Reading Eggs Articles
May 27, 2020
9 Fun Preschool Games for Learning
Learning to read is the most important skill your child will develop. It's never too early to start building pre‑reading and phonics skills that set up your preschooler for reading success. The key is to make learning fun, engaging and motivating, that is, turning reading into a game!
A common stumbling block for children learning to read is difficulty understanding phonics, that...
May 18, 2020
5 Fun Grammar Games for Kids
Helping children learn the rules of English grammar can be a struggle. Grammar can be difficult, even for most grownups!
But the good news is that learning grammar doesn't always have to end in frustration. With a few fun and creative tricks up your sleeve, you can help your child navigate the twists and turns of English grammar with confidence, enthusiasm and ease. Here are five fun activities you can...
May 04, 2020
Learning from Home
Taking your first step into the world of home learning can feel daunting at first, especially in addition to COVID‑19 stress and uncertainty. But with the surge of quality digital learning technology like Reading Eggs, there's so much support out there for parents and homeschoolers who aren't sure where to start.
Setting up a home learning routine for your little ones may take a...
Apr 20, 2020
Home Learning for Toddlers: Get the Support You Need
The world has changed quite drastically in the last few weeks. Due to the outbreak of COVID‑19 we've had to change the way we live altogether, including the way we work, study and interact with each other. With mass school shut downs and city‑wide lockdowns in place, homeschooling has become the norm in many countries across the world....
Apr 14, 2020
Online Homeschool Resources
Try the multi‑award winning online homeschool programne for reading and maths, filled with self‑paced lessons, interactive activities, assessment tasks and worksheets.
Whether you're a seasoned homeschooler or simply looking for ways to support your children's education at home, Reading Eggs and Mathseeds provide an excellent solution for pre‑kindergarten and primary school reading and maths.
Designed by experienced educators and used by over 10 million kids worldwide, the award‑winning homeshool programmes have been shown...
Apr 04, 2020
Toddler Learning Games – 5 Home Education Games
Toddlerhood can be loads of fun, chock full of belly laughs, impromptu dance parties and tickle wars, but it can also be challenging to keep your child engaged and entertained.
Games are a wonderful distraction for toddler‑aged children, and the best part is that your kids are learning without even realising it. So while it might be tempting to default to...
Mar 25, 2020
Fun Games to Help Children Learn to Read in English
If you're looking for a way to help your child learn to read in English, Reading Eggs is a high‑quality online learning resource that can be used at home.
Reading Eggs is designed by highly experienced educators and has been used by over 10 million children around the world. Based on solid scientific research, the online learning programme is designed to...
Feb 17, 2020
Kids’ Learning Games for Every Age
Children learn best when they're having fun, which is why learning games are such an important part of the learning process.
Thoughtful and well‑planned educational games can increase motivation, develop problem solving abilities, promote a positive learning environment and even increase your child's attention span among other benefits.
So, it's no surprise that the right...
Jan 31, 2020
6 Fun Spelling Games for Kids
Spelling games make the learning process so much easier and fun for young kids, whether they're just starting out or struggling to grasp spelling strategies at school.
It's no secret that spelling can be challenging for a lot of children and takes a lot of practice. The different rules and exceptions in the English language can be confusing at first, but with the right approach your child can start to feel more eager and confident...
Nov 29, 2019
How to raise a reader: Five simple pretend play ideas to try
Teaching kids to read is an important milestone for many parents. And while raising a reader may appear to be a rather daunting task, the key is actually to have fun – and lots of it! This advice follows recent studies that have found pretend play can support early childhood development, including early literacy...
Oct 28, 2019
5 Simple Yoga Exercises for Kids
Even if your child doesn't formally participate in any sports, they can still reap wonderful benefits from doing simple stretches, going for a walk or riding a bike. Another activity that's gaining widespread popularity is yoga, and when you look at the list of benefits it can...
Sep 16, 2019
5 Fun Literacy Games Your Child will Love
Most parents are keenly aware of the importance of literacy in their child's life. “It's the foundation for doing well at school, socialising with others, developing independence, managing money and working,” says the Raising Children Network.
But what about the importance of making it fun? According to the National Literacy Trust, “Play...
Jul 22, 2019
Bedtime Stories for Kids & Lifelong Benefits:
Access Over 2500 Books
Children's bedtime stories are a long‑held tradition across many cultures. It's part of a familiar routine for many families and usually includes a cosy combination of bath time, a change into pyjamas, teeth brushing and then at last: story time.
Peter Gorski, MD, chair of the early childhood committee of...
Jun 07, 2019
How to incorporate positive screen time learning into your child's routine
Children are growing up fluent in the language of technology, with screens becoming a part of their daily lives.
While there has recently been a lot of focus on the downside of children spending more time on devices, it's important not to lose track of all the positive ways parents can leverage technology to enrich their children's lives rather than...
Apr 10, 2019
What Age Should a Child Read?
Learning to read is one of the most challenging skills a child will learn. It involves a number of skills and processes. These take time to develop as it means teaching the brain new functions.
Like many developmental milestones there are key stages, but children will vary in age when they learn to independently read. Some children learn...
Apr 08, 2019
Online Stories for Kids
Reading Eggs is more than just a multi‑award winning online reading programme for kids aged 2–13. Children have access to their very own online library, with over 2500 quality children's books right at their fingertips.
The online books feature colourful illustrations and can be read on your tablet or desktop device. There are many different genres to delight children of all ages and reading levels, from simple picture books with read...
Jan 15, 2019
Vocabulary for Kids: Fun Ways to Build Your Child's Word Bank
Vocabulary helps us clearly express ourselves and communicate new ideas about the world. According to Oxford Dictionaries, it is estimated that English has more words than most comparable world languages and children learn new words every single day. In fact, the average high school student has a vocabulary size of about 45,000 words. Building...
Jan 08, 2019
Fluency is the link between recognising words and understanding them. Effective reading programmes teach fluency skills, so that readers can make the link between words, sounds, and meaning more quickly.
Fluent readers are no longer 'decoding' each word they encounter. They have developed the knowledge and skills to recognise words automatically, accurately and quickly. This means that the reader can focus on...
Jan 02, 2019
Spelling Help: Fun Tips to Help Children Learn to Spell
Helping your child learn to spell can be overwhelming, especially if you don't know where to start. But don't be deterred—there are patterns to be uncovered, strategies to be learned, and rules to help children unlock spelling.
Research shows that spelling influences writing in the middle and upper primary years (Daffern, Mackenzie and Hemmings, 2017) and therefore it is critical...
Nov 12, 2018
The Best Online Reading Programme for Struggling Readers
Children learn to read at their own pace, which sometimes makes it hard for parents to know when a child is struggling.
It's estimated that almost 40 per cent of children struggle with reading. But the good news is that with early intervention, most struggling readers do overcome their challenges.
It's extremely important to start intervention...
Oct 22, 2018
How to Teach a Dyslexic Child to Read
Dyslexia is a difference in the way the brain processes language, ranging from mild to severe. Most children with dyslexia can learn to read fluently with the right combination of school and home support.
Explicit and systematic instruction, which develops sound‑letter awareness and an understanding of how written language works, is a very effective way to...
Sep 16, 2018
How to Teach Kids to Read: 10 Simple Steps to Try at Home
Most people don't think about the process of learning to read until they decide to start teaching their own children at home.
Contrary to what some people believe, learning to read is not a 'natural' process that happens all on its own. It's a complex one that requires the...
Apr 26, 2018
How to Teach a Child with Autism to Read
Learning to Read with Autism
Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) can face distinct challenges in learning to read. ASD is a spectrum, so the range of challenges is different for every child. But for many young children with ASD, it affects the development of foundational language and social skills. This impacts reading readiness, comprehension skills, and...
Mar 23, 2018
You can witness your child learn to read…straight from home
As a mum of four, I know the frustration of trying to get young kids interested in learning to read. They couldn’t grasp those essential early skills. It was all too hard.
For my two oldest kids, the struggle was REAL.
Both of them were reluctant readers (it was never something they’d choose to do).
Worse still, my oldest was constantly guessing at words and...
Dec 01, 2017
Sight Word Activities to Do at Home
Parents can easily support the development of their child’s reading skills at home with fun activities.
One aspect of learning to read which needs lots of repetition, and is ripe for home attention, is building a sight word bank.
Fluent reading requires quick word recognition so your child is focused on comprehending the text, not decoding words. Research shows that children who...
Nov 22, 2017
Expert Tips on How to Make Reading Fun
It probably comes as little surprise to parents that making reading fun for your child is one of the best ways to set them up for academic achievement.
A research report from The National Endowment for the Arts found that children and teenagers who read for pleasure on a daily or weekly basis score better on reading tests than infrequent readers.
Nov 06, 2017
Dyslexia and Reading: Sounds, Letters, Rules and Fluency
Explicit and systematic instruction which develops sound-letter awareness and an understanding of how written language works is a great way to build reading fluency in children with dyslexia.
Learning to read with dyslexia
Dyslexia is a difference in the way the brain processes language, ranging from mild to severe.
