The past several weeks, Rebekah and Eli have been able to improve their reading skills by using one of Reading Kingdom‘s online reading programs called Reading Kingdom Online. Other members of the Crew were also able to try out the newer program ASD Reading which is specifically developed for those children with autism.
Reading Kingdom is an online, subscription based program which teaches children how to read to a third grade reading level. It is based on the teaching method designed by Dr. Marion Blank called the “Six Skill Integrated Method.” The Reading Kingdom program was designed by her son (who is also the CEO) Jonathan Blank. The “Six Skill Integrated Method” focuses on teaching:
Initially the student learns the importance of proper sequencing. They learn the difference between words such as own, won, and now; where the same letters are used but they make up very different words. The child is taught to recognize the words from left to right and to recognize subtle differences between words.
In order for the student to be able to effectively “write” the word with an online program, they need to have a basic understanding of the layout of the keyboard. Letter Land is the way in which the student becomes more familiar with the placement of the keyboard. Both Eli and Rebekah really enjoyed this aspect of Reading Kingdom. They also focus on writing in Reading Kingdom because it is 5x more effective in teaching a word than by seeing it alone.
Reading Kingdom uses orthographic phonemics (which is seeing sound patterns) and bit blends to teach the sounds of different letters and letter blends. With bit blends the student learns to make different sounds from groups of letters.
Reading Kingdom is unlike many programs in that instead of using words that sound the same in each lesson they use words that have similar meaning. The thought behind this is that in real life reading, words in a book are not organized by similar sounds instead they are organized to provide a meaning.
By learning the 100 common non-content words (such as; and, they, is, the, but, what) students can recognize and read about 60% of any written text. These same words also help us to identify nouns, verbs, singular, and plural. By understanding these words and their relationship to other words, the student is further able to decode the meaning of the text.
The goal of Reading Kingdom is to teach each word that will be used in a book that the student will read before the book is introduced to him/her. This enables the student to understand each word and be able to identify the main idea of the story. This gives the child the ability to read each word that is presented within the book.
Dr. Blank also created the “Comprehension Modeling Method” in which the student is taught how to summarize the main idea of the text. Initially the student fills in the missing word(s) in a summary and by the end of the program the student is able to write his/her own summary.
When we started Reading Kingdom Online, both kids completed the placement tests so that the program could determine where to place them. They were both placed in the Letter Land and Sequencing portion so they could gain a better knowledge of letter placement on the keyboard.
Both Eli and Rebekah have been completing three-four lessons of Reading Kingdom Online per week. Each lesson takes approximately 10-15 minutes to complete. After completing a lesson, they also have the option to do another lesson, practice reading or exit the program. I often encourage them to go ahead and do some extra practice. They have both completed the Letter Land and Sequencing Portion of the program and are now working through Reading/Writing Level 1.
What Do We Think of Reading Kingdom?
At first, I wasn’t sure that Eli and Rebekah were progressing very fast. As I learned more about the theory behind Reading Kingdom, I realized they were learning two important aspects, Sequencing and Writing. This has proved to be very beneficial to them because now when they are asked to write a word they can quickly find the correct letters on the keyboard.
Now that they are in the Reading/Writing Level 1, they are learning many new words. They not only learn to recognize and read the words, they also learn how to spell them. The consistent practice is paying off as they are able to recognize the new words quickly.
The kids have both really enjoyed Reading Kingdom Online. They find the games to be pleasant and fun. I like that I can see them learning and utilizing new skills associated with becoming more proficient readers. I plan to continue using Reading Kingdom with both of them over the coming months.
Wondering if Reading Kingdom is right for you and your children? Reading Kingdom has several videos that you can watch to learn more about the program. I found this video to be very helpful.
You can see what other members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew have to say about Reading Kingdom Online and ASD Reading by clicking the banner below.
*I would really appreciate it if you would take the time to sign up to receive an email for each post so you don’t miss anything. You can find the “Subscribe to Blog via Email” button at the top of the blog and enter your email. Thank you!