Miraclegirl has been using Reading Kingdom the past few weeks as a summer supplement to her struggle to learn how to read. It's on online program, designed to help teach children ages 4-10 how to read, created by one of the world's top reading experts, Dr. Marion Blank.About Home School ReviewsCurriculum, teaching aids, online resources -- they abound for the Home Schooling family. Budgets are usually tight, making each purchase count. Home School Reviews come from our Shiloh Home School, as we check out some of the resources available to home schooling families, giving detailed, comprehensive descriptions of the product and our honest opinions about the quality of the product, based upon the price.
I was disappointed at first to discover it is not strictly phonics based. I am a strong phonics advocate. However, given the fact Miraclegirl has stalled out in her learning, I was willing to implement the other methods this program uses, which is a 6 skill model approach: sequencing, motor skills, sounds, meaning, grammar and comprehension.
Frankly, when I attempted to read how this 6 model approach works exactly, I didn't come away with clear answers. Either phonics is so ingrained me in me I didn't comprehend what I was reading, or it's clearly spelled out and I just am not grasping it.
I began miraclegirl on the Kindergarten level but I'm pretty sure that her screener test customized her down to a PreK level. Whether this was due to her inability to follow directions or her unfamiliarity with the keyboard, thus slowing down her speed, I'm not sure.
We've used the program at least 3 times a week for the past month to six weeks. At best, I see Miraclegirl more adept at using the computer keyboard and finding her letters quickly, but as far as recognizing words and reading them efficiently as a result of the trial, I have not seen a change.
I think getting a star is amazing. I like the colors on the screen. It kinda helped me read. It didn't help me read. But it helped me do letters on the computer.
~ The initial screener test had my daughter in tears. It "took forever" she said, and because she has not really used a computer all that much, she could not do what we required in the time it gave her to do so. She knew her letters, she just couldn't find them on the keyboard.
~ This is not a fast solution to reading struggles. It is a long term process.
~ For me a downside is it's a computer. I control screen time for the kids and this required screen time.
~ There are no supplementary readers or hand writing handouts and given the price, that makes it difficult to purchase those additional needed materials for a child.
~ It's brightly colored and highly visual but not so much so, children are distracted from task.
~ The voice over for the owl is soothing and clear to children.
~ Directions are easy for children to follow.
~ The star system went over big with my child and was a source of excitement.
~ It's a multi-facted approach to readding
In the end, I would reccommend this program if
~ You are a family that wants to employ the computer for learning as opposed to books
~ You are not fully sold on phonics only for your reading method.
Us? We enjoy the trial and I think it's a great supplement but given the overall price ($200 for an entire year) it's not what we would ultimately choose for our method.
I give it a 3.5 out of 5 rating.
The initial review and description of this program, as well as additional reviews can be found at The Home School Crew blog post.
Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this product for review purposes, made possible by: