If you answered “yes” to that question, there is an incredible online resource that will help your preschooler learn to read called Starfall. If that’s not enough to excite you, the online resource is free and designed to make learning fun.
As a mother of four preschoolers, I was thrilled to find the Starfall Site, which is helping me reinforce some of the lessons I am teaching my children at home. With each new lesson they are building their reading skills and their confidence.
Starfall is recognized and highly rated by experts. The Reading Teachernamed Starfall.com one of “Five Internet sites too good to miss” (May 2006). In 2005 and again in 2008, Homeschool.comrecognized Starfall as one of their top five educational websites. Starfall was the first Internet site to be recognized by Children’s Software & New Media Review as the highest rated product in their Early Elementary category, Spring 2004.
Starfall truly kept the parent and child in mind when they designed their learning tools. It’s easy to use and progresses through four stages to help your child gradually develop their reading skills. The Parents Page on the Starfall site suggests the programs in the following order.
- Begin with the Starfall ABCs. Encourage your child to play and explore by clicking on any letter. The order doesn’t matter. Your child will come to recognize the relationship between letters and sounds. This is the “Alphabetic Principle,” the foundation of phonics.
- Move on to Learn to Read row number 1. Each row features one vowel sound. Children listen to, manipulate, read, and eventually master this sound-spelling through a variety of books and games before moving on to the next row.
- With a basic understanding of letter-sound relationships, your child is ready to explore a variety of genres and topics that will expand his reading vocabulary and comprehension in It’s Fun to Read.
- Our advanced section, I’m Reading, will transition your child from learning to read to reading to learn.
There are also products that can be purchased at the Starfall Store. Products include books, games, stickers, puzzles, and much more. While cutting off the television and reading to your child is best; this is a great additional resource. Starfall gets a thumbs up and a five star rating from me. A “must use” for any mom whose child is in this stage of development.
Alicia is a mother of 4, songwriter, vocalist and speaker. She owns and operates the mothering website, www.seasonsofmotherhood.org. She is also the facilitator for MOMORIES: 52 Weeks of Leaving the Legacy of Your Story starting in January 2010.