Tag Archives: learn to read

Reading Eggs Review

If you are looking for a fun, no fuss way, to improve your kids reading skills, then you might want to check out Reading Eggs and their award winning online reading program.

Reading Eggs is used by over 10 million kids worldwide.  That is quite an accomplishment for a reading program.  They have also achieved numerous awards and can be found in many homes and schools.  We were recently asked to review a six month subscription to Reading Eggs which also includes Reading Eggs JR and Reading Eggspress.  We were also given a subscription to Math Seeds.  You can get your very own 4 Week Free Trial and see if Reading Eggs is a good fit for your family.

Reading Eggs

Online Subscription

Reading Eggs Jr. for Ages 2-4

Reading Eggs Ages for 3-7

Reading Eggspress for Ages 7-13

24/7/365 Access

Reading Eggs Special Features

Reading Eggs is an online reading program available for either a 6 month or 1 year subscription.

Reading Eggs contains 120 animated reading lessons (plus additional lessons in Reading Eggs Jr. and Reading Eggspress).  Each lesson involves around 12+ tasks or mini-lessons.  Some of the other special features of Reading Eggs includes:

  • Student Dashboard for independent student navigation (and motivation) of lessons, spelling, games, books read, etc.
  • Phonics
  • Phonemic Awareness
  • Letters
  • Sight Words
  • Vocabulary
  • Grammar
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Fluency
  • Songs
  • Games
  • Kids earn spending “eggs” they earned for completing lessons and quizzes that can be used in the arcade, designing their avatar, spend in the store, etc.
  • Printables: Worksheets, Awards for completing Lesson Maps and Quizzes
  • Over 2,500 Online Books To Read each with a Comprehension Quiz (of 5 to 10 questions each).
  • Spelling Quizzes / Driving Tests
  • Parent Dashboard: track lessons and quizzes completed, scores, and books read.
  • Parent Emails (also keep you updated of student progress)
  • Homeschool Guide (Grades K-2)
  • Additional Supplemental Books Available

How Does It Work?

Reading Eggs helps kids succeed in their reading abilities by focusing on mastering skills and strategies which are essential for reading success. The Reading Eggs developers are an experienced team of teachers, educational writers, animators, and website and app developers.  Reading Eggs is beneficial for kids just learning to read as well as kids with strong reading skills. It is also beneficial for kids with learning difficulties, struggling readers, and English As A Second Language (ESL).

There are 3 Levels to Reading Eggs and in all it covers kids from ages 2 to 13.  No prior knowledge is needed to start the program at the lowest level, Reading Eggs Jr, however those in Kindergarten (and some Preschoolers too) should be able to begin at the Reading Eggs level.

Reading Eggs will actually teach the kids to read through a series of progressive lessons that takes them from not yet able to read to master a second grade reading level.  Students with stronger reading skills will progress quicker than beginners.  Reading Eggspress is the next level in the program and covers skills from first through sixth grades.  This level offers lots of reading comprehension challenges, books, and more learning games.

There is a comprehensive 35 page User Guide available to help parents learn to use the programs.

The basic motivation for kids is to make progress is earning golden eggs they can store up and spend like cash within the program by doing tasks like lessons, quizzes, books, etc.  In the Reading Eggs program there are 12 Maps with 10 lessons on each map to master (120 lessons).  At the end of each Lesson Map is a quiz for kids to take before they can move forward to the next Map.

Lessons also contain printable black and white activity worksheets as well as colourful activity pages to complete.

The worksheet printables also include lesson plans for each lesson.  There are 120 Lesson Plans to help the parent understand the big picture of what the child is learning and how the online lesson and worksheets go together and additional suggestions to enhance the learning skills.

The links for the downloadable printable worksheets that include lesson plans, and more colorful activity pages for each lesson are found in the “bonus” section of the parent dashboard for additional practice.

After completing about five (5) lessons in Reading Eggs, kids will have earned enough eggs to begin using the Games section.  At Games, they can choose a game they want to play.  The more eggs they earn, the more they can spend, and the more games they can play.  Kids love playing games, and games become a reward for the efforts they make, and it motivates them to want to do more.

