Friday, February 18, 2011

Kid Scoop: Reluctant Reader Solution

For some children, learning to read is the dawning of a new and exciting journey into books. For others, it seems as though a root canal at the dentist rates higher than spending free time reading. How can a parent help spark a love of reading within a child reluctant to try?

Kid Scoop offers an answer in the form of the Reluctant Reader Solution. You can read about the author, Vicki Whiting, HERE. This product is a two part plan to help encourage students to become more engaged in reading. One aspect of the program is a collection of reproducible pdf files on a variety of topics (enough for your child to complete one page a day for a whole year).

The pdf files are in black and white. You can print on white paper giving kids the option of also coloring the illustrations or you could also print documents onto colored paper--perhaps coding by month or theme (families could even color code by child to know at a glance which copy belonged to whom).

The files come with a suggested order by month (taking into consideration the season and any holidays coming up) and by theme. Themes fall under the following categories:
  • Holidays and Special Days
  • Environment
  • Health and Safety
  • Games and Sports
  • Science
  • People and Legends
  • Animals
  • Financial Literacy
  • Let's Get Creative
You can download a free sample of the reproducible activity pages (similar to the picture above) from the Kid Scoop website. [Note: one page of the sample makes reference to a fortune telling activity but there are 5 other pages included].

The second aspect of the Reluctant Reader Solution is an online, monthly newspaper full of kid-friendly articles, puzzles, games and oodles of Standards-based learning (targeted standards are listed for each). This is what subscribers would see when viewing the monthly newspaper:

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You can view the newspaper as full screen and also zoom in and out on any page. I really liked the linked table of contents in each issue. Readers can just click on the article and be taken directly to that page. Users can search within the magazine and even listen to the articles being read (voice is a computer voice). This is a great option for a struggling reader to be able to follow along with the audio. Here's a closer look at a sample page spread from the February 2011 issue:

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You can print off the pages all at once, a few at a time or save them on your computer for use at a later time. Unlike a printed magazine subscription, the Kid Scoop online gives you the freedom to print off multiple copies so each of your kids can take a stab at the puzzles. And another great advantage of Kid Scoop is that there are no advertisements--it's just 20 pages filled to the gills with easily digested articles and activities that encourage a child to read.

The free Germ Page download will give you a good idea of what the colorful, online newspaper is like.

Just a note that this is not a Christian publication so not every activity or article may be appropriate for your family. As mentioned earlier, in the free sample, there is reference to a fortune teller and one of the author profiles in the February online newspaper was not an author I have permitted my children to read. However, I will say that the overwhelming majority of the content has been just fine. I know that I can choose to print whatever pages are appropriate for my family. Parents may also want to preview suggested links as well.

What did my kids think?
I first printed off activity sheets pertaining to health and fitness when my 11 year old daughter was doing a fitness unit in her science book. She LOVED them! She was eager to print off sheets from other topics and has continued to enjoy the pages thoroughly. Although she is not a reluctant reader, she is still learning a great deal of information.

I also had my 8 year old son try out the pages as well. He commented on how much he really liked the jokes. His hobby is drawing (anytime he has a spare moment, he's filling up notebooks with pictures) and so one of the themes on drawing ("Toon Times) was particularly fitting for him. When I asked what he thought of them, he said, "I REALLY like them!"

What's the verdict?
The Reluctant Reader Solution will provide a daily worksheet for the entire year in addition to a 20 page newsletter each month for a total of over 600 pages. The yearly subscription cost of $97 puts the daily cost under 20 cents, weekly costs under $2 and monthly cost right around $8. Considering the cost of other online memberships, I think the price is reasonable. It may not, however, be within every family's budget. We personally could not justify the expense unless we had a child who was really needing a boost in the area of reading.

The Kid Scoop activity sheets and newspaper would be particularly useful in the following situations:
  • an activity for a homeschool child to do when their mom is sick
  • activity for long car rides (provided your child doesn't get car sick from reading)
  • stimulating activity for summer studies
  • fun reinforcement for science, health or language studies
  • reward for good behavior or strong school effort
  • activity for workboxes
  • supplemental material for public, private or homeschoolers
I highly recommend looking around the Kid Scoop website. There is a lot of wonderful information as well as some freebies--definitely worth exploring. To read what others thought of this product, visit the TOS Homeschool Crew Blog.

Contact Information:
Website: www.kidscoop.com
E-mail: thescoop@kidscoop.com
Phone: 707.996.6077
Address: P.O. Box 1802, Sonoma, CA 95476

Product Guarantee from the Kid Scoop Website:

365-day Unconditional Money-Back Guarantee

Try out the Reluctant Reader Solution in your home or classroom. Put it to use with the reluctant reader in your life. If you don't get measurable results — meaning if your child doesn't start enjoying reading more, and actually start reading on his own — I'll refund every cent of your investment with no questions whatsoever. I'm only happy if you get outstanding results, so I'd gladly offer you a refund if that doesn't happen.

That means you truly have nothing to risk when you purchase the Reluctant Reader Solution today. You get 365 days of exciting activity sheets plus 12 months of Kid Scoop online, all for the risk-free investment of only $97.


Disclaimer: We received The Reluctant Reader Solution free from Kid Scoop for the purpose of reviewing. No other compensation was received.

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