Friday, March 2, 2012

Review: Reading Eggs

My little nonreader is becoming an involuntary reader!  She’s known “how” to read, but has generally chosen not to – and it’s exciting to see her just automatically know what something says without any choice in the matter… :)

And I have to give Reading Eggs, an online beginning reading program, some of that credit.  She's been working through a lesson a day and having a fun time while doing it!  And the regular practice has made other material a lot easier for her.

Esmé’s Overview:
What is Reading Eggs?  It’s when you need to learn to read.
What is your favorite part?  When I get to earn things, like gum balls.  I like when I already know something they’re still teaching me – that part is really fun because I can get all the answers right.  Like if they ask me to spell cat or dog, I can do that right away.
What don’t you like?  Always having to do lessons, lessons, lessons – until I get to 11, or 12, or 13.  The hardest part is doing ALL the numbers of a lesson at one time.  After those numbers, it’s SHOWTIME!

Learning to read can be easy and fun!

Reading Eggs makes learning to read interesting and engaging for kids, with great online reading games and activities.
And it really works!
Children love the games, songs, golden eggs and other rewards which, along with feeling proud of their reading, really motivate children to keep exploring and learning.
3-4 Years:  First Steps.  The playroom is perfect for getting 3 and 4 year olds started.
5 Years:  Ready for School.  Your child can build on the reading skills they have been introduced to at school.
6-7 Years:  Fun Practice Makes Perfect.  Your child can take a simple placement test that will ensure they start at a suitable level.
7-13 Years:  Continue the Reading Journey.  Packed full of hundreds of great online activities & games, Reading Eggspress is a great way for your child to continue developing their reading skills.
Recommended Age:  Ages 3-13
Price:  $75 for a 12-month subscription, $49.95 for a 6-month subscription, $9.95 for a monthly subscription.   Family discounts available for 6- and 12-month subscriptions.
For More Info/Free Trial/To Purchase:
For More Reviews: TOS Crew

What Mom Liked:
  • The placement test. One of the reasons other programs have failed is that they start off too easy for Little Miss – she might enjoy the fun graphics for a time, but then becomes bored.  This test allows a student to continue through 40 questions until getting three questions wrong - and Esmé deliberately got some wrong "to see what would happen" and then so she could "finish already" - but it did allow her to start at a comfortable, but not boring level for her.
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  • The playroom.  Esmé has wholeheartedly enjoyed the games in the playroom and made countless pizzas and ice cream dishes there.  It made a great incentive for finishing the lesson first - though it did mean I had to monitor closely to make sure she didn't head to the playroom ahead of time.
  • Quirky characters.  The egg guys kinda grow on you...  I love the variety the child can choose from to personalize her avatar.  And Esmé loves the little clip at the end of each lesson with a new creature hatching from an egg - she'll play that over and over.
  • The fun learning.  The lessons she's done have 11-13 or so activities - and yes, she counts through them eagerly to get to the end so she can go to the playroom.  Each activity within a lesson is a little bit different.  She dislikes some of them but will repeat others - and the variety makes it fun.  At the same time, there is obvious learning going on.  As a parent, it's easy to see exactly which skills are being introduced or reinforced.
  • The varied approach.  The program covers phonics, comprehension, sight words, sentence structure, spelling - just a wide range of skills that make reading easy.  I like the conventional phonics approach to word families etc., but also see how much the sight words have improved Esmé's ease of reading.
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  • The tests between each map/level.  An email is sent to the parent at the end, letting us know where our child is and what skills he or she has learned.
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  • Reading Eggspress.  I like knowing that once Esmé has finished the Reading Eggs lessons, she will still have some fun reading times ahead of her on this program.  It makes the longer-term subscription worth it.
  • Internet-based.  Given our pathetic internet speeds, I never thought I'd say this, but it's nice having a program that Esmé can easily access from any computer.  While the activities do take a little time to buffer, Reading Eggs does a good job of making the transition relatively painless and fun.  Once an activity has started, we haven't had any buffering issues.

If you’ve got a beginning reader, I very much recommend you try the free 14-day trial.  No credit card is necessary, and you’ll get a good feel for how it will work for you.

Thanks to Reading Eggs for providing three months’ access to the program, and to TOS Crew for coordinating the review.  We are not being paid for this review, and all opinions are our own.