Reading Eggs now offers a Homeschool Guide for parents for kids in grades K-2.  There is a schedule for each grade and it integrates reading, math, science, and social studies and offers a suggested schedule of lessons, activity pages to complete, spelling, books to read, and learning themes. The Homeschool Guide can also be found in the “bonus” section.

Videos:

Watch this video to learn more about Reading Eggs (Math Seeds is now a separate subscription):

Watch this video to learn more about Reading Eggspress (ages 7-13):

Requirements:

Reading Eggs online programs can be accessed on a Computer with high speed internet service and an operating system of Windows 7 (or higher), or Mac 10 (or higher), iPad, and is available on some Smart Phones (Apple, Android, etc).  It is currently not supported on some devices (Dell Venue 7, Kindle Fire Tablets, Pendo Pad, Thompson Tablet, or Tesco Hudl Tablets).

Our Experience:

My kids love using Reading Eggs.  Reading Eggs is colorful and engaging.  This fun program has helped my kids practice reading, spelling, and grammar skills in a fun interactive way.

For the purpose of this review, I will focus on the Reading Eggs level of the program and share with you some of our experience using this program with my 5 year old son who is new to Reading Eggs, and my 10 year old daughter who has some previous experience.

Though it is a “no-fuss” learning program (meaning the kids are not frustrated and resisting to use it), instead it is just the opposite and my kids do fuss if I they don’t get to use it.  The kids are very motivated to get on the computer and practice their reading skills each day.

I have my own dashboard when logged in as the parent.    I can see my kids progress in each program we are subscribed to.  I also receive an email after my kids complete quizzes describing their reading progress and what skills and concepts they learned.

A special feature that I like is the option to choose starting my kids off at a specific lesson (there are about 120 different lessons), or letting them start at default mode which is at the beginning lesson on Map 1, or I can have the kids take the placement test.  The placement test includes 60 questions.  The test stops when the kids miss 3 questions and places them at the level where the missed questions corresponds to their skills.  A parent can choose for the kids to continue where the placement test says they should be, or have them “Redo Placement Test”, or you can just adjust the lesson they are on within any level without retaking the test.

My kids also have their own dashboard when logged in as the student.

Even the youngest of kids are able to learn how to navigate their dashboard after a few times of using it because of the colorful pictures.

From the kids dashboard they can navigate around Reading Eggs.  They can read stories, do spelling, quizzes, games, shop, etc.  To get to their Lesson Map, they choose the “My Program” link and it takes them to their books and lesson options.  Then they can choose the Lesson link and it brings them to their Lesson Map.

Here is my 5 year old son pointing to his avatar when it was on lesson 9 on Map 1.

Another fun feature for Kids is to design their own avatar for their dashboard.  There are unlimited options in the design.

When they have unlocked more of the program based on their lessons, more options show up on their “Program” page.   In this picture below, you can see how my daughter’s page differs from her younger brother’s page.  She had master 106 lessons and was ready to start lesson 107.

After they choose “Lesson”, it takes them to the Lessons Map and hers opens up to lesson 107 on Map 11.

Another favorite feature for my kids is the driving test.  Each of my kids are different, but my daughter especially enjoys doing these.

Math Seeds

We were also given a complimentary subscription to Math Seeds and I wanted to briefly mention it here.  It is an online math program that operates in a similar way to Reading Eggs.

Math Seeds was created by the same team that created Reading Eggs and shares the same dashboard with Reading Eggs if you have subscribed to both programs.  However, you have the option to only subscribe to Math Seeds or only to Reading Eggs if you wish.

In Math Seeds, my kids collected golden acorns to spend instead of eggs.  Math Seeds involves 180 lessons with numbers and math skills for kids ages 3 to 9 years old.  They have recently expanded the program to cover some skills at the third grade level (including times tables fractions, angles, subtraction with regrouping, etc).

Math Seeds Video

Here you can see the parent dashboard that shows one of my kids Math Seeds progress.  We haven’t spent a lot of time in Math Seeds yet as we mainly focused on Reading Eggs during this review.

