More Starfall vs Reading Eggs vs ABC Mouse
Posted 18 January 2012 - 12:31 PM
Posted 18 January 2012 - 01:06 PM
ABCMouse is only $8 a month that you can cancel anytime, so if you are thinking about it, mybe try it for a month or so to see how she likes it.g
Posted 18 January 2012 - 03:15 PM
Posted 18 January 2012 - 03:49 PM
Mommie Jen - what other options as out there?
Lailasmum - are you using more starfall?
Posted 18 January 2012 - 04:11 PM
Posted 18 January 2012 - 04:23 PM
I've only used the free starfall -- fun and my 3yo likes it, but I don't think he's learning much. When my dd was 5yo and halfway thru 100EL I had her try it and she loved it, played it a lot, but there was zero improvement in her reading skills. The same time Funnix (computer phonics program) was offered for free and after a week of that she had significant improvement in her reading. So I save Starfall for a treat like PBS and used Funnix to teach reading.
I think a lot depends on your goal. Fun and games to keep phonics fun? Learning to read? Improving reading? Getting a break so you can get some stuff done? How long do you see your child using it?
(BTW, Funnix is going to be free again for the first 2 weeks in Feb. Not for everyone, and I felt like i was "clicker" training my dc, but both ds like it, it works, it gave me a block of time to work with my older dc, and it's free).
Posted 18 January 2012 - 04:29 PM
I will look into funnix. Thanks.
Posted 18 January 2012 - 05:23 PM
They really love the free sites www.sprout.com and www.abcya.com the best.
Posted 18 January 2012 - 05:29 PM
Posted 18 January 2012 - 07:48 PM
Posted 18 January 2012 - 08:40 PM
Posted 18 January 2012 - 10:26 PM
Posted 18 January 2012 - 10:33 PM
We have Reading Eggs. It is very popular here in Australia. There is nothing terribly wrong with it but my DD doesn't like it. Sh refuses to play it anymore because it doesn't allow enough time for emergent readers to respond before failing them. My DD was getting upset because she knew the answer but she was never quick enough to beat the computer- she kept calling me in to do it for her. She has a low frustration level though.
Both my boys like Reading Eggs and ask to do it but they are at lower levels so it doesn't go as fast.
Posted 18 January 2012 - 10:53 PM
Well as I am reading through the responses I'm trying to figure out why no one likes reading eggs, I think it's great but I am wondering if it is because my kids are slightly older- 1st and 3rd grade? I like it and my kids do too- it has a lot of variety and there is a more variety of skills practices- phonemic awareness activities, phonics, reading, spelling and vocab. Both kids were tested to find out where they start and so they didn't start near the beginning (since they're older?) and it's gone well.
We used the free portion of Starfall when the monkeys were younger and it was nice. I'd been considering more.starfall, but ds has taken to reading eggs and asks to do it. So we're going with it for now. I think its given him the confidence boost he's needed for reading.
Posted 19 January 2012 - 12:14 AM
Goals, honestly just an addition to what we are already doing here. Not to "teach" reading/math but as a reinforcement. My dd thinks starfall is okay would rather pay games on PBS kids or whatnot. I want it for more than reading, which is why I am thinking no to reading eggs.
I will look into funnix. Thanks.
I've tried ClickNRead Phonics and Reading Eggs. Dd and Ds love RE. They both do their lessons to get the golden eggs to be able to play the games. They don't really complain about having to do the lessons, it's just something they know they have to do to get to the games. I think some of the lessons are just as fun as the games, but that's just me. As far as the reading, they do sight words and c/v sounds. I've found it's a great reinforcement to OPGTTR if you start from the beginning.
Dd also loves Starfall. We have the paid version of that. I split the license with a friend, so it didn't cost as much. (They give you 3) Starfall has more than just reading, so it would be a tough decision for me (and dd).
Posted 19 January 2012 - 09:15 AM
However my 1st grader and 3rd grader LOVE reading eggs. I've been bouncing off free trials shockingly for about 3 months. We plan to purchase it for both of my dd's this coming February. My girls went from reading BELOW their "school grade" to reading RIGHT on par with what they are suppose to be reading in the matter of 3 months! My dd6.5 was reading at a 5.5yr old level and my dd8.5 was reading at a 6.5yr old level. So to me it was enough to see the improvements and want to purchase. Also we follow up with our other subjects that back up phonics, spelling, and language arts. If we didn't back up the reading eggs with anything else I think my kids would be easily confused.
