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Monday, March 7, 2011

Product review: The Reading Kingdom

The Reading Kingdom is a fun, easy-to-use online program that teaches children 4-10 years old how to read and write to a third grade level. Created by one of the top expects in literacy, the program works with any other reading curriculum your child may currently be doing and is the only system that teaches all six skills for reading and writing success.

Designed for readers ages 4 to 10, it is great for children who have no previous reading experience through children who may already be reading but could use some additional practice for mastery. The program is designed to determine the best starting place for your child, but you can click here to learn more about where your child would be placed.

The program can be purchased on a month-by-month basis for only $19.99 a month for one child. No monthly minimum is required and an additional child can be added for only $9.99. The company also offers a free trial for homeschoolers and teachers. After you sign-up, you can add readers and begin using the program immediately.

A unique aspect to this program is that they offer a Scholarship Program. If you can't afford to pay for the program, you can apply for the scholarship subscription which enables your child to participate in the program for free. They ask, though, that if you do have the means to pay that you please leave the scholarship funds for a family that honestly would not be able to participate in the program without it.

Some of the other products that the company offers include a reading comprehension program called Story Smarts, a book by Dr. Blank that explains the theory and basis behind the Reading Kingdom called The Reading Remedy, and a handwriting program called Letter Land by Hand.

Why you should check this program out:

*Most children are able to do the program independently. This is important for our family with multiple school-age children needing my attention.

*The program adjusts to your child's ability level, making sure your child is reaching his or her fullest potential using the program.

*It's the only program that teaches all 6 skills a child needs to read and write effectively.

*It's affordable, and if you can't afford it, you can apply to the scholarship program.

*Easily follow your child's progress with reports that are emailed to you or always available on the website.

*When you sign up all of your information will be kept private. Spamming is rude, unethical and they don't do it.

What Didn't Work for us:

**The program starts with extensive typing practice. This was perfect for Henry, but extremely tiresome and dull for Isaac. He really struggled to get through the practice and I had to constantly encourage him to keep going. They recommend the typing practice for one to two weeks, but he would have quit the program if I had made him do it that long.

**It just wasn't a good fit for us. I thought that Henry and Isaac would be soooo excited to have a computer program just for them from the review program. James gets to participate quite often, and Henry and Isaac are usually right there whining and begging to do one as well. Well after a short amount of time trying things out, Henry and Isaac both decided to boycott the program. No amount of bribing, pleading and eventually threatening could get them back on that computer. Since we are a no computer game family I just decided that I would honestly relate our experience knowing most families would not run into this amount of stubborn resistance behavior. Of course James was begging to do the program (how ironic), but since he is already reading at a middle-school level that wouldn't have worked for the review.

*I really want to stress here that our experience is unique. The stubbornness of my children, and my unwillingness to force them to stick with the program should not influence your desire or opinion of the company and the product that they are offering. I am required to write an honest review of the product and my experience using it. To leave out the fact that my children would not participate would be dishonest. I fully plan to revisit the program in the future and take advantage of the 30-free trial offer.

Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Homeschool Review Group, I received a free subscription to The reading Kingdom in exchange for an honest review on this blog. I received no other compensation.

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