Final Thoughts

Pros:

  • Access 24/7/365 (use it anytime on your schedule)
  • Kids love it.
  • Kids can complete online lessons independently or you can expand learning with parents and additional lesson printables and suggested reading that reinforce the learning.
  • Proven reading improvement.
  • Affordable  ($49 for 6 months and $59 for 1 year).
  • Keeps parents/teachers informed of progress (emails and dashboard reports).
  • Parents can tweak program by moving child ahead or back in lessons, and can have child repeat placement test if desired.
  • Printables
  • Homeschool Guide

Cons:

  • Non-Christian Worldview.  May or may not be a good fit for everyone.

This “con” won’t pertain to everyone, but some religious objections may arise to the non-Christian worldview and undertones of some lessons and book options within the program.  Some families choose to homeschool rather than send their kids to public school for religious reasons.  This program is used in state sponsored public schools in the USA, and other countries and corresponds to common core education and also has many non-Christian themes that some families do not wish their kids to participate in.

Thankfully, parents can tweak the lessons if they see themes they might object to by skipping a specific lesson and moving the child up to the next lesson, or choosing not to read a specific book.  Another way to use the program is avoid using the books that you object too, but still have the kids take the lessons and read other books, and then use what was in the lesson as a teaching point of discussion about your faith with your kids, and this is the way we handled it. You have some flexibility to make these adjustments through the parent dashboard.

Overall, kids of all ages like the Reading Eggs programs.  With all of it’s colorful interactive games and ability to earn spendable eggs and awards for achievements, it is easy understand why it is so successful in teaching and motivating kids to read.

If you would like to try before you buy, be sure to try out the free lesson on their website, or sign up to get your 4 Week Free Trial subscription.

Social Media

Keep up with all the lasted news, product updates, free offers, and special sales at the social media links for Reading Eggs:

• Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/readingeggsUSCA/
• Instagram (handle): readingeggs
• Twitter: https://twitter.com/readingeggs @readingeggs
• Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/readingeggs/
• YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/ABCReadingEggs

Homeschool Review Crew

Be sure to check out what others on the Homeschool Review Crew had to say about using Reading Eggs in their home.

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A Better Strategy With Reading Kingdom Review

Our school year is going strong, and my kids have been using Reading Kingdom Online curriculum from Reading Kingdom and it is a fantastic learning program.

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Are you looking for a Reading curriculum for you kids?  You might say “yes,  we need to work on reading skills”  but you might also say “no, my kids can read fine”.  But when you stop and think about it, are your kids strong readers?  Could they improve?   The Department of Education reports that only 1 out of 3 kids today achieve reading proficiency.  What is a parent to do?

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Reading Kingdom has a better strategy than what has traditionally been offered to help kids rise above and reach reading proficiency. Reading Kingdom Online uses fun reading games, story books, and an award winning patented reading strategy to boost each child’s skills and confidence in reading, writing, and comprehension.  When kids finish the program, they will have mastered above a third grade reading level.

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Reading Kingdom Online

Ages 4-10

Cost $19.99 month, and $9.99 for each additional child.

Can also be used for :

ESL and Remedial Learning and Review for older students.

Reading Kingdom Online uses Dr. Marion Blank’s patented 6-SIM strategy called the  “Six Skill Integrated Method”.   You can read more about this strategy in her book titled the Reading Remedy.   This method is foundational for learning  and mastering reading proficiency.  The skills learned will overflow into every other academic area too.   This method brings reading, writing, and comprehension together in an integrated and fun way for kids.

The full program is divided into these key areas:

Keyboard and Mouse Training
Sequencing Survey 1
Sequencing 2
5 Levels with 4 to 6 sessions each.

Why does it work?  Because this method is based on learning the meanings of words and and the pattern sequencing of letters and sounds that create meaning.  This is superior to other methods of learning to read.  Most programs only use a phonics program.  But phonics are a deceptive way to learn English because there are 100’s of combinations to remember.

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The 6 Skill Integrated Method (6 SIM) covers six areas of learning: Sequencing, Writing, Sounds (Phonics), Meaning, Grammar, and Comprehension.   This online program cooresponds to a printed program with teachers manuals, workbooks, and level reader books.  You do not have to buy the printed program, but if you want to, it is available.  I hope to purchase some of the workbooks and readers in the future.  I would like for the kids to have practice writing what they are learning, and not just typing only.  I can see the value in having both.  But for now, the kids can do the reading online and that is perfectly fine too.

