As parents we are often told of the importance of reading to our children from a young age. Even from birth, long before they have any knowledge of words or language. If nothing else, a story read in a quiet room in a calming voice sets the right scene for bedtime. But it also lays the foundations for a love of language and reading and stories and the endless possibilities that lie within our own imaginations.
The problem comes, of course, when our children are a little older. How can we fit in enjoyable reading time when we have the school run, work, after-school clubs, housework, homework, endless kids’ parties and everything else that crops up in the daily grind?
This is where Reading Eggs might come in handy. I was given a free trial of this online resource that helps children with their literacy and there’s even a section for mathematics too (MathSeeds). It covers two broad age groups: three to seven years (Reading Eggs), and seven to 13 years (Reading Eggspress). The beauty of it is that you can access it anywhere you have an internet connection which nowadays, if you have a smartphone or tablet, is pretty much anywhere!
The initial set-up was incredibly easy and I did it all on my phone. I just put in some basic details for myself and my child. In this case I used my older daughter, who is seven years old (my youngest is two years old and, although we read to her every day, she is not yet at reading age herself). Once I’d activated my account and added Lily’s name and age, we were ready to start. The “dashboard” was clearly set out and easy to navigate:
So I tapped “start” and was taken to a menu page:
We were asked to do a 60-question reading test to determine Lily’s ability. The test stops when your child gets three wrong answers. Lily answered all 60 correctly so it proved to be quite a long test for a seven-year-old to do and I felt her attention was flagging a bit towards the end. However, she was delighted to get the top score!
We were allocated a starting level which in our case took us straight to “map 12”, with lots of individual tasks or “eggs” to work through. The maps and tasks are brightly coloured with lots of little characters to keep kids interested. The audio is very clear and, although it uses an Australian accent, this didn’t seem to bother Lily. I don’t think she even noticed!
There is a final test at the end of each map which, when passed, unlocks the next map.
The added option of printing out a certificate at each level is a nice touch.
If you think Reading Eggs might be helpful for your child, readers of The Pie Patch can take advantage of a special extended free trial period of four weeks (instead of the usual two), by following these instructions:
1. Visit www.readingeggs.co.uk and click the “parents click here” button
2. Register your email address and create a password
3. Acitvate your account and add your child
4. Once set-up is complete add the promotional code UKB26RET to the “Have a promo code?” box located on the parent dashboard and click “redeem”
5. Click on “start reading” to begin your learning journey with a four-week free trial.
Reading Eggs is a fun way to engage your kids in literacy learning; it reinforces what they’re doing at school, so you can tick that off your never-ending list of parental duties; and it is guaranteed to keep them amused for half an hour while you’re stuck in traffic or cooking dinner.
I did not receive any payment for this post but was given a free trial period on the Reading Eggs website in exchange for my honest feedback.