored, and to allow for maximum retention periods. So we use it as her 'quiet time' to decompress, after she has done her homeschool work for the day. We tried doing it in the reverse, but she prefers it at the end.

I like that you aren't tied to a desktop or laptop, and that you CAN use tablets with the program! BUT you do need to access it by an internet browser, there are no apps available. We have her's bookmarked, so it's easy for her to log in, whenever she wants to. But for Miss Grace this means a lot of 'sofa' time on the program, LOL. There is no worry about pop up ads or chat boxes, as they aren't part of the program! Additionally I like how the program sends you regular progress reports, and allows you to log in and view a report of their activity at any time. This really helps for your peace of mind, and for you to see what, and how much, your child is learning.

I have seen such a HUGE improvement with Miss Grace's reading since starting Reading Kingdom. She is SOUNDING out 3-4 syllable words, where before she would hesitate and try not to. She is more comfortable reading out loud to me, and she is reading grade level texts! For example, before she started, she would stop on any word she didn't know, and after the second word would get frustrated. Now she is trying to sound out the word, asks for correction, and keeps going! This is how she ended up reading that recent biographical book I reviewed, so well! It really makes a Mom's heart ZING, to know her kid is finally 'getting' it and starting to love reading again!

If your child is a struggling reader, this Summer might be the PERFECT time to try out Reading Kingdom, to see if it can help your child succeed in reading!

Check out what my fellow reviewers think about the Reading Kingdom program, and it's sister program, ASD Reading, before deciding to try it. Just click the picture below to check out their reviews, then come back for info on a special FREE trial for you!

Learn to Read with Reading Kingdom OR ASD Reading {Reviews}

Right now you can get a FREE 30 day trial of Reading Kingdom, to see if it will help YOUR child! After your 30 day free trial, you can get a monthly ($19.99/month) or yearly ($199.99) rate. Additional children in your family get 50% off ($9.99/month). BUT if you sign up for a no-risk subscription when instead, you can save 25%! And that makes the program VERY on par with other program, that only teach phonics as reading, to your kids! AND you can cancel your subscription at any time, so your satisfaction is their goal. 

Know someone whose child could REALLY use this program, but they can't afford that cost? They also have a scholarship program you can apply for, for those who can't afford it, and they try to work with them, if at all possible.

Be sure to check out the Reading Kingdom blog for some great teaching and parental posts, as well as free resources, like worksheets and reading lists! you can also find links to them on their Facebook, and Twitter pages as well. Plus check out their Instagram page for some great inspiration!

reading kingdom inspiration
Courtesy of Reading Kingdom

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