Disclaimer: I received a free product for my review! These views are my own and were not
at all influenced by the party who gave me this opportunity..
My son just turned 3-years-old and was unable to get him into preschool so I am working on teaching him to read. Because Mommy is boring and no fun to listen to, I need all the help I can get. We have been using Reading Eggs for about ten days now and my son has made some great strides! This program has reading lessons for ages 3-13 as well as a section for math. Visit their website here.
When we first started Reading Eggs, my son did not know how to use a computer mouse. After just one day he started to get the hang of it and has gotten better and better each day. The site has really helped to improve his computer skills and hand-eye coordination!
When we began, my son really only new a few letters and a few sounds but now he is beginning to read small words like "Sam" and "cat." He even has gone after the program and tried to read words around the house like the word "bus" on his car mat. I am so proud of him!
Each lesson your child will learn letters, sounds, capital and lowercase, words and even numbers! Activities will range from clicking on the letter that makes a certain sound, matching capital letters to lowercase letters, a letter search, connect the dots to write the letter and more! After completing each "map" of lessons, your child will take a quiz and earn a printable certificate! As of today, I am proudly displaying my son's first certificate on our refrigerator! He made a 93% on his first quiz.
There are both pros and cons to this program, at least that I have noticed for my son's age. Because he is just getting used to letters and computers and following directions, some of the activities go too quickly for him which causes frustration for him and myself. The drag and drop games took a while for my son to get the hang of though he is pretty good at it at this point. Some games will have him using the mouse to chase the letter around and his coordination is not good enough at this age to move the mouse that quickly AND click in time. In addition, they got into words pretty quickly (by the third lesson) and he is still getting used to putting the correct sounds together with the letters. A few more lessons in they not only had him chasing pictures to click on, but those pictures had different words and he would need to click and drag on top of it. My son became extremely frustrated because he could not "pick up" the object, read the words that quickly, and drag and drop them to the correct photo. Some of the word mash-ups also go too quickly as he does not have time to sound out then say the word. This has caused some of the learning to take longer than they plan for so I may have him do some of the lessons over. A few of the activities were so difficult for him at his age that he could not get past it so I had to finish it for him. One last little complaint is the fun sounds made when your child chooses the wrong answer. My son would know what to click but found it too funny to click the incorrect answer and hear the silly noise it made that he would not click the right answer.
In spite of all the frustration this program may cause for younger children, I really do love it. My son has learned so much in such a short period of time and has a ton of fun doing so. My teaching is one thing--when Mommy teaches my son will not pay attention. Though not all the lessons kept his attention (particularly those that were more challenging for him,) he was really sucked in most of the time and enjoyed the singing and celebrating that broke out after completion of each activity. He would dance and give me a high-five because he was so excited to be reading and doing well at it! Each lesson offers more challenges that keep him thinking and learning. We have been doing one lesson a day except on the weekends, just like he is in school. Reading Eggs has been a great teaching tool for me to use.
Reading Eggs requires a lot of parent attention. I do not recommend setting it up with your child then simply walking away. While this is good on some lessons so they don't rely on you, some parts can be very challenging and need explanation. For instance, there are several times that my son does not remember the directions or forgets what sound he was looking for so I need to repeat it many times for him. I am not saying to do the lessons for your child, but to simply be there to walk them through and give them reminders and guidance along the way to ensure your child is learning what they are supposed to be learning and do not get as frustrated. I even work with my son after the lesson that day and bring it up throughout the week to keep it fresh in his mind. I accomplish this by giving him a treat after his lesson that either begins with the letter he learned or has something to do with the lesson. For instance, he learned to read the word "Sam" so I found gummy candies that are the shape of letters and I would use the candy to write out the word on the table and have him sound it out. On the day he learned the letter "m" we ate marshmallows and looked around the house for objects that started with that letter. I even have him doing other connect the dots and tracing the letters using activity books we found cheap. Nuby foam bath letters and numbers are also a great way to continue the learning throughout the day.
Through 9/30/13 my Arts & Crackers readers can receive a FREE 5-week trial (this is usually only a 2-week free trial)through this link, NO CREDIT CARD REQUIRED! If you have a smartphone or tablet, Reading Eggs also has an app that you can download!