Reading Kingdom Review

Reading Kingdom Review
As part of the TOS Review crew, I was given the opportunity to review Reading Kingdom Online, an online program designed to teach children ages four to ten how to read to a third grade level. Reading Kingdom uses a six-pillar approach for success.


Reading Kingdom Online focuses on six different reading skills: Sequencing, Sounds, Writing, Grammar, Meaning and Comprehension. The reason behind their unique approach is due to the complexity of the English language. While phonics are important, there are many words that don’t follow the phonics “rules”. Thus making them difficult, if not impossible, to sound out based on phonics alone.

Reading Kingdom combines their 6 pillars to offer a well rounded approach, in an effort to help children master reading without being confused by rule breaking words.

These 6 pillars were formed by research from Dr Marion Blank, an expert on literacy and developer of the Light on Learning Institute at Columbia University.


Reading Kingdom

I used Reading Kingdom Online with Bram, my 8 year old, 3rd grade, super-active, kinesthetic learner. Learning to read has proved challenging for Bram, so this program had it’s work cut out for it from the beginning.

To start, Bram took the built-in assessment so the program could gauge at what level to start him. The assessment was thorough, and I feel it did a good job of accurately assessing Bram’s strengths and weaknesses.

After the assessment we jumped into the actual lessons. The Reading Kingdom Online lessons are incremental. They focused on much more than I expected. For example, they make sure your child knows to always read from left to right. That may sound simple, but for struggling readers, that concept can be difficult to master.

Another benefit I wasn’t expecting was the focus on keyboard skills. I haven’t worked with Bram on keyboard skills as of yet. So, when he had to identify his answers using letter keys on the keyboard it really slowed him down, and mama became a little nervous.

However, I was pleased to see that the program made it easy as it could be by visually demonstrating what letter, in what row, was needed.

As we continued through the lessons I was able to see how Reading Kingdom Online focuses on mastery. Each level Bram completed was scored and recorded. Then, based on how well Bram scored, he either repeated the lesson until he mastered the concept, or moved on to the next level.


Reading Kingdom Review
Overall, I liked this program. I plan to continue using this as a supplement with Bram. I can easily see the wisdom behind the 6 pillars, and the fact that the students will learn so much more than phonics. They learn reading skills that will serve them in the functions of reading, not simply sounding out words.

I enjoyed the way Reading Kingdom Online progressed in small increments, and appreciated the focus on mastery.

I was also very excited about the built-in keyboard skills as that is something that will serve any child in the future. However, if your child is not at all familiar with keyboards, manipulating a mouse or using a touchscreen, this may be more of a challenge than a benefit at first.

Bram however, was not terribly impressed. The program moved too slow for his active self. And he did not like having to repeat the exact same lessons before he could move on. But, repetition is what builds mastery.


You can find Reading Kingdom Online on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest to follow their tips and insights. You can sign up for a 30 day free trial to try it out for yourself. Then, if you choose to subscribe the cost for the first student is $19.99/month or $199.99 per year. You can add additional students for $9.99/month.

If you have a child on the autism spectrum, be sure to check out ASD Reading as well.

And, I’m not the only blogger to review Reading Kingdom Online. Click the image below to see what others had to say.

Reading Kingdom Review

YWAM Publishing Abraham Lincoln Book Review

As part of the TOS Review Crew, I was given the opportunity to review Abraham Lincoln: A New Birth of Freedom, and the accompanying study guide, which is part of the Heroes of History series from YWAM Publishing.

Abraham Lincoln Biography

I’ve had the privilege of graduating two students through homeschool, so far. Some of my sweetest memories are of the early years when our mornings centered around cuddling on the couch with a read-aloud. We’d get up, do our morning chores, have breakfast, then cuddle up and read, read, read.

And much of that reading time was centered around the Heroes of History series from YWAM.  I cannot not say enough good things about this series. These books can be a backbone of any history study.

There’s nothing like being transported into another time through the pages of good book.


~YWAM Publishing Review

The Heroes of History series from YWAM is made up of no less than 20 individual books and sets. Each individual book is a focused, encouraging biography of an important figure in history. They cover inspiring individuals from Abraham Lincoln, to Milton Hershey, to Clara Barton, and more!

Each book is thoroughly researched, accurately written and extremely entertaining.

If you’re looking for inspiring Christian Heroes, they have that too in their Christian Heroes: Then and Now series. Be sure to check out both series to round out your child’s education and entertainment.


YWAM Publishing Review

As I said before, the Heroes of History books are encouraging and entertaining. Abraham Lincoln: A New Birth of Freedom is no exception. This is not a dry, boring, biography.

Authors Janet and &Geoff do an amazing job of weaving together a living story. Lincoln’s life is covered in charming detail, displaying the political events, and personal experiences that shaped the man who was to become our 16th president and leader during the civil war.

Tough topics are tackled with grace and age-appropriateness. Your reader (or listener) is sure to be entertained.

Since I used this book with my 8 year old emerging reader, I used Abraham Lincoln: A New Birth of Freedom as a read aloud. My son, who is definitely a wiggle worm, was entertained by the story, which kept his attention.


Lincoln Biography

I didn’t utilize the study guide as much as I would have liked; it was just a bit above my son’s level. However I can see that it is a valuable resource that can help extend and solidify the students knowledge of Abraham Lincoln.

Every study guide, can be bought as a physical book or an easy download. Every study guide includes work and information on correlating vocabulary, geography, critical thinking activities and more.

I would highly recommend getting the study guide for your Heroes of History books. They take the reading deeper and help drive home the morals of the stories in new and exciting ways.


Be sure to read what other reviewers had to say about the Heroes of History series as well as the Christian Heroes: Then and Now by clicking the Schoolhouse Review Crew image below.

