Thanks to Tomoson, I was recently given the opportunity to use and review Reading Kingdom, an online reading program that teaches children ages 4 through 10 to read and write to a third grade level.
This program looks great and I have read some fantastic reviews on it! Here are some screenshots provided by the company:
a patented curriculum designed by Dr. Marion Blank, the Director of the Light on Learning program at Columbia University and a world-renowned expert on literacy. Reading Kingdom is the only program that teaches children all 6 skills required for reading and writing success. a fully customized, adaptive reading and writing program for each child, and a program that is fun and easy to use.
It looks like a really fun program!
My son can use a keyboard just fine, but was unable to take the assessment test due to the basic requirement of using a mouse. Another thing to note if you decide to use the keyboard: the keys are all uppercase and if they are just starting out, children may have trouble when the program asks them to find a lowercase letter (Zachary has no trouble with this). In addition to the mouse, Zachary would not be able to use the SHIFT key with another letter. Simply put, it takes a motor skill that he has not acquired yet. The great thing is that Reading Kingdom has a section for practicing keyboard and mouse, so we will log in every day to keep working on that.
Zachary could have used this program much easier had it been available on the IPad, which he is quite proficient on. However it requires flash and so you have to purchase a program like Photon or iSwifter. You can read how here. Zachary reads well enough that I just didn't feel like paying the extra $5, at this point, to test the program further. We will wait to try again once he can use the mouse.
The entire program is online, which means there is nothing to download. It is an award-winning program that uses Dr. Blank's patented and research based "6-SIM" (Six Skill Integrated Method) technique that yields incredible results. The program is designed so that children can use it on their own - so all you have to do is create an account and then get them started.
The bottom line for us: Zachary already reads on a third grade level (he read the first two chapters of Genesis from the KJV Bible to Daddy yesterday). I think this program will be better for him once he gets used to the mouse and I appreciate the fact that Reading Kingdom gave us a year long subscription.
I wish we had been able to get passed the test in order to see how the program works, how Zachary felt about it, and if there are any "quirks" to it. That being said, the reviews I have read are very positive and I would recommend giving the 30 day trial a go if you have a child learning to read.
When you sign up for Reading Kingdom, you receive a 30-day free trial. After that, subscriptions to Reading Kingdom are $19.99/month (with no monthly minimum), or $199.99 per year (20% off). Additional children in your account get 50% off ($9.99/month or $99.99/year). They also offer additional resources and a store with books that complement the lessons.
Connect with Reading Kingdom on Facebook and Twitter for more information and resources!