Thursday, March 1, 2012
Have you ever heard of Reading Eggs? It's a website that helps children ages 7 to 13 learn to read and improve their reading and comprehension skills. The site has two different areas. "Reading Eggs" is especially for students who don't yet know how to read or who are just beginning to read. It is also good for younger students who know how to read but are not strong readers. This part of the site is targeted toward students age 4 to 8.
The other part of the site, called Reading Eggspress, is directed toward students who are 9 to 13 years old. It is more appropriate for students who already know how to read. Reading Eggspress helps these students build reading skills and boost reading comprehension.
As your child works through each lesson on the map (shown above), she opens more and more destinations. As she completes each lesson, she takes a quiz that helps determine her comprehension. Then you, the parent, receive an email giving information about your child's progress and the skills she has learned so far.
There are lots of fun activities to do, lots of ebooks to read, golden eggs to earn, trading cards to collect, and trophies and certificates to receive. There are even games that students can play with other students (in a safe environment) from around the world!
There are additional optional items to go along with the online program. Book Packs are available so that the students can read the "real" books after reading them online. There are also Activity Books to go along with each reading lesson.
There are several different payment options for a Reading Eggs subscription. One option is to pay $9.95 per month. Another is to pay $49.95 for 6 months. The least expensive (per month) option is $75 for a one-year subscription. You might want to start with their free trial, though, to see if you think this might be right for your child. Visit their site at www.readingeggs.com to see how to get a free trial.
So who should use Reading Eggs? I think Reading Eggs is probably best for students who are just learning to read or for "older" students who need to improve reading skills. However, my daughter is 9 years old, is an excellent reader, and she still enjoyed playing on the site. I figure it's better for her to be practicing reading skills and playing on an educational, safe website than so many other things she could be doing on the internet!
There are several things that I really like about Reading Eggs. I like that students are free to return to any completed lesson at any time! Beginning readers in particular may need to do some lessons repeatedly in order to really learn a new skill. Also, younger kids usually enjoy watching programs, reading books, and playing games over and over and over.....so it's great that they can repeat lessons as often as they like.
I also like that the parent is sent an email with information about the child's progress after taking a quiz. Because we sometimes have to use our children's time on the computer as time for us to get housework done or as time for us to work with our other children on school, it's great that there is still a way to keep up with how a particular child is doing on Reading Eggs.
I like that the site is colorful and interesting without being too "hyped up." So many websites for kids are so loud and splashy that the children playing on them get hyped up and antsy. Reading Eggs is fun and entertaining, but it's not one of those splashy loud sites that I don't want my kids to go to.
The main drawback that I found about Reading Eggs is that the stories are a little bit "scripted." I know that, when teaching children to read or teaching children with limited reading skills, the stories must be written in a way that they can be successful even with limited skills. For that reason, I understand why the stories sometimes don't sound very fluid. It's not a huge flaw, but it's something I thought might need to be considered.
Other Homeschool Crew members also tried Reading Eggs with their children. If you'd like to read some of their opinions, go to http://homeschoolcrew.com and scroll down until you see the Reading Eggs review section. You might also want to check out some of the other items we've reviewed while you're there!
NOTE: I received a free subscription to Reading Eggs in exchange for using and reviewing the product.