It's important for parents and teachers to note that dyslexia is not linked...
Oct 10, 2017
Reading Eggs vs Other Reading Apps
Reading Eggs is the multi-award winning online reading programme designed specifically for children aged 2–13.
With so many children’s reading apps on the market, it can be hard to know which one lives up to its claims when choosing the best programme for your child.
We asked parents, teachers and home educators to tell us what sets Reading...
Sep 06, 2017
Tammin Sursok Talks about Motherhood, Life Lessons and Reading Eggs Junior
“I’m a big believer in kids getting a good education and developing solid skills, which led me to my latest venture as ambassador for Reading Eggs Junior. Developing good reading skills is something I’m passionate about.”
Tell us a little bit about yourself and life in LA now.
So I’m 34, I’m an actress and producer. Some of the shows I’ve been on include Home and Away, Hannah Montana, The Young and the Restless and Pretty Little Liars. I’m married...
Aug 30, 2017
Using Reading Eggs for Homeschool
How can homeschoolers use Reading Eggs to support their child's reading development? Watch child psychologist Fiona Martin, literacy expert Sara Leman, Kidspot editor Melissa Wilson and media personality Jules Sebastian discuss the multi-award...
Aug 30, 2017
Help! My Child Is Struggling in School
For concerned parents, it can be hard to know how to help a child who is struggling in school. Watch child psychologist Fiona Martin, literacy expert Sara Leman, Kidspot editor Melissa Wilson and media...
Aug 30, 2017
How To Make Time for Reading to Children
We all want to make time to read to our kids, but sometimes it can be hard to juggle reading time with multiple children. Watch child psychologist Fiona Martin, literacy expert Sara Leman,...
Aug 30, 2017
Is My Child Ready for School?
It's the big question that most parents find themselves asking: how do I know if my child is ready for school? Watch child psychologist Fiona Martin, literacy expert Sara Leman, Kidspot...
Aug 30, 2017
How to Prepare Your Child for School
What can you do to start preparing your child for their transition to big school? Watch child psychologist Fiona Martin, literacy expert Sara Leman, Kidspot...
Aug 30, 2017
How to Help a Child Struggling With Reading
Some children struggle with reading for various reasons. So what can parents do to help? Watch child psychologist Fiona Martin, literacy expert Sara Leman, Kidspot editor...
Aug 30, 2017
How Does Reading Eggs Work?
Reading Eggs is based on solid scientific research to help children learn to read. Watch child psychologist Fiona Martin, literacy expert Sara...
Aug 30, 2017
Does Reading Eggs Really Work?
Reading Eggs is the proven way to help children learn to read and has already helped more than 10 million children around the world. Watch child psychologist Fiona Martin, literacy expert...
Aug 30, 2017
The Benefits of Reading to Your Child
The importance of reading to your child cannot be overstated, and this is continuously proven by research. Watch child psychologist Fiona Martin, literacy expert Sara Leman, Kidspot editor...
Aug 29, 2017
Is My Child Emotionally Ready for School?
Children need to develop certain social and emotional skills before they start school. Watch child psychologist Fiona Martin, literacy expert Sara Leman,...
Jun 09, 2017
Name Writing Practice: How to Teach Your Child to Write Their Name
Learning to write your name is a huge deal for young kids. It’s usually one of the very first writing milestones they’ll achieve!
There are a few ways to make sure your child is learning to write their name properly. Name writing practice should give kids a strong sense of achievement and set them on the right path to reading and writing success. Below are some useful tips to help them reach this exciting milestone with ease, enthusiasm and confidence....
Apr 07, 2017
The Five Finger Rule: How to Find ‘Just Right’ Books for Your Child
It’s important to encourage your child to read from an early age. One of the best ways to nurture this early interest in reading is by making sure the books they read on their own are suitable for their ability.
Books that are too easy can make reading time boring, while those that are too difficult can...
Feb 08, 2017
Valentine's Day Ideas for Kids
Valentine's Day is about showing our appreciation for the people who matter to us, and letting them know how important they are to our lives.
It's important to teach kids about showing appreciation and valuing others – and what better time to reinforce this message than on Valentine's Day.
Here are some fun Valentine's Day ideas for kids that teach them the meaning of Valentine's Day:
1. Gift differently
Set aside some time to create homemade gifts with your child for friends and relatives....
Jan 25, 2017
10 Back to School Reading Tips for Parents
Free Trial Offer: Claim your free trial of Reading Eggs here and see how your child’s reading confidence improves in just weeks.
Before the back-to-school period, it’s pretty common for young kids to fall into the notorious holiday reading slide.
The term “slide” refers to children dropping in their reading ability following a lack of reading over the school holidays. Teachers report that many students return to school with a lower reading level and interest in books than when they left.
Jan 20, 2017
How to Improve Your Child’s Working Memory with Reading
Every time you sit down to read a book, your brain recalls and uses a great deal of information to understand the text.
This is because reading requires us to draw on relevant information stored in our memory in order to gain meaning.
A good working memory is essential for reading and learning, as well as other important processes, such as concentrating and following instructions.
What is working memory?
Working memory refers to how we manipulate information stored in our short-term memory. Children...
Jan 13, 2017
Back to School Checklist
Special offer: Get your child reading-ready for their first day of school with a special free trial of Reading Eggs.
Back-to-school season comes around like a whirlwind, and in the midst of shopping, labelling and packing lunches, it’s easy to forget a thing or two.
But with a bit of preparation, back-to-school doesn’t have to be a stressful time. Use our handy back-to-school checklist to tick off everything you need and concentrate on getting your child excited about the new year ahead!
For school supplies,...
Dec 09, 2016
Christmas Craft Idea for Kids: DIY Salt Dough Tree Ornaments
Making salt dough tree ornaments is a fun way to get ready for the festive season, and can also be a fun way to develop your child’s maths skills. (By Reading Eggs content writer and author Sara Leman)
The holiday season is one full of traditions. As soon as the tree makes its annual appearance at home, my daughter starts asking to make...
Oct 14, 2016
How to Get Your Child Reading in Just Weeks
There are many things parents can do to support a child's reading development—and the fastest way to do it is by using a research-based, structured reading programme like Reading Eggs.
Unlike other reading apps on the market, Reading Eggs is developed by a team of experienced educators and literacy experts. It uses structured phonics activities that teach children to recognise letter sounds, right from...
Sep 01, 2016
Fun Preschool Maths Activities for Parents
It's easy to encourage an early love of maths in your child while preparing them with the numeracy skills they need to succeed in school.
There are plenty of everyday opportunities to develop early maths skills through simple activities that are fun and motivating for your preschooler. Besides workbooks, puzzles and online maths programmes like Mathseeds, here are some fun preschool maths activities you can try at home.
Have you tried Reading Eggs and Mathseeds yet? Register now for a...
Aug 19, 2016
15 Tips on How to Get Ready for School
There’s a lot you can do to get your child ready to start school and help them feel more confident about the big changes that lie ahead.
Most researchers agree that a successful start to learning to read and write will set children up for school success. That’s where online reading programmes like Reading Eggs can make a real difference at home. You can try it out for free here.
In this article, we’ll have a...
Aug 15, 2016
5 Outdoor Games that Build Kids’ Literacy
Taking your literacy lessons outside is a great opportunity to mix things up and encourage more movement, exercise, and time spent outdoors.
It’s also a great way to motivate children who sometimes feel reluctant to sit down for long periods of time.
Here are five fun outdoor games and activities that build essential reading, writing and literacy skills for young kids.
1. Organise a scavenger hunt
Scavenger hunts are a hugely popular game for children and adults alike — which...
Aug 05, 2016
All parents want to ensure their child makes a successful start in school. Yet it’s not always easy to know how to do this.
School readiness encompasses a wide range of skills. Most experts agree that an early exposure to language, books and reading is one of the most important indicators of future academic success.
Like all skills developed in early childhood, the best way to help children learn essential early reading skills is through play and enjoyment. This makes learning more meaningful, relevant and motivating for young children.
Here are three...
Jun 24, 2016
Learning to read simple words and sentences can help your child get excited about starting ‘big school’. An early grasp of basic reading skills can give kids the confidence boost they need to feel ready to approach this important new milestone.
And there is a huge body of research that supports getting an early start in reading before school. Learning to read is one of the most important factors of academic school and contributes significantly to success in early literacy.
So how much is your child expected...
Jun 10, 2016
The Five Components of Reading
Learning to read is one of the most important skills children can learn. When your child takes their first steps in their learning to read journey, it’s important to keep in mind the five essential components of reading that every child needs in order to grow into a confident and fluent reader.
There are many fun, play-based activities you can do at home to build your child’s skills in these five core areas of reading.
Reading Eggs is designed by experts to cover all five components of reading instruction for children aged 3–13. If you...
Jun 02, 2016
Reading comprehension refers to your child’s ability to not only read, but to understand what they read. This is one of the five essential components of reading instruction.
