Starfall is great for parents and teachers but most especially for the homeschooling family. This is an early childhood education program for PreK to second grade and it supports a young child’s learning in the areas of language arts and math. For the earliest years, the program is just fine as a stand-alone program. It’s something fun and engaging that children enjoy. As they grow it is a great supplement to other programs.
The program covers a wide range of topics numbers, nursery rhymes, phonics, language arts. Young children can begin with basic letter and sound recognition, patterns, and fun stories. Older children can benefit from more advanced math including addition and subtraction, and phonics. Everything is taught through fun and colorful games and activities to readily appeal to young children. They don’t really realize they are learning.
It should be noted this program is best used on a desktop/laptop computer. While the app for the iPad is great it just doesn’t offer all of the features of the desktop program.
Overall the program is easy to use. At just three years old my daughter can sit herself down and navigate easily to her favorite areas of the program. There are many things she can do completely independently. I allow her to use it as she wants to during school time with her big siblings. She feels like a big girl doing big kid school work. Plus it keeps her busy doing something productive for a few minutes while I work with the other kids.
The program is fairly open-ended. Unless you sit with your child as they work and direct them, they are free to pick and choose anything they want. There isn’t a way to assign tasks. There is no definitive order or plan. There is no set time to work. There is no real start or finish. Children just work at what they like for as long as they like unless the parent says otherwise. This suited our purposes for the program just fine.
During my daughter’s time with the program I noticed a huge uptick in the number of letters and letter sounds she could recognize and remember. The use of clever graphics and catchy little songs are just what a young child enjoys.
Far and above her favorite section was all of the nursery rhymes. She listened to them over and over and over and over. Did I say how much she loved these and listened to them? As a result, Eliza has developed quite the repertoire of nursery rhyme songs. I love how much nursery rhymes support language growth. She now knows more of them than I or her older siblings ever did.
Lately, she’s even been dabbling in some of the early phonics lessons. While she isn’t blending letters into words she has picked up a few basic sight words can identify while away from the program.
There are a number of great helpful tools in the Parent-Teacher Center. You’ll find a math worksheet generator, various printables, posters, and other downloads.
Starfall is a big winner in our home. In fact, I’ve used it off and on for years with all of my children. It’s something we’ve always appreciated. I highly recommend it.