Seeing Sequences required the child to use the mouse to click on the letters in the box, forming the same pattern shown above the box. It starts off with random letters, 2 or 3 at a time. Once the child clicks on all the letters, the others disappear and the correct letters are lined up underneath the other letters so the child can see how they match up. When they child gets it correct, they are rewarded with such things as stars or happy faces or other fun, cheerful graphics. During the day's lesson, the child also moves onto forming actual words.
Once the child clicks on all the letters, the wrong ones disappear and the correct letters join to form the word (just the same as the random letters I mentioned above). However, this time the computer says the word and a animated representation of the word appears on the screen.
As the children moved through the levels the words became harder. Later on the word they were to copy disappeared, so they had to remember what the letters were in order to complete the exercise.
The daily lesson then moved into the Letter Land segment.
The child is to look at the letters that appear on the screen and attempt to locate the letter on the keyboard and type it before the letter disappears. Sometimes the child is to be popping bubbles, other times they are to shoot space ships carrying the letters. The only difference is, the bubbles are rising and the spaceships are flying down to the bottom of the screen. If the child doesn't click it fast enough, it will float off screen and the child has to move on to the next letter. Harold would get so excited to find one letter, he forgot he was supposed to be finding the next letter. Though we aren't to help the children, I did stay close to encourage him to focus. I did also resort to telling him the next letter that was coming, because having to look up to the screen and then glance back to the keyboard was taking too much time for him. I know he recognizes all his letters already, so I figured I would help him that much as he was getting frustrated. I didn't give any help to Hannah though.
At the end of the lesson, the following screen appears. They can either close out of the program (the door at the bottom), move on to the next lesson (the green arrow), or chose a reading time (the pink arrow).
We were partway through the review period before I noticed this reading section.
The child can choose any of the words and click on the star at the bottom of the page to start a reading lesson. They will be shown a bunch of words. The voice will tell them to click on specific words. As the words are clicked, they will turn black.
Once all of the words and the punctuation are clicked, the unnecessary words disappear and the sentence is formed along with a related picture.
The child continues with the lessons until they earn enough points to complete their passport and move on to the next level.
They were thrilled to receive their stars.
When the child clicks on the star, they are treated to a little animated "show."
At the bottom of the screen you can see what each of these images represents.
Hannah has completed Reading and Writing Part 1, which includes Seeing Sequences and Letter Land. She is working on Reading/Writing Level 1 which includes books 1-6. So far her performance is "Very Good."
Though the children were frustrated with the assessment, they have enjoyed doing their lessons, Hannah more so than Harold. I am not surprised about this, as he is a bit younger than the recommended age. I was a bit upset to realize that previous lessons can be repeated, but only at the book level. I was going to have Harold work on his sequencing and keyboarding skills some more. Hannah is doing very well in the book section. She has been able to write most of the words so far, and has had no trouble recognizing the words and filling in missing letters. Her biggest struggle is still finding the letters on the keyboard.
Though I can see some of the benefits in this program, I am still a bit iffy on the child constantly working on one word in a lesson before moving to another lesson. They are sitting there memorizing the word. I don't see how this will help them learn to read words they haven't been taught, where phonics helps the child to learn to sound out the words, so once they know the rules, they can sound out many words they come across. For now, Hannah is doing well in the program, but I believe I will use it as a supplement to the phonics we are working on. Once we have used the program for the full year, I believe I will share our thoughts again. I will be able to share how Hannah has done, and by then Harold will have done more in the program as well.
Don't forget to see what my fellow Crew Mates thought about Reading Kingdom. Some of us reviewed the regular program, while others reviewed the ASD Reading program for children on the Autism Spectrum.