Mellow Mummy: Reading Eggs Review : Taking life as it comes...

Thursday 25 October 2012

Reading Eggs Review

Lara is just starting to learn to read. I love seeing her try so hard to understand the words in her favourite books and it brings me great joy to hear her say a word she has recognised (Menu, Exit, Toilet are a few she has surprised me with!). I'm eager to help Lara on her reading journey but I don't want it to be too much like hard work at present given that she doesn't even start school for another 11 months and so I was really excited to try out Reading Eggs.

Reading Eggs is an online reading resource for children from 3 to 7 years old (there is also Reading Eggspress for 7-13 year olds). You register online and you can get a free trial for your children to see if the games, tools and activities work for you. After that, you have to pay for either a 6 or 12 month subscription (which works out to be as little as £3.33 a month).

I signed Lara up with Reading Eggs and started her right at the very beginning of the very first lesson. For interest, I also signed myself up and took their reading test with the intention of trying to see some of the slightly harder levels!

Each section of Reading Eggs is split into "maps" which have lots of different levels. For each activity that your child completes within a level, they earn eggs! Lara's very first lesson was all about the letter M. She started by having to spot the "mmmmmm" and then had to pick out the letter from among others. Then she had to spot things that started with "mmmmm" before completing the level by dragging and dropping the correct m-words (such as mud, men, mop, mouse, mother) to match their pictures.

I was really pleased that by the end of lesson 1, Lara, at 3.5 years old was able to pick out the word "moss" from the word "mop" without my help. Level 1 was certainly challenging for her but she really enjoyed it.

Level 2 was much the same, but for the letter S. This is where it became a bit of a problem... Lara lost interest. I think it was too repetitive for her. Lara had already become frustrated with the repetition of the activities on Level 1 (each exercise seemed to go on for quite some time and in some cases was repeated, just with the words in slightly different places). While I understand that repetition is paramount in early learning, the levels of repetition really put Lara off. So much so that despite frequent attempts to get her to give it another go, her interest lasts no longer than two minutes and so we haven't managed to progress any further than the second lesson of Reading Eggs. I think that for Lara at least, Reading Eggs was too much like hard learning for her right now, and not enough about play.

And so I took a delve into the world of Reading Eggs myself to see whether Lara would grow into it. I'm really impressed. I think that particularly once they get to primary school age, the balance of play vs reading is good. I enjoyed playing the arcade games all by myself!!! Repetition though really is the key here and I think that as a child who can move more quickly through the exercises without struggling, the repetition of the types of games and reading challenges wouldn't be so draining... in fact it would more likely feel rewarding.

I will definitely be coming back to Reading Eggswith Lara whether that is in a couple of weeks, months or years.

I do have two other observations though - (1) I get FAR too many emails from Reading Eggs trying to convince me to sign up for a subscription once my free trial has ended. It is a bit off-putting. And (2) due to the drag-and-drop and interactive mouse elements of nearly all of the games and activities, I would recommend that ReadingEggs is probably best used with a computer mouse - Lara finds it extremely tricky to move the laptop's touch pad quickly enough and drag-and-drop requires a lot of concentration on her part.
Related Posts with Thumbnails