The Starfall Home Membership -Product Review

Starfall
Starfall Education Foundation provides a well-known learning website with many free activities and games for beginning readers. I used it as part of a lost-cost reading instruction plan when teaching my youngest three reading skills. (I don’t believe they were around yet for my oldest three…how the world of options changed in just a few years!)

The Starfall Home Membership is a paid option that teaches 1st and 2nd-grade reading and math skills. During this review, my 7 and 8-year-old boys signed into Starfall on school days and chose some activities to practice as a supplement to their normal reading and math. Because Starfall does such a good job of making learning engaging and fun, they never complained about this “extra-work” I had assigned them, they just gladly got on and explored.

Starfall
Starfall is a good option for people in the following situations:

• You want your young child/children to get a little extra practice in reading and math that does not require extra time from mom.

• You want to give your young children some practice working independently without mom or an older sibling guiding the instruction.

• You want a true learning app on your phone, for when you are out and about with your kids, something that you know is exercising their brain,
instead of damaging it, while you keep them busy during the hard work of waiting for siblings to be one with activities or dr. appointments etc.

Although Starfall does not consider this to be a complete curriculum for 1st and 2nd grade there are many activities to choose from with The Starfall Home Membership. I love that you can view what activities are available without signing up, just go to the website and you can see various activities and titles listed, the non-free activities are just grayed out. There are also plenty of free activities and books you can click on to try out and see if you like the content.

I was happy with the range of content available. My 8-year-old is advanced in math, and I was not sure there would be anything for him to do in that area, I was glad to find activities to help in learning all the multiplication and division facts, as he does not have those memorized yet, and I love having resources for my kids to learn those facts that don’t involve mom having to go through flashcards every day. I prefer to use flashcards occasionally, as a casual test of their skills, so I know what facts they need to be practicing.

My eight-year-old did complain once that they “messed-up” some of the stories he is familiar with. He did not like the retelling of “The Tortoise and the Hair” and a few myths, that he is deeply familiar with. To be fair he listens to detailed retellings of myths that would probably be beyond most 8-year-old knowledge because his older brother is a myth hound. When I explained they were trying to keep the reading simple, so that young readers could read the story on their own, he was appeased a little.

The Starfall Home Membership will work for everyone in your family. Your children will not have separate accounts and there is no tracking of what activities they have completed, so if you are using this more formally and want to go through all the materials methodically as part of your curriculum you will have to track completed activities yourself.

If you want to make this a part of your curriculum, you will want to check out the Parent-Teacher Center. Find the Resources tab, and at the bottom of the menu click on printable downloads. Here you will see a range of both Language Arts and Math printable, which seem to be arranged in order of difficulty. This Parent-Teacher Center also has a worksheet generator, which is easy to use, and custom printables.

Although neither of my boys rated this product five stars, they both used it willingly and happily, and I would definitely give it a solid five starts. The price is affordable, there is a ton of value provided, and your purchase supports a non-profit foundation focused on helping children learn to read.

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