As a homeschooler or parent, you play a vital role in building your child’s reading comprehension skills. Here are some homeschool reading tips to make sure your child is reading for meaning:
1. Start building comprehension skills early
Before your child learns to read fluently, you can begin building early reading comprehension skills during daily reading sessions at home. When you...
May 20, 2016
Around the ages of 3 and 4, parents can look forward to watching their child achieve their very first reading milestones.
It might include things like pointing out familiar words or letter sounds, retelling stories that have been read to them, or even making up silly rhymes.
This stage in your child’s development is all about giving them the best possible start in their reading journey and making sure learning is made fun, rewarding and encouraging. These years are full of imagination, exploration and play – things...
May 19, 2016
If you’re looking to teach your child spelling words and improve their overall skills and confidence, it’s important to remember that the learning process should be made interesting, motivating and fun.
This is particularly crucial for children who already experience some difficulties with spelling words. Children who struggle to spell words and mix up their letters require considerate and loving attention to help them overcome these challenges and avoid getting frustrated, defeated and unwilling to improve.
Here are some fun and simple spelling games and activities to help...
Mar 12, 2016
Many parents of children with autism prefer to play a more active role in their child’s education, which is the reason why some of them turn to home schooling.
Home schooling parents understand their own child’s strengths and weaknesses better than anyone else. Helping a child with autism learn to read involves the ability to observe how these strengths and weaknesses affect the child’s ability to learn.
Reading Eggs is the research-based homeschool reading programme that helps children of all learning abilities learn to read. Start your
Mar 11, 2016
Helping a child learn to read is one of the greatest joys for many home schooling parents. There is nothing more magical, fulfilling or rewarding than watching your child finally read their first few sentences fluently and entirely on their own.
Your child will learn to read at their own pace, and most homeschoolers know that there is no set age at which all children are expected to be ready to start reading.
However, understanding when your child is ready to read doesn’t have to be a mystery. Homeschoolers can look...
Feb 28, 2016
In our first post for home educators, we looked at some useful ways parents can help their child take their first steps towards learning to read.
In addition to reading to your child regularly, drawing their attention to words, and understanding the learning to read process, there are many pre-reading activities that home educators can implement regularly to give their child the best chance at achieving reading success.
In our second post for ‘Helping Your Homeschooler Learn to Read’, we look at some fun and easy activities you...
Feb 27, 2016
Many home educators wonder what the best age is for children to start learning to read.
The truth is that like all major developmental milestones, children learn to read at their own pace, and there’s no reason to push them into reading any earlier than they’re ready.
Learning to read involves several different stages. Most people consider children to be ‘reading’ when they are able to decode (or sound out) new words independently. For many children, this stage usually begins in kindergarten, after they have learned the names of...
Feb 26, 2016
Home educators know that building a large vocabulary is an important part of reading instruction. As a child’s vocabulary expands, so will their ability to read fluently and comprehend the meaning of texts.
There are many fun activities and games home educators can do that focus on building vocabulary in a highly motivating and rewarding way. Here’s what you can try:
1. Letter Hunt
This word association game is a highly effective way to help children learn and memorise new words. Write down a word and ask your child to...
Jan 29, 2016
15 Ways to Build Your Child's Reading Confidence
For children who struggle with reading, opening a book or reading in front of their peers in class can be an incredibly daunting experience.
Reading confidence matters. Developing reading proficiency is essential for achieving overall success in school, and children who shy away from reading are likely to encounter even greater obstacles in the future.
To nurture a child's self‑esteem it's important for parents to be patient...
Jan 25, 2016
Learning to read is one of the most important skills your child will learn – and making it fun through simple reading games at home helps them develop a positive attitude towards books and reading.
Here are some fun and simple reading games for kids that you can try at home.
Start your free trial of Reading Eggs here to enjoy hundreds of online reading games for kids aged 3 – 13.
Reading games for kids
1. Letter Hunt
Whether you’re taking a stroll down to the local shops, or on...
Jan 25, 2016
Phonics is a vital part of learning to read, and is usually the first strategy children learn in becoming confident lifelong readers.
Phonics instruction refers to the process of helping children learn the relationships between letters and the sounds they make. For example, children learn that the letter b represents the sound /b/, and that it is the first letter in words such as ball, boots, bear and bee.
One of the best ways for young children to begin learning phonics is through playing phonics games and activities that make the learning process fun...
Nov 27, 2015
What to Do When Your Child Guesses at Words
Guessing at words is a common strategy for struggling readers. It doesn't mean a child is being lazy or disinterested in reading. If a child is guessing, it's likely they haven't been taught the strategies needed to properly decode a word and determine its correct pronunciation.
Guessing is common among children...
Sep 04, 2015
The Awesome Benefits of Comic Books for Kids
For a long time comic books got a pretty bad rap. They were the sneaky distraction that schoolchildren disguised inside the pages of 'real books'. People saw them as a more simplified version of reading; something that couldn't offer the same complexity or developmental benefits that 'serious books' could.
But now parents and educators are beginning to see the hidden benefits of the humble comic book (or graphic...
Jul 31, 2015
10 Things Your Child Should Know Before Starting School
It's normal to feel a bit anxious about sending your child off to big school. As a parent, you want to be absolutely certain your little one is fully prepared to adapt to a classroom environment, make new friends and be able to clearly communicate their needs to their teacher whenever they need help.
But when it comes to specific skills and knowledge, many...
Jul 08, 2015
8 Listening Activities for Kids
Listening comprehension is more than simply hearing what is being said. It involves:
- the ability to take in information
- the ability to respond to instructions
- the ability to share ideas, thoughts and opinions.
Overall, listening comprehension is the ability to understand the meaning of words heard and to then be able to relate to them in some way. When your child hears a story, listening comprehension allows them to understand it, remember...
Jul 03, 2015
5 Ways to Teach Kids to Sound Out Words
Cracking the reading code takes practice and repetition. Decoding words, or sounding them out, is the ability to apply existing knowledge of letter‑sound relationships to correctly pronounce printed words.
Many children develop the ability to decode words over time with regular reading practice. But children may also benefit from explicit instruction. Phonics instruction is an essential component of learning to read, and involves teaching your...
Jun 19, 2015
A Step‑by‑Step Guide to Helping Your Child Write a Story
Taking those first steps towards writing a story can be both a fun and challenging activity for your child. By planning and writing a story, children learn to put their thoughts in order and use written language to communicate their ideas in a variety of...
May 29, 2015
E-Books Vs Printed Books Debate
Digital technology has come a long way in recent years, opening up a world of exciting opportunities for both reading and learning.
But when it comes to e‑reading, opinions are widely varied. While many arguments in the debate are based on either practicality (e.g. carrying thousands of books on the one device) or sentimentality (what could trump the beloved smell of paper books?), we wanted to look at some benefits of both e‑books and print books for...
Apr 24, 2015
Here's What Your Child's Reading Level Means
Finding suitable books for your child is very important. Books that are too difficult may cause frustration and discouragement, while books that are too easy can sometimes be boring.
The best way to support a confident lifelong reader is by choosing texts that are appropriately matched to their reading ability. This is where reading levels come into...
Mar 31, 2015
Printable Easter Activities for Kids
Easter is a great time to get crafty and creative with your kids, and you can do it while building important literacy skills too.
To help you celebrate, we've put together some fun and easy activities to inspire some reading and writing fun this Easter.
Plus, download your FREE printable Easter activities to practise essential sight word and early literacy skills with your little ones!
1. The Easter Hunt
The classic Easter hunt is...
Mar 03, 2015
7 Benefits of Reading Aloud (Plus Online Read Aloud Books for Kids)
One of the greatest gifts adults can give – to their offspring and to their society – is to read to children."
– Carl Sagan
Sharing stories often begins with reading aloud. Reading aloud provides a number of opportunities and benefits for children of all ages, from strengthening their vocabulary to increasing their attention span.
Here are seven important benefits of reading...
Nov 20, 2014
Homemade Story Book Ideas for Kids
In this special blog post, Reading Eggs author Sara Leman shares the wonderful benefits of creating homemade books with children to build essential literacy skills and create some incredible lifelong memories.
There's been a frenzy of paper folding and stapling going on in my house recently. Homemade books are appearing fast and furiously as my 8‑year‑old daughter embarks upon creating yet more...
Nov 06, 2014
5 Common Myths About Reading
Learning to read is a complex process. It requires bringing together many different skills to be able to decode and understand new texts.
Here we debunk five common assumptions about learning to read to help you enable your child to be the fluent and confident reader you know they can be!
1. “Learning to read is a ‘natural’ process that will happen on its own”
This is arguably the most commonly held...
Oct 24, 2014
First Day of School Celebration Ideas
For many parents the first day of school can be a time of mixed emotion. There's a feeling of immense pride and excitement, but also an overwhelming sadness at watching our children grow up so fast.
We've put together five fabulously fun ideas to help you celebrate your child's first day of school and mark it as a truly memorable occasion.
Oct 08, 2014
7 Ways to Encourage Good Reading Habits
Research has shown that the single most important predictor of overall success in school is the amount children are read to as toddlers.
