The Reading Kingdom offers a unique, patented system of education developed by Dr. Marion Blank, the Director of the Light on Learning Institute at Columbia University. Unlike other programs that present children with a series of random exercises, the Reading Kingdom provides children with a scientifically designed curriculum that teaches them exactly what they need to learn, when they need it.
The reading and writing formats of the Reading Kingdom program are divided into 5 levels with 6 books at each level (for a total of 30 books). This portion of the program teaches the skills of reading, writing and comprehension, starting with short, simple words and phrases and moving on to increasingly complex language. Prior to reading a book a child is taught all the words of that book using 4 different teaching formats to teach each word. In this way, once a child reaches a book, he or she can already read and understand the meaning of all the words in that book. As the levels progress, the words and books become more complex and a format that reinforces reading comprehension is added as well.
Components: each of the 5 levels offers the following in terms of new words and new books:
|Level||New Words||New Words + Variants||Total New Words||New Books|
Many words are taught with multiple variants. For instance, a word like "park" will be taught along with "parks," "parking," and "parked." Consequently, the total number of words taught in the program is considerably higher than the number of new words alone.
Another key feature of the Reading Kingdom is that it places a strong emphasis on learning the non-content words (such as the, he, was, be, does) which are often referred to as "sight" words or "little words." Because these words cannot be sounded out, they receive relatively little teaching time in standard reading programs. Yet these words occupy 50%-60% of any page of text and they are critical to meaning as you can see in the following sentences which differ by the single word "to."
Because there are only about 100 of these commonly used words and they occupy 50%-60% of every page of text in the English language, we call them the super sight words.
Each word in the Reading Kingdom program is taught through a series of 4 fun and game-like formats with a session taking about 15-20 minutes to complete. The word teaching formats have been scientifically designed to teach all the components in reading and writing including word recognition, spelling, comprehension, and sentence construction.
A key feature of the Reading Kingdom is that before each content word is taught, the program uses a mini-assessment to determine if a child already knows the word. If he or she does know the word, the teaching formats for that word are skipped and the child moves on to the next word. This way children do not get bored with material they already know, or frustrated by material that is too advanced for them. In this example children are assessed on their ability to spell the word "animals."
Level 1 in the reading/writing portion of Reading Kingdom starts with simple words and phrases such as a kid and Here are some toys.
By Levels 4 and 5, a child is reading and writing sentences like:
Length of time to complete
Typically one new word or one new book is offered in a session. As children become more proficient, they are taught two new words per session. Assuming 4 to 5 sessions a week, each level takes approximately 6-10 weeks to complete. Children do not have to do all the levels. Based on the Skills Survey, they enter at the level that is appropriate to the skills they already possess. In addition, prior to teaching a word, the program determines if a child already knows that word, and if so, the program skips that word and moves on to the next word.