Reading Kingdom is a long time favorite of our family, thanks to the Homeschool Review Crew. We were introduced to this program many years ago and have enjoyed using it ever since. It has been a huge help for our family, allowing my oldest son to gain reading skills when he used to struggle with reading in his early days. So when Reading Kingdom came up for review this year, I knew this was one that I wanted to use with my younger kids as well.
Since our early days with using Reading Kingdom, the creators of the program have also developed another program that is specifically designed for use with children on the Autism spectrum. ASD Reading focuses on students who have challenges with reading that are on the spectrum to help them gain necessary skills for reading they may not be able to accomplish through other programs. This program covers reading, writing and comprehension, helping even non-speaking students to learn reading and writing skills as they work through the program. This is an exciting development that I personally feel is just wonderful for students who may have specific issues when learning. I think it would have been great to use with my struggling reader had it been available to us as he was learning to read.
For our review, we were given access to Reading Kingdom for both Jackson and Laycie for a full year. Jackson is 5 and Laycie is 10 so they are at opposite ends of the reading spectrum. Jackson is just learning to read and recognize letters, spelling and comprehension, while Laycie has some reading skills developed, knows how to spell some words and is continuing to build her reading and comprehension skills. Laycie has struggled with reading thanks to her issues with her seizures and medications she has been on throughout her life, so I’m always looking for programs that challenge her and help her build her reading skills in a fun way.
When you sign up for Reading Kingdom, you can chose how many students you will use the program with and will be billed accordingly. For us, the youngest two children of our family needed this program. Once set up, I was able to get each student started.
When you sign in, you will be taken to your dashboard. This program is independent and your student should always work alone with the exception of you, the parent/teacher, giving guidance as needed in initially using the keyboard or following the directions to use the program and learning new concepts like how to click the arrows to move ahead with the program. You, the parent, should NEVER give answers for the child as the program is designed to progress and develop around what your child knows. It is self-measuring as your child works through the program and adjusts to their needs as they go.
When beginning the program, you can choose to set the program up beginning with lesson 1 or you can select to use a placement test to set your student at a level that may work better for them in the program. For Jackson, I chose to start with Lesson 1 as he’s new to reading and needs to develop his skills. For Laycie, I felt a placement test would be better since she already knows some things but needs to further develop her reading skills at her level of reading. You the parent, will need to assess your child to see what is best for you and them.
The program itself is very easy to follow. It begins with an explanation by a adorable Owl who explains to both the student and the parent what the programs expectations are, as well as how to use the keyboard, follow the instructions and begin using the program. After this, you jump into the lessons and begin.
Lessons are fairly easy to complete as well. You earn points as your work through the program that unlock online rewards for your child. The lessons start out simple and build as your child goes along.
Each lesson is in full-color and is interactive. Imagery and animation bring the program to life for your child, keeping them intrigued as they work through each lesson. This makes it fun for the child and keeps them wanting to learn.
At the end of the lesson, your child (or you the parent) can choose to stop the lesson for the day or continue to the next lesson if you choose to do so. Lessons vary in length and response required. Some lessons use a keyboard. You can choose between using an on-screen keyboard or an external keyboard for lessons. I *believe* that the on-screen keyboard is still available if you choose to use the external though.
This program covers important skills in reading: spelling, phonics, writing, grammar, comprehension and so much more. It can be used on most devices like iPad, tablets, computers, laptops, Chromebooks, and so on. This makes it versatile and easy to access for your child and for you.
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