Posted 19 January 2012 - 01:50 PM
My dd6.5 was reading at a 5.5yr old level and my dd8.5 was reading at a 6.5yr old level. So to me it was enough to see the improvements and want to purchase. Also we follow up with our other subjects that back up phonics, spelling, and language arts. If we didn't back up the reading eggs with anything else I think my kids would be easily confused.
Posted 19 January 2012 - 11:17 PM
Posted 20 January 2012 - 01:46 AM
ds, who turned 4 in november, started using it in august and has completed almost all of the reading lessons, he has 7 left. he was reading some before starting, so i am not sure how it would work for a kid who wasn't reading at all. early on i sat with him while he did the lessons until he got the hang of the games. i still help him with some of the timed lessons because he panics a bit with timers.
dd 7 likes the spelling lessons and buying things with eggs. what she really loves is reading eggspress. she can spend hours on there reading books. they still don't seem to have all of the kinks worked out, but that doesn't bother her. ds has done a couple of reading eggspress lessons, but i have to sit with him the whole time and help with some words.
ds likes playing on starfall more. it has much less depth and quantity of content than reading eggs but it does have more varied content. he likes it, and can play around on his own with it.
Posted 20 January 2012 - 12:54 PM
Oh, agreed, I bought this one and my daughter loved it .
Both my children enjoyed it.
Plus, it is the only one with no sight words!
Posted 20 January 2012 - 03:14 PM
Posted 20 January 2012 - 04:34 PM
Both my children enjoyed it.
Plus, it is the only one with no sight words!
Amen. I trialed Ooka Island and had such mixed feelings. Great phonological awareness activities but TOO many sight words, confusing, and (I felt) developmentally inappropriate for my 5 yo.
Posted 20 January 2012 - 09:35 PM
thanks for all the feedback. Still not sure!
Posted 20 January 2012 - 11:30 PM
You guys really know how to make it easy on a girl huh?
thanks for all the feedback. Still not sure!
Heh, more options than you started with, hey? That's what you get when you ask the hive...!
Posted 21 January 2012 - 01:01 AM
Posted 21 January 2012 - 02:00 AM
I would have probably bought it and just left it up to him to do it or not, get past the hard parts or not, *and would have ended up letting the subscription expire unused, wasted after one of the hard parts...but, at that time, I read a forum thread about if your kid's working very hard to learn something well you should help them out. *So, I sat with him and went through all the lessons. I said, "you do a board, then I'll do a board," thinking that if it were a classroom he wouldn't be answering every question, surely he'll get something from watching me do some of the work. *So I rigged it so that I would do the harder ones or too fast ones or ones that he hadn't seen yet. *After seeing me do one or two examples, the next time a similar board came up he would literally push my hand off the mouse and say he wanted to do it. *I could chose which ones were "his turn" to build his confidence and "my turn" to demonstrate one he couldn't do... but we were just taking turns.*
We went taking turns like that about 3/4 of the way through the reading eggs program and by then I really wasn't having to take any turns any more. I sent an email asking them to reset his board and he has worked his way by himself back up to where we left off. *He's reading and answering questions. *I actually would not have needed to renew, except now they have reading express , the next level.*
Oh yeah, the fast, difficult, or boring parts that have stumped him this second time through. *I haven't been "taking turns" to help him. * The timed part I actually did help him on by standing over him and coaching him. He would do obvious things like get one wrong and pout for a minute, costing time, or visually tally and comment how many eggs he had done and how many were left, during the timed part. I explained, son, that's costing time. He would gloat and make songs about beating the timer in between answers. *I explained each thing so he would know it cost time. *But the next time instead of saying what he did wrong I would just tell him the next answer and he'd remember to keep going. * Eventually he'd remind himself, but he would still tell me he needed me to stand there because "it was the hard part."
So, I don't know if that was a lesson worth teaching, but it was an unexpected side effect of the program.*
I didn't make him do any lessons he didn't want to do, but I did, if he got frustrated with a lesson that he left sitting there that he didn't want to try, leave it for later until a night that he didn't want to go to bed at bedtime and say, "well, you don't have to go to bed but you can go do that reading egg lesson." So, that's the effort I put into making the program work for us.
I'm not trying to sell you on Reading Eggs. I haven't tried The other programs. I'm just passing on my advice on how to use the program, not waste your money, not frustrate anybody, and still get results.
