Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.
My kids enjoy using the computer or apps to play games. So when I find good quality learning games that they actually enjoy, it’s a definite win. Four of the kids have been using Reading Eggs from Blake eLearning Inc., which falls into the category of fun educational games.
What Is This Product?
Reading Eggs is an online program designed to help students improve their academic skills. It’s really like a suite of programs, geared for students of different ages and abilities. We were given a family subscription, which includes access for four kids.
We were already familiar with Reading Eggs. A couple of years ago, we did another review for the Homeschool Review Crew. Then, we purchased an annual subscription. Since that expired a while ago, the kids were thrilled to have access again.
Here are the different programs that are housed inside the Reading Eggs dashboard:
- Reading Eggs Junior
- Reading Eggs
- Reading Eggspress
- Fast Phonics
Each of these programs were used by at least one of my kids during the review period. Here is a little more information about each.
Reading Eggs Junior
Though all of my kids who signed up were technically too old for this early learning portion of the program, it was what my youngest daughter, Brynna, used last time. Since you can switch back and forth between programs once you’re logged in, she asked if she could do some of her favorite games.
And my son Bryson really enjoyed watching her play, especially when she read the books or watched videos.
Reading Eggs Junior is geared for kids in the 2-4 age range. There are educational games and activities that help young children become familiar with the alphabet and other key literacy components.
My daughter Brynna, and my son Simon worked on Reading Eggs. Since it’d been a while since they last completed a lesson, I reset their progress and had them retake the placement test. That way they could be working on a level that was appropriate to where they were now.
The placement test didn’t cause any tears, which is great because sometimes those seem very difficult. This one wasn’t too bad, and once you got three questions wrong, it stopped. Parents also have the opportunity to start their kids directly at the beginning, bypassing the test. If you have kids who are just starting to learn to read, this is a good option.
Your results on the placement test determine which level of the program you start at. The levels are housed in “Maps” of the program. Here’s a screenshot of Brynna when she was in Map 3. Her avatar (an egg she dressed up) is standing on lesson 22. When she finishes this, she moves to lesson 23. After lesson 30, she’ll move onto a different section of the program, in Map 4.
Reading Eggs uses these bite sized lessons to teach kids how to read. The lessons work on the five strands of literacy:
- Phonemic awareness and phonics
- Sight words
Each lesson incorporates information from previous lessons while introducing new material, so students have the opportunity for further practice. There are quizzes throughout, which help ensure mastery.
Brynna and Simon are both in the “Starting Out” level of this program. Once they make it past lesson 40, they’ll move into the “Beginning to Read” level. That contains levels 41-80. Finally, they’ll move into the “Building Confidence” level, which is lessons 81-120.
As students complete lessons, they earn eggs. You can use eggs to purchase things for your avatar or little digital home. The kids really enjoy this shopping aspect, and trying to find the best costumes. They like decorating their homes.
There are also some free standing games that you can use eggs to play. We didn’t do a lot of those this time around, since I was trying to limit screen time a bit over the summer. But, this winter when it’s cold and snowy, we’ll play more.
In the Reading Eggs section of the program, you can also participate in Story Contests. Kids can use the weekly theme to write a story. It’s laid out very well, so it’s easy to follow. The kids select pictures and use those as their illustrations. Then they write the words they want on each page. I have the kids tell me what they want it to say and I act as their scribe.
The completed stories get entered into a contest, where other kids can vote for finalists. It’s a fun aspect that my daughter Ellie really enjoyed when she worked through the program.
This portion of Reading Eggs is designed for readers, to help them improve their skills. It’s geared for kids in the 7-13 age range. Lessons focus in on comprehension, vocabulary, and fluency. There’s a library with fun books to read, and a better house to earn points to decorate.
I had my son Jeffrey work on this program. He doesn’t love it, and won’t willingly go do lessons on his own, but he does get them done when he’s reminded. He prefers to play on my phone, as with our internet situation, the phone is always faster. He just does the lessons, and isn’t interested in purchasing items for his home anymore.
Here’s a screenshot of his progress. He’s on Map 5. The lessons appear as you progress. The book this time around is called Lighthouse Lucy. In the lessons, he’ll read this book and answer questions about it.
