I am always happy when I get something to review from The Old Schoolhouse. But, I was really excited to be allowed to review Reluctant Reader and Kidscoop.
The first cool thing about this company is you can get 30 free reading tips (1 a day) by visiting the website and signing up. No strings attached. If you have a reluctant reader, this is great. My kids are great readers. They both read above their grade level. My daughter loves to read. My son, not so much. His favorite thing to read is either books that have comic book like pictures (Diary of a Wimpy Kid) or Graphic Novels (The Action Bible). Bella will read anything but really likes books about princesses or animals.
When you order Reluctant Reader, you are getting two different products. The first is The Reluctant Reader Solution e-book. This comes as a downloadable pdf file.
Once you order, they get an email with a link to download the product and a link to review instructions on how to use the product. The instructions are also contained in the downloadable pdf. I had trouble downloading with Firefox but no problems at all with Internet Explorer. That was on both of my computers, one runs Vista and the other Windows. It just wasn’t compatible with Firefox but others had no trouble with Firefox.
The Reluctant Reader files are awesome. There are 365 pages of fun puzzles, games and great ways to get your kids reading. This is a huge file (48.9 mg) so make sure you have room on the computer that you download to. It took quite awhile to download, too so keep that in mind. It is also a zip file that then has to be opened. I counted 61 different files. Each one is like a mini-unit study and there is a great variety of topics. We love unit studies so this fits into our curriculum great.
You can read the full instructions on how to use Reluctant Reader here.
We picked Frost from January’s list to start. The kids had fun matching weather symbols, looking up weather words, several puzzles including a word search and so much more. There is a Finish the Story about Jack Frost that my kids also enjoyed. Each topic inlcudes web site recommendations and book recommendations to get your child even more into the subject. We read Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening and then the kids drew their own version of the
poem. We also did the Valentine Fitness file. This was great for Valentines Day and allowed the kids to do school and take the day off from our regular curriculum.
The second part that you receive when you buy this is a monthly magazine called Kid Scoop News that is online. You can save it and print it out for later. This also was amazing.
It has basically the same type of games and fun stuff but it is more like a magazine format. The February one included a really neat article on lead that included pictures of pencils that artist Dalton Ghetti had carved the tips of the pencils into sculptures. It is amazing and my kids loved this. There is also jokes, sports, a calendar and much more. This a great newspaper for kids without all of the negative things that are in real newspapers. It is a beautiful color edition. I did have problems printing when I was using Firefox. My computer crashed every time. I had no trouble using Internet Explorer. If you read the magazine online, it can be read out loud to your struggling reader. The voice is very robotic and my kids cracked up at it. They were talking like it for quite awhile. It reminds me of my cell phone when it reads my texts to me. The emphasis is on the wrong syllables and it is pretty funny.
The Reluctant Reader is available for $97. When I saw the price, I thought it was a little high. But, after seeing all that you get, I think it is a worthwhile investment. There really is a lot of pages for you to use and the monthly magazine is great. They also have a money back guarantee so no worries when ordering.
There are also downloadable activity packs available. I did not review these but they look neat. The KidScoop webpage is very large. You could spend days looking at all of the stuff they have available. I found it confusing to navigate because of all of the different places to go.
So, now that I probably have thoroughly confused you, let me tell you what I think about this product. The kids loved it. They ask each day to do more. I loved it. I think the content is great and the pages have so many fun things for the kids to do. Do I think it encourages reading? Absolutely. Although it isn’t traditional reading, the kids are definitely reading while doing the pages. What I think is great, is that they don’t even realize they are developing great skills without even knowing it. I think it is well worth the price and worth the investment in your homeschool.
Our family gives Reluctant Reader
1 Smiley - Product not really for our family. Probably wouldn’t buy. This really should probably be a frown face but we hate to be negative.
2 Smileys - Would maybe buy this product if on sale. Not a great fit for our family.
3 Smileys - We really liked this product and would probably recommend this to friends and fellow homeschoolers.
4 – Smileys – Definitely would buy this if the budget would allow. We suggest you check this out to see if it is a fit for your family.
5 Smileys – Would sell the family pets to get this one (just kidding). A must have for our family and we think you should get it too.
Please note that I received Reluctant Reader as part of the TOS crew and in exchange for my honest opinion in this review. No other compensation was given. Thank you to Kid Scoop and TOS for this opportunity. You can read what my fellow crew members have to say about this product here.