This highlights the significant role parents play in helping children become confident and successful learners.
If your child is about to start primary school soon, now is the time to start getting them into some good reading and writing habits to prepare them in the best way possible. Here's what...
Apr 11, 2013
A reading program for children like Reading Eggs can help your child learn the essential literacy skills they need to become successful readers. Some of the main ways Reading Eggs can benefit your child include:
Learning while having fun
Reading Eggs was created with the idea that children learn best while having fun. The program uses many motivational elements to ensure children stay motivated to learn and progress through all the lessons, including:
Engaging learning environment – lessons feature colourful visuals and animations, music, sound effects and highly interactive activities....
Apr 10, 2013
One of the most common difficulties children encounter when learning to read is the failure to understand the alphabetic principle, that is, how written spellings represent the sounds of words. Phonics games help children develop the confidence and understanding with phonics they need to be successful readers.
How do Phonics Games help Children?
The most important aspect of phonics games is that they teach children to link sounds with letters. For instance, in Reading Eggs, each lesson focuses on a specific letter, presenting the child with visuals of how the letter looks in written form, then presenting the sound...
Apr 10, 2013
Learning to read online is fast becoming the norm in an age where the internet provides an almost limitless range of literacy games, reading material and other learning resources to help children learn to read. While reading real books will never be completely replaced, there are now entire ebooks available online, including those featured in Reading Eggs and Reading Eggspress.
Reading Books in Reading Eggs
Reading Eggs features a range of ebooks that help children put to into practice the literacy skills they learn in the Reading Eggs lessons, including the skills of phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency, and...
Apr 10, 2013
By the time children are in kindergarten they will be developing critical reading skills that will help them throughout their academic life. Some of the most fundamental skills that children will learn in kindergarten include:
Phonemic awareness is the ability to hear and identify the individual sounds that make up words. These individual sounds are called phonemes For example, the word ‘cat’ is made up of three phonemes – c/a/t. By developing phonemic awareness, children are also developing critical listening skills to become aware that speech is made up of different sounds and that these sounds make...
Apr 10, 2013
Teaching children how to read involves many different instructional methods. Some of the fundamental methods to teach a child to read include:
Rereading books to build fluency
Reading books several times may seem boring to the parent, but to the child it is very beneficial. Children are hard-wired to learn through repetition, and re-reading a book can help them reinforce vocabulary, pronunciations and spelling found in the book. Also, nursery rhymes with repetitive lines can similarly be very beneficial for children.
Keeping your child motivated to learn
Positive reinforcement is critical to children just starting to read. Not...
Apr 03, 2013
Reading stories together with your child is one of the best ways that you can help them develop the confidence and skills to eventually learn to read on their own. Try some of the following tips to make story reading times for kids all the more fun and effective:
1. Regular Reading Time
Make sure you designate a regular reading time and place where you and your child can read in comfort and free from any distractions. Your reading place doesn’t have to be indoors, you can try going outside to the park or maybe even the beach to...
Apr 03, 2013
Learning sight words is one of the first steps that a child needs to take on their learning to read journey. Sight word games are one of the most effective ways to teach children how to automatically identify these words, making learning fun and motivational, and therefore all the more effective.
What are Sight Words?
Sight words are words like ‘it’, ‘the’, ‘and’, ‘is’ etc that appear frequently in early level texts. These words do not have a concrete image that accompanies them, and are highly dependent upon the context in which they are read, therefore they need to...
Apr 03, 2013
Developing phonics skills and an understanding of the alphabetic principle is one of the most fundamental skills a child needs to master on their learning to read journey. Learning to read with phonics games is one of the most effective ways for your child to learn these critical skills.
What are Phonics Skills?
When a child has an understanding of phonics and the alphabetic principle, they understand how letters relate to the small units of sound that make up words, called phonemes. The letters of the English alphabet directly relate to particular sounds, and phonics instruction helps young readers...
Apr 03, 2013
Teaching children to read at home can help set them up for literacy success once they start school. Some of the best ways you can teach your child the basics of learning to read at home include:
Developing skills with the Alphabet and Phonics
Understanding the alphabetic principle, that is, that letters and combinations of letters represent particular sounds, is crucial for children to make any inroads towards reading success. Being able to identify and manipulate the individual sounds that make up words, known as phonemes, not only gives kids a firmer understanding of the alphabetic principle, but makes...
Apr 03, 2013
One of the most common difficulties a child will encounter when learning to read is the failure to understand phonics, that is, how written spellings represent the sounds of spoken words. To help teach your children phonics skills, try engaging them in activities at home that incorporate the following:
Playing with your child is actually enormously significant to their language development. As you play with them, in whatever activity, whether it’s building Lego, block towers, train tracks, playing with dolls in their dollhouse, or drawing, be intentional about using language. This can feel stilted and unnatural at first,...
Mar 18, 2013
What is Phonics?
Phonics is the understanding of how letters are linked to the individual sounds in words, called phonemes. It’s the knowledge of how letters and sounds relate creating their appropriate sound and spelling pattern. This is known as the alphabetic principle, and a thorough understanding of this, especially by playing phonics games, goes a long way toward helping kids learn how to read.
Synthetic and Analytic phonics
There are two approaches to phonics instruction – analytic and synthetic.
Analytic phonics instruction teaches children to recognise entire words by sight. Once they have learnt a word by...
Mar 18, 2013
Programs for reading like ABC Reading Eggs and Reading Eggspress are designed to teach children the core literacy skills needed to be successful at school with a progressive sequence of interactive and motivational lessons. Some of the benefits of the ABC Reading Eggs and Reading Eggspress program for reading include:
ABC Reading Eggs and Reading Eggspress provide children with a one-on-one learning environment, which means that they can learn at a rate that suits their level of ability and progress. Children are also able to repeat lessons in order to overcome any difficulties.
Focus on core...
Mar 15, 2013
Develop Phonemic Awareness and Phonics Skills
Phonemic awareness is the ability to identify the individual sounds, known as phonemes, which make up words. Phonics is the ability to link the individual sounds in words, or phonemes, to individual letters – what is also known as the alphabetic principle. Both phonemic awareness and phonics skills can be developed through word games, rhymes, language play and other activities that develop skills with words, syllables and phonemes.
In ABC Reading Eggs, lessons include activities that develop skills with alliteration, splitting and blending syllables and manipulating the individual sounds in words. For example,...
Mar 14, 2013
ABC Reading Eggs and Reading Eggspress make learning to read online enjoyable, effective and highly interactive for children. Based on the idea that children learn best while having fun, both programs combine scientifically based learning activities with highly enjoyable elements that keep kids motivated to learn.
Learn to read online with ABC Reading Eggs
Designed for 3 to 7 year olds, ABC Reading Eggs provides a comprehensive program of 120 reading lessons, 96 spelling lessons and 20 comprehension lessons that cater to children who are new to reading, as well as those who already know the basics.
Mar 11, 2013
1. Develop Phonemic Awareness and Phonics Skills
Developing phonemic awareness and phonics skills are the first fundamental steps an emerging reader will need to take when starting to read. Phonemic awareness gives children the essential listening skills to become aware that speech is made up of individual sounds and that these sounds make up syllables and words. Phonics skills help children understand the link between certain individual and combination sounds and letters – otherwise known as the alphabetic principle.
2. Learn to recognise Sight Words
Learning to recognise Sight Words is one of the most important first steps...
Mar 05, 2013
When reading books to children it’s important to make sure they are given all the support they need. Some helpful tips to make sure your child learns to read effectively include:
1. Provide a good reading example
When reading to your child, make sure you read clearly, remembering to modulate your tone and place emphasis when needed. This is important as your reading voice provides your child with a vocal model from which they can learn how to pronounce words correctly and how and when to account for changes in tone and punctuation.
2. Be available to help...
Mar 04, 2013
When learning to read, children need books that are engaging, provide an adequate challenge to their current reading skills, and most importantly, books that they will enjoy and encourage them to keep reading.
Emergent readers are still at the stage where they are developing their phonemic awareness and phonics skills, that is, the awareness of the individual sounds in words (called phonemes) and how these sounds link to individual and combinations of letters. Nursery Rhymes are a great way to build these crucial skills and also introduce your child to rhyme. Learning through repetition is one of...
Mar 01, 2013
Try these three fun phonics games perfect for children just starting to read in kindergarten or pre-school:
You will need a magnetic board or fridge, magnetic letters of the alphabet, and some open space for this game. Set up the magnetic board on one side of the room and the magnetic letters on the other side. Call out the letter name, or sound, or even a word starting or ending in a particular letter, and ask your child (with a ready, set, go!) to pick out the correct magnetic letter and stick it on the board. You...
Mar 01, 2013
Reading games that you can play with your child at home are a great way for them to learn essential literacy skills while having fun. Try playing these 3 fun reading games with your child at home:
Find a Word
Designate a word to your child that they don’t already know and ask them to find that word in a book, newspaper, magazine or other text. Once your child has found their designated word, ask them to choose a word that they already know and to find two examples of this word used in different ways. For example, the...
