A few weeks ago I was offered a free trial of Reading Eggs in exchange for a review. The opportunity could not have come at a better time. With baby#3 just days away and our a lot of our regular school winding down for the break, it was the perfect time to transition to something new (and let mommy have a little bit of a break).
Reading Eggs- Learn to Read Online with Phonics in 5 Weeks from ages 3-13
Reading Eggs is a language arts computer program that provides multiple levels of activity from preschool through upper elementary, covering letter sounds and phonics to reading comprehension and spelling. The lessons are organized by “maps” that the child works through. At the end of the map (or about 10 lessons), the child is quizzed and is able to earn rewards for his progress. Children are also rewarded throughout each lesson or activity with “golden eggs” which they can use to purchase accessories for their avatar.
Let me say first of all, that the program is very interactive and appealing; my kids absolutely love this program. Most of my problems come when it’s time to put it away. I think they’d play on it all day long if I let them.
I had my Little One starting out at their very first reading lesson, learning letters, blends, and sight words. My son took the assessment test and was placed at a higher level.
What I’ve loved…
- For both of my kids, I’ve really appreciated the computer skills they’ve gained from the lessons. Some of the tasks have been rather difficult for them, and I’ve had to occasionally step in and do the computer task while they provided the answers. But for the most part, with a little instruction, the kids have learned to click-and-drag answers (even my coordinated three year old), click on moving objects, and type letters using the keyboard (during my son’s spelling lessons).
- I also appreciate the variety and the differing perspective from what we’re used to. I think it’s been extremely helpful to have my kids challenged by information that they know presented in a format they’ve never seen before.
- For my daughter, I’ve loved the practice that she gets identifying sounds and letters. Each lesson comes with about 10-12 activities that have her practicing the information in a different way. First, she’ll learn to find the letter among other letters, then she’ll find the letter within a word; she’ll match the correct picture to the letter, or find the letter in a variety of different fonts. At the end of each lesson, she makes her own virtual word book and then is given another word book to listen to.
- My son’s lessons have really challenged his listening skills and his ability to follow directions. Though his blend work and reading lessons are basically review (I think his lack of computer skills placed him a little lower than his reading skills), he has still gained a lot from the activities that have had him constructing sentences and spelling words.
Also, there are so many different activities to choose from outside the lessons that we haven’t even gotten a chance to try them all out: reading comprehension, spelling bank, quizzes, and so much more. At the preschool level, there is a “playroom” loaded with fun activities to improve computer skills: paint a picture, make a pizza, decorate a bedroom, etc.
What I haven’t liked…
First of all, there isn’t much. This is a great program to use all by itself or as a supplement during those times in our lives when homeschooling gets to be more difficult (like before/after a new baby).
- A different approach. The program takes a different approach to phonics than what we have used. The blends are taught at the end of the word (at, bat, cat, mat, rat; am, Sam, etc.) rather than at the beginning of the word (sa, se, si, so, su). There’s probably nothing wrong with this approach; it’s just different, and I obviously prefer the method I’ve had success with.
- A high-level of motor skills required. This has been both a positive and a negative for us. I love that my kids are learning these skills, as our world is so extremely technology-centered. However, it did seem that some of the lessons were not appropriately matched to their skills. For instance, there were some activities that were actually difficult for me to complete at the speed they demanded, and I’m fairly coordinated/computer-savvy.
Summing it up…
Overall, this program has been a great experience for us. I’m really excited about what my kids are learning from it, and even more excited about how much it has freed me up to rest and simply monitor their learning (i.e. homeschool with my feet up).
Because I’m really happy with A Beka for phonics and reading, I personally wouldn’t be ready to switch to Reading Eggs for our entire program. However, in addition to yearly plans, they also offer monthly subscriptions—and I would definitely consider a temporary subscription to pull us through busy times in the future.
- Email me that you are interested at tracyglockle(at)gmail(dot)com, and I’ll send you a code for a free trial.
- Also, there are a variety of free codes that you can find simply by performing a google search (I acquired a second code for my son to try it out by simply googling).
- Or, there is also a discount code for half-off a yearly subscription.