ABC Reading Eggs Review
ABC Reading Eggs is an online reading program for kids aged 3 to 13. I first started using the program with my twin boys when they were around 3 years old. One of my twins recently finished the maps and has moved onto ABC Reading Eggspress, which comes as part of the subscription too! Up until this point I had no idea that the programs are actually aligned with the Australian Curriculum. Many schools use either Reading Eggs or Spelling City – you can find our comparative review here.
I know a lot of families who used ABC Reading Eggs with their preschool aged children, then stopped when the children started school as they figured that it was just focused on “learning to read”, and their kids would get what they needed at school. This truly isn’t the case. Not only is the focus a lot broader, but it’s actually structured in a way that will make learning at school a lot easier.
I’ve written this review by age group, to help parents understand why it’s a brilliant product for kids of all ages, and that by starting at the correct level, and continuing through to completion, it will help your children be the best they can be and develop their literacy skills in a well-rounded way.
But first, I’d like to talk about some of the features of the product that apply to all age groups – the features that make this product (in my opinion) the BEST in the market.
Overview of ABC Reading Eggs
Watch our 2 minute video for a quick overview, then read below for more information (or if you’re the hands on type… get straight to it and sign up to the 4 week trial).
ABC Reading Eggs v Other Educational Apps
ABC Reading Eggs can be used on both a personal computer and tablet device (such as an iPad). To set it up you simply need to sign up for a 2 week trial, enter your children’s details and then you’re ready to get started.
Saying this, ABC Reading Eggs is offering a 4 WEEK free trial at the moment – and you DON’T need to enter your credit card details, so there’s absolutely no risk!
There are obviously a lot of educational apps available, but I’ve come to realise that there is one essential overriding piece of functionality that makes them either useful or completely useless.
The child’s progress must be tracked in order for it to be useful AND ensure the child doesn’t get bored repeating the same tasks over and over.
Would you want to play a game if you always had to start back at the beginning?
Not only does ABC Reading Eggs track your child’s progress, it opens up different functionality as they progress through the activities, ensuring they stay motivated to learn.
The above picture shows the “map” structure.
The other key difference is that each child can start on a level that is appropriate to his or her current abilities.
Skip Material that isn’t Relevant
Prior to using the product each child takes a placement test. This ensures that they start on the right “map”, and the lessons are matched to their ability.
If you’ve been using ABC Reading Eggs for a while and your child took a break, they can sit this test at any time, allowing them to jump ahead if their abilities have progressed.
This may sound minor, but not only does this ensure that you’re not wasting your child’s time, but they won’t be bored if the material is not challenging enough.
I think the library is one of the program’s best-kept secrets – I nearly jumped off my couch a few months ago when I discovered it (yes, literally).
The reason I love it so much is that they have a slider for you to choose the age of your children, then you can search for topics that are likely to interest your child. Attention all parents of school aged children: this could be the solution to your home reading problem!
I’ve found that my children are very happy for me to read TO them about anything, but the kicking and screaming (not literally…although sometimes it feels like it) starts when THEY have to read to me. When they choose the book and it’s a topic around their interest, it’s a lot easier.
So parents, if you have children who are reluctant readers, do yourself a favour and check this out.
Fun for kids
For those who haven’t seen ABC Reading Eggs, it’s basically a bunch of fun lessons, games, songs and books that have been put together in a way that makes it entertaining for the kids to learn in a logical and structured way. When they complete a mini lesson they are rewarded with one of the cute characters doing something fun.
Younger kids will be thoroughly entertained by the characters, and older kids will much rather use this method of learning over a pencil and paper!
In the early days (i.e. before the children started school), they were more than happy to play games around the alphabet, do puzzles and different learning activities without much motivation. Once school started, my little enthusiastic bundles of joy wanted to “chillax” when they arrived home from school. [Enter: the tech crazed zombie brain phase].
In our house we have a rules around limiting screen time during the week, ABC Reading Eggs is the exception and they can actually EARN more screen time by doing a lesson. The simple fact that the learning is conducted on a tablet makes it fun in itself; it allows them to get their enthusiastic little hands onto their much loved iPads without fear of a timer beeping loudly…destroying their little worlds.
ABC Reading Eggs benefits by Age Group
You’ll probably notice that my age groups below cross over a little; I’ve done this intentionally as the levels of kids can be quite different.
Pre-school Children / First Year of School (Prep)
Parents tend to teach their very young children the alphabet, helping them learn to recognise the letters (both upper and lower case).
Upon starting prep, children are suddenly starting to learn the sounds that letters make. All of a sudden, the children start school and two previously unused words are thrown to the top of every parent’s vocabulary: “phonics” and “sight words”.
Those children who use ABC Reading Eggs in the early years have a head start – the early maps in ABC Reading Eggs teach kids the sounds the letters make through fun games, and the kids start to get used to identifying sight words by jumping across leap pads and other simple “touch” activities.
The first year of school is a baptism of fire for most. Kids are expected to sit at a desk, learn the alphabet, learn at least 100 sight words, know the sounds of all of the letters, do homework most nights and start reading on their own.
ABC Reading Eggs is effectively “a bunch of games” developed by teachers, so let them play and learn as soon as you can and in turn, you’ll relieve a lot of the pressure when they start school!
Prep and Grade 1
Towards the end of prep and certainly all through grade 1, children are starting to use phonics to sound out more difficult words.
They start doing word blends, they should be able to recognise rhyming words AND start to write basic sentences.
Most parents of school aged children will understand that in order for their child to progress through the reading levels there is a comprehension test that they will need to pass at the end.
THIS alone holds back so many kids, but it does make sense: what’s the point of being able to read if you don’t understand the text?
Children who are in Prep and Grade 1 will be on an ABC Reading Eggs map that is teaching them all of these things. They’ve mastered the sounds of the letters, they will be using the product to learn blended sounds, sight words AND they will be using their newfound reading skills to start dragging and dropping the words they read into sentences.
Grade 1 to Grade 5
The reason that ABC Reading Eggs is appropriate for children up to (around) 13 years of age is that they will grow out of the Reading Eggs part of the program and move onto ABC Reading Eggspress!
I remember back to Grade 3 at school – we’d have to sit in a big circle, the teacher would make us read a paragraph each out of a book, out loud, in front of all of our peers. I remember the terror, instead of listening I’d be counting down the paragraphs to figure out which one I was going to have to read, then I’d be practicing it in my head. Over… and over… and over again.
The funny thing was… due to the pressure of reading the words and sounding out the difficult words I DID NOT understand a single thing I’d just read. Was that just me?
ABC Reading Eggspress sets a precedent with children that after reading the designated chapter of a book, at the end they will do a short comprehension test. The funny thing was, the first time my son did the test he couldn’t answer a lot of the questions, the second time was very different.
Once he realised that this “comprehension thing” wasn’t going away, he started reading very differently, he started reading to understand, rather than just reading a bunch of words that happened to be side by side. And yes, it translated into his everyday reading – he started paying more attention.
One parent I recently spoke to told me she had a child in high school who is “academically bright”, however, his comprehension has never been fantastic. The problem with this is that it’s affecting all areas of his study. If he’s sitting a maths or science exam, his marks aren’t representing his knowledge of the subjects because he often misinterprets the questions.
ABC Reading Eggspress takes the kids’ reading to the next level. They will race against the clock to answer questions about grammar, spelling and proper usage of words, and will hone their comprehension skills.
I’d love to take you through ALL of the features. Sadly, I believe I’ve probably covered about 2% of them. But I wanted to share my favourite things about the product in the hope that you could see the benefit and give it a try for yourself.
With my hand on heart I can tell you…you don’t know what challenges your child will face at school. With just 10 minutes a day with ABC Reading Eggs you’ll give them skills that will relieve the pressure and they’ll be doing it in a fun way.
Just do it soon – the ABC Reading Eggs 4 week free trial is open until 28th February!