Here at PrairieFrogs Academy each child earns an outing and a Bible upon achieving reading fluency! Kiffanie is quickly moving into chapter books, and reading beautifully! 15 months ago she spoke no English; none! 15 months ago she’d had no formal education and no academic training. She’s an amazing girlie in so many ways! It’s surreal–in almost every way it seems she’s always been here. She is wonderful, and God shines in her bright eyes!
(Scroll down for cute photos of Kiffanie with her new Bible–I digress into homeschool-mom curriculum-speak for the next several paragraphs.) Like her older siblings, Kifffanie began her reading journey with gentle phonics through Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, supplemented with eclectic, mix-and-match resources and some mommy ingenuity. This time around, I added something new for Kieran and Kiffanie–in part to give each of them something to do while I was working with the other one–we subscribed to Reading Kingdom–an online learning tool.
Both Kiffanie and Kieran learn well from technology and audio-visual media in a way my eldest 4 didn’t. Because Reading Kingdom doesn’t use the phonics approach I believe is foundational, I didn’t introduce it until we covered some essential phonics and each tyke reached lesson 75 of 100 Easy Lessons. We then continued phonics instruction (and finished 100 Easy Lessons) in addition to Reading Kingdom. Despite the lack of phonics focus, Reading Kingdom impressed me–especially in how it connecting spelling with reading for my youngest two! None of my children possessed the fine motor skills necessary to write at an age they were ready to read. Not wanting to hold my eager-readers back, I skipped the writing portion of their reading curricula until they were well past the “learning to read” stage. In my eldest four, this created a disconnect between reading phonetically and reproducing (spelling) those same sounds. Reading Kingdom solves this brilliantly by having small children type a word back after hearing it. Typing requires less precise motor skills than writing, and they were able to build both skills simultaneously! We began the program somewhat skeptically, but I’m sold! (They also have a generous scholarship program available.) This was an unsolicited review and I’m receiving no compensation–I just love to share what’s worked for us in case it might fit another family.
There is no way Reading Kingdom, 100 Easy Lessons, my stellar instruction or anything else can account for Kiffanie’s acquisition of written and spoken English. While I’m convinced all those things helped bring out her natural gifts, there’s no doubt she’s just impressive!
She chose a rosy pink, vine embossed, Bible with her name imprinted in gold, then I whisked her off to the pie shop/cafe for a celebratory lunch!