Reading Eggs Review: Homeschooling With the Programme “Saved My Year!”
“Reading Eggs saved me this year!” says homeschooler and ex‑public school teacher Amanda. The mum of twin five‑year‑old girls shared how much she enjoyed her first time schooling from home. Her girls also had a fun, successful foray into homeschool, with the multi‑award winning online reading program.
“Reading Eggs has been our homeschool curriculum,” said Amanda. “It’s really pretty good and I don’t feel they’re missing out on anything as far as being reliant on this as our curriculum.”
“I’m excited to talk to you as I really do love Reading Eggs,” she added.
How did you decide to homeschool?
It wasn’t planned but we actually love homeschooling now! [We loved] the freedom and being able to be hands-on with each of the girls’ learning and their different learning styles.
The kids went to school for two weeks and then we decided to pull them out due to COVID. I found Reading Eggs at about that time and it’s been a big help.
How old were Madison and Emily when they started homeschooling with Reading Eggs?
They were five years and four months. I actually started a bit early with Reading Eggs because I was ready to start them on kindergarten.
They’re very different learners, as one is a sponge and picks things up very quickly. My other child needs more support, so I definitely have a challenge on my hand! One of my daughters would have been ready for kindergarten at five. Maybe I would have held back the other and given her an extra year to start at six.
As they were twins we were going to start them at the same time, and now I’m really glad they’re homeschooled because they both need this different pace and I’m able to provide what they need as long for as they need it.
I don’t know how the regular classroom would have supported that, and how that would have gone. Who better to teach our kids than us?
Why did you choose to homeschool with Reading Eggs?
It was on one of my Facebook homeschool groups originally. You do hear a lot about Reading Eggs on the homeschool groups, and if someone’s not using it, they’re asking about it. Now I’m one of the ones recommending it!
If people say, “I have a young kid starting and I want to start homeschooling in kindergarten,” I say, “You need to look into Reading Eggs.”
Not only is Reading Eggs affordable, but as a teacher, your layout for jumping into the homeschool programme helps so much. I just look and can see what I need to do for the week.
I’m always finding new stuff. I just found a Fast Phonics worksheet we’re going to do.
Homeschooling with Reading Eggs and Mathseeds
We are using Reading Eggs and Mathseeds. I’m using Fast Phonics sometimes, but we’re going a little slower with that program. As far as Reading Eggs and Mathseeds, we’re right on track for homeschool. The girls will be graduating both of those programs on time.
How does your family homeschool with Reading Eggs?
We have about 1.5 to 2 hours on the Reading Eggs programme starting at 9 or 10am. We do a little bit of time on the iPad and a little with the Reading Eggs workbooks. They also spend some time reading with mum and practising their letters and sounds this way.
My kids use the Reading Eggs Learn to Read app when homeschooling on their iPads and they really enjoy it. Every single day they’re on the app doing something, either their reading or maths lesson.
That’s the easiest thing for me as a homeschooler! I say, 'Get on your app and do your Reading Eggs' and they don’t fight me on that at all!
They love the little characters in the app. It’s an exciting thing every day to look at for the little egg to crack and figure out what’s in there. Even going back and getting the little character to do the little dance and collecting eggs.
I sit with them when they’re on the Reading Eggs app, and if I notice areas they need to work on, later that day I’ll follow up with the workbooks, which we are also using to homeschool. We use the readers too. I’m all in with your program!
Our plan is to continue over the summer break, because one of my daughters is getting her letter sounds, her phonemic awareness and her number sense a lot faster than the other.
One of the benefits of homeschooling is they don’t know there’s a summer break. We take breaks during the year, so we can take vacations when we want and sometimes I might take a couple of days off here or there.
That’s great! How are the kids going with homeschool maths using Mathseeds?
Well, for maths I’ve used Mathseeds and the workbooks and that’s it. Actually, I have pretty much relied 100% on Reading Eggs and Mathseeds to homeschool this year!
Other than pulling some games, a number chart and things like that, I’ve not used any other program. I do have some number charts, but outside of that I’ve been dependent on Mathseeds.
I’ve followed the program, trusted it and I have seen growth. That’s why I haven’t turned away or looked anywhere else because it’s been really effective.
One of my daughters is further progressed with this and the other is struggling. The other day we were somewhere, and her dad asked her what the number was, and she said, “Seven”.
I’m like, “Yes! They’re getting it!” You’ve just got to trust that process and I’m still rolling with this program. It’s just those building blocks. We have to trust it takes more time and practise for some kids. So, yes, I do think they’re getting the skills that they need, and I trust that we’ll continue working on the little things that they need supplements with, but honestly I feel like that happens in a regular classroom too. No curriculum that I’ve ever taught has been one size fits all. Every kid needs something different and it’s about noticing what your kid needs and finding that extra piece and adding it for them.