Feb 28, 2013
With most children having easy access to the internet, either at home, school or the library, reading websites for kids like ABC Reading Eggs and ABC Reading Eggspress are increasingly providing children with the reading and literacy skills they need to be successful at school.
ABC Reading Eggs
Designed for children aged 3 to 7, ABC Reading Eggs is based on the idea that kids learn best while having fun. The website includes a comprehensive program of 120 reading lessons, 96 spelling lessons and 20 comprehension lessons that teach children core literacy skills one-on-one, at a pace...
Feb 21, 2013
Learning and applying writing skills during everyday activities is a great way for your child to develop their writing. While writing stories may teach your child to use their imagination, writing for an everyday purpose can teach them to apply writing skills within a practical context. Some great writing activities that kids can try at home include:
Write a Shopping List
Listing grocery items that you would like to purchase will help your child learn the spelling of nouns. Best of all is that your child can come shopping with you and pick out these items together – helping...
Feb 21, 2013
When a child takes the first steps on their learning to read journey there are three key literacy areas that are critical to future success. These include:
1. Phonemic Awareness and Phonics skills
Phonemic awareness and phonics skills are the two most fundamental skills a child needs to acquire when they first set about on their reading journey. The two skills are closely related; phonemic awareness being the ability to hear, identify and manipulate the individual units of sounds in words (otherwise known as phonemes), and phonics the ability to link phonemes or phoneme combinations with letters.
Feb 20, 2013
Reading books online is fast becoming the norm in an age where the internet provides teachers and parents with innumerable learning resources at the click of a mouse. While it is still highly beneficial for kids to read books at the library or at school, there is now a wealth of reading books and material available on the internet, many of which can be found in online reading programs like ABC Reading Eggspress and ABC Reading Eggspress.
Reading Books as part of online reading programs
Completing reading lessons as part of an online reading program can help...
Feb 19, 2013
Developing phonics skills is fundamental for young children to learn how to read. Along with an understanding of phonemes, that is, the individual sounds that make up words, phonics is one of the first core literacy skills that children learn on their reading journey.
What is Phonics?
Phonics is the ability to link letters or combinations of letters to units of sounds (otherwise known as phonemes).
Why Use Flashcards?
Flashcards provide an effective, hands-on and most importantly fun way for your child to develop their phonics skills. Phonics flashcards can help children learn the letters of the alphabet,...
Feb 04, 2013
When learning to read online, there are five key elements that your child needs to master in order to become a fluent reader that reads for meaning. These 5 key elements are:
Phonemes are the units of sound that make up a word. For instance, the word ‘hat’ is made up of three phonemes, /h/a/t/. When a child develops phonemic awareness, they are able to hear, identify and manipulate these individual phonemes. Developing phonemic awareness is the first critical skill young readers need to attain in order to progress on their journey toward reading fluency.
Feb 01, 2013
Teaching your child to read at home can help them develop the skills and, perhaps more importantly, a positive, self-motivated attitude that will shape their future learning experiences. Try incorporating the following into your child’s reading experience and watch how quickly their reading skills, motivation and confidence develops:
1. Sing Songs and Nursery Rhymes
Simple songs and rhymes like “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” and “Eensy Weensy Spider” are not only memorable and fun, but help your child develop phonemic awareness, that is, the ability to identify the individual sounds in words. By reading these rhymes your child will soon...
Feb 01, 2013
Learning sight words is one of the essential skills needed to become a fluent reader, and there are many sight word activities that can help early readers integrate these crucial words into their vocabulary.
With more than 200 in the English language, sight words are the words that appear most frequently in our reading and writing – words like ‘a’, ‘I’, ‘is’, ‘can’ and so on. Sight words can sometimes be difficult for children to learn as they may not be able to be pictured, with their meaning more contextual. They are also sometimes phonetically irregular, that is, their sound...
Jan 31, 2013
For kids to become successful readers they will need to master many skills. Among the most fundamental of these skills that kids can learn by reading online include:
Phonemic Awareness and Phonics
These two skills are essentially two sides of the same coin. Phonemic awareness is the ability to hear individual sounds in words, while phonics is the ability to link letters to these individual sounds. These skills are the first that kids will need to master, and learning these reading skills online gives them an advantage over traditional methods of teaching.
For example, ABC Reading Eggs lessons...
Jan 31, 2013
Playing games is a great way to develop literacy skills and motivate your child to learn. Some fun games that help children with their reading by building vocabulary include:
What’s in the bag?
Fill a bag with a variety of objects and ask your child to close their eyes and describe what they can feel inside the bag. This is a great opportunity to practice their use of adjectives.
Think of a person, a place or a thing. Ask your child to guess what you are thinking of by asking a maximum of 20 questions, e.g....
Jan 09, 2013
The internet is an invaluable learning resource, with thousands of reading books available online for kids. These online reading books are usually called ebooks, and can be downloaded or viewed online either on their own or as part of a wider reading program. Some of the best online reading books for kids include some of the following features:
1. Match your child’s reading ability
It’s important that the books, found online or otherwise, your child sets out to read match their current reading ability. If they read a book that is too easy it may fail to provide them...
Dec 18, 2012
Spelling for kids can often be far trickier than learning to read. Try these 3 ways to help improve your child’s spelling:
1. Create a word wall
Designate a space easily accessible to your child – whether on a fridge, a whiteboard or a piece of paper hung on the wall – where you can add words they encounter in their reading. With every glance at the word wall your child can reinforce their memory of word spellings, as well as have a handy reference point to check their spelling.
2. Keep a Spelling Journal
Your child might...
Dec 18, 2012
Providing an introduction to the alphabet and reading, phonics games help kids understand the relationship between sounds (also known as phonemes) and letters. As a fun a and highly motivational learning method, phonics games can be found online, usually as part of a wider reading program such as ABC Reading Eggs.
Here follows 3 ways phonics games can help your kids learn to read:
1. Identify Letters
Phonics games will usually introduce the child to each letter of the alphabet, demonstrating what the letter looks like and the name of the letter. In ABC Reading Eggs, each letter...
Dec 14, 2012
1. Use Graphic Organisers
Graphic organisers are a way of organising information visually to help your child’s reading comprehension by illustrating the interrelationships between particular aspects of a story. Many graphic organisers resemble flow charts, with boxes of text and arrows relating each box to the other. There is no single definitive template of a graphic organiser, but there are many different templates available online for free.
2. Answer Questions
Once your child has finished a chapter or an entire story, asking them to answer questions, either verbally or in writing, relating to the “Who”, “What”, “Where”, “Why”...
Dec 13, 2012
1. Read aloud with your child
Knowing what a fluent reader sounds like is critical for a child to advance their reading towards fluency. By reading aloud to your child you can give them a vocal model of fluent reading of which they can try and emulate. Making sure to keep rhythm with what’s written on the page, pause for full stops and commas, emphasise exclamation points, modulate your tone and inflection to reflect a characters voice or the general mood of a story are all things you need to keep in mind when reading to your child.
Dec 13, 2012
There are many benefits of reading online for kids, including:
Online reading programs like ABC Reading Eggs instruct children in key literacy areas within a one-on-one learning environment. Unlike learning in a classroom setting, lessons and activities are focused on instructing the child alone, therefore they are free to learn and progress at their own pace.
Extending from the above point, since online reading programs provide one-on-one instruction, children are able to repeat lessons when they encounter difficulties, without having to worry about holding up other students, as is typically the case in...
Dec 11, 2012
Although reading itself is a complex process, involving a number of different literacy skills, the steps taken in order to introduce those skills are relatively simple. In order to teach kids how to read, and how to enjoy the reading that they do, here are some simple and time-tested strategies that that are good to use.
Have books on hand
It’s helpful to have a range of good books available at home for your child to read. If you don’t have them at home, make sure you take regular trips to the library to ensure your child reads different...
Dec 11, 2012
Educators agree that when teaching kids to read there are five core literacy skills that need to be taught: phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency and comprehension. Here follows five ways that you can develop these skills in your child and put them on track to becoming a successful reader.
1. Read rhymes
Reading books that feature rhyme is one of the most effective ways of developing phonemic awareness in a child. Repetition is key to committing a letter, combination of letters or word into long term memory, and rhymes, by their very nature, have this effect.
Dec 06, 2012
With a wide array of reading resources touting different methods as the most effective to teach a child reading, it’s often hard to know which is in fact the most effective. Different teaching styles notwithstanding, at the most fundamental level experts will agree that children need to be instructed in five key literacy areas in order to effectively learn to read: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension.
The first area of literacy that kids need to master is phonemic awareness, that is, the understanding that words are made up of different sounds, called phonemes. These phonemes, or units of...
Dec 06, 2012
Children usually learn to read and write around the age of five or six, and educators have found that the skills of reading and writing complement one another. The learning of each skill is made both easier and more effective when efforts in reading and writing are purposefully combined rather than separated. Here are some strategies that helps develop both skills:
The earlier you are able to read to your child, the better. No child is too young to be read to. Every instance of reading to your child feeds his or her mind with letters, sounds...