This is the newest portion of the program, as it wasn’t available the last time we used it. I had my daughter Sydney use it. I was going to have Simon use it as well, but there are a few glitches and bugs that need worked out before it’ll be a good fit. There were random errors in the program, and it would make him do lessons over and over again even though he passed – the “Next” button was just broken.
There was also a lesson where he was supposed to click on the fuzzy furball thing that said the “D” sound. The problem? None of them did. Two said the I sound and one said the T sound. There was a bug, and you had to decide which of the two “I” sounds was really the D.
He was in tears because he kept getting it wrong. I tried for a while, but decided it wasn’t worth the hassle, so I had him start using Reading Eggs instead. That has been around longer and works more smoothly.
My daughter Sydney is more patient, and doesn’t mind problems like this as much. She recognizes that it’s a technical problem, not that she’s doing something wrong. So it was a better fit.
I had her start at the beginning of the program, and she’s made it to Peak 5. We really like that unlike Reading Eggs and Reading Eggspress, Fast Phonics lessons are very short. Each one has a single activity (the others have several inside each lesson).
It covers phonics skills such as letter and sound recognition, blending sounds, and spelling words. She enjoys working through it.
Each peak has 20 lessons, and they are really quick. She typically does 2-3 lessons a day, though there are times when she does more. At the end of each peak, there’s a book to read. She is also earning coins to use in the Yeti Shop, where you can buy different Yeti avatars.
I didn’t require any of my kids to use MathSeeds this time around, but Simon still opted to use it occasionally. He really likes it. It teaches essential math skills for kids in the 3-9 age range.
There were fun teaching videos, and lots of games. The only downside is that each lesson has like 20 activities, so it always took a while. I typically just asked him to stop half way through. This broke the lesson in half, and made it a little less daunting.
You can see some of the lesson components on the side in this screenshot:
In Mathseeds, kids earn acorns for completing activities. There’s a shop they can purchase stuff in.
I appreciate that Reading Eggs is simple to navigate. Once the student logs into the family dashboard, they select their name and hit start. Then, the student dashboard opens. Here’s a peek at what it looks like:
Brynna can access any of the programs, but the one she’s working on (Reading Eggs) is front and center. It makes it easy for kids to find on their own. Then, it takes her to this screen:
From here, she can get started on her lesson, or do something different. She can shop at the Plaza, play games, listen to songs, write a story, and more. It’s very easy to navigate.
How We Used Reading Eggs
I had my kids use Reading Eggs in different ways. Some of them used it four days a week, others only two (more of a supplement). Sometimes, they asked to play on days I didn’t require it.
They each worked through a lesson (or lessons in Sydney’s case with Fast Phonics).
I could go in and see progress. Reading Eggs also sends out progress emails as students complete Maps, so I always knew where they were.
These emails also shared some key skills they were learning, which was nice so we could work on those in other ways as well.
What We Thought of Reading Eggs
For the most part, we all really enjoyed this program and are looking forward to continuing to use it for the upcoming school year.
The vast majority of the program I would recommend with no hesitation. It’s a fun way to learn, and since it’s game based, the kids often enjoy doing it.
However, I feel like Fast Phonics needs some work before I can eagerly recommend signing up for it. There are some great components, and it’s really fun. But, those glitches are just too much. If it was just one or two, I could overlook them. But, Simon got frustrated so often because the next button wouldn’t progress. It happened at least once every time he played. And sometimes it happened on the same lesson over and over, even though I watched him get the score he needed to move on.
Now I don’t know if this is because we were on the app, or our internet stunk, or if it’s just not quite ready for playing. But, it ended in tears several times, which is never a good thing. The lesson where the correct letter sound wasn’t even an option was frustrating even for me.
But, once the bugs get worked out of this new program, I know it’ll be great – just like the others.
And, it’s still a good program, you just need patient kids to play, who won’t mind having to redo lessons fairly often.
For all of the other programs: Reading Eggs Junior, Reading Eggs, Reading Eggspress, and Mathseeds, I wholeheartedly recommend. It’s a fun way to learn to read and to improve reading skills.