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The Reading Game Review by Cindy West

Kenneth Hodkinson
Allsaid & Dunn
2727 De Anza Rd, Suite SD21
San Diego, CA 92109

Is your child just beginning to read? The Reading Game is a fun supplement for reinforcing early readers through simple, fast-paced card games and storybooks. Once your child can recognize letter sounds, he or she is ready for The Reading Game. It comes with six decks of cards, each teaching thirty of the most commonly used words in the English language, as well as six books that provide real reading practice with these newly learned words. By the time your child finishes the program, he should be able to easily read 180 words without hesitation.  

Each "lesson" begins with a memory game, using one of the six decks of word cards. Beginning with only the first five words of the deck of cards you are working on, you play the memory game with your child, making sure the words are read correctly. Once your child can easily read those five words, another five are added. Lessons continue in this manner until all thirty words of the deck can be read correctly and fluently. Once the deck of cards is mastered, the child is given the corresponding book to read. After the first deck of cards and corresponding book are mastered, you follow the same pattern through the next five decks of cards and books. Each new book incorporates new words, as well as reviewing those previously learned in earlier lessons.  

It's that simple! One lesson can be as quick as a few minutes, or it can last several minutes if your child's interest stays strong. The cards and books are engaging, but they don't include lots of bells and whistles which might distract new readers. I was surprised to find that the text of the books doesn't include capitals or punctuation. The author explains that new readers don't need to be distracted by "mysterious squiggles and dots", so he chose not to include them in the booklets. Additionally, since the word cards don't include uppercase letters, it would be confusing to see new letter shapes in the books. You are encouraged to teach capitals and punctuation once your child becomes a good reader, and maybe even come back to the books to add them as an additional lesson.

The Reading Game is appropriate for any new reader, but could be especially useful for children who enjoy more active learning. The method is simple but creative, and I'm finding it to be successful with my little guy.

Product Review by Cindy West, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, January, 2012