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Sequencing:  recognizing patterns from left to right.
Writing: understanding letter placement on keyboard and writing through out the program.
Sounds (Phonics): sounding letter blends,
Meaning: understanding the meaning of words and their context.
Grammar: grammatical rules
Comprehension: remembering and understanding what has been read.

What skills will your kids master on the road to becoming proficient readers?

Here is a partial list of skills mastered that correspond with Elementary grades:

Preschool (skills: left and right, sequencing, letters, upper and lower case, keyboarding skills for writing, etc.)

Kindergarten (skills: common words and meanings, punctuation, upper and lower case, auditory processing, sound descrimination: speaking and listening skills, keyboard skills, etc)

First Grade (skills: sequencing, motor skills, phonics, grammar, reading comprehension, blending, decoding, sentences, punctuation, and more)

Second Grade (skills: vocabulary, sight words, reading, spelling, decoding, writing complex sentences, summarizing, and more)

Third Grade (skills: reading, comprehension, writing, spelling, language expansion, increase their abilities to read and understand more complicated texts, academics, and literature, etc. )

Struggling Readers (useful in helping build skills for: struggling readers, learning disabilities, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Dyslexia, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and English As A Second Language (ESL) more).

The entire program starting at the lowest level and working your way through to completing the highest level takes about 12 to 18 months to complete.    A child who already has acquired some reading skills maybe able to complete the program in 6 months.  A child who is a struggling reader due to learning disabilities may take longer than average to complete.  The program is flexible and adapts to the skills of each child.

Skill Levels

Reading Kingdom offers 5 different learning levels.   Each level is adaptable for the skill levels of your kids, so it customizes itself per the child’s needs.  Each level builds upon the skills learned in the previous level and gets your kids ready for the next level so it all flows smoothly together. A Progress Check (review quiz) is given after each level.  More practice is given if needed, or if they have mastered everything, they are promoted to the next level.

Each level is filled with several sessions.  It is expected that kids will work on the program for at least 4 sessions per week.  In each session takes about 20 minutes.  A child learns 1 new word or reads 1 new book during each session.

Each level takes between 10 weeks to 15 weeks (10-15 weeks according the the FAQ Pdf, but the website also lists it can be done in 6-10 weeks) to complete if your child completes 4 or 5 sessions a week and depending on how quickly they progress.

A Quick Glimpse Of The Desktop For Different Levels:

Here are some desktop views from the different levels.  The first picture under each level shows the number of words and books learned in that level.   The second set of pictures in each level shows screen shots of various learning games with blending, sequencing,  and online story books.

Level 1

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Level 2

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Level 3

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Level 4

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Level 5

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How We Used Reading Kingdom In Our Home

I am a mom of 6 kids,  and they all have different learning styles and different skill levels. Each child learns a little differently from their siblings and I am so grateful for homeschooling because it gives us the freedom to pursue what works best for each child.

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We are using Reading Kingdom Online with our 6 year old son and 8 year old daughter.  We began by taking a skills test to learn the exact skills they already knew, and what skills they have yet to learn.  They took a letter sequencing test and a keyboard typing test.  This helped customize the program to their exact level.

Sequencing Test

Sequencing Test

Typing & Keyboard Test

Typing & Keyboard Test

Reading Kingdom Online is an adaptable reading program.  It responds to the child’s skill level and their ongoing progress.  It allows kids to skip over practicing words they already know.   It also recognizes what they don’t know and provides extra support and training in those areas.

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The dash board shows their progress.  This is a very nice feature.   Also I can go in to an advanced step on the dashboard and  set it to redo the test or a level if needed,  and change the speed for responses or leave it at the default speed.   So far they are doing great and I don’t see a need to make any changes.

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Since some of my kids find it easy to learn to read, and some find reading more challenging, it is a blessing to have a curriculum that can adapt to both of their learning styles.

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I like the parent dashboard because it gives me a basic summary of how each child is progressing.  I also get a weekly summary emailed to me alerting me of progress and any concerns.

