The Reading Game caught my attention after seeing an online post. I then contacted the company to inquire about reviewing it as I would be hosting a reading workshop at our state homeschool conference in the spring. I received The Reading Game and an extra one to give away at the workshop. I have 3 children that I tried it with that are at differing stages of their reading journey. One is an older child that I like to review with, one a beginner reader and one newbie. First, I will explain exactly what The Reading Game is and how to use it. Second, I will tell you how we used the tool and what I thought of it from a parent’s perspective. Third, I will give you my children’s observations of it.
The Reading Game was developed by the author of the renowned Wordly Wise, Kenneth Hodkinson. The game consists of 6 card decks and 6 soft covered illustrated books. Each card deck and corresponding book is color coded to easily pick which two go together. There is a simple instruction sheet and a link given to access pre and post tests online. The pre and post tests are given to identify what sight words the child already recognizes before the card game is played and afterwards. To play the game is easily caught since it follows the lines of Memory. Five different sight words are placed face down scrambled. The players take turns turning over 2 cards to find a match. As they are turned over the words are being said each time and when a match is found then the word is looked at and repeated three times. The person with the most matches win. Keep playing the game until the student can easily recognize the five sight words in that set. Then there is an assessment sentence to see if the child still recognizes the words in a sentence. If so, then you can go on to the next 5 sight words. This routine continues until all 30 thirty sight words can be readily named by the student. The reward is getting to read the corresponding book. The first in the series is entitled Skunk. Both the cards and the book are color coded red. This continues until all six books have been read. Once all the books have been read then the student has mastered 180 of the most used sight words.
I have one child that is reading challenged so I used it with him as a review tool. Playing the games with him went quickly as he only needed a little help. I then used it with my beginner reader and she caught onto the words pretty quickly. My son who is just learning to read used it with a lot of review since he is only now learning phonics and some three letter words. This has been a great way to incorporate sight words effortlessly when all of our reading is phonics based. Being fast paced, fun to learn, successful with dyslexic children, recognizing common sight words and the non-babyish books made it a win-win for me.
So, how what did my children think and how did it go over with them?? Well, they all LOVED it and ask me each day if we can play The Reading Game. They like the fact that it is a game, there are only five words at a time thus easily learned, the story books are interesting, they get one-on-one time with mom, and they WIN! My children love animals, as I have found most children do, so the individual animal on each card deck/book to differentiate the levels is right on target. No grade levels to intimidate or demean a child.
You can read more about it here and order it. www.thereadinggame.com