Dec 06, 2012
Most children start to read somewhere around age five or six, while some begin even earlier. Regardless of whether or not you have an early reader, the early years are a critical time for developing a love of reading in kids. As such, there are a number of early reading activities you can do with your child to help them get the best possible start.
As Easy as ABC
In many ways, early reading activities are as easy as ABC, as any activity for early reading begins with a knowledge of the alphabet. The English language is made up...
Nov 14, 2012
Reading assessments form an important part of many reading programs, allowing parents and teachers to determine a child’s reading level, and to therefore cater lessons and activities to their reading ability.
The most effective reading assessments help parents and teachers assess a child’s strengths and weaknesses, highlighting areas in which the child may require more help. Some key ways to assess a child’s reading ability include:
Asking the ‘who’, ‘what’, ‘where’, ‘when’, ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions are always a good way to both develop comprehension skills in children and determine how much of a text they understand....
Nov 14, 2012
Learning to read is one of, if not the most important educational milestone for a child. As such, the internet is now home to countless reading and literacy games, activities and programs that teach children reading online. So, are online reading resources effective?
As with any reading program, the effectiveness of children reading online depends on the educational basis of the online program they are using. The conventional wisdom among early childhood educators seems to agree that effective literacy instruction needs to target five key areas: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and text comprehension. The best reading programs, including online...
Nov 14, 2012
An understanding of phonics is one of the core literacy skills kids need to become fluent readers. As such there is a burgeoning resource of lessons, activities and games that teach kids phonics online. But what is phonics exactly?
Phonics is the ability to link letters or combinations of letters to units of sounds, called phonemes. This is otherwise known as the Alphabetic Principle. There are two types of phonics instruction generally used in early education:
Analytic Phonics – is a form of inferential learning that teaches children to analyse a particular set of words and recognise the...
Nov 14, 2012
Educators of young children recognise the great advantage of using play-based teaching techniques as a means of instruction. A child’s first language is play, and if educators use learn-to-read games in order to teach and instruct children, they find that the hard work of learning becomes far more enjoyable for kids.
When they form part of a larger, systematic reading program, learn-to-read games can be very effective for teaching children literacy skills. Effective reading programs that feature such reading games generally provide instruction in five key literacy areas: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and text comprehension.
It is particularly easy...
Nov 14, 2012
While there are countless different ways to get kids reading books, there are three vital constants that you need to provide your child to ensure they become the most effective reader – access to good books, an effective reading program, and making reading as enjoyable as possible.
Access to Good Books
Kids should have access to books even before they learn how to read, as an early familiarity with books is a big part of developing pre-literacy skills. In order to encourage kids reading books, in the classroom or at home, here are a few easy things you can...
Nov 07, 2012
One of the most important things to teach a child is to read. Teaching reading to kids is essential to their development, giving them the skills necessary to further their education and set them up for future academic success.
But how should one go about teaching reading to kids? Literacy instruction can be very different depending on the age of the child. A preschool child needs something very different to what school-aged children require.
Teaching reading to preschoolers sometimes doesn’t look like reading at all, but educators have found that the more toddlers engage in pre-literacy activities, the better off...
Nov 06, 2012
A common stumbling block for children learning to read is difficulty understanding phonics, that is, letters and their corresponding sounds. One of the best ways to overcome this problem and prepare young children for reading is to engage them in pre-literacy activities, such as preschool phonics instruction.
Good phonics instruction helps kids learn, understand and make use of letters and their corresponding sounds in their reading and writing. Preschool phonics activities can start at home. Singing, playing, reading and talking with your child are all ways to help them build great pre-literacy skills. When speaking with your child, ask them...
Nov 06, 2012
One of the first literacy skills children need to acquire when learning to read is an understanding of phonics, that is, the ability to recognise letters and the sounds they make. For children to develop and apply phonics reading skills to the act of reading, effective phonics instruction is essential.
Phonics reading skills
Effective phonics instruction is always done for the benefit of reading meaningful text, rather than simply learning the sounds that letters make. When kids understand the alphabetic principle and use their phonics reading skills, they are able to decode words by breaking them apart and sounding...
Nov 06, 2012
Reading is one of the most important things that children can learn, providing a gateway to a child’s future academic success. For early readers, achieving reading fluency and reading for meaning and comprehension is the ultimate goal.
Reading games are a great place to start for early readers not yet fluent. There are many reading games for children that are easy to play, and take minimal preparation, all you need is a pen, some paper and a little time:
Have kids search through old magazines or newspapers, cut out pictures of things that rhyme, then glue or...
Nov 01, 2012
When teaching how to read, it’s great to have some goals in place for your child to work towards. The aim of teaching how to read is never as short-sighted as completing a worksheet or activity, rather it should be to give the child the ability to read for meaning, enjoyment and to further their education.
To ensure that this ultimate goal of learning to read is achieved, it’s helpful to be aware of some of the general truths of teaching how to read:
Teaching how to read is complex.
Learning how to read is actually a complex process...
Oct 26, 2012
The goal of any reading program should always be to have children reading real books. Reading activities and worksheets have their place, but the goal of any good reading instruction should be getting children reading, as well as understanding and enjoying what they are reading.
Reading is a complex art, one that requires a number of different skill areas, particularly: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and text comprehension. Reading instruction that incorporates all five of these key literacy areas teaches kids not only to read, but gives them the tools they need in order to derive meaning from books.
Oct 26, 2012
There are innumerable resources available for kids reading online, including reading games, activities and programs that help develop reading skills both in the classroom and at home. But with so much choice can come confusion. Which resources are the most beneficial for young readers?
Where kids reading online is concerned, there is definitely a range of offerings. Here are a few rules of thumb to keep in mind when attempting to find any program for kids reading online.
The best reading programs instruct in five key literacy areas
The five key literacy areas include phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary,...
Oct 26, 2012
While no one questions the importance of learning how to read, what is up for debate is how enjoyable the process can be. While learning how to read may prove to be more difficult for some children than others, a happy start to reading, as well as a good reading program, can lift the task of reading from onerous to enjoyable.
Educators have found that children learn best through play, and this is certainly true for reading as well. Unlike programs of dry instruction or rote learning, reading activities that infuse playful elements can make learning seem like a game...
Oct 26, 2012
Educators find that the most effective way to teach kids to read is through interactive reading instruction. Kids best learn to read when the instruction and the reading material are aimed directly at their reading ability.
An interactive reading approach enables children to be consistently challenged, but also encourages them to use what they already know. One way of offering interactive reading instruction is through guided reading. Within the classroom, this kind of instruction groups children of similar reading abilities into the same small reading group, where they read and work through the same short story.
The teacher guides them...
Oct 26, 2012
Children most often begin reading around five or six years of age. While it may appear that for some children reading is something they just ‘pick up’, this is rarely the case. In order to achieve reading fluency, children must first develop a number of literacy skills that enable them to both decode texts and understand what they are reading. Fluent reading is not simply the ability to sound out words, but rather it is the more complex ability to move quickly through a text, simultaneously pronouncing the words correctly and understanding what they mean.
There are a few things...
Oct 03, 2012
The process of reading for children is a complex one, involving a number of reading skills that kids have to learn, develop, and use simultaneously in order to both read and improve their reading. According to Marilyn Adams, an esteemed American educator specialising in early reading development, the complexity of reading can be illustrated in comparison to driving a car – while drivers simply concentrate on the act of driving, readers have to build, maintain, and drive the car, all at the same time.
Build – readers have to develop systems for identifying and manipulating letters, letter-sound correspondences,...
Oct 03, 2012
No parent wants their child to struggle with reading, but it’s important to be aware of the signs of reading struggles in order provide your child with effective reading help if necessary. Repeated ear infections as a young child, speech delays, or difficulty with the pronunciation of certain sounds can all signal possible reading difficulties later down the track.
Another sign that your child may struggle with reading is the difficulty to recognise the letters of the alphabet. Any difficulty with the alphabet or the related alphabetic principle, that is, the relation of letters to specific sounds, can lead to...
Oct 03, 2012
As a means of making learning fun and motivational, kids reading games can be very effective at teaching early literacy skills, especially when they are part of a broader, systematic reading program. In order to be truly effective, a reading program will need to provide instruction in the following core areas of literacy:
- Phonemic awareness
- Text Comprehension
A word is rarely just a single sound. Most words are made up of a number of smaller units of sounds, called phonemes. For instance, the simple word ‘cat’ is made up of three phonemes,...
Oct 03, 2012
The growing awareness of how important structured literacy development is to the educational life of a child has seen a proliferation of reading programs and resources available online. But does kids online reading really help them to read?
As with any reading program, the effectiveness of an online reading program depends on the educational base from which it draws its lessons. Current educational practice with regards to literacy recommends instruction in five key areas – phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and text comprehension. The best online reading programs incorporate all five of these essential elements into the structure of their...