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Dr. Blank

Dr. Marion Blank

Dr. Marion Blank is known around the world for her literacy expertise.  She developed and directed the Light on Literacy Program and is on the faculty of Columbia University.  She lectures around the world, and she has authored dozens of peer-reviewed articles and books. Dr. Blank has developed several award winning teaching programs.  She is the author of the Reading Remedy and creator of the Reading Kingdom.

The online modality of delivery of the Learning Kingdom system software was put together by Dr. Marion Blank’s son, Jonathan Blank.   He is a top software designer in his field and has many other digital software accomplishments. He has designed programs for top name brands like Google, Adobe, Sony and more.

Dr. Blank and her son and have made this an exceptional educational software program.  They made a great team and produced an amazing product for kids, parents, and teachers.  This online learning program has come together in a beautiful way.  Their collaboration together on this project using her strategy and expertise in teaching, and his expertise in digital software is combined and packaged into a fun online delivery system (computerized learning) for kids.  I would encourage every family to give this system a try with their kids and beat those national average statistics and come out a winner who has mastered reading proficiency.

Social Media

Be sure to follow Reading Kingdom of their social media sites for all the latest news and updates.

Blog  http://www.readingkingdom.com/blog/

Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/readingkingdom

Twitter   https://twitter.com/readingkingdom

Pinterest   https://www.pinterest.com/readingkingdom/

Reading Kingdom Review

Check out what other families on the TOS Review Crew had to say about using this product in their homes.

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Essential Skills Advantage Review

My, my, my… the online curriculum options just keep getting better and better.  We were recently given the opportunity to review Essential Skills Advantage and it is AWESOME!

ESA Logo

Essentials Skills Advantage (ESA) is designed to help kids in K – 6th grades build and strengthen foundational Language Arts and Reading skills. ESA retails for $9.99 a month for a premium membership of 24/7 unlimited advertising free access.

membership

You can try out a free trial of the full version before you buy to see how this wonderful program will work for your family. ESA has just started a free version too that is sponsored with advertising if you don’t mind the ads popping up while learning. For a limited time, you can use the coupon code TOS50 and receive a 50% discount on the full advertising free Premium Membership version, and with your discount your cost would only be $4.99 per month as long as you remained a member.

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By strengthening their “essential” skills, and building a strong foundation, kids can learn to master any other curriculum. ESA has over 20,000 learning activities and teaches 38 phoneme sounds, progression from phonics to complete sentences, 220 English words to help your student master the English language that make up to 70% of the words we use in our daily life, learning the meanings and comprehending the outcomes of stories they read, and grammatical rules of spelling.

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Both kids and parents can keep track of progress. Kids are encouraged to progress and can earn virtual silver and gold stars and printable certificates to keep them motivated to learn.

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I have set the program to allow each child to work in their current grade, plus work on lessons that are a grade below and a grade above for both review and additional challenge. Both the kids and I are pleased with their progress.

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ESA is online, but is designed to appeal to all types of learners including visual, auditory, and kinetic learners and works well for on level learning, remedial practice, and is also flexible for those with learning disabilities. The majority of kids can learn to master the essential skills with ESA.

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I usually have the kids spend 20 to 30 minutes each day doing a spelling, reading comprehension, and vocabulary activity each day on the ESA curriculum. They have their own dashboard on ESA and can choose from several options: vocabulary, spelling, reading comprehension, word puzzles, fill in the blank, grammar, and so on.

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Once they have completed their lesson they can see the stars they have achieved by answering correctly. Most of the time, the program will not let them progress until they have answered the problem correctly. This method allows them to make mistakes, but also ensures they have learned the correct answer before moving ahead.

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All of my kids love ESA and can’t wait to get on the computer each day. I have them work on two or three assignments per day. It is quick and painless (no whining, no drama, and no tears), and lots of fun. With six kids all waiting for their turn, and excited about their schoolwork, I just wish we had more computers in the house! While one is on the computer the others are doing book work or hands on learning. But even though they have to wait on each other and take turns, they stay excited and motivated to for their opportunity to do their online learning programs. I am thankful!

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You can follow ESA on their social media links and learn more about the product, news, and updates too.
Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
Google+

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