Common Sense Media says

Outstanding learn-to-read site sure to engage little ones.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Kids will get positive messages about reading through the names of sections (It's Fun to Read and I'm Reading), smiling faces, and the diversity of reading material.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

Online store but no ads within kids' content.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

No personal information is required or requested to view educational content.

 

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this free learn-to-read site is arranged in four different main sections to play, based on where your child is on the journey from reading readiness to independent reader. There is no advertising on this site, although supplemental educational materials may be purchased at the online store. And there's also a new "premium" paid version of the site called more.starfall.com.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • reading comprehension
  • vocabulary
  • letter or word recognition

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • applying information
  • solving puzzles

Self-Direction

  • academic development

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Learning Approach

Support

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • reading comprehension
  • vocabulary
  • letter or word recognition

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • applying information
  • solving puzzles

Self-Direction

  • academic development

Kids can learn pre-reading skills that help them build toward reading short online books. Skill acquisition is appropriately gradual; kids begin simply by sounding out different combinations of letters. Research from the National Institute of Child Health seems to underlie Starfall's exercises, according to the site. Game graphics aren't very gripping, but a cornucopia of reading exercises will satisfy curious kids.

This Learning Rating review was written by Michelle Kitt

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

Kids progress through activities in four sections. They start with letter recognition activities in "Starfall ABCs." Next, kids play games, hear and read stories, and watch animated videos to apply letter sounds to words in the "Learn to Read" section. In the "It’s Fun to Read" section, kids choose short reading selections to learn vocabulary. In the final section, "I’m Reading," kids choose to read from a collection of short online books to develop fluency and comprehension.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

The phonics-based website STARFALL.COM offers an outstanding free learn-to-read method based on numerous studies and educational research. Practice letter sounds, word recognition, and reading comprehension through online books, songs, rhymes and other games. When kids read a storybook online, the site reads it back to them as if it was sounding it out like new readers do. The site also offers numerous resources for parents and teachers and a paid version geared toward use at home or school.

Families can talk about...

  • This site is geared toward little kids just learning to use the computer. Learn how to set computer time limits now.

  • There are numerous ways to encourage children of all ages to become and continue to be readers. Check out Common Sense Media's expert article on How to Get Your Kids Reading.

Website details

Genre:Educational
Price:Free
Pricing structure:Free

This review of Starfall.com was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

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What parents and kids say

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Educator and Parent Written byrpaditya May 20, 2011
AGE
3
QUALITY
 

good tool to learn letters and phonics

good for teaching mouse skills and has the right balance of incentives and rewards

What other families should know
Educational value
Parent of a 4, 7, 9, and 11 year old Written byaasaints April 26, 2010
AGE
5
QUALITY
 

my son loves it

my son loves it so much

What other families should know
Great messages
Parent of a 3 and 6 year old Written byKZMama February 15, 2011
AGE
3
QUALITY
 

Both my three year old and kindergartner love this website!

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