Oct 03, 2012
Systematic and explicit phonics instruction is a crucial part of any reading program, and interactive phonics games are one of the most effective and enjoyable ways for kids to learn phonics.
Phonics instruction, that is, the method of teaching how letters are linked to sounds (phonemes), has experienced renewed popularity online, where interactive phonics games are typically found. These games have proved to be great tools to help kids learn the 26 letters of the alphabet and the 44 sounds that they make, both individually and in letter combinations.
Phonics games found online offer a variety of highly interactive tasks,...
Sep 19, 2012
The internet abounds with literacy activities for kids, with a wide variety of phonics games online. These games offer a great resource for parents and teachers to supplement the reading instruction that kids are already receiving at school. Playing phonics games online can help your child learn how words are made up of individual sounds, known as phonemes. This will help develop their phonemic awareness – a fundamental skill for all reading beginners.
It’s important that skills gained from phonics games online are also developed within a wider learning framework where they can be applied, reinforced, and understood in a...
Sep 19, 2012
To learn how to read is one of, if not the most important rite of passage in a child’s early education, and one that is far more complex and rigourous than seems at first glance.
When kids learn how to read, they must systematically learn and rigourously apply a complex set of literacy skills in order to ultimately achieve reading fluency. Many parents, for whom reading is second nature, may sometimes forget how complex the act of reading is for a young learner. While it is easy to assume that kids will just ‘pick up’ reading innately over time, research...
Sep 19, 2012
The goal of any reading program should ultimately be to have kids reading books independently, with the ability to comprehend for meaning and communicate meaning to others. As a means to this end, teachers and parents need to provide their children and students with a reading program that systematically teaches the fundamental skills needed to become a fluent reader.
Informed by decades of study into the best ways to teach reading, the most effective reading programs are those that target the five literacy skills that contribute to reading fluency:
- Phonemic awareness
- Text comprehension
Sep 19, 2012
Reading is both of enormous significance in the educational life of a child, and an incredibly complex skill for young readers to master. While it is easy to assume that kids will just ‘pick up’ reading over time, research has found this far from being the case. While some kids may have an easier time of reading than others, most young readers simply don’t just ‘pick up’ reading. There is a complex set of skills that kids must acquire in order to read and become fluent readers.
The National Reading Panel, a US government initiative that in 2000 conducted extensive...
Sep 19, 2012
The success of a child’s early reading development has been proven as an essential factor in their later academic life, therefore its important that kids learn to read through a systematic process that addresses the core areas of literacy.
As part of this process, motivation plays a key role – the more enjoyable the learning experience, the more effectively kids will learn to read. By associating reading with fun, kids are more likely to be enthusiastic and look forward to reading, and instilling this sense of enjoyment in their early learning experiences will help them develop a positive attitude to...
Sep 12, 2012
Being literate can have an enormous impact on the social and educational life of a child. The importance of literacy remains unquestioned, but the research indicates just how complex the process of learning to read is. Acquiring literacy can be an intricate and difficult process for some children.
While it is easy to assume that kids will just ‘pick up’ reading over time, research has found that that is far from being the case. While some kids may have an easier time of reading than others, no young reader just ‘picks up’ reading. There is a complex set of skills...
Sep 12, 2012
Anyone beginning the journey of teaching their child to read quickly learns how important phonics is for kids. You’d be hard-pressed to find a reading program that doesn’t place a lot of emphasis on the importance of phonics. But what is phonics anyway, and why is it so important in the wider scheme of literacy?
Although the name sounds complex, the idea of phonics is very simple. The main focus of phonics instruction is to help young readers understand how letters relate to small units of sound, called phonemes, in order to form letter-sound correspondences and spelling patterns. These letter-sound...
Sep 12, 2012
Phonics instruction has received a lot of attention in education circles of late. It is making a much-needed return to literacy instruction after falling out of favour for a time. The particular kind of phonics instruction that has been criticised is the analytic approach to phonics that encouraged rote learning. This method attempted to force-feed whole words to kids learning to read, rather than teach them how to approach words in their more manageable bite-sized parts.
Phonics is simply the understanding of how letters are linked to sounds (also called phonemes). It’s the knowledge of how letters and sounds relate...
Sep 12, 2012
Because literacy is so important to a child’s educational and intellectual life, it’s no wonder that there’s more emphasis than ever on kids learning phonics. While phonics once used to be a popular means of instruction, it fell out of favour for a while in education circles because of a tendency to focus on phonics instruction instead of reading real texts. In some cases, kids seemed to spend more time memorising words and spellings than they did on actually reading real texts.
After spending a few years kicked out of the classroom and wandering the proverbial halls, phonics is back....
Sep 12, 2012
The importance of literacy in a child’s educational development and achievement cannot be emphasised enough. It’s a well-known fact that when kids learn to read, they acquire skills that lead to success in school, community and their eventual working life. The ability to read and understand a wide array of texts is essential to any educational pursuit. Students who meet with achievement and success early in their literacy journey are more likely to continue to make steady progress toward the desired end, which is fluency in reading.
The importance of literacy remains in no doubt, but what has become more...
Aug 29, 2012
Reading is the most important skill that kids can have in their educational ‘toolbox’. However kids don’t just ‘pick-up’ reading, they have to be taught it. Learning to read is a complex art, one that requires kids to learn a series of skills in order to both recognise text and understand it. Educators have found that the most effective learning programs that teach your child to read do so in a systematic and organised way that addresses five key literacy skills or areas:
- Phonemic awareness
- Text comprehension
Phonemic awareness comprises a number...
Aug 29, 2012
Reading is the most important skill that kids can have in their educational ‘toolbox’. However kids don’t just ‘pick-up’ reading, they have to be taught it. Learning to read is a complex art, one that requires kids to learn a series of skills in order to both recognise text and understand it. Educators have found that the most effective learning programs that teach reading do so in a systematic and organised way that addresses five key literacy skills or areas:
- Phonemic awareness
- Text comprehension
Phonemic awareness comprises a number of skills that...
Aug 29, 2012
Reading is a complex activity, requiring the reader to use countless skills simultaneously in order to read fluently. For both the child learning to read, and their parents, it can sometimes seem a thoroughly daunting task. And, knowing that a successful start in learning to read leads to further educational success, can make the task seem overwhelming.
It therefore helps to have strategies for reading in place, so that the seemingly insurmountable task of reading can be broken into parts, which somehow always seems less threatening.
According to the National Reading Panel’s report (2000), there are five essential elements to...
Aug 29, 2012
It seems that there are more resources than ever when it comes to teaching kids how to read and many of them can be found online. From resources for teachers, to tips for parents, the Internet seems to have reading covered. But how can you tell what’s bona fide when there is so much information vying for your attention? And is reading software effective in teaching kids how to read? Well, here are a few things that any reading software worth their salt will have.
Educators have found that reading is best taught in a structured, programmatic way. However when...
Aug 28, 2012
It seems that there are more resources than ever when it comes to teaching kids how to read and many of them can be found online. From resources for teachers, to tips for parents, the Internet seems to have reading covered. But how can you tell what’s bona fide when there is so much information vying for your attention? And are online reading programs effective in teaching kids how to read? Well, here are a few things that any online reading programs worth their salt will have.
Educators have found that reading is best taught in a structured, programmatic way....
Aug 23, 2012
Reading is the most important skill that children can have in their educational ‘toolbox’, so to speak, and the plain truth is, children don’t just ‘pick-up’ reading, they have to learn how to read. And learning to read begins long before the first day of school. While children usually don’t begin to read until they are five or six, there are a variety of pre-reading and pre-literacy activities that help teach toddlers how to read, before they even enter the classroom.
Sing songs to your child, recite nursery rhymes, even simple songs and rhymes like “Eensy Weensy Spider”...
Aug 23, 2012
There is a wide array of resources for teaching kids how to read, and many of them can be found online. From curriculum for teachers, to tips for parents, the Internet seems to have reading covered. But how can you find what’s bona fide when there is so much information vying for your attention? Here are a few things that any reading website worth its salt will have.
Educators have found that reading is most effectively learned when the instruction is given in a structured, programmatic way. However lessons are delivered, whether in the classroom or through reading websites, lessons...
Aug 23, 2012
Not surprisingly, the only way for young readers to develop into fluent readers is to practice reading. The term ‘practice’ makes it sound like young readers are engaging in a parallel activity to reading, related to it, but not exactly reading. However, reading practice is a bit like the practice of a musical instrument, in the sense that the only practice is in the doing of it. In some ways, reading practice is just another way of thinking about guided reading—reading appropriate to the child’s level of ability, so that the young reader can effectively develop the skills that will...
Aug 22, 2012
Reading logs can be a contentious issue for both educators and parents. For educators a reading log is often the signal of the trench war between enthusiasts for phonics and the devotees of whole language instruction. In a reductive nutshell, teachers who favour phonics tend to work on the literacy skills that help kids break down words into their parts in order to be able to read, while teachers who favour whole language instruction tend to favour the use of reading logs and stress the reading of entire texts. For parents, reading logs can seem like just another box to...
