Friday, February 24, 2012

Crew Review: Reading Eggs

What is this?  Reading Eggs (Beta) is an online reading program which will take your children from the basics of sound-letter recognition (phonological awareness) through to reading comprehension in a fun, motivating online environment. Reading Eggs is actually two complementary components:  The Egg part for 4-8 year olds focuses on teaching the basics of reading skills.  Reading Eggspress is for those who need more practice with reading comprehension.

Reading Eggs is purportedly built upon a research foundation {I'm a geek, I know, and so which they would include links to the reading research}.  It includes:
  • This powerful educational program is based on the most up-to-date research on how children learn to read.
  • The lessons use animation, activities and reward games to keep children motivated.
  • The program is completely interactive to keep children on task.
  • Children want to come back because they are having fun as they learn.
  • When children start the program, they can complete a placement quiz to ensure they are starting at the correct reading level.
There is a  lot of information for parents in the "About" section.  As a parent, you can try a free sample lesson as well as sign up for a free 2-week trial of reading lessons  for your child.

Reading Eggs has three parts:  Stepping Stones reading, Skills Bank spelling and Driving Tests.  You can read about these components and their lesson overviews here.  Along with the online lessons, there are color, workbook-quality pages you can print out for additional reinforcement with writing, spelling, and reading. From the lessons I've seen, it looks like there are 2 printable pages per lesson. The workbook pages are really nice:

{Lesson 85 workbook page}

The program seems very comprehensive for all preschool and elementary aged students:

How Much? This online reading curriculum program is available in 1-month, 6-month, and 12-month subscription levels:

1-month recurring:  $9.95
6-month: $49.95 {Add a second or third child at the same time and receive 50% off their subscription price for 6- or 12-month subscriptions}
12-month: $75.00

Our Experience:  I'm using Reading Eggs with two students:  Levi, my emerging reader and a K/1st grader and Luke, my reader who needs lots and lots of practice to become fluent.

Each child took a placement test before they began.  Levi started at Reading Eggs and has made steady progress.  He loves working through this program!  He says he loves the maps and he loves seeing "what is inside the egg."  I have no idea what he is talking about....but he is finding it motivating and he is being successful.

Luke is using Reading Eggspress.  It is set up like a floating world with four areas to select activities from.

There is a library  of fiction and non-fiction books children can choose to read {Luke is loving this!}, a 200-lesson cmprehension gym of exercises, a stadium for competitive games in spelling, vocabulary, usage and grammar., and a mall/ apartment where your child can use his reward eggs.

Students earn golden eggs and a trading card for each book read when they successfully complete the quiz with a score of 80% or more

Luke also took a beginning test to see his strengths and weaknesses.  Part of the test looked something like this:

Luke is really enjoying this program as well.  He used to complete it in the morning and he would spend what seemed like all. morning. completing stories and games here!  {We've had to change this to becoming an afternoon activity}.

My Opinion: I'm thrilled that both boys enjoy using this program.  That Luke likes to read the online stories?  A slice. of. heaven.  However, as a home educating mom with a child to whom reading does not come easy (Luke), I wish I was able to get more detailed information about his progress.  Here's a partial screen shot of some of Luke's stats:

The "Quick Stats" part is the confusing part.  It begs me to ask more questions:  What sorts of activities is he doing in the Comprehension Gym?  What about in the Stadium -- what is he doing there?  Is is accuracy in the Library getting better, staying the same?  What sorts of questions does he get right/ wrong? Are they mostly factual questions he's having trouble with or inferential reading comprehension (like determining the main idea)?

I should mention that Eggspress is only a few months old, and I'm hopeful that more information and data will be available.  I'd also like to see a scope and sequence of activities.  And, in spite of this, the  boys both enjoy using the program and Luke is loving the books, so I'm not gonna say, "No, you cannot use Reading Eggs."

I'd encourage you to see what others say about Reading Eggs at The Old Schoolhouse Crew Blog.

FCC:  In exchange for an honest review, I received a free subscription to this site.  No other compensation was received.

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