Friday, February 18, 2011

Reluctant Reader Solution by KidScoop (TOS Review)

 Certain things are like music to my ears, especially when learning is involved:

    “Mommy, these are fun!”

This was the reaction from my 8-yo when presented with both the monthly newspaper and the activity sheets from the Reluctant Reader Solution by KidsScoop.

First, a disclaimer - I don't have reluctant readers, and I don't have struggling readers.  I have kids who love to read everything they can get their hands on, on a variety of topics.  I'll admit I wasn't sure how this product would be received by my girls, since it's billed as something to increase interest in reading.  I needn't have worried - the girls loved it.

Product Details 

The Reluctant Reader Solution consists of two parts - 365 worksheets and a monthly online newspaper.  A subscription for one year costs $97, and will provide you with a year's access to the online newspaper and downloadable .pdfs on 60 topics and consisting of 365 worksheets.


365 worksheets - that's one for every day of the year (assuming your kids will accept your rationing of them like that!).  The black and white worksheets cover a range of topics: backpacks, germs, green kids, various holidays, hockey, tadpoles, and even such topics as teasing and budgeting - and many more - in groups of 5-7 pages per topic. A chronological schedule and a theme-based schedule are provided, or you can branch out on your own (which is what we did) and pick and choose what to do when.  The worksheets are provided as downloadable .pdfs.  Youc an see a sample here.

Online newsletter

This is a monthly 20-page colorful newspaper just for kids that they can view online. One problem with that, though - there are many activities that require a pencil! My solution was just to print them out, but color ink is expensive so that might not be an option for everyone.  You can also download the newspapers.

The online newsletter also has an option for audio so the newsletter can be read to your children.   The "voice" for the audio is computer-based so sounds a bit robotic, but we didn't find it bothersome.  Of course, the point if this system is to encourage the kids to read, so if I had a reluctant reader I would not make use of that feature.

What I like 

We used the worksheets as a "jumping off place" for further exploration of some of the topics. 

The worksheets contain "blurbs" of information, usually along with an activity of some sort to reinforce the info - word finds, mazes, spot the difference, newspaper research and (my favorite) creative writing activities. 

They're perfect for "waiting" times.  I've started printing several worksheets and keeping them in a folder in our minivan for those times when we have to wait - they're a great way for the girls to stay occupied in a productive way.

With your subscription, you also get access to past issues of the newspaper. 

I wish… 

I wish they'd do packages of more worksheets.  What I'd really love is if there were packages for: geography, science, character building, history, grammar, etc.

Watch out for 

If your kids are like mine, the 365 worksheets might not last 365 days - there's no way my girls can only do one worksheet at a time!

Be sure to 

Some of my crew members mentioned that the KidScoop newsletter is often printed in local newspapers, but I've never seen it in mine.  If you're lucky enough to receive it in your newspaper, please be sure to use it! 

Be sure to check these out if you use the workbox system - these are perfect for you! 

Be sure to explore their website - there's lots of freebies and activity suggestions! 

Pay attention to the unconditional money-back guarantee, which they give because they believe in their product.

Final thoughts 

My girls enjoyed these very much.  They were a great break for us from our normal schoolwork.  I think if I did have a reluctant reader, this might spark more interest in reading simply because of their appeal to my girls.

Thoughts of my crew mates 

To see other reviews of this product, click here. For giveaways, other product reviews and other fun things, follow the 2010-2011 TOS Homeschool Crew blog at:


Disclaimer: As part of the 2010-2011 TOS Homeschool Review Crew, I received the product described in this review at no cost in exchange for my fair, honest and unbiased (and not necessarily positive) review. No other compensation was received.

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