Simply Nerdy Mom: How Reading Kingdom Can Sharpen Your Child's Reading Skills

Monday, June 19, 2017

How Reading Kingdom Can Sharpen Your Child's Reading Skills

*Disclaimer: I received a free year of Reading Kingdom to test out and feature for you. 

If you are looking for a fun, interactive way for your child to learn to read, or maybe even sharpen their reading skills, you'll want to check out Reading Kingdom. The award winning site teaches children letter sequence and sentence structure while adapting to each child's learning skill level and pace. 

We've been using Reading Kingdom with my son for almost a month now, working with him a few times a week, and at this point I think we have a pretty good feel of the site. 

First thing I want to touch on is the layout of the site. I think it's design is simple and clean, which makes it easy to navigate both for the adult and the child. They have the site broken down into parts for the child(ren), parent, and teacher. So yes, if you are a teacher, you can definitely use this in the classroom as well as at home! It's easy to use on desktops, laptops, and any mobile devices such as phones and tablets, which make it easy for on the go learning. 

When you log into the site for your student or child, you will see a progress report. Initially, when you start the program, each child will go through a placement test, just to see what skills they already posses and what needs a little work. This is where it measures how to accurately design each lesson to match the child's skill level and in a manner that will help them progress. The site will show the child the proper letters to click on and in order after a set period of time. When we first started out, it was such a short time that my son started to get very irritated. Luckily, you can go in and reset it to a longer time before the computer will step in and give a hint. 

As your child progresses through the lessons, they will earn points, which can be cashed in for sheets in your passport book. This gives them something to work towards, however, if you desire, you could go one step farther by giving physical rewards to the child per so many points earned. This is going to depend entirely on your family or classroom, of course. 

My son really enjoys this, and actually finds it fun. The animations on the site remind me of similar learning sites that cover a wider range of lessons like math, shapes, and colors. Reading Kingdom is specifically for reading and learning sentence and word structure, so you can stay focused on one thing at a time. The site suggests that you only do one lesson a day, however, my son sometimes chooses on his own to do two or three, depending on his mood. I'm perfectly okay with this! He loves to learn, and really loves to read. He's currently 4 years old, and he seems to do very well with the site. 

After your child completes the first part of the lesson on letter sequence, they will be given the option to go onto a story. For the story part of the lesson, they will give your child a sentence that doesn't make sense in it's current form, with a few similar words and punctuations. The system will ask the child to choose a specific word (for example it will ask the child to fin the word "The). Your child will then need to find that word, and then the following words and proper punctuation there after with help from the computer to complete a sentence that makes sense. My son seems to excel at this. 

In addition to these two lessons, there are also lessons where your child is to learn how to use the keyboard to distinguish between upper and lowercase letters as well as how to type simple words, and using the shift key to change the letter or punctuation. My son isn't currently on this lesson, but I feel based on the placement test, that he will need more work in this area when the time comes. At the moment we are going in lesson order, however, you can skip ahead to lessons if you feel your child can handle it. You may also retake the placement test if you feel the system gave you lessons that weren't your child's skill level for any reason. For example, because of the way the system was initially set up to jump in and give hints after only a few seconds, I feel that changed my son's lesson plan. he knew what he needed to do, however the system's quick action did not allow him enough time to get use to the mouse and click on what he wanted. After he finished his placement test, I went back in and changed the response time for hints, but his lesson plan was already in place. So in order to give him lesson plans that are his level, he may have to take the test again. 

There is a pretty nice, and very handy key in the lesson plans so you can see which plans were skipped, completed, and not yet started. 
Each level has multiple lesson plans inside more lesson plans, so you could easily get a year or even two out of lessons for one child depending on how often you do the lessons. 

If you need to pause the lesson for any reason, you may do that, however, it only pauses for 12 minutes max, and after that 12 minutes, you will no longer be able to pause the lesson. Because of this, I would advise bathroom breaks, drinks, and meals be done before starting a lesson. Since the lessons are not that long, and only take a few minutes, it's best to do it all instead of taking a break, but as a mother of an older child on the spectrum, I can understand the need to pause for a moment if a child gets overwhelmed. 

Overall, our experience with Reading Kingdom has been great! We will continue working on it and I look forward to seeing my child's progress in the next year when he starts school.

You can try Reading Kingdom for FREE for 30 days

You can also find more lesson plans to purchase in their store, so you never run out of lessons and your child never stops learning. 

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