Aug 22, 2012
Kids’ spelling is nothing if not inventive, but sometimes, the funny way kids spell things is a great reminder to parents and teachers that the English language is rather, for lack of a better word, irregular, in its spelling. The very frequent irregularities in English spelling can perplex and baffle students who already struggle to read, much less work out all the hidden rules lying beneath English spelling, such as: ‘I’ before ‘e’, except after ‘c’. However, learning the spelling of words can help kids become better readers.
Researchers have found that spelling and reading are linked in the brain....
Aug 16, 2012
Literacy involves being able to both read and write; reading and writing are sister activities, if you will, in the family of literacy. In writing circles it has become almost commonplace that reading helps you become a better writer. But now, the same can be said for reading. A recent report funded by the Carnegie Corporation has found that writing can help you become a better reader.
Without question, the ability to read is essential for learning as we use the written word to communicate knowledge. But what hasn’t been as clear is how important writing is to the ability...
Aug 15, 2012
Reading and Autism: Teaching Kids to Read and Comprehend
Autism is a developmental condition that affects the way a child approaches language, communicates, plays and relates to others.
Because autism affects language, this can have a strong effect on reading comprehension. But this is not to say that reading and autism are mutually exclusive.
There are a number of different conditions that fall within the broader category of pervasive developmental disorder (or...
Aug 15, 2012
Learning difficulties beset the best efforts of many children learning to read. Learning to read is a complex process in which young readers must engage in a number of literacy skills simultaneously in order to read fluently. Fluent readers must have a handle on the five essential literacy elements:
• Phonemic awareness
• Phonics skills
• Fluency in reading
• Vocabulary building
• Text comprehension
Any hiccup along the way in any of these areas has the potential to cause reading difficulties, and if not caught can lead to learning difficulties.
There are a number of myths that accompany the...
Aug 07, 2012
Reading tests can be a useful part a reading program, as long as their aim is to help students become fluent readers who understand what they read. A simple reading test done before a child begins reading has the benefit of placing the child on the appropriate reading level, so that the child does not grow frustrated with lessons that are too difficult, or bored by lessons that are too easy. Reading tests done later along the path of literacy can be used to aid comprehension, even as it assesses it. This helps the child identify his or her strengths,...
Aug 07, 2012
Reading assessments can be a useful part a reading program, as long as their aim is to help students become fluent readers who understand what they read. Reading assessments done before a child begins reading have the benefit of placing the child at the appropriate reading level, so that they do not grow frustrated with lessons that are too difficult, or bored by lessons that are too easy. Reading assessments done later along the path of literacy can be used to aid comprehension, even as it assesses it. This helps the child identify his or her strengths, as well as...
Aug 06, 2012
Guided Reading is an essential part of any early literacy program. In a guided reading session within the classroom, students are placed into small groups according to their level of reading ability. Of course, even in a small group there are differences in reading ability, as every student is different. These students, who are roughly at the same reading level then read a text that is specifically chosen for their particular group, so that the children are able to read the text independently, without too much difficulty (the aim is about 95% accuracy).
The teacher may model reading the book...
Aug 06, 2012
Sight words are the words that appear most frequently in our reading and writing. Often these words do not have a concrete image that accompanies them. They are high-frequency words that may not be able to be pictured, and as such, they simply must be memorised and understood. Because of their high frequency, readers need to be able recognise, read, and understand them almost immediately upon seeing them. By easily recognising these sight words, young readers are more likely to approach a text with confidence. They are then able to read with more fluency and better comprehension of the text,...
Aug 06, 2012
It’s easy to focus on how important reading to children is. Reading to children is undoubtedly of immense importance to their reading life, as it provides them with opportunities to develop essential pre-reading skills, as well as models for fluent reading of a text. But, what can be forgotten in the rush to explain how important reading is, is how fun reading to children can be as well. It is a fine and simple art. But, if we ourselves have never been read to, or, it’s been a very long time since someone read to us, it can seem trickier...
Aug 06, 2012
Acquiring good reading skills is enormously significant to a child’s education. Educators are very quick to stress that learning good reading skills is an essential part of a child’s education, as literacy affects every part of a child’s learning, both in school as well as in later years.
If the reading skills are strong, then they can use these literacy skills in other learning areas and better their chances of becoming strong students in subjects other than literacy. If they can read well, they can follow the seams of ideas and learning to their source, no matter the subject.
Aug 06, 2012
Reading books is a great adventure. How else could one person enter the land of giants, such as in Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, fight a battle with pirates, as in Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island, or experience a sea voyage from the perspective of a mouse, such as in Richard Peck’s Secrets at Sea? Books have the seemingly miraculous ability take us places that we otherwise would never be able to go.
Reading books can be wonderfully fun, and there is much emphasis placed on children being able to read books as evidence of their literacy. But, it may come...
Aug 06, 2012
It should come as no surprise that kids like doing the activities that they find fun and engaging to do. And what seems like commonsense has the weight of research backing it as well: Educators and researchers have found that a student’s enjoyment of learning directly relates to their desire and willingness to learn. The more enjoyable and interactive learning is, the more likely that a student will engage in that activity. Mary Poppins was right: “In every job that must be done there is an element of fun. You find the fun and snap! The job’s a game!”
Aug 06, 2012
In order for kids to make gains in their reading and really excel, they need to experience reading not just at school, but at home as well. Home reading reinforces all the great reading skills kids pick up at school, and cements them in their memory.
Home reading takes a couple different forms. One is the reading that kids do in the home readers they bring home from school, which are based on a guided reading level. The home readers allow kids to take part in guided reading while at home. Guided reading is an activity that educators believe children...
Aug 06, 2012
Guided Reading Levels are an essential part of any early literacy program. In a guided reading session within the classroom, students are grouped into small groups according to their level of reading ability. Of course, even in a small group there are differences in reading ability, as every student is different. These students, who are roughly at the same reading level then read a text that is specifically chosen for their particular group, so that the children are able to read the text independently, without too much difficulty (the aim is about 90-95% accuracy).
The goal of any reading instruction...
Aug 03, 2012
Reading Games for Kids – Fun, Interactive Learning
To most parents, it may seem obvious that children feel more motivated to learn while having fun.
It comes as no surprise then, that there’s a weight of research backing this long-held suspicion—educators and researchers have found that a child's enjoyment of learning directly relates to their desire and willingness to learn.
The more enjoyable learning is, the more likely a child...
Aug 03, 2012
In order for children to learn to read, it’s helpful to have a proverbial reservoir of activities for reading for them to do. Make that, a resevoir of enjoyable activities. Who wouldn’t rather engage in activities that are enjoyable to do? And what sounds like commonsense has the weight of good research backing it as well. Educators and researchers have found, not surprisingly, that a student’s enjoyment of learning directly relates to their desire and willingness to learn. The more enjoyable and interactive learning is, the more likely that a student will engage in that activity.
But the trick is...
Jul 23, 2012
It’s a truth almost universally acknowledged that the more enjoyable a task is, the more likely it is that anyone will want to do that task. It should come as no surprise, then, that kids like doing the tasks that they find fun to do. And what seems like commonsense has the weight of research backing it as well: Educators and researchers have found that a student’s enjoyment of learning directly relates to their desire and willingness to learn. The more enjoyable learning is, the more likely that a student will engage in that activity. Mary Poppins was right: “In...
Jul 17, 2012
How Reading Games Help
The more enjoyable a task, the more likely it is that a kid will want to engage in and complete that task. What seems like commonsense has the weight of research backing it as well: Educators and researchers have found that a student’s enjoyment of learning activities directly relates to their desire and willingness to learn. The more enjoyable a learning activity is, the more likely that a student will engage in that activity. Mary Poppins was right: “In every job that must be done there is an element of fun. You find the fun and...
Jul 17, 2012
Children learning to read must acquire a number of complex skills that enable them to make the necessary links between the sound that words make and the way that they appear on the page. Phonics is one of the five key areas in reading instruction, which also include phonemic awareness, fluency, vocabulary, and text comprehension.
The main aim of phonics instruction is to help beginning readers understand that letters are linked to particular sounds. In English, there are 26 letters used to represent 44 speech sounds. Armed with the knowledge of how letters sound, beginning readers are able to then...
Jul 17, 2012
Getting kids reading is enormously significant to their entire education. Educators are very quick to stress that getting kids reading is the most important part of their schooling as literacy affects every part of a child’s learning, both in school as well as in later years.
If a kid’s reading is strong, then they can use their literacy skills in other learning areas and better their chances of becoming strong students in subjects other than literacy. If they can read well, they can follow the seams of ideas and learning to their source, no matter the subject.
It’s been found...
Jun 22, 2012
What is synthetic phonics?
Synthetic phonics is a method of teaching where words are broken up into the smallest units of sound (phonemes). Children learn to make connections between the letters of written texts (graphemes, or letter symbols) and the sounds of spoken language. Synthetic phonics also teaches children how to identify all the phonemes in a word and match them to a letter in order to be able to spell correctly.