Monday, March 7, 2011

TOS Review: Reading Kingdom

As you already know, reading is a crucial skill we must each obtain and use. Learning to read can be a real challenge for some children. Reading Kingdom provides a fun, creative way to learn these reading skills.

The past few weeks, we have had the opportunity to use this program, and Little Bit has really been enjoying himself! It's one of the first things he asks to do each morning (after pet chores, breakfast, and morning worship!....and sometimes doesn't even wait for all the other things to be completed! LOL)

Frankly, I tend to embrace the delayed-formal-education philosophy, so really haven't done much reading instruction yet with Little Bit. That, and the fact he has developmental delays as it is; I just haven't been pushing him. He is showing an eagerness to learn (to read, to learn mathematics, etc.), so I was thrilled when I discovered we'd have the opportunity to use Reading Kingdom!!

It is a fun, very interactive program. Captivating, and motivating.

From the website:

How the Program is Organized

The Skills Survey
The program begins with your child taking a Skills Survey. Through simple, game-like activities, it reveals the skills a child has and does not have so that the program can start at exactly the right place to encourage the greatest success.

The Teaching
Once the Skills Survey is completed, the teaching begins. The program is organized into six levels.

Pre-reading Level
Teaches the Visual Sequencing and Keyboarding Skills that underlie reading and writing. A child goes through one or both of these programs if the Skills Survey shows that these components are needed.

Level 1
Gets your child reading, understanding and writing meaningful ideas by teaching key nouns (kids, girl, bird), verbs (actions such as eat, walk, fly) and "helping" words (the, some, is, can, are). Once a set of words has been taught, the child gets to read a book containing those words, along with words previously taught. As in all subsequent levels, there are six books in Level 1.

Level 2
Greatly expands the range of ideas your child reads and writes by adding new nouns (puppies, man, water), verbs relevant to those nouns (run, fix, move, including words that convey motivation such as need, want, like), pronouns (she, I, we), additional "helping" words (that, also, both, of) and question words (who, what, which).

Level 3
Enhances your child's ability to tell and understand stories by teaching the words to convey past tense (was, did, were), along with increasing the range of nouns (ground, rocks), verbs (push, think, hurt), "helping" words (most, on, any), and adjectives (sad, happy, nice, -y as in dirty, rocky).

Level 4
Gets your child reading subject matter that is different from typical stories and essential to school success. It introduces a wide variety of objects and beings from the natural world (animals, rainbow, moon, tongue, group, people, earth) and higher level question words (why, when, how). These are then incorporated into books that convey science type information.

Level 5
Has your child reading rich stories which provide a sense of fun while teaching complex cause and effect relationships by expanding the range of nouns (computer, letter, fish) and verbs (change, know, float), and introducing a set of complex ideas (luck, true, never, change, sure).

I like the fact that, not only is Little Bit learning to read, he is also learning some keyboarding skills. The program provides verbal instruction and animated prompts, so your child really can do this program on his/her own. I think Little Bit likes that "independence"!

One thing that I found a little, um, irksome maybe is the right word. When using "a" as a word (i.e. "a girl," "a dog," "a bird,") it is pronounced as "uh" instead of "ay." Then it was that I learned this program uses only the whole-word instruction method, and goes so far as to say that the phonics method does not work! (Personally, I disagree with that assessment, but I won't go into it at this time).

Later, when Little Bit had to spell a list of words: bug, hug, jug, tug, etc., he got the whole list wrong, because he spelled them with an "a" instead of a "u"!! So, I can see where he definitely needs a little more phonics instruction than I have so far given him! ;)

I do know that he is beginning to recognize more words, and is able to pick some of them out while looking at books. He is beginning to pretend to "read" chapter books, just to "keep up" with his older siblings! ;) So I know we will be ramping up his reading instruction; I am very grateful that we will have the assistance of Reading Kingdom to help us along this journey!

You can sign up for a free 30 day trial, to see for yourself if it works for your family. Subscriptions to Reading Kingdom are $19.99/month (with no monthly minimum), or $199.99 if you purchase a 12 month subscription. If you have multiple children using the program, the cost per each additional child in your family is $9.99/month. They also have a scholarship program.

Be sure to go check it out. I am sure your children will enjoy it as much as my little guy has been. In fact, he'll be in here any moment, asking to get started! ;) To read reviews from other Crew members, click the banner below.


As a review blogger, I am provided a free copy of the book, curriculum or product to test and use in order to write an honest review. I receive no other compensation and the opinions I share are my own and not influenced by the company in question. Pin It Now!


  1. We reviewed Reading Kingdom also. My daugthers loves using it! I saw your request for new followers and came right over. Please follow me too! :) Thank you!

  2. Thank you for taking the time to review our Reading Kingdom program...With regard to our pronunciation of "a" that is probably just a factor of where our narrator came from. "A" can be pronounced "uh" or "ay". Either is correct. We apologize if our pronunciation was disturbing to you or your child.

    I would also like to clarify that the Reading Kingdom program is not a "whole word" program. ... The Reading Kingdom teaches 6 skills that Dr. Marion Blank, the Director of the Light on Literacy program at Columbia University and the creator of the Reading Kingdom, has determined are required for reading and writing success. These skills are visual sequencing, motor skills for writing, phonics (sounds), syntax (grammar), semantics (meaning) and comprehension (text). So Reading Kingdom does teach the sounds of letters and letter blends (phonics), but it does so in the context of the other skills required for reading mastery. Dr. Blank, does not feel that phonics does not work, but that phonics alone causes a very high rate of reading failure (which is why national test scores show that around 40% of kids are failing to master the skill of reading). Knowing the sounds of letters and letter combinations is part of reading, but it's not the whole package.

    Thanks again! We'll be featuring your review on our Facebook page -


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