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The Reading Game Review by Wendi Kitsteiner

Kenneth Hodkinson
Allsaid & Dunn, LLC
The Magic Stories
Kenneth Hodkinson
Allsaid & Dunn, LLC
706 Glorietta Boulevard
Coronado, CA 92118

The Reading Gameis a game designed for ages four and up. The game needs at least two players.One of the players needs to be the tutor. The tutor must be able to read all the words on the cards before play begins.

This game was designed by the daughter of Kenneth Hodkinson, creator of the extremely popular vocabulary curriculum Wordly Wise.

Here is how it works:

A student learns to read a set of five words by playing a simple word matching game. The words learned are Dolch sight words and half-frequency words. For example, in the first game: Skunk Game 1, students learn five words: can, cat, is, me, and not.

Once the student completes Skunk Game 6, they are ready to read the Skunk Book. The first book tells the story of a skunk who is rejected by the other skunks before being accepted by some cats. Beautifully illustrated, it is 32-pages long and is told using just thirty new words! Each subsequent matching card game and book set in the series adds a further thirty words. This means that when they finish this game, students will have mastered 180 words!

We have three children in our homeschool group in the “learning to read” section of their education. They are 4, 5, and 6. I tried the game with each of them. The four-year-old was clearly not ready and could not really get a handle on the game. The five-year-old understood what was going on, and while moving along slowly, was able to progress. However, the six-year-old who is not reading much yet, began zipping through and was reading incredibly quickly.

Each set of cards is a distinct color: red, yellow, green, blue, and purple and is visually pleasing to young and old alike. I believe this is a fantastic program for giving kids instant success to reading and slowing them to feel that reading is within their grasp. I strongly recommend it to new and emerging readers!

And here is an exciting bonus!!!

Following your student’s mastery of this reading game, you have the option to purchase a program called Magic Stories which is a step up from The Reading Game. You do not have to use The Reading Game to useMagic Stories.

Magic Storiesis a set of six delightful stories appropriate for second and third grade reading levels. These were well beyond the young children I was using to test the game on but were much more appropriate for my seven-year-old who is reading at about a second-grade level.

Each story comes with its own set of Naughty Forty™ words. These are more challenging words that your child will encounter when reading the story. There are also four sets of worksheets per storybook that come with the program featuring reading comprehension and creative writing exercises. The worksheets cover a range of language art skills like recall and comprehension, cognition, and creative writing.

The stories are optimized for an IPAD and computer screen. I chose to print them out and try them with my daughter.Each book is around 20 pages long and allows your child to color in the drawing and sketches that accompany the story. I love this idea!

I look forward to incorporating Magic Stories more with my children as they learn to read!

-Product review by Wendi Kitsteiner, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, January 2019