*in association with Reading Eggs
Five-year-old Little Man O really wants to improve his reading over the summer holidays.
We’re signing up to the Summer Reading Challenge at our local reading library, we’ve bought some new Welsh language reading books (my children are all in Welsh medium education), and we’ve taken up Reading Eggs challenge to put their online reading programme to the test over the holidays.
I knew it would be perfect for Little O. He loves being read to, but it’s only recently that letters and simple words seem to be clicking into place. He’s a much more kinaesthetic learner than his academic/bookworm sister, and reading hasn’t come so naturally to him, so I thought the computer programme would be a good way to engage him and support his learning.
Reading Eggs has been created by a team of experienced primary school teachers, writers and developers. It is aimed at 3-12-year-olds and is based on phonics, teaching children how to read in a fun and interactive way. You can use it on an iPad or android tablet, or on a laptop or desktop computer, as we have been.
It starts by assessing the child through fun letter, word and sentence recognition games before giving them a starting level.
Little Man actually knew more letters and short words than I had realised. His usual response when I ask him what certain letters are is ‘I forgot’ but he responded well to what he was seeing on the screen, being placed on level 11 and Map 2.
He loved being able to design his own avatar, with interchangeable heads, body and other features, before progressing to the interactive learning games which sees the avatar jumping across stepping stones on the map, collecting rewards on the way.
Each stepping stone on the map is a numbered lesson, containing around 11 different tasks, identifying letters and short words. Little Man loved that at the end of each task there was some kind of reward sequence or image.
The initial difficulty we had was being consistent with the programme. We tried a few weeks ago but evenings after school are so chaotic in our house it’s only now we are in the summer holidays that I feel we’ve really got going with it. A few minutes a day does seem to be making a real difference in his ability and confidence though, and it’s good to keep those skills going over the six week break from school.
The downside for me of a programme such as this one is that children are not actually forming the letters himself as he would with a letters book or worksheet. With some of the games, I wasn’t sure initially whether he was recognising the letter or just the shape, so I’ve been getting him to write down the letters and words he has been focusing on at the end of each level. I was also pleased to discover the downloadable worksheets corresponding with the online lessons.
We are definitely seeing progress and, importantly, Little O really enjoys it. When I tell him he can do one lesson, by the end he always asks if he can do another. It is lovely to see such enthusiasm.
Since registering for our trial, Reading Eggs have been sending us lots of offers for discounted yearly membership, with the cheapest working out at just over £2 a month, which is great value indeed.
They have other programmes too. Reading Eggs itself is aimed at ages 3-7 but there’s also Reading Express for 7-13 year olds, the newly developed Reading Eggs Junior for 2-4 year olds plus Mathseeds for 3-9 year olds. The next task will be introducing three-year-old Littlest Boy I to some letters and numbers and seeing how he gets on too.
Fancy trialling Reading Eggs with your children for free? Cardiff Mummy Says readers can get a free four-week trial (instead of the usual two) by signing up with this link before Thursday 31st August 2017.
Have you tried Reading Eggs? Let me know what you thought, or if you’re planning on trying out the four weeks free offer, in the comments below, on the Cardiff Mummy Says Facebook page or by tweeting me on @cardiffmummy