I have written a review in the past about Starfall, but I wanted to revisit this resource in response to The Homeschool Classroom’s writing prompt for this week. We love Starfall around here. In our homeschool, I consider reading, language arts and math as our foundation for the school day. Some days we need a bare bones day out of necessity – whether it is errands that need to be run, pressing household needs, or unexpected visitors. If I have to rearrange our school plans for the day, I make an effort to get our foundation work done, and then I can shuffle whatever else I had on the schedule over the rest of the week. I cover our foundation work briefly and then I let Kyri get on the computer and do Starfall. This is a great tool to introduce new material and reinforce reading and math skills.
Starfall is a wonderful resource for teaching phonics, early reading, counting, place value, and early math. It is very interactive – flash generated graphics are used for animated stories, CVC word machines, counting, addition/subtraction machines, geometry and measurement. There is a large selection of stories, books, activities, and songs to engage younger children. Starfall is very engaging so I don’t worry about Kyri “vegging” out in front of the computer screen – she is animated, giggling, reading and singing along. She loves to play on Starfall, and to her it doesn’t feel like she is doing schoolwork. But in the year that we have been using Starfall, I have seen such positive results. We first got a full subscription to the online content this past Spring, at the end of her preschool year (as we were transitioning to homeschool). Starfall does have a lot of free content, but I recommend paying the year subscription cost. It is not expensive at all, and allows full access to all of the web content (and there is A LOT!) as well as the teacher resources, such as worksheet generators, many more early reader selections, and the Kindergarten curriculum. I have seen Kyri’s reading skills blossom over the past year, and I really credit Starfall for engaging her in fun activities online to reinforce basic phonics and early reading.