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Wednesday, October 4th
Reading Kingdom has very little information about their program on their website, to the point that without going to other websites, we couldn't find the price. At the time of this review, one third-party site we found said the monthly subscription is $19.99 or $199 for the year. Each additional child will cost $9.99 per month or $99 for the year. Our research indicated that there's a scholarship available if the program is too expensive; however we didn't see that directly on the site.
Focus on writing skills vs. reading
Reading Kingdom is focused more on writing than reading. Not to say they aren't teaching your child to read, they are just using writing skills as a way to teach it differently. The program also teaches early computer skills such as using a mouse and typing, plus keyboard controls such as how to copy and paste.
Does not follow phonics approach
Reading Kingdom does not follow a phonics approach. According to their website only 1 in 5 words can be sounded out phonetically. They have an example on the website of a sentence using a bunch of words with "ea" in them. There are 13 different ways to pronounce the "ea" sound in that sentence.
Six aspects of learning
Instead of using phonics to teach children to read, they focus on 100 sight words instead. They advertise that phonics programs only focus on one aspect of reading which is sounds, while they focus on six. The six that they focus on are sequencing, writing, sounds, meaning, grammar and comprehension. It is worth noting most of the other learn to read programs in our review teach the same skills.
Lowest ranking due to lack of information
Overall, due to the lack of concrete information on the company website, we need to give Reading Kingdom a low score. Prospective customers shouldn't have to visit external websites to get pricing information, and there was no way to fact check those with Reading Kingdom. Their website didn't seem to offer anything extra that higher ranking programs lacked. We strongly recommend that you look at the higher-rated programs in our review, and avoid Reading Kingdom as an option for helping a child that's learning to read.
The most common tools used to teach literacy to children are phonics and sight words. Phonics tends to be an easier skill for children as they are able to sound out the letters to create a word. Sight words can be trickier because they are words that just need memorized as they do not follow the rules when it comes to reading the English language.
Learn to read programs can be helpful for children as they tend to be game-based. Children love to play games and they do not necessarily realize they are learning. When looking at a learn to read program, you can expect it to offer some type of fun activity for children to do. Some programs go above and beyond this with other school subjects being covered or worksheets to print out.
Also, spelling can be an important part of learning to read. This helps children find patterns in words and how to read multiple that follow the same rule. An example is if you can spell light and know that the "gh" is silent, then you can read might, tight, and so on.
As you consider different learn to read programs, there are a few key aspects you'll find to be most important:
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