Monday, November 28, 2011

The Reading Game

We recently received a reading game, named, appropriately enough The Reading Game from Wordly Wise author, Kenneth Hodkinson. :)

The contents of The Reading Game include 6 illustrated story books, six decks of matching playing cards, and a Teacher and Parent's Guide.

The "Game" aspect comes into play with the cards. There are 6 "Sets" of cards that coordinate with each book. Each "set" contains 2 cards each of 5 words, with which a "memory" game is played (180 "words in total).

The basic concept is that as the words are seen over and over in the course of playing the memory game that the words will be "hardwired" into your child's brain.You play with only 5 different words at a time, in order to keep the number of words being memorized to a reasonable number. After all 6 sets of cards have been successfully learned, your child is ready to read the accompanying story.

The concept here is good, in the sense of repetition, but if you are not a "Whole Language" aficionado, then you may be put off by the fact that phonics are not involved until after the 180 words are learned, at which point there is a page in the teacher guide that gives examples of incorporating phonics with the words that have been learned. *Note~ the 180 words include 42 of the 50 most commonly used words in the English Language.
Just to give you an idea of how the words show up, here are the 6 "Sets" of words from the first story
Set 1~ can  cat  is  me  not
Set 2~ sad  she  stay  this  with
Set 3~ all  and  day  dog  fun
Set 4~ it  play  stripe  to  will
Set 5~ do  kind  of  out  run
Set 6~ skunk  stop  they  want  what

Read about How it works ~ There are a couple of videos on that page, including one of the creator's granddaughter reading her first book! :)

My thoughts~
Keep in mind that I am doing this with a 4 year old. He's bright, but I have to admit that this didn't really catch his attention. He already has a number of "memory card" games both "real" and "Virtual", that we have played regularly since he was 2, so the concept of the game didn't catch him with novelty. This would work better, I think, with a child to whom memory games are somewhat new and exciting.

He hasn't yet been able to successfully complete the first level of cards~ there may be some other reasons for that:
  • Youngest hasn't wanted to  play this game every day, which I think reduces the effectiveness. However, since he IS only 4, I am not interested at this point in enforcing this daily. Time enough for that next year when he's officially "k" age. :)
  • He seems to be "wired" for phonics (As were his siblings), so he is looking at the letters on the cards for clues. However, he hasn't nailed "c" yet, as that seems to be one of the harder letter sounds to get down (He still wants to say that "c" has an "s" sound). Personally, I would have started with more straight-forward letter sound words. (note the first set of words above~)
  • There are some complicated concepts introduced right away (-ay, th, and silent e jump out at me) which may seem a little out of place from a phonics-based background, but fits well with what I understand of the whole-language idea.
One benefit that I *did* see was that after playing other phonics related games, and coming back to The Reading Game one day, he was immediately able to read 2 or 3 of the words. I am thinking that perhaps he isn't quite ready to grasp the whole concept. We will be picking up this game at a later date, because even though I come from a strong phonics-based perspective, I definitely see the benefit of challenging children with the opportunity to learn some more difficult words the "Whole Language way," in addition to using the game to reinforce phonics lessons. (See, I'm going about it backwards from the way it was designed, but that's the joy of homeschooling! :D)

Nitty Gritty~
Recommended for ages 4+
Retail price $24.95 (With a 15% discount if you can get 8 orders together)
BONUS~ Made in the USA! :)

Website~ The Reading Game
I hope that you will take a minute to read some of the reviews from my fellow crew members, many of whom were using this game with slightly older children. I was definitely on the very beginning edge of the recommended age of 4+, so other perspectives will be helpful.

As always, I hope that this review is helpful to you, and if you're local and want to check it out, you know where to find me. :) 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this/these item(s)/service for free as part of the TOS Crew Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."



Related Posts with Thumbnails