Before I had children, I somewhat naively assumed that teaching skills such as reading, wouldn’t be too much of a problem and in fact with my first child, it really wasn’t. It didn’t take him that long to grasp his alphabet and with a bit of determination to learn and concentrate, everything eventually clicked. Now at seven years old, he’s an extremely proficient reader and avid story teller. He adds a short story to his special notebook on a daily basis and always has a book on the go.
It couldn’t be more different with his younger brother. I know that all children are different but I guess it always comes as a surprise when they actually are! He’s only four so it’s kind of hard to determine exactly what he’s going to enjoy doing but I know already that what worked for his brother isn’t working for him. His concentration span is much shorter and he’s so easily distracted and it can be challenging to say the least. Throw two other children into the mix who demand attention generally at the same time and there is frustration all round.
Although he’s still in the early stages of being introduced to reading at school, there is a marked difference from the teaching at his new school compared to his old one. His new school is expecting much more from him, which I understand is probably partly due to him starting his second term in Reception. It’s not like we haven’t been helping him to learn, it’s the fact that he needs to start the process of changing his mindset from just playing to learning as well.
What I have seen though, is that he really wants to be like his big brother. He wants to be able to read and write things for himself. He does want to learn but he just can’t seem to apply himself and I realised that he needed a new approach where he was motivated through fun games. If something is fun then it’s always going to be much easier to stick at isn’t it.
This is where Reading Eggs came into the equation and after looking at what the system offered, I knew that a different tactic was most certainly needed. Their programme consists of online activities ranging from 3-13 years and can be supported by reading and activity books, flashcards and posters with stickers.
From the moment that the reading pack was handed to me at the front door, Tobias has been eager to try them out. As they come in two different levels with lots of activities and books within each, I’ve tried to make sure that he works through them in the right order. However, he has a tendency to just dive into them and then wonder why he’s struggling with some of the books from level two.
There are maps for each pack and level and this is where they can mark their progress with stickers and help keep them moving forward in the right order. It’s a clear and consistent format that enforces some disclipine and it’s made Tobias want to finish each and every one in the right order…as the stickers have to go in the right places. Since the days of potty training and reward charts, stickers have always been my secret weapons.
He’s thoroughly enjoyed working through the activity books. We do have a fair few of books similar to this that I pick up from time to time, so I know that this format works well.
He’s really taken control of his learning with Reading Eggs and actually asks everyday if he can do some. No word of a lie. It has amazed me! He’s even jumped onto the computer before school for a quick go.
Even though I know that he’s working through the programme, unless I’m sat with him, I’m not always fully aware of where he has got up to. This is where it’s a great idea when an email pops into my inbox from Reading Eggs informing me of his progress and what he has been learning. What he really loves the most, is being able to work gradually through it mostly by himself with some guidance from us occasionally. It really boosts his confidence to be able to tackle it himself and it’s very sweet to watch him happily engrossed.
The flashcards are double sided and while one side has letters to learn the other side consists of various creatures halved. Both the boys have found it great fun to match all the cards to the corresponding body part.
All three have been enjoying accessing the Reading Eggs online resource and it’s becoming a nightly tradition now.
I must admit that I’m usually dubious of how concepts like this can work and more often that not, they’re in favour like a new toy and then abandoned after a while once the novelty has worn off. In all honesty, I expected this to be the case with Reading Eggs and that perhaps I would struggle to give a ‘genuine’ review.
I needn’t have worried though as it’s certainly had sticking power and has grabbed the attention of Tobias. It’s his thing and he loves that fact. The boys both take it in turns to use the computer to do their own learning and it’s something that he won’t let his brother muscle in on and boss him around with!
So if your child perhaps needs a little more guidance with their reading to support their learning at school, (or indeed home schooling) then this is a really fantastic place to start.
If you don’t want to wade straight in and out take out a subscription then you can try out all it has to offer with their FREE 4 WEEK TRIAL. So you have nothing to lose by trying it out!
Nb. We were provided with a 12 Month Subscription to Reading Eggs online and provided with a Mega Book Pack – all views and opinions are entirely our own.