Over the past month Kallista has been using Reading Kingdom and today we will share our review of it with you. Reading Kingdom is for children aged 4-10 and their goal is to help children read up to a grade 3 level or Lexile 750.
Reading Kingdom isn’t just about phonics, it teaches children to read using six areas of focus:
We have previously reviewed this product about 2.5 years ago and Tristan has long since outgrown it, but I thought it might be good for Kallista to try it again and see how she’s doing. She completed the initial assessment test that students take so that they are placed in the program at a place that is suitable for them. It said that the best place for Kallista to begin was at Level 4 of reading and writing.
Reading Kingdom is done online and you can use either your usual keyboard, or there’s the option to use an on-screen keyboard if you are using a tablet. Kallista is using a PC, but as we are in the UK and the keyboards here are slightly different, she uses the on-screen keyboard (the next time anyone comes over, I am putting in a request for an old keyboard; I didn’t remember last year until it was too late). Although she has also discovered that even when the keyboard is displayed on the screen she can still use the physical keyboard for the letter characters.
Children work their way through the simple games and activities to progress. There are options in the dashboard so that you can choose for your child to have to show mastery on each word before they will move to the next word. Each lesson teaches one word in a variety of ways from filling in the blanks to spell the word to choosing the target word from two or three similar-looking words. Children learn to spell the target word correctly, use it in context, and learn its meaning.
It’s recommended that children use Reading Kingdom a minimum of 4 days a week with 1-2 lessons per day. If you start from the beginning, it will take 12-15 months to complete, but can take as little as 3-6 months if you’re further ahead in the program. The last time Kallista used Reading Kingdom it took her 20-25 minutes a day, but now each lesson averages 8-10 minutes to complete. I found that on both occasions my children were growing impatient and bored as they would answer and then have to wait a while for the program to respond; this can be remedied in the parent’s dashboard by reducing the time allowed to answer each question. Alternatively, if your child needs extra time to answer a question, this can also be adjusted. I can also see that one difference in the program is that parents can now move their children make or ahead on their own without having to ask RK to do it for them.
Kallista is still all about the passport; collecting points so that she can move up to the next level and see what surprises await for her along her journey.
Parents can download reports that show the student’s progress. It’s interesting to compare how Kallista was doing 2 years ago compared to now. Back then her success ranked all over the board and was pretty inconsistent, although she clearly did progress through the entire program. This time around she has received all but one ‘excellent,’ which makes us both happy.
Kallista wants to read the world at top speed and often will move too fast and end up guessing at words rather than taking the time to notice that the word isn’t quite what she thinks. I think that the activity where she has to choose the right word from similar ones and by using context should help her with this. I know that she is noticing more on her own when she reads a word incorrectly, and that’s a good step.
One thing I must say that I do like about Reading Kingdom is that is isn’t just only phonics (which I happen to think is a useful tool), nor is it only sight words (which of course some words have to be, but isn’t a good option for every new word that one comes across in life), but it is a combination of both, as well as other strategies such as context, and more. It fills a child’s toolkit with options for every situation because as we all know, not everyone learns in the same way and not every situation requires the same tool.
To read more reviews about Reading Kingdom by the Homeschool Review Crew, click on the graphic below and follow the instructions. You will find 65 honest reviews by the Crew. If you’d like to know more or would like to follow Reading Kingdom, you can connect with them through their website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.