At the beginning of the year we tried to start kindergarten homeschooling with Jacob. Why not. He's five and that's the typical age to begin school. Even though John Allen and Joshua both began school when they were six, we thought Jacob was ready. We bought a great reading curriculum for him and there were even a couple of review items at the beginning of the year that went along great with what he was learning at the time, but, he just wasn't ready to begin "formal" kindergarten. Of course children are always learning, and homeschool around our house is never "formal", but you know what I mean. We did continue to teach him. Just not by using a curriculum.
Well, along came interest form for Reading Eggs. It looked like something that Jacob would be interested in so I decided to choose the "Pick Me! Pick Me!" button when filling out the form. The "Pick Me! Pick Me!" button is the one that you select when you are kind of begging to review a product. Really, I can't even remember if I clicked that button, but, anyway, we got Reading Eggs to review anyway. And I am so glad that we did.
Jacob is absolutely loving it and he is really learning with it. He even asks to do it. I am really excited. And, let me tell you, I've seen a lot of online reading games and/or programs over the years and I really like this one. Let me give you a few reasons.
- There is no choosing or deciding what to do next. - Some parents and children like it when there is a choice given as to what next to learn. If they want to learn what the "s" sound is all about, then go to "S Land" or whatever it may be called. Or maybe we should go to "B Island". If you like that type of program, then Reading Eggs may not be for you. Reading Eggs is very sequential. Each "map" has 10 lessons with a quiz at the end. You have to pass the quiz to get to the next map that contains 10 more lessons. If you can't pass the quiz, you can go back and redo the lessons for the sounds that you got wrong in the quiz. Being sequential with no surprises and no decisions is important to us because Jacob is a special needs child that needs order. Reading Eggs is wonderful in that area.
- Each lesson is very well (and might I say cleverly) done.- The first few maps, which is what Jacob is on, teaches you the letters and the sounds. Each time a sound is taught, the first thing the student learns is the letter and the sound. The student learns to identify the letter by itself, and then within a word. Each time the child clicks on the correct letter, he is rewarded with a "well done", "that's right", a bell, a whistle...you name it. Each reward and each game fits a theme - that's where the clever part comes in. It's very well done. Next, the child learns how to make the letter - yes, I said make - usually using a dot to dot method. Jacob really likes this and he is learning his numbers as well. Then you learn ti identify the sound within words - first by hearing the word and identifying the sound, then by seeing and hearing words. Finally, he "reads" a book with that word in it.
- Each lesson is rewarding. - I've already talked about how a child is praised when he chooses the correct answer. As well as the answer praises the child is also given golden eggs after each task is completed in a lesson. The eggs can later be turned in to play fun reward games. Jacob loves the reward games. That is the one time that he can choose which game to play - and there are a lot of them! There is also a fun character that comes out of an egg at the end of each lesson. It always has to do with the letter learned. For example - the letter B egg had a bumblebee bear (whose name escapes me at this moment) hatch out of it.
- Each lesson is very entertaining. - I mentioned how the lessons are sequentially done and well put together by a team of educational professionals, but, what I haven't mentioned is that they are just plain fun to do. There are fun songs between tasks, fun characters, and the pictures are great. I have worked with curriculum that has confusing pictures. You know, they show you a picture of a partial leg and foot and you don't know if they are talking about the toe, foot, ankle, heel, or even leg. With Reading Eggs the pictures are well done and not confusing at all. And, another neat thing, at least for us it is neat, is that some of the characters have British accents. Don't worry, the sounds are very well done and there is no confusion, that part is clear. When some of the characters sing or are doing some non-essential talking, they have an accent. I believe Reading Eggs was developed by a British company and that is why. However, I did not hear an accent at all with the actual sounds when pronounced for a task. For us, the accent during non-learning times is a bonus.
- Reading Eggs goes on and on. - I don't mean the lessons. They are just the right length. I mean that after learning the sound, a child goes on to building words and eventually switches over to another program called "Reading Eggspress". The 100 lessons in Reading Eggs is perfect for children ages 4-7 and Reading Eggspress is great for kids ages 7-13. Of course younger children that are advanced can work with Reading Eggspress and older children that may need some remidial help can work with Reading Eggs. There is even an placement test that can help you put your child just where he needs to be if you are unsure. We didn't use the evaluation test so I can't vouch for that. Neither did we work with Reading Eggspress. However, many of the other TOS Homeschool Crew members worked with Reading Eggs and Reading Eggspress and some had their children take the evaluation. You can find out what they had to say by clicking here. Which leads me into the last section of my review...
As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew I was given a free limited time subscription to Reading Eggs in order to try out and give my honest review on this blog.