I’ve been on the hunt for some fabulous websites that can help me get my daughter on the right track with reading.  She loves computers and playing computer games so I really thought that any website or game that reinforced our daily reading lessons would be a huge hit for her.  That’s when I stumbled upon http://www.starfall.com/.  This is a totally fun website that has little word recognition games, vowel sound games, and early readers for kids to explore. 

The readers are great, when my daughter comes to a word she can’t figure out, or can’t quite sound out, clicking on it helps her sound it out and lead her to the right word.  I thought for sure that she would be clicking on every word just because she could, it was fun, and because it was easier than sounding them out herself.  However, she has surprised me by only using that feature when she really needs it.  In fact she gets mad at the computer when she figures the word out before it finishes telling her. 

After just a week of reading lessons with me, and using this website on the side, she has begun to actually read.  Absolutely amazing.  I have heard her reading to her brothers when I’m not paying attention.  She only comes and finds me now when she struggles with a word.  Mind you, the books she is reading aren’t huge, or include an impressive vocabulary.  Yet.  For extra reinforcement, she video chats my parents in Pennsylvania and reads to them.  If you’re looking for something educational to do with your kids on the web I highly recommend hitting up starfall.com.  Even if you have a child who is already reading, there is a section to help strengthen skills.  Or, the other way around a section to introduce early reading concepts.

-Stephanie Wright

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