We have always read with the children, and I think that in a literate household where reading and books are readily available and are used then a child can’t help but learn to read. There’s stacks of evidence to suggest leaving the formal teaching to read until they are around age 6/7, as their development is at the right stage to be receptive etc.
I’m keen to facilitate the children’s learning, and we have played with Teach Your Monster to Read but I realised that Mr D had stopped asking to play it, and I wasn’t convinced at how well he was learning from it past a certain point. I therefore had a look around at other things he could use and we have been taking advantage of a five-week trial with Reading Eggs. I’m really impressed with it and Mr D has played it around two-three times a week, each time getting 2-3 eggs at a time. We have accessed it via the laptop, but I understand you can get an app too.
I wasn’t too sure how Mr D would take to Reading Eggs, but he really likes it and I think there is a good mixture of things in there to keep children engaged. As I knew Mr D was already able to recognise all the letters and sounds I set him up to do a test, which asks them some simple questions and, based on the answers, the programme decides where to start your child off. Mr D started on Map 2, which I think was probably right for him.
Each ‘egg’ focusses on a letter or a word (such as the, an, and). There are a number of games to play to reinforce the word/letter that is being learnt. The games vary from clicking the letter/word as it appears on-screen, ‘word search’ style games to find the capital and lower case letter, stamping boxes as the letter/word appears with a tick or a cross and many more games.
As the programme moves on then the child is presented with short sentences, things like ‘Zee is a Bee’, and they have to choose the correct picture to match the sentence, so testing their comprehension too. There are lots of songs and videos and Mr D and Miss E both love the song for the letter z, which they like to play and sing endlessly.The system is really easy to navigate and once I have signed in Mr D is able to move to the map or to the songs or library areas, whichever he wishes to look at.
At the end of each map there is a short quiz. I personally like this as it means they can’t move on ahead unless they are ready. I know with other things we have looked at both Mr D and Miss E have moved themselves on when they haven’t really learnt the previous stuff, more that they have guessed and got things right.
My only niggle with Reading Eggs is that there are definitely some of the games that are more suited to touch screen devices; there have been a couple of instances where Mr D has known the answer to something but the game is hard to do on a laptop, so I have done it for him whilst he has shouted the answers out.
As Mr D progresses I receive emails to tell me how he is doing and the letters and words he has covered. This is helpful for me when we read together. There is also an area on the site where you can print off worksheets for each lesson. I have had the odd sheet printed and ready to use but Mr D isn’t hugely into worksheets at the moment so Miss E has looked at these for her letter formation and recognition. I know that there is a book pack that you can add on to your subscription and I think this might engage Mr D more than a print out as he is more likely to access a book independently than a worksheet.
There is a real wealth of information and the such to access on Reading Eggs, and we have barely scratched the surface of it yet. I plan to continue this with Mr D as he is really enjoying it and it’s been clear over the past couple of weeks that his reading is really coming along.
To try out Reading Eggs for yourself, click the link here for a four week free trial: www.readingeggs.co.uk/letthem17
I was provided with an extended free trial of Reading Eggs in exchange for a fair and honest review. All words and opinions are my own.