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Curriculum: Starfall.com Overview

starfall

Starfall is designed for pre-kindergartens to second graders.  We purchased a membership several years ago when my daughter was in preschool.  This is one of the many tools we used in teaching her how to read.  To us, it’s a bargain at $35 a year.  Both of my children, Alice (second grade), and Cheshire (kindergarten) love the books, songs, games and activities that can be found at Starfall.com. Even without a membership, you can still access all of the same learning materials that helped launch my daughter into reading.

Membership Details

  • All memberships are valid for 365 days.
  • Home Membership ($35) – This membership provides you with one account that can be used by different members of your immediate family.  After you become a member, you can “authorize” several computers at once so that multiple children can be logged into your Starfall.com account at the same time.
  • Teacher’s Membership ($75) – One teacher and 6 students can use the account simultaneously; see website for details.
  • Classroom Membership ($150) – This membership can be used for one classroom in a school; see website for details.
  • School Membership ($270) – This membership covers one school campus; see website for details.

Free Resources

Some of the free resources available at Starfall.com include:

  • ABCs: Short animated videos that teach the alphabet, vowels and how to sign the alphabet.
  • Learn to Read: 15 basic and interactive books; these were created to teach the fundamentals of reading.  Each book is a part of a greater lesson that includes additional activities, movies, and games.  Reading is taught through both phonetic and whole language lessons.
  • It’s Fun to Read and I’m Reading: Interactive books help children take their new found reading skills to the next level.
  • Calendar and holiday activities and lessons
  • The Homeschooling section contains free worksheets and books for kids to enjoy, like blank certificates, seasonal handouts, reading and writing journals, puppet templates, etc..
  • At the Teacher’s Lounge, you can download free ABC worksheets on how to write each letter (A-Z), number worksheets, lined paper, picture cards, sample lesson plans and more.

Member Resources

Some of the membership resources include:

  • Learn pre-kindergarten to second-grade math skills (counting, time, addition, subtraction, days of the week, basic multiplication and division, geometry, and measurement).
  • You children can learn and sing children’s classics in their sing-a-long section (Farmer in the Dell, Pat-a-Cake).
  • There is also a section for nursery rhymes and historical folk songs.
  • Read more books in the Talking Library (these books are also interactive and there is an option to have the books read aloud).
  • Additional phonics lesson
  • A variety of worksheets (reading, writing, phonics, numbers, math), picture cards, calendars, lesson plans, word find puzzles, color by number worksheets,  teaching guides, unit studies, animal kingdom printouts, writing rubric,  downloadable books, biographical information on famous Americans (Thomas Edison, Benjamin Franklin, Rosa Parks, etc.)  and more is located in the Teacher’s Lounge.

Starfall Store

Starfall also sells games, puzzles, stuffed animals, books, CD-ROMS, and more at their online store.

Apps

  • A free Starfall app is available at the Apple Store, Google Play and Kindle Fire (internet connection is required for an app to run). In order to access all of the app’s content, you need to be a Starfall member (there is very little free content provided in the app).
  • At this time, they also have 10 additional apps that range in price from $0.99 to $4.99.

Tips

  • Sit down next to your child and periodically go through the reading lessons together (especially the Learn to Read section).  If left to their own devices, my children would listen to the nursery rhymes all day and never even get to the reading sections.
  • Learn the reading songs along with your child.  I still find myself singing phonic’s songs when I am reading with my children.  I find that this reinforces what they had already learned at Starfall.com.
  • If you are a member, download the free app.  While my daughter was more willing to sit down at the computer, my son loves learning on our tablet.  If you have access to an internet connect (home, YMCA, fitness centers etc.) your child can learn virtually anywhere.

 

Please share your own Starfall experiences.  We’d love to hear them! Or post any questions you might have. Although I am by no means a Starfall expert, I will do my best to answer your questions (Amy and I have both used this resource with great success!).

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