Here’s the marketing blurb: ‘Reading Eggs is a unique reading package for children from four to eight years which builds on and consolidates the five key reading pillars: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension. It supports learners by offering personal one-to-one lessons that children complete at their own pace and children won’t even realise they are learning as they play. Their journey continues onto Reading Eggspress where they discover a range of texts and tackle more complex comprehension, emerging as confident, aspirational readers who are secure in their learning.’
Here’s the reality. It does exactly what it says on the tin. It is highly educational, very entertaining, colourful and engaging. And, no worries, the online voices used are English English and not Aussie English. Strewth, imagine that!
Reading Eggs has a whopping 120 lessons online. Each lesson focuses on the basics of reading by pinpointing key skills such as phonemic awareness, letter sounds, high frequency sight words and reading connected text. The lessons are great fun to complete, made up of a rich assortment of interactive animations, games, silly songs, and constant rewards. Using their own avatar, children navigate their way through a host of activities as many times as they want. With each lesson, children get valuable repetition and practice, and at the end of their journey they receive a certificate of achievement for all their efforts. There are also over 1000 e-books for children to explore and enjoy.
The four levels in Reading Eggs provide a healthy coverage of early reading skills. Level 1 begins at a pre-school level, starting children off by focusing on the alphabet, letter sounds, first words and short vowels. Further levels help children learn to read and write simple sentences covering short vowels, blends, sight words and word building. Golden eggs are rewarded for every activity completed and these can be spent on games or items for online avatars. The range of activities motivates pupils to return regularly to complete lessons, share their work with others, earn rewards and expand their knowledge.
The Teachers’ Section of the Reading Eggs site is very well-stocked and a delight to navigate. There are areas for managing individual pupils’ accounts, checking progress and previewing lessons. It’s easy to see where children are in their reading journey as Reading Eggs shows how many lessons each child has completed along with report cards. This is the perfect way for parents to see what their children are learning too.
On a professional level, I have used Reading Eggs with learners new to English as a language and it has been a bit of a God-send. The results have hatched some readers in quite a short space of time. On a personal level I have been using Reading Eggs with my four year old daughter and she has loved exploring the online world; I have lost count the number of times she has been on it and wanted to do more.
The important thing to remember is that Reading Eggs is a supplemental. It is not intended to act as the be all and end all of reading success and so if you use it alongside other resources, you are sure to be giving children an eclectic experience.
Reading Eggs has received some rave reviews from teachers, parents and children and I’d join that list too. It marries school and home reading perfectly. You can sign up for a free four week-trial to see if Reading Eggs is for you and see whether it leaves you scrambling for the ‘place order’ option or not.