Before this program we had done the Hooked on Phonics letter sounds and letter names. *He was starting to rack up sight words from every day life. *I tried 100 ez lessons, but didn't make it far and maybe learning "say it fast, say it slow" helped, but maybe not. *RE does teach the sight words. *But before that my son was trying to break into reading whole word style and RE does use whole words *but Reading Eggs convinced him to use sounding out better than I could. *I wanted him to learn sound it out and not just skim whole words reading for context, personal preference, probably just because it's what I know.
There's another section that offers a new theme weekly for the kid to write a little short story. *They give you a dozen action illustrations to choose from and seven slots to arrange and create your own story out of it. I type *whatever he says. *It makes a little book you can print out or read online. The illustrations, charachters, and themes are very different every week. *This is my son's favorite part. *I have not corrected any of his grammar or anything about his stories, just let 'em flow. *I have saved them to a file to use the 6+1 traits of writing at some points in the future to let him edit & polish this collection of his own stories he's building. *I'm just saving the written parts, not the illustrations. He'll probably make his own illustrations for them later.
All of the lessons are point & click and drag and drop like most kid stuff. *But, in the Skills bank section *it has them typing, copying one word at a time. *His hands are too small to type right, so it's hunt & peck. *But he's typing, copying words. *He does handwriting too, but still, typing is a cool thing to know.
I can't really help you compare programs. *We just paid for that one. *But I thought I'd tell you how we got the most out of the program with the least frustration and no buyers remorse because the taking turns technique would work just as well with any one you buy.
Posted 21 January 2012 - 10:03 AM
Posted 21 January 2012 - 06:46 PM
Posted 21 January 2012 - 07:33 PM
Star Fall is great! I've never used the more starfall so I can't give you any help there.
Posted 22 January 2012 - 11:43 PM
More Starfall-- nice supplement, my 4yo & 3yo like it more, the 5yo is easily bored with it. We will probably not be renewing as the free version is enough for us.
Reading Eggs-- for those who have this and like it, I was able to get a two-year subscription for multiple children. They used to have it listed on their price lists, but it wasn't there when I was ready to order. So I emailed them and one of their reps called me at home (in Thailand) right away and did the two-year option over the phone since their online system wasn't set up for it anymore. Not sure if they will still do that (I ordered mine in Oct 2011), but definitely worth checking as you do save quite a bit with the two-year sub.
My 5yo, 4yo and 3yo all like RE, but the 5yo gets the most out of it. And as others have mentioned, I do help all of them with some of the things that are too fast and such. I also emailed RE about it and they said they are working on some sort of adjustment or something. As we're just a few months into our 2-year subscription, I can't say for sure if we will keep it for all 3 kids, but my oldest does got a lot out of it and will probably like to continue; I'm thinking the younger two will take more interest in the next couple years too.
The 5yo does like the arcade and games on RE just as much as the actual reading, but it doesn't bother me like the ABC Mouse games (see below) because on RE you have to complete actual lessons to get your eggs/rewards to do the games and extras.
ABC Mouse: kids really liked it, but it was a little too much fluff for me and not enough meat. The activities that you're supposed to do to move up levels are very so-so-- lots of click-and-color and other ho-hum type things. Most of the fun things my kids liked were the games, zoo, farm, and other things that had nothing to do with the actual lessons. They didn't do much of anything on their actual lessons-- just spent time on the extra games so they could get tickets to go "shopping". If you're expecting fun, age-appropriate games, then it would be fine. I was looking for something a little more constructive, as we get in plenty of free games over at pbs and elsewhere. We had a $1 for the first month promotion and cancelled after a few weeks.
These are also a couple other resources that we use occasionally:
Head of the Class-- free, complete curriculum; you can do as much or as little as you want
ABCya-- free games & apps
Posted 26 January 2012 - 06:04 PM
We're a Dutch family, but I teached them English from early on.
Starfall teached them the rest. They learn a lot from it... I see their English improve every day.
Only a few days ago, my oldest really wow'ed me with what she already understands and knows without me realizing it. It was just awesome!
It looks dumb and silly to us, grownups, but believe me, children really learn from it!
Even my 6yo still enjoys it, but that's probably because it's in English, not in her motherlanguage... she still has a big challenge with it.
Posted 09 February 2012 - 04:43 PM