Thursday, March 1, 2012

Review: Reading Eggs

Yesterday, Trina and I went out for the day.  Just the two of us.  We headed to the store to pick up her birthday present (she asked for gift cards so she could purchase one BIG gift... more on that hopefully this weekend!)

We went to the grocery store.  We went to Starbucks, and sat at the little kids' table in the corner.  We did some other running around.  And we went to Pizza Hut to get her Book-It pizza also.  The one she earned by faithfully using Reading Eggs this past month.

It was great.  She loved being out with just Mommy.  And I enjoyed some one-on-one with this child with whom I never get one-on-one time.

And...

I discovered she is really reading.  Pretty well.


Which brings me to this review.  As part of the TOS Homeschool Crew, we received a 3-month subscription to Reading Eggs for one of the kids.  I signed Trina, Richard, and Thomas up for a free 2-week trial, had them all take the placement test, and had them all play around for a couple of days... and I decided that Trina was going to be the one to get the subscription.

That initial getting started phase, well, I was fairly hands-on for that.  And I have to confess, I really seriously wondered about the placement test.  Trina was figuring out answers she couldn't really read based on logically eliminating answers that she knew had to be wrong.  I assumed as I watched that she was going to place somewhere above where she needed to be.

Once she started using the program (which is all online) she was fully capable of doing it without a lick of assistance from her mama.  So much for my concern that it placed her too high. I get periodic emails that look like this:

And I confess that I read these and I think, "Uh huh, yeah.  Sure she is reading words like people and animals.  One of these days I need to sit down with her and actually see how she's scamming the system."

But then we had our girls' day out.  As I'm driving, from the backseat I hear her reading words like STOP.  Okay, I'll buy that she can read that.  But as the day progresses, she is also reading words like Subway, bank (the 1st part of 1stBank totally threw her though), and the names of stores practically everywhere we went.  She read phrases like 'pizza and pasta' and she was reading words off of the Cheerios box in the grocery store.

Reading Eggs is the only thing she has been doing for reading here recently, because I simply have NOT had time to work with her on anything else.  And most of what I know about Reading Eggs, I see on the parent page, a screen that looks like this:


I've been feeling guilty.  You know, I'm reviewing this program and I know almost nothing about how it works.  I know they teach using word families.  One book I heard her doing was "Sid the Kid" which obviously is dealing with the -id family.  I know that she gets rewarded by getting to see what will hatch out of little eggs, and those eggs are "so-oooo cute!"  And I've heard the audio of Reading Eggs instruction going on while I'm doing math with one of her brothers.   She told me that "the stories are the funnest part" and that "there are games and lots of reading stuff."

About those "funnest part" stories:  one thing I do know is that they are not just fiction.  The stories also include non-fiction, which I think is really important.  

But aside from that not-very-helpful description, I don't know what it is she is really doing.  And I was going to sit down and have her explain it to me, so that I could write this review.  Until I thought about the fact that there are demo videos, some sample lessons to try, and a 2-week trial so you can go get a real feel for how it actually works.  Or you could go read some of the reviews my Crewmates have written.  Because the reality is this is how it was used in my home. 

If you decide to stick with the program, you can get going for $9.95 per month, or save money by purchasing 6- or 12-month subscriptions.  When Trina's subscription ends in late May, we will be considering subscribing.  For at least a couple months.  Because while I want to be hands-on with my kids in their learning, there is also a LOT to be said for them having something fairly educational that they can do on their own.  Especially for my younger ones.

Here is the bottom line for my house:  While I think personal reading instruction is the ideal way to go, right now, I have a lot to juggle.  So the fact that Trina is able to use Reading Eggs and learn a bunch of reading skills without any input from me is wonderful.  It means I can spend more time reading aloud, or getting her going on a good science experiment.

I know I will probably need to do some other reading instruction with her at some point again.  But for now, this is perfect.

Please go read other reviews though.  Click the banner here:

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Disclaimer:  As part of the TOS Homeschool Review Crew, I did receive the products mentioned above for the purposes of a review.  All opinions are my own.  For more about my take on reviews, visit my blog post here.

3 comments:

Patriots of the Republic Academy said...

We have been using our free trial from TOS this month and the kids love it. I am really hoping to find a way to add it into our budget as well, because it is really helping them.

Carrie said...

Debra,

I completely agree...DD did it mostly on his own as well...and I LOVE that when you have a houseful of olders who have to get through Algebra and Chemistry.World History and British Lit, etc, etc, etc...
Keeps my little guy out of trouble too!

Debra said...

Carrie -- it is funny... I have this picture of me doing the teaching, you know? And then reality hits. Algebra, Chemistry, Lit... high school sucks up a lot of MY time... and if I try to do it *all* with everyone, then everyone is short-changed. I'm finding so much more value in "hiring help" for some of this now. Especially for areas of strength... Trina seems like she'll learn as long as she has SOMETHING, so I choose not to focus on it right now.