Natalie and Noelle are 5/12, and Theresa is almost 9.
Noelle started reading when she was three, and has been reading independently for over a year now. Natalie and Theresa were sort of foundering behind, making some progress but never taking off on their own. We had been using Headsprout since the twins were three, but Theresa hated it, and Natalie was just sort of dragging along, clicking through the lessons and getting overwhelmed. Once you hit a certain level, some of the lessons get pretty lengthy.
In January I started a free trial subscription to Reading Eggs.
At first glance I wasn't sure I wouldn't like it - the exercises seemed too short, the songs seemed silly, there seemed to be too much glitz - but it turned out to be captivating for Natalie, Noelle, Theresa AND Clare (10 years).
It soon became a favorite part of their day, and they would even ask to play Reading Eggs some more instead of going to bed. The lessons were shorter, true, but there was lots of reinforcement and very gradual building of skills. They were learning without even realizing it!
The program is really quite elaborate - kids follow the lesson path through world after world, meeting new characters as they build on skills introduced in each of the 120 lessons.
They even have an older version with reading comprehension, spelling and grammar. The kids earned eggs during the lessons to trade for items to furnish their "house", or to play games or songs on the jukebox. It's been 8 months since they started, and we're still singing some of the songs we learned! Unfortunately, I had to let the subscription lapse due to finances, but I'm going to renew again once we start school.
Long story short - we started using Reading Eggs in January. By March, Natalie and Theresa were both reading independently too! Now there's no turning back - it's like jumping in the deep end. Now that they know how to swim AND read, they're set free. Natalie used to be a guesser - she'd see the first letter of a word, and make a dozen guesses as to what it was, rather than trying to read it. We called Noelle "Reader Rabbit" and Natalie "Cheater Rabbit" (all in fun, of course) . But now Natalie has made the jump and is officially a Reader Rabbit, too!
Now we just have to get the twins riding two-wheelers.....
|Natalie, plowing through the entire Little Critter series|