Also, follow YWAM on social media below:

YWAM Publishing Review

All The Things

A lot of friends have noticed I’ve taken a step back from social media and blogging lately. Some have emailed concern, others encouragement, and I give the same response…sometimes life just gets crazy and you‘ve gotta put first things first. Ya know?  It’s been one of those seasons here.

Busy. Crazy. Good. And social media had to take the back seat.

There has been so much going on here in the Pitt household, I wanted to take a moment to fill in y’all on all the happenings. Because first and foremost, you are my people :-) . I appreciate that you read my blog, and subscribe. And, as it’s been since the start, this is where I share me. Not just the latest and greatest products I’ve found.

So what’s been going on?


2:1 Conference

Even though I haven’t been on social media that much. I’m still busy working! The 2:1 Conference is less than 45 days away and I truly believe this is going to be our best year yet! The speakers, the attendees, the message…I get goose bumps thinking of it.

Seriously, you need to come to this event. It’s life changing and blog changing. And I don’t say that lightly.



Last year, I started a new security business. I know that sounds crazy and straight out of left field, but I assure you it’s not, No really! My husband has been in this business for 20 years and I’ve learned a lot just from conversation and observation.

And because, like most bloggers I’m a serial entrepreneur, when the opportunity presented itself to bootstrap my own start-up I just went for it. So, now I’m the CEO of Enterprise Security Solutions, and Shane works for me.  It’s interesting, and somewhat strange to have my husband working for me. But, the business is growing and we’re excited about the future!


All three teens have moved out. What a whirlwind that has been! Fun, excitement, and yes, some tears.  Just so there’s no confusion in the who’s who, let me explain for my newer readers.  Shane and I have a 19 year old son, Fox (in addition to our 2 other children, Bram who is 8 and Amelie who is 3).

In addition to our children, we were given the privilege of raising my husband’s two younger brothers, Lawrence and Billy, for the past 6 years. It was an adventure I wouldn’t trade for anything, I love them like crazy and am thankful for the time we had them in our home.

However, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t without struggle. Billy struggled the most; he never really felt at home here though it wasn’t for my lack of trying. I have not and will not share online about Billy’s struggles, they are his story. However, there came a point when I no longer felt comfortable having him in our home. That’s why, when he had turned 18 and completed 11th grade, we made the painful decision to have Billy leave.

It was not a decision we came to lightly, I shed many tears. But I wholeheartedly believe Shane and I fulfilled the duty God asked of us and it was time for Billy to move on. He’s now living in Florida with his father and new step mother. I’m sure he’s loving the Florida weather!  He’s a sweet young man and I ask that you would join me in praying God would intervene in his life and show Himself mighty.

Then, there’s Lawrence who is now 19, dating an awesome Christian girl and working a full time job while living in a nearby town.  He moved out a couple months ago. He’s ready to take the reigns of his life.  Shane and I are standing back, enjoying watching him spread his wings and start to fly.

We can’t take credit for the man he’s becoming, but it’s nice to know we played a small part.

And then there’s our son Fox.  He just moved out last weekend. He’s also dating a wonderful Christian girl (more about that below) and working a full time job while living in a nearby town.  He’s also 19 and absolutely chomping at the bit to be out on his own, and be his own man.

Again, it’s so fun to watch him spread his wings and start to soar.


Fox and Justina

I think most of you know by now my son Fox is getting married this year…the weekend after 2:1.  I told the couple they could set the wedding for any weekend except the 2:1 weekend and they chose the very next weekend. For Real.

If you’ve ever planned a large event, or a wedding, you can imagine how busy we’ve been LOL.  But it’s all good.  Things were coming together nicely, but then there were….some changes (see below). So now, they’re considering just saving money and going to the Justice of the Peace.


A few months ago, I learned I’m going to be a grandma!  Yes, my son and his fiancee are expecting a baby.

After I got over the initial shock, and honestly some disappointment too (they’re still so young and unmarried), I fully accepted the excitement that a grandbaby has to offer. My daughter-in-law, Justina is due in February and something tells me they’re going to have a boy.

But I guess time will tell.  And honestly, my gender guesses are often wrong. Ha! But, you dear reader, need to brace yourself for an onslaught of upcoming grandbaby photos because I’m going to be ridiculous, I’m sure.


Young Grandma

As I mentioned earlier, as a blogger I’m a bit of a serial entrepreneur. When I found out I’m going to be a grandma, I couldn’t help but think that I’ll be a young grandma (I’ll be 37 when baby arrives).  And, my friend Toni of the Happy Housewife, just became a young grandma as well.

Grandmas are no longer wrinkled and clad in polyester! We’re young(ish) and vibrant. And by golly we need a website for the modern grandmother!

Thus was born Mod Granny.  My favorite designers and tech geniuses, Honey and Jonah of Honeycomb Design Studio are working on the website now. So watch for my launch, coming soon.



Last, but certainly not least, just saving the best for last…  A few weeks after I found out I was going to be a grandma, I also was surprised to learn I’m also going to be a new mother!

I’m pregnant!!! Surprised and over the moon excited!!

I’m currently 12 weeks and due March 16th. After some rough days with extreme nausea, and months of being utterly, overwhelmingly exhausted, I’m starting to feel better and my energy is returning with the second trimester.

Something tells me I’m going to have a girl, but again…you never know.

I’m due about 3 weeks after Justina. Plus, my step-sister is also expecting and due in January.  So, from January through March, it’s going to be babypalooza around here!! I’ll be using the hashtag #PittBabyWatch2016 to share updates on this little one. <3

So what do you think?  All this is a good excuse for stepping away from social media for a bit, right?