Explode the Code Online vs. Reading Eggs vs. Starfall - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 19 Old 10-25-2010, 01:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'd like to hear from people that have used Explode the Code Online or Reading Eggs (or both would be even better). What did you like about these programs? What did you dislike? If you've used both, how did they differ and which one do you prefer? Were you able to use them as the main phonics program for your child or was it just used as a supplement?

Do either of these programs accomplish more or offer more than www.starfall.com does? Are you getting the same basic material as startfall but paying for it?

student momma to two great girls

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#2 of 19 Old 10-25-2010, 03:16 PM
 
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We are using ETC online. It is GREAT. I'm short on time but i'll try to come back later today if not tomorrow and post points about it. It is not cheap, but it basically gives you a "teacher" to track progress and keep records. It is the one thing my kids can do independently. We still have the beyond the code books just for an extra thing. They still need to practice handwritting. DS 6 gets annoyed if he has to do many worksheet/workbook things so it's perfect.
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#3 of 19 Old 10-25-2010, 09:22 PM
 
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My dd liked reading eggs a lot and completed all the maps. The games aren't repetitive and the Australian accent is easy on the ear! She started playing at about 6 years old after I saw a link on here for it and she had got bored of starfall. I didn't ever make her do it; she did it when she felt like it and for as long as she wanted to.

Each maps has a sound and the little ant tells a story with the sound in it. There are games to identify the letters that make the sound, sentences to pick out words in and then at the end of each chapter there is a story to pull it all together again. Each game that is played well gets you eggs which you can save up to play "non-educational" games on the site for fun.

I think you can get some free time on reading eggs at the moment with the code UKT26FRE so you could give it a try and see what you think.

I thought that my dd might do reading eggs then read on her own but she didn't. All that information got mixed in with the rest of life and popped out in a new form about a year later. Autonomous reading is something else and I have been amazed to see it.
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#4 of 19 Old 10-25-2010, 10:59 PM
 
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We have EC online and don't like it. It's been glitchy (sp?) for us and my son hates the fact that is lowers your score based on the time you take. Probably totally an individual thing though. He loves the computer so I was really hoping it would be a hit for him. We're back to using just the workbooks which we love.
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#5 of 19 Old 10-26-2010, 06:15 AM
 
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IMO starfall has a big gap between the letters page & the simple stories which reading eggs fills pretty well. My 4.5 year old loves Reading Eggs. No idea about ETC.

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#6 of 19 Old 10-26-2010, 12:13 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Chaxanmom View Post
We have EC online and don't like it. It's been glitchy (sp?) for us and my son hates the fact that is lowers your score based on the time you take. Probably totally an individual thing though. He loves the computer so I was really hoping it would be a hit for him. We're back to using just the workbooks which we love.
Well this is timely.....DD was actually in TEARS yesterday which is totally unlike her. They use a sort of reward system for motivation something like getting a gold sticker on your paper, but then DD feels HORRIBLE if she doesn't do "good" enough every single time. I LOVE the books. Absolutely love them, so we will just be sticking with those. I have only used the ETC online for one week so I"m going to see about some kind of refund
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#7 of 19 Old 10-26-2010, 12:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaxanmom View Post
We have EC online and don't like it. It's been glitchy (sp?) for us and my son hates the fact that is lowers your score based on the time you take. Probably totally an individual thing though. He loves the computer so I was really hoping it would be a hit for him. We're back to using just the workbooks which we love.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 425lisamarie View Post
Well this is timely.....DD was actually in TEARS yesterday which is totally unlike her. They use a sort of reward system for motivation something like getting a gold sticker on your paper, but then DD feels HORRIBLE if she doesn't do "good" enough every single time. I LOVE the books. Absolutely love them, so we will just be sticking with those. I have only used the ETC online for one week so I"m going to see about some kind of refund

For those of you who have used Reading Eggs, does it have a 'reward system' like the posters above described?

My DD isn't yet old enough for me to know how she would feel about that type of approach, but I personally am not thrilled about it.

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#8 of 19 Old 10-26-2010, 12:19 PM
 
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I have two totally different personalities and learners, but BOTH my kids end up feeling negatively in SOME way when reward systems are used. Never checked out the reading eggs but I'm going to look at that.

I would check in to the ETC books though. The pictures are funny and cute, and they really reinforce a set of words through many pages so they kidn of stick in your memory. DD 4.5 and DS 6.5 love them.
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#9 of 19 Old 10-26-2010, 12:21 PM
 
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I think, if memory serves, that Reading Eggs allows the child to collect points and use them to unlock "fun" areas on the website. Other than that I don't remember any specific rewards.

We all liked Reading Eggs, but I found the site to be glitchy, and often the kids would be in the middle of something when it would freeze, and they would have to start that whole section all over.

I've never looked at ETC online, but overall I think Headsprout was the highest quality program.
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#10 of 19 Old 10-26-2010, 04:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Chaxanmom View Post
We have EC online and don't like it. It's been glitchy (sp?) for us and my son hates the fact that is lowers your score based on the time you take. Probably totally an individual thing though. He loves the computer so I was really hoping it would be a hit for him. We're back to using just the workbooks which we love.
We don't like ETC online either. My son loves starfall and I love the ETC books, so we got the online version. It's awful. My 5yo ran from the computer crying and refused talk to anyone after trying to use it For one, it starts off too advanced for a pre-reader. He doesn't know all of his letters yet. He can find letters on the keyboard, but the ETC asks for lower case letters, which my son cannot find on the keyboard. ETC online doesn't have much sound. They don't say the word, just put the word up and then the child is expected to find the letters and spell it, then the next word is up.

Maybe for an older child who already knows how to read, but for a pre-reader, it's not good. Starfall is soo much better (user-friendly and interactive)and free.

We haven't tried reading eggs.

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#11 of 19 Old 10-26-2010, 04:59 PM
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Reading eggs does have something that resembles "rewards" but we didn't push it as such. But, the kids earn points that allow them to "purchase" games that are for reinforcing the skills they have been learning. My dd liked reading eggs, but we needed something more (dyslexic). It was fun though and I thought it was better at "teaching" than starfall. We love starfall for fun and for reinforcement.

Reading eggs usually has a two week free trial offer available though. Try that and you will see if it is a good match for your kids.

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#12 of 19 Old 10-26-2010, 06:59 PM
 
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Reading Eggs is cute. My biggest "complaint" - the repetition was WAY TOO MUCH, imo. Like to complete an activity, you had to click on the word 20 times to finish. I actually helped zip my big girl through these exercises because she would get way too bored to finish. I would not use RE again because of the massive repetition.

Starfall - I just let her use it any way she wants. She also learned a lot of other things through Starfall like skip counting by 10's and 3D shapes.
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#13 of 19 Old 10-27-2010, 02:03 AM
 
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Reading Eggs is cute. My biggest "complaint" - the repetition was WAY TOO MUCH, imo. Like to complete an activity, you had to click on the word 20 times to finish. I actually helped zip my big girl through these exercises because she would get way too bored to finish. I would not use RE again because of the massive repetition.

Starfall - I just let her use it any way she wants. She also learned a lot of other things through Starfall like skip counting by 10's and 3D shapes.
ITA with all this but since I let DD use RE like she did starfall (however she likes) she will ask me for help if the repetition is boring her but some days she enjoys it.
RE has them collect points they can use to buy monsters or something. DD is halfway through & hasn't noticed the points at all so it wouldn't be a problem to avoid it if your kids don't like rewards (DD doesn't).

Grateful mama striving to respect the two precious beings entrusted to me DD '06 and DS '09
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#14 of 19 Old 10-27-2010, 09:30 AM
 
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ITA with all this but since I let DD use RE like she did starfall (however she likes) she will ask me for help if the repetition is boring her but some days she enjoys it.
RE has them collect points they can use to buy monsters or something. DD is halfway through & hasn't noticed the points at all so it wouldn't be a problem to avoid it if your kids don't like rewards (DD doesn't).
For my dd, rewards didn't help. Some examples I can think of: when the Ant is running on the threadmill - my head spins still thinking of how many times you had to click on certain words. And once it GLITCHED and I was clicking for a long time before I said forget it! Another example is when animals are crossing something (a polar bear crossing a river or a bee on flowers, I can't remember) and you have to click on the same word 20 times and if you click on the wrong one, you start all over - AHHHHHH!!

It's definitely wise to try the free trial.

Greenmama - weren't you the gal that was considering Singapore 1b with your dd a while ago and skipping 1a? Did you start it? How is it going?
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#15 of 19 Old 10-27-2010, 07:20 PM
 
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Yes, that was me but I'll try to find that thread and bump it instead

Grateful mama striving to respect the two precious beings entrusted to me DD '06 and DS '09
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#16 of 19 Old 06-13-2012, 10:56 AM
 
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   My second grader did not like explode the code online.  She did like the explode the code work books.  I have reading eggs for my 4 year old who loves to use this program he loves getting eggs and its fun for him.  I would definetly try reading eggs its worth the money.

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#17 of 19 Old 06-14-2012, 06:47 AM
 
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Reading Eggs did have a end of map reward where my son got to print out a blue/red/white ribbon on a certificate that told how much he got right on the final quiz. Also, the child gets a virtual house that they can decorate, and they are awarded money to spend on furniture and things when they complete levels within the maps.

 

My son loved Reading Eggs, and I'm glad I paid for it.  I thought it was much better done than the parts of Starfall I've examined.  He liked the map set-up, because it made it easy for him to see that he was progressing, and there were a lot of fun little side activities like setting up his house and deciding what his avatar looked like that made it fun for him too.  

 

There's usually a code for a free trial around online if you want to check it out, see what you turn up with google.   

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#18 of 19 Old 06-15-2012, 10:26 AM
 
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My son really likes Starfall.  I don't have any complaints about the website and think it is great.  He spends a lot of time playing and learning and I think it is worth it.  I found the teacher's manual to be a decent guide, but we stray from it often because if focuses a lot on high frequency words and I was feeling it was too many words for him to take in so close together.  Also, we find many of the learning activities boring.  For example, they really like to tell kids what to write and draw about in their journals.  Well, my son won't write and draw about something he doesn't want to.  So instead he will draw pictures about characters from the novels we read together.  And in one case, instead of making a book about mammals, as Starfall had suggested, he made a book about Star Wars.  So I sort of follow the Starfall curriculum and then add or take away as I need.  But all in all we are happy with it. Right now we are into Progressive Phonics as a way to beef up on phonics.  We read the silly little stories together and they keep his attention longer than the Starfall stories.  But I totally recommend Starfall.com, especially if your child likes using the computer.  They also have customizable worksheets and lots of support materials.


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#19 of 19 Old 06-15-2012, 12:21 PM
 
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we had the free trial of reading eggs and did really like it I only had two issues. 1 being that a bit of repetition is good but there is a LOT of it. the other being a few of the games were time sensitive... as in you had to click on the falling EE from the top of the screen. My ds can see it but doesn't have the mouse skills to track a moving object on the screen with the mouse and click on it.

 

I love starfall. com for the letters.. the 'reading' area... i'm not so impressed with. I've not used explore the code but I have had good luck with hooked on phonics.


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