www.StarFall.com with games for girls, boys or kidsLearning Games
Starfall is an educational website for children, their parents and
educators. Founded in 2002, they strive to help teach young children to
read. The service is free to the public. Any child can log on and start
learning for free. The program was designed by a family of educators who
take learning very seriously and are striving to make a difference. In
fact, Starfall has been named a top educational website for children by
many prestigious magazines and online sources.
The website is divided into four main areas. "ABC's", "Learn to Read", "It's Fun to Read" and "I'm reading". Each area teaches different step in the learning to read process. The program starts with teaching children the letters of the alphabet by playing games online and then takes a phonics approach to teaching the sound that each letter or pair of letters makes. And, lastly, they work on the mechanics of reading itself. Children from pre-school age through 2nd grade are encouraged to use the program not just to learn but as fun alternative to other indoor entertainment. The "ABC's" area even has a section on learning the alphabet for American Sign Language. www.starfall.com also offers a variety of tools for educators and homeschooling parents alike in their online store. Parents can download apps to their phone to keep their child entertained yet learning when in a long line at the grocery store. Other popular choices include phonics books, letter games, puzzles and books for early readers.
New for 2009 is a complete Kindergarten curriculum for both classroom settings and for homeschool settings. It includes everything that a parent or a teacher will need to teach a child to read over the course of the Kindergarten year. The specialized curriculum has been field tested for over five years in 30 school districts with positive feedback from all involved. The goal is to teach reading and language arts by combining them with science and social studies classes. Children are curious about the learning process. They get excited to use the new books, sing songs and practice rhymes. Like the original Starfall, there is an online learning component as well. Parents and teachers are assisted throughout the year with lesson plans, schedules and guides to keep them motivated and on track. Starfall is a great source to add to your arsenal of instructional tools. Reading well is an essential foundation block to every child’s successful school career.