Choosing a Phonics Curriculum

Reading Eggs vs. All About Reading

In trying to decide on a phonics curriculum for my children, I’ve looked at many phonics programs and narrowed it down to two: Reading Eggs and All About Reading. To make my final decision, I’m looking at the pros and cons of each program. So, let’s have a look…

Reading Eggs

Teach Your Child to Read OnlineWe’ve used Reading Eggs for a year, although not consistently. It is a very fun program. Children are introduced to one letter and sound each lesson. They are also introduced to some sight words, such as I, at, am, etc. At the end of ten lessons, there is a quiz to see how they’re progressing. There is also a world where the children can play. There is no outside interaction in the world, which is a plus for me. Children can buy clothes for an egg creature that they design. They are also able to buy games to play. They earn money by playing lessons and are encouraged to repeat lessons. The money is easily earned, so the children are encouraged to earn things. If they find something they want, it’s fairly easy to earn the money for it. They even have lessons for older children that already know how to read.

In addition to the online program, Reading Eggs also gives the option of buying flash cards, activity books and beginning readers that match the readers in the program so your child can have the book in their hand.

PROS:

  • If the program gets too challenging, I can help her through it, but it won’t be me fighting her, it’ll be the program.
  • If I purchase a subscription for my 3 year old, he can also play it and begin to learn a few letters.
  • This is something we could continue to use for many more years.
  • My children love playing on the computer, so it might as well be educational.
  • She will want to work on this even when we are not doing school.
  • There’s no prep work, you just sit at the computer and get to it.

CONS:

  • She’s able to complete lessons without fully learning the letters. There is not a ton of repetition, if you just go lesson by lesson. This can be fixed by me sitting down with her during lessons and by using the flash cards more often
  • Most of the early readers are not books they can read, but more like Alphabet books: A book – apple, alligator, etc
  • It is subscription based, so you’ll have to pay monthly or yearly for subscription

All About Reading

Unfortunately, we haven’t used All About Reading yet, so I can only tell you what I’ve found out through their website and samples. This program consists of a teachers manual, student activity book, 3 readers, letter flash cards, word flash cards, and letter tiles. It is a hands-on curriculum.

Each lesson consists of 5 parts:

  1. Before you begin – This takes a few minutes and it includes learning the letter sounds, getting everything out, etc
  2. Review – You review with flash cards, the letters that the child hasn’t mastered yet
  3. New Teaching – the child will learn new letters using flash cards, use the tiles to read words and make new words, do activity sheets which sometimes include cutting & gluing, read fluency sheets or read from their readers
  4. Read aloud time – You are asked to read aloud to your child for 20 minutes everyday
  5. Track your progress on your chart

PROS:

  • Lessons are hands-on, which is good for the hands-on learners
  • Lessons start with review, there’s lots of repetition
  • We can use this program with each of my children, with no yearly subscription fee
  • The readers look like they’ll be interesting and hold the interest of the child
  • Setup is fairly quick and lessons are straight forward
  • There’s a lot of flexibility with the letter tiles, you can make and read any words you want

CONS:

  • I’m the one teaching the lessons, so if she struggles, I’ll be the one fighting her.
  • A little prep work is required.
  • Lessons will take a little longer than Reading Eggs lessons.

My Conclusion

I’m going to go with All About Reading Level 1, although it was very close. I’m pretty sure either curriculum would teach my daughter to read. The reason I’m going with All About Reading is because Alissa needs the repetition. I also think the hands-on learning will be helpful for her.

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