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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Reading Game

We got a chance to review another product designed to help S-girl read.  I have shared with you here and here how badly S-girl wants to read and "do school" like her older siblings.

This one was called The Reading Game, which is by the maker of Wordly Wise, Kenneth Hodkinson .  I think most homeschoolers are familiar with the Wordly Wise vocabulary program.  We actually just started using it this year for A-girl....and we are loving it! 

Here is what I really like about this program.  It is essentially a game.  Thus the name "The Reading Game".  It really is a matching game....which, anyone who has a preschooler knows.....they love!  I will admit that I am not a huge fan of matching games myself.  My kids have all loved these kinds of games, and, if your kids were anything like mine....they, many times, legitimately won when we play matching games. 

The good thing about this matching game is that each game or section only uses 10 cards, to teach you 5 new words.  I even had a shot at winning!  The individual games are also really quick, so even the older siblings were interested in playing because it didn't involve a huge time commitment from them.

The Reading Game is recommended for 2 players, ages 4+.  It meshes matching games with storybooks.  For the matching game, you actually match words with each other....thus learning these as sight words...not a phonetic pronounciation.  There are six books, and six sections, or games, for every level.  Each level has its own storybook that uses the 30 words that are contained in all six games of each levels. 

The first story is called Skunk and the words in this level are ones like:  and; can; dog; me; run; to; what; and will.

So, after you have finished Skunk, Game 1, your child will have learned the words:  can, cat, is, me, and not.  Once you finish all six games in Level 1 (Skunk), they should be ready to read the book.

There are a few things that were a bit different from "regular" kids books or programs. 

Although the covers are brightly colored, the drawings in the books are black and white sketches...not the usual super colorful books that we were used to for children's book.  The other thing that is a bit different about the book is that there is no capitalization or punctuation.

I loved this game, in theory.   When we first started playing it, it didn't go well.  I retrospect,  I was expecting too much of her and as a result, would get frustrated with her.  She could recognize when a word matched another word....but she just couldn't retain what the actual word was.  She would look at the word "me" and guess that it was "can".  I got quite frustrated and decided that as much as S-girl wants to be a big girl and "do school", she really just wasn't ready yet.

So, we shelved the game for a few weeks. 

Then, I decided to give it another try and this time, I had very low expectations.  She surprised me.  This time around, she is retaining the words.  She looks carefully at the words "cat" and "can" to try to remember which one is which.  She remembers that they are just a little bit different than each other.

Since this is called The Reading Game....I decided not to pressure her too much.  But, since we have taken it back off the shelf, she has mastered Games 1 and 2 of the Skunk level.  Again, though, I am trying not to pressure her too much.  But the look on her face, when she reads the words correctly, especially the ones she has to stop and think through, is just adorable.

This isn't actually "the look"....but isn't she adorable anyway???

This is a totally different approach to teaching reading than I have tried with the other kids, so we will see how it turns out in the long run...but I am hopeful, that this game has just started unlocking a few doors in her mind of how letters are put together to make, when we get to the phonics approach she will be  a step ahead of where her brothers and sisters started.  We shall see.

There are free worksheets where you can assess their progress and abilities before using The Reading Game and after. Click here to take a look. 

There are also test sentence worksheets that you should do after the matching games are completed and before they attempt to read the book.  Click here to take a look. 

Here is a short video clip so you can see just how easy this game is.....really easy.

The Reading Game is available for $24.95

Take a look at what other TOS crew members thought of The Reading Game here.

We received The Reading Game for free, in exchange for an honest review of the product.