Friday, February 18, 2011

Reluctant Reader Solution from Kid Scoop TOS Review

Reluctant Reader Solution
Kid Scoop

Most people agree that reading is a vital skill for everyone. For some reading seems to be a skill that is learned with very little effort, but for many others it involves intense practice and a long length of time.  With reading, just as just about anything else, perfection or proficiency doesn't come without practice.  But practice can be boring and uninviting.  Since practice is not fun, a child doesn't want to do and without practice improvement isn't achieved. Additionally, many homeschooling parents find great enjoyment in reading and are disappointed when their children don't feel the same way. Time and patience may solve the latter problem, but just as often it doesn't. So what is a parent who wants their children to experience the joy of reading to do?   What if you have tried everything you know to do and still your child doesn't like to read, they can read, but just don't like it? 

In the Reluctant Reader Solution, Vicki Whiting, (the editor) has assembled a comprehensive package of high interest, engaging, topics and put them with short snippets of text designed to give children some information and hopefully whet their appetite to discover more. Recently members of the TOS Homeschool Crew had the opportunity to use the Reluctant Reader Solution with their children.

The Reluctant Reader Solution from Kid Scoop is an epackage of surprises.  Upon ordering  you will receive a link to download a large file of 365 engaging worksheets (I think they could be easily called fun sheets) on a vast array of kid friendly topics. Some examples are friendship, baseball, clay, sports, kitchen creativity, tadpoles, and many holidays throughout the year.  Then each month for a year you have access to a brand new, full color, multiple page online magazine.  Detailed instructions and suggestions for times of the year to use the various topics are also included in the download.  However, it is not hard program to implement. I liked the list of suggested topics for each week of the month, it simplified the decision process for me.

The download files are an average of 6 black and white pages per topic and the variety of activities is immense.  Activities you will find include mazes, find the differences, funny fill in sentences (these are similiar to a commercial product where the user fills in specific parts of speech), word searches and writing activities. Graphs, chart reading, and deciphering codes are also popular activities.  There is also at least one vocabulary word for each topic.  A sample is available on the Kid Scoop webpage.  Kid Scoop also offers a large selection of worksheet sets available for purchase.  These appear to be different from the sets in the Reluctant Reader Solution download purchase. Once again the variety of topics to choose from is staggering. They can be found here.

February Cover 
The monthly magazine is full color and approximately 20 pages.  Each month features a calender with a topic and or activity for each day as well as a table of contents for the issue and a sneak peek of the next months issue.  February's issue features Abraham Lincoln with a maze, find the matching pigs and several tidbits about Lincoln. It also explains why pigs are featured. A detectives case also needed to be solved.  This was accomplished using simple math and logic.  Another feature was a two page spread about the stock market featuring a small business and its connection to the stock market.  Here the reader needed to read story problems and solve them using facts from the story as well as data from a graph.  We also found a short bio of Nellie Bly and a game to play about
some of the adventures she had. There were also a variety of fun activities for Valentines Day.

Because of the variety of worksheets available and variety in the monthly magazine it is very likely you'd find something which would fit into a unit study you're planning.  Each activity also has a standards link. 

Sample of pages from Online Magazine

Kid Scoop has a colorful website with great resources, however it is sometimes challenging to find all the treasures.  The home page has a place to sign up to receive fun and exciting reading activities for 30 days via email. 

User ages would vary based on abilities and interests but based on my experience I could recommend it for 5 to 10 year olds.

The Reluctant Reader Solution is $97. This includes the 365 downloaded worksheets and a 12 month subscription to the online magazine.  The author is confident in the ability of Reluctant Reader Solution to help children become more interested in reading on their own she is offering a 365 day money back guarantee.

I believe Vicki has done an incredible job assembling all of these topical study worksheets and the monthly magazine.  The topics truly address many many things that kids are excited about and they feature a variety of activity types. This system should appeal to both boys and girls, older and younger, and a wide variety of learners.


Both my 6 and 9 year olds used the downloads and the magazine and really enjoyed them. While all of the activities in the magazine or downloads were not at their level I did find a number of activities that were appropriate for one of them. For example, in the Februrary magazine, my 6 year old son did the activities about Lincoln and some of the holiday puzzles.  My daughter did the mystery and stock market activities.  I really like how there is a mixture of ability level and interests presented.

One thing which frustrated my daughter about the stock market activity was the dating.  Several of the questions were worded today, but the data on the graph ended 2 years ago.  She made the point that it was misleading to say today if it was dated two years ago. 

We read parts and did some of the activities in the magazines directly on the computer rather than printing them out to save on ink. It is also possible to have the magazine read to the user, but this was not an option we choose as we used it together and both of my children are proficient readers.

My 6 year old is a good reader, but reading isn't his first choice for leisure activities. He has a two track mind for reading topics.  However, after working through some of the activities in one of the download topics, he was interested enough to spend some time reading additional articles on the topic. After we did the download worksheets about optical illusions I set out the World Book Childcraft volume that has optical illusions in it.  He found the book and the illusions in it and spent a long time studying those and their descriptions.

Another download unit we used was entitled the "State of You" .  It introduces the State of the Union address and makes a personal connection to students. This focuses on being the best you possible and addresses personal health, education and helpfulness. It encourages a personal assessment. I choose this unit as my children heard about the State of the Union and State and I wanted to explain what these speeches were to them in a concrete, appropriate manner.

I've also seen my sons fine motor skills begin to show improvement.  He has always loved to do mazes, but the ones in Kid Scoop have narrower lines than many he had done previously.  After doing mazes in several download sets he was better able to stay in the line.

From what I have seen regarding my sons interest and abilities I would like to think that continued useage of the Reluctant Reader Solution would continue to help him grow and mature in abilities and desire to read.

We have used these quite a bit during our snow days this winter. Since Dad was home they were reluctant to put in a full school day, but did occupy themselves with these activities.  I also plan to print more of the worksheets for them to use in the car, as we make short daily trips.  So far that has not been possible as darkness came too early. We are all excited to use more of the worksheets and activities. I can also see them being used during the summer to help with the "Mom, I'm Bored" situation most moms face. Kid Scoop is learning disguised as fun.

I signed up to receive the emails shortly after receiving this review assignment and have enjoyed them, however we have been challenged in completing them as we do not receive a daily newspaper.

I also plan to contact our local newspaper and inquire about the possibility of carrying  the Kidscoop newspaper version.

We have certainly enjoyed the Reluctant Reader Solution and I can easily envision using it for an extended period of time.  However, I would also be interested in an option to "subscribe" to just the online magazine for longer than the year which comes with the Reluctant Reader Solution.

Read what other crew members had to say here.

Disclaimer: I received a free download of the Reluctant Reader Solution and the accompanying online magazine in order to use for the purpose of writing this review.  All opinions expressed here are solely my own.  I have not been compensated in any other way.


  1. These sound great! I don't homeschool, but I love hearing about all of the stuff, just in case one day. . .
    Following you back!

  2. What a comprehensive review.

    I'm stopping by from the TOS Crew to let you know that you're on this week's Blog Walk.

  3. Hi! Awesome, thorough review! Stopping by from the blog walk. Blessings!

  4. Hello, I'm visiting from the crew's blogwalk. Nice to meet you!