The Reading Game

Saturday, November 26, 2011

In a world where reading early and getting ahead is foremost in many parent educator's minds, The Reading Game comes along as a breath of fresh air!


The maker of Wordly Wise, Kenneth Hodkinson,  presents (in his own words) his "second great idea in forty years". And a great idea indeed! No parent or teacher I know of wants to watch a child dissolve into tears and frustration because she can't remember what letters make which sounds or struggles with reading. But we all know reading is important and some children don't take to the process as easily as others! Even if you have an eager reader, The Reading Game is a great way to play your way through learning sight words.


This teaching tool truly does 2 jobs: it teaches an emergent reader how to read and it takes the pain out of the process.


My daughter loves matching games. So, The Reading Game is a perfect fit for her. She took right to it and soon easily mastered sight words she had struggled with in the past. She is not a poor reader, but she doesn't embrace the process with enthusiasm either. She should be able to read better than she does and I feel this game gives her the boost and confidence she needs.


If you view the video on  You can see a sample of how the game is played. There are 6 playfully illustrated books that go along with the 5 card sts for a total of 30 words per book. All 10  cards in the first set are turned face down and then the 5 words are paired up in a typical matching game fashion. At first, the tutor says the name of each card as it is turned and the student repeats. When the student can read each word correctly without assistance, it is time to introduce the next pack of 10 new words. Once 2 packs are read, the first 2 pages in the first book can be read to see if the words are truly mastered. The process repeats with the 3rd pack and another 2 pages are read after the 4th until eventually all the cards are learned and the book is finished. In this fashion, the author taught his 4 year old grandaughter to read in a week.


Gently and gradually, each 32 page book is read and each new word is mastered. So, at the end, the student knows a total of 180 sight words.


This game was developed for early readers, but  can be played with brand new readers, struggling readers, English as a second language students and even special needs students. The cards are a heavy weight that hold up to frequent use. All the words in the stories are made up of the learned word. It gives a great sense of accomplishment to new readers and encourages struggling readers in a fresh and fun way.


I do not know if individual cards can be replaced if they are lost or ruined somehow. I hope so. I did send an email asking about this, but have not heard back from customer service. I am a little disappointed by that. I did not tell them I was reviewing their product because I wanted to get a feel for customer service. Ordinarily I would follow up with a phone call, but am still in Russia and it isn't possible for me to do that.


I wish the cards were numbered more subtly. 10 cards at a time is not enough of a challenge for my little matcher. It would have been nice to add each set as they were mastered and let her play with all the cards from the books. Since teach card has a large number on the back, it really isn't possible to do that.  I know it is necessary to differentiate the sets, but it seems a small number on the front of the card would suffice.


Our family is pleased with this product. On the company website under "How it Works", you can watch  video of the designer's grandaughter reading her first book. You can also read what others have to say about the game .So, we are not the only ones who found this game to be a wondeful and useful tool for anyone learning to read. Additionally, at only $24.95 for each game (less if ordered in quantities of 8 or more) it is an affordable addition to any homeschool "must have" tool kit.




I was provided a free copy of The Reading Game through The Old Schoolhouse Review crew in exchange for my honest opinion.


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