We have used Starfall for 6 years, in a myriad of ways, with typical and special needs homeschoolers of all ages and grade levels. As a homeschooler, I have used it to improve letter recognition, phonics, and reading skills. As a speech-language pathologist, I have used it to improve children’s auditory awareness of speech sounds, improving their ability to put end sounds on their words, and more. It is that versatile.
Did I mention it is free? If you are unfamiliar with Starfall, you are missing out on a fabulous free resource for your home or homeschool. Today is the day to change that!
Starfall is a FREE Phonics program, geared at the (in my opinion) Pre-K to 2nd grade age student. It allows for phonics work, letter recognition, reading practice (and some fun learning games) for your homeschool (or other school student) and it is 100% free. No trial and then pay… it is free. free. free–no matter how much or how long you use it.
Here are ways that I use /have used starfall in the past within my own homeschool:
- to keep smaller siblings busy (while still learning) while I am teaching the older kids
- to supplement a reading unit on a particular phonics rule (such as silent “e” at the end of words)
- to teach preschoolers letter recognition/sounds
- to teach 1st graders rhyming words
- to supplement my special needs homeschoolers reading practice while allowing them to practice computer skills
- calendar work
Starfall also has a section on fairytales and classics and a music section.
We have used starfall for 4 years. Seems there is always a child here in our family that can benefit from some part of it. Last year, my boys with special needs “graduated” everything on starfall. Luckily they came out with “MORE STARFALL” as a sequel to the current program.
In addition to reading/phonics, “More Starfall” includes numbers, colors, and a brand new library of online books that your child can read OR the program will read to your child with the click of a button. The “More starfall” website does has a nominal fee ($35/year for a home membership), but Starfall, the original program, remains free and I am sure you will find it a wonderful addition to your homeschool.
P.S. Last week, while at Disneyland, we were eating dinner at a favorite French/New Orleans inspired restaurant in Downtown Disney. A song started playing and my eldest son says with excitement “Maple Leaf Rag!”. He was right. And he had learned that on the music section of Starfall.
*I was not compensated in any way for this unbiased review. Photo credits: Starfall