The benefits of homeschooling with Reading Eggs
What kind of results have you seen homeschooling with the Reading Eggs program?
The first couple of times with the readers, say there was an animal picture, they would just remember the word, but now they’re sounding out words and sitting down reading these books for me. It’s great to know that I taught them that!
You’re going to make me cry right now as I’ve literally taught them to read! I didn’t do it by myself, Reading Eggs supported me doing that for sure.
I think, even as a teacher I would have struggled. I taught other years like fourth, fifth and sixth where I’d do a lot of diagnosis about gaps and then say we need to go back and fill them. But I had never sat down with a child and taught them their letters, letters sounds, how to sound out words and learn how to read.
Reading Eggs has made it so that it has been an easy transition, especially those first few readers where they’re just looking at the picture and the word and they realise, “I can read!” That confidence is really awesome.
When they start building that confidence, then mummy does too. I’m thinking, “I can teach you!” I’m learning too. So, now they’re reading books.
We also supplement other books, because they know their reading sounds now and because we do like the hard books too.
It’s wonderful to hear that it’s helped your own confidence as a homeschooler, too. How are your daughters showing more confidence?
The twins’ grandma was visiting the other day and asked Emily about books and she was about to say, “Grandma, I can’t read”, but she stopped herself because she realised she can read and she smiled!
Even my other daughter who struggles, I’ve noticed her confidence and mine teaching her has grown as well, because of the pace of Reading Eggs. This has meant that she is even a successful learner!
That is the biggest part of being a public school teacher; knowing she has challenges with staying focused and I know that she’s not learning as quick, but she feels like a confident, competent learner, like she can do the work.
My fear is that maybe public school would not have done that for her, that she wouldn’t have felt that success.
I think Reading Eggs has helped both girls, and me – all of us feel more confident in what we’re doing.
What do you find motivates your girls the most while homeschooling?
It’s those little characters and the eggs that they get to crack on Reading Eggs that really help! They really like those eggs at the moment and every once in a while they’ll go shopping and change their character. We’ve been doing it all year and they’re still excited about all this and still love it.
Are the kids able to use the programme independently?
Yes, they are able to get on there and work independently but still supervised. I’m always listening in the background in case they’re struggling. There’s a sound that comes from their iPad when they’re getting it wrong.
I’ll say, “Madison, if you need help come over to Mummy. You might need help with that.” I don’t leave them on their own with it yet, but I bet as they get older they’ll be able to.
It’s more with homeschooling if you’re relying on this as your curriculum, you kind of need to be present and plugged in with that stuff. When they do the quizzes I always sit with them and we do it together, because I don’t ever want testing to make them feel like they’re not able to do something.
So, if they think it’s really hard, we’ll work through it, and then sit down and draw, because I know what they’re struggling with, because I sat with them on that task. I’ll be able to say, “Okay she’s still working on say, one through ten, or she knows how to count but doesn’t get how it corresponds yet.” I’ll know what the issue is and be able to identify that.
Amanda, you were a public school teacher for nine years. How is homeschooling different than teaching?
Being a public school teacher, I have to fight that urge to compare homeschooling to the standards of a regular classroom, which usually has 30 children. In that class, you have to meet goals within certain timeframes as you only have the kids for an amount of time and then they’re gone.
With my kids, I can work at both of their paces and that’s the beauty of homeschooling.
The challenge for me going from a teacher to a homeschooler, is that I have to unschool myself. I have to let go of expectations. I catch myself falling into it and think, “No, it’s okay." I literally can teach them at their own pace all through summer if I want. It’s a beautiful thing.
Do you use the Reading Eggs certificates for your homeschool?
Yes, the girls have them on their apps, and they do show off to the principal, who is daddy. They’ll show him what they’re getting. I haven’t printed them out, although I did see you have a graduation certificate at the end, which I thought was kind of cool, so we might print and laminate that. We’re going to do a little graduation outfit and celebrate, all of us, because it’s been a lot of work.
What would you say to other homeschoolers about Reading Eggs?
For people considering homeschooling that might be afraid to do it, you just need to trust in yourself. You’re the best person to teach your kids, you’ve been doing it their whole lives and you know them better than anyone else.
There’s a huge support group of other mums out there, for when you’re having one of those days we all have. If you find a programme like Reading Eggs that works for you and your kids, it can be one of the most beautiful things. My daughters know how to read because I taught them and that’s an amazing feeling. Everything they know, they learned from me, and it feels really good. To the mums out there, I’m rooting for you guys!
Is there anything you’d like to add?
Just tell everyone that’s behind this programme that I appreciate it; that as a teacher [I know] a lot of thought and time and consideration has gone into it.