Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Starfall is great! Now what?

If you don't know about Starfall and you have a pre-reader/ early reader then you really need to check it out.  In fact recognized Starfall as one of their top five educational websites.We've been using starfall for over a year now and I find it to be an awesome FREE resource for teaching kids to read and reinforcing phonics skills.  I finally bit the bullet and even bought the extension.  I'm glad I did.  It is loaded with all kinds of goodies including math, stories, poems, nursery rhymes and more.  Since I have a new baby this is a great way for me to have my kids (ages 3 and almost 5) do something educational as I care for the baby.

My daughter is in the second grade book of hooked on phonics and I have been wondering about other programs that have reading in them since my daughter is pretty much past the starfall reading.  (It is still great reinforcement for her though and she does it while my 3 year old happily observes.)  Today I found Click N Read Phonics.  The program states that it is "designed for children as young as 4 years old and teaches the complete K-3rd grade phonics curriculum taught at USA public schools."  It is not free like starfall but it looks pretty reasonable and you can test out 4 of the lessons.  (2 of these lessons are for Click N Spell.)  My daughter tested a couple today and she was totally engaged.  For example, in the spelling lesson it said a word, said it in a sentence, showed how it was spelled and then my daughter had to type out the word.  Then it said the word for a second time (without showing the word this time) and my daughter had to type it out again.  Fantastic!

I love that there are no CD ROMS to use and nothing to install.  You can try out the four lessons with the click of a button.

I'm also pleased to see that it has a bunch of awards.  These include the Parenting Media Award and the Practical Homeschooling i-learn awards.
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Please share in the comment section what you have used as the next step after starfall or to coincide with it.

Here's what the company has to say...

"ClickN KIDS, Inc, an Agoura Hills, CA based firm that develops online educational software, has introduced ClickN READ Phonics. ClickN READ Phonics contains 100 precisely sequenced, research based lessons designed by nationally recognized research professor Dr. J. Ron Nelson. The result is a beginning reading program that is beyond compare and has redefined computer based instruction. It is the first of it's kind to simulate live instruction. Each lesson is taught by ClickN KID, a goofy and lovable “Dog of the future.” ClickN KID helps children gently through a learning journey of systematic lessons set in colorful, futuristic classrooms. Each lesson contains four engaging learning environments that progressively teach alphabetic understanding, phonemic awareness, decoding, and word recognition."

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