Friday, October 9, 2015

A TOS Review: Reading Kingdom

Reading Kingdom Review

For many children, reading can be a difficult task to master. For others, it seems that they just pick it up without any problem. As of now, I have taught four children to read, all using the same technique and program. That is one reason I was glad to review Reading Kingdom, a new online Learn to Read program for ages four to ten years old.

Reading Kingdom Review

Reading Kingdom teaches reading proficiency up to a third grade level. According to the Department of Education, only one out of three children is considered a proficient reader. It is the most important skill that we can teach our children, and yet so many are falling short. Reading Kingdom is dedicated to teaching children to read in a nonthreatening, entertaining environment that makes learning this necessary skill seem like fun and games. 

While most reading programs are phonics based, Reading Kingdom rounds out the learning with the other 5 skills necessary to achieve reading proficiency. Those skills are: sequencing, writing, sounds, meaning, grammar and comprehension.

The most interesting thing about Reading Kingdom, in my opinion, is how the program adapts to each child. First, the student takes a Skills Survey. Once the assessment of the student's reading and writing skills is complete, the computer places the student exactly at the point that the student needs to be. There is no relearning information they already have learned, and there is no frustration with being introduced to skills he or she is not ready to learn.

Caleb is a second grader, and a fairly good reader. However, he is definitely all boy, and taking the time to sit down to read for fun has not been on his radar as of yet. So when we found out he would be reviewing this, I wasn't sure if it was going to be a very good fit. Well, Caleb has been using Reading Kingdom for a month now, at least 4 days a week. He is loving it! The Skills Survey placed him, and on he went. There is a key word to each lesson, and I admit, this had me wondering what exactly we had gotten ourselves into. It seemed so basic, and I felt like he was doing more to improve typing skills than reading. I felt he was placed in a level much too low simply because his typing wasn't quick enough, and I thought he'd be very frustrated. But as I watched him progress through the "games", I saw how much content he was absorbing, such as:

  • letter recall
  • word recognition
  • phonemic awareness
  • capitalization
  • punctuation
  • and so much more!

While, yes, being placed on a lower level was a bit of a frustration, I can now see that it was for the best. He can read words much more difficult than what he is working through. But since he isn't bored and is thoroughly enjoying the program, I haven't deemed it necessary to manually move him up a level. I believe that the content reviewed has been excellent, and the skills being taught will serve him well. And he is definitely getting more familiar with where the letters are found on the keyboard!

We have a lot more to learn about this program, but what I've seen so far has been excellent. I am happy we had the chance to review Reading Kingdom. It is not something I would have looked at for Caleb, simply because I would have thought a program that taught reading wouldn't be necessary for a child who is already reading well. But I am so glad he is able to sharpen his skills, improve  upon what he already knows, and even progress in other areas. I am looking forward to seeing how much more he learns on the next levels of the program.

To follow Reading Kingdom on social media, check them out here:

To read what other TOS Reviewers thought of Reading Kingdom, see more reviews here:

Reading Kingdom Review

Crew Disclaimer

Monday, October 5, 2015

Saturday, October 3, 2015

It's Fall, Y'all!

I love fall. The sights, the smells, the crisp cool air. We went apple picking last week, and while it was great fun, I knew something was just off. I couldn't get into the baking mood because it was just too dang warm! Well, Thursday was our first cool day, and I am ready to cook some awesome apple treats this week!

Kelly was up and ready to head to Farmfest with the boys bright and early. I love that they can share in a beautiful fall day in the outdoors, climbing on tractors and whatever else they decide to do. Chloe, Caleb and I went to, but we had Class Act rehearsals. I am glad we got to enjoy the day outdoors, as well, just not for as long.



I think Cadie is going to love fall, too! She loves being outside, and getting the big kids to take her to the swing is a big treat. I am so excited to spend more days at the park this fall and watch her explore and gain new skills. This is even more amusing when she has her own cheer squad for every new achievement! This girl will NEVER lack confidence.

We have several field trips planned for the next few weeks, and they are all outdoors - YAY! Yesterday kicked off our round of trips. We went to The Springfield Conservation Nature Center for their "Just Like Lewis and Clark" event. There was so much to see and do! We visited with a "soujourner" who acted like he'd traveled with the adventurers and learned about the predators they encountered on the journey. We saw all kinds of plants and animals they came across for the very first time. The kids got to make nature journals, get out on the trail, and draw what they observed. They petted snakes and bunnies; they watched demonstrations on the golden eagle and the great horned owl. They painted on buffalo hides and practiced mapping skills. It was a great day filled with fun and learning.

It's going to be a busy fall between schoolwork, field trips, and popcorn sales. I hope to make some great memories with the kids through it all. How will you be spending the first few weeks of fall in your area?