Monday, November 21, 2011

The Reading Game

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Despite all the great computer-based phonics and reading programs we've been truly blessed to review so far this year, I bet if you ask Levi which is the most fun learn-to-read product, he'd vote for The Reading Game. ($24.95)

It's a simple premise:  play a memory game with common sight-word over and over again until your child can read the words.  Use a few "test sentences" to make sure said child (let's call this child "Levi" to make it easier) can read the words within the context of a sentence.  If he can, then pull out a nicely illustrated  rhymed story so he can read it to you.  After reading a book, Levi has learned 30 words! After all six sets of cards, Levi will know 180 words.

This new game was created by Kenneth Hodkinson, who is familiar to many homeschoolers in my area because of his Wordly Wise vocabulary program.  You can read how he developed the game and some field testing that was done here.

I tend to steer towards phonic, Orton-Gillingham-ish approaches to teaching reading (the rules and patterns make sense to me).  So, using The Reading Game, which presents words without instruction in phonics, is different for me.

But different isn't bad.  As a matter of fact, I've been able to use many of the words to reinforce some of the phonograms we've learned!

We used some of their Pre/ post-game worksheets to track progress before Levi began working with the 3rd set of cards (green).  Before playing the game, Levi knew 18 of the words easily.  After a day and a half of playing the game, he knew 28 of them easily, but with a little (very little) help from me, he could get all 30. What a great way this has been to reinforce and learn more words!

Most of the words Levi has learned will be frequently used in English.  According to the website:
PhotobucketOf the twenty-five most commonly used English words, twenty-three are on that list; of the most commonly used fifty words, forty-two.
Obviously, this isn't the only tool you'll need to teach your child to read, but if you have a child who isn't too keen to sit with you and look at a phonics instruction book and doesn't love workbooks or writing, this would be a great introduction to reading tool for you to consider. This would've been great for Luke when he was 5 and wanted nothing to do with the traditional phonics books that lived in our house.
 
I know that the memories Levi and I build because we are playing this game are going to stay with him, and hopefully he'll always associate reading with fun!

Head over to The Old Schoolhouse Crew to see what others think of this game.

1 comment:

Erika Bird said...

You very kindly reviewed The Reading Game back for us in the fall of 2011 through TOS Homeschool Review, when it first came out. We are now about to launch the 2nd edition which is updated and enhanced based upon parent and teacher feedback. This new edition will add a set of picture flashcards to help in the transition from stand-alone words to short sentences and phrases, as well as introduce capitalization and punctuation in the flashcards and storybooks. Since its initial release, the game has won four awards, including the Dr Toy and Tillywig Brain Child of the Year Award.

To help raise funds for the 2nd print run and raise donations for children in need through the non-profit, First Book, we launched a crowd-funding Indiegogo.com campaign yesterday - "Give the Gift of Early Literacy". Through this campaign, backers can receive a discounted, pre-release copy of the new second edition of the game, or help a child in need by donating as little as $1 or even just by sharing the campaign with others. In order to be successful the campaign needs as many supporters, shares, tweets, links, etc. as possible.

Would you mind sharing this on your social media outlets and through your blog?

Give the Gift Of Early Literacy! http://igg.me/at/gift-of-literacy
Get your hands on a DISCOUNTED pre-release 2nd, enhanced edition of The Reading Game through this Indiegogo.com crowd funding site. Or for as little as $1 donate a game to a child in need through First Book.

I also have an eblast about the campaign that I would be delighted to send to you if you have an email list you would like to send it to!! Let me know and I will forward it over to you.

Thank you so much!

Blessings!!