Have you ever checked out the the Starfall Education Foundation website? It has a lot of learning fun to offer!
We were recently given a one year subscription to their upgraded paid version called The Starfall Home Membership in exchange for writing an honest review of our experience.
The Starfall Home Membership
Phonics, Reading, Spelling Games,
Music, Learning Games, Math
PreK – 2nd Grades
One Year Subscription
The Starfall Home Membership subscription includes free mobile App to access the membership account from a mobile device.
The Starfall Home Membership
The Starfall Home Membership is an educational program for younger kids. It is designed for kids in PreK through 2nd grade. It is also great for kids (or adults) of any age who are learning English As A Second Language, any age with Special Needs, or even older kids who need Remedial work, or to just for fun to brush up on some of the basic phonics, reading, and math skills.
Starfall Education Foundation offers both a free version and a paid version (The Starfall Home Membership) of their online program that is filled with supplemental educational learning games. They also offer a FREE mobile app, a printed version of full curriculum for sale and other resources for sale, and FREE parent teacher resources including FREE worksheet generators, posters, books, and other free printables. Requirements to use the program are access to Internet service, and a computer or a laptop or mobile internet compatible device to access the program.
Check out this video for a short demonstration of a phonics spelling game from the Starfall Education Foundation.
Here is an example of a fun math game. To see it in action, click the “play button” on this video for a short demonstration.
The Parent – Teacher Center
Looking through the Parent – Teacher Center can help give parents ideas on how to use the program and incorporate the program into their student’s curriculum.
It includes supplemental worksheets, custom worksheets, posters, curriculum downloads, informative guides, and the latest information from Starfall to keep you up to date.
Starfall also offers an organized lesson plan already put together. You can use this resource online, or purchase the printed curriculum. They offer a full printed curriculum that comes boxed with several additional extras (books, games, toys, manipulatives) that go along with the curriculum too. Be sure to check out their curriculum if you are looking for a helpful resource.
I used The Starfall Home Membership with both my six year old and nine year old sons.
Though they had to share the same dashboard (as families are only given one account), each boy enjoyed different aspects of the program.
We worked on this review of Starfall during January and February. It is accessible 24/7 and we used it on weekdays as a supplement to our curriculum and weekends if the kids requested to play on it.
The first thing the kids did each day they worked on the program was view the interactive calendar.
This was a fun exercise to see and learn more about the days and months.
The calendar lists the main holidays each month, and then you can add items, such as students can dress it up with the provided border options and stamps or print and color it. My boys changed the border for the holiday and marked the weekends stamped with stars.
Holidays for January included:
- New Years Day
- Martin Luther King Jr Day
Holidays for February included:
- Groundhog Day
- Valentines Day
- Chinese New Year
- Presidents Day
The calendar feature also asks the kids a few questions about what day of the week and other questions that helps them get familiar with reading and using the calendar.
Another fun personalizing feature of Starfall is the avatar. Because there is only one account per household, there is only one avatar to share.
The six year old got to choose the avatar features and dress it up and then both boys worked together on answering the questions about items in the room or various rooms of the house.
A nice feature of Starfall is the dashboard filled to the brim with learning opportunities. The Learn To Read tab is really nice. It brings you to a list of letters, words, or combinations, and then after those skills are mastered, the student proceeds to the books that feature those letters or word combinations for more practice.
The six year old is learning letter sounds and using them in short words.
He is also counting to 20 and using simple math such as adding numbers.
Math songs help him remember different concepts.
Starfall offers lots of math games that make learning math concepts fun and motivate him to want to do more fun practice of skills.
There are plenty of activities to choose from. I am just barely skimming the surface in sharing these things so far. There are also puzzles, activities with subject themes, and some basic learning games in Sign Language such as the ALS alphebet and some signing words in the music activities too.
My nine year old son is a strong reader already and really enjoys reading books.
Here are a few pictures from some of his activities, books, songs, and learning games he has been working on.
A nice feature for strong readers and those just learning to read is the option for the book to be read aloud to you. My older son did not need this feature, but my younger son did.
Sometimes after my older son read the page, I would go back through it with him and push on the little ear button to have the sentence or paragraph read to him. He was like “Mom, I already read that!” However, even though he did a good job reading, I wanted him to hear the deflection in the reader’s voice as it read through the different characters and with different emotions. Learning how to express emotions and vary the sounds enhanced the learning for him.
Every option, whether it was phonics, books, math, music etc had even more opportunities for him to read.
He is enjoying the various math games.
There are a lot of musical options too. There are folk songs, nursery rhymes, math songs, abc songs, classical composers, and more.
There are lots of extra learning activities too such as holiday cards, and more. In one of the activities, my son helped a mouse practice writing a letter to his grandma.
