By Amy Toman
When I first started looking into homeschooling, I told myself that I didn’t need to decide on curriculum until Alethea was able to read. One of our goals this year was to get Alethea reading so she would be ready for Kindergarten curriculum come Fall of 2017. We did lots of different activities to learn phonics, such as movies, games and reading.
Teaching Alethea to read was a challenge for me, as it was something she did NOT enjoy and would cause her frustrations. Whenever she would sit down with me to read she would end up frustrated and mad that she couldn’t get the words. I knew that I would need a program to help teach her how to read. She has been playing 2 different reading games on the computer to help her with phonics, and she will continue to play them as she improves her reading ability.
The first game Ali started playing is called Reading Eggs. This game is made by the same company that makes Math seeds (add link to previous post on math seeds). Ali has been playing Reading Eggs a minimum of once a week since June. Reading eggs works and looks the same way as Math seeds, consisting of multiple maps with each map containing 10 levels. It teaches reading through phonics, which was very important to me for Ali to learn. Alethea loves to play this game and doesn’t even realize that it is teaching her to read. She has been able to play this mostly on her own, with certain areas that she needs more help in. Since the game requires you to click on words, there are times that I will help her click on moving words since it’s a bit too fast for her to click on before they disappear.
Another reading game that Alethea has been playing was just introduced to us a month ago. I attended a Facebook party for Usborne books, and while there I was discussing with the consultant what books are good for very early readers. After mentioning their books, she also mentioned that they have a FREE online game called “Teach Your Monster to Read”. I knew how much Alethea loved Reading Eggs and was interested in trying out a new reading game to see how they compare, especially since it’s free.
Teach Your Monster to Read is a bit different than Reading Eggs. It still teaches your child to read through phonics, but instead of going in a sequential manner of a map and levels, Teach Your Monster gives the child a bit more choice. Once your child designs their own monster they go on different adventures to earn accessories for their monster. In the first level, Ali is given 4 different activities to chose from that will teach and reinforce phonics; this gave her the freedom to chose the order in which she completed the games. To progress to the next adventure, she had to complete all 4 games and earn her rewards. Teach Your Monster seems to be geared toward older children, as the tasks were a bit harder for Alethea, and there wasn’t as much reinforcement or silly songs as in Reading eggs. With that being said, Alethea ALWAYS asks to play her Monster game so that she can save the princess. Having a mini game that requires you to chose the correct sound to spell a word in order to save the princess is a huge motivating factor for our princess-loving daughter.
Both games have been a great addition to teaching Alethea to read. I love that she is having fun while learning and is able to transfer the information she is learning to actually reading a book. If you are looking for some fun games for your child to play to help reinforce or teach them to read, check out these games. They have been a hit in our family and a huge help for homeschooling.
Reading Eggs: http://readingeggs.com/
Teach your Monster: http://www.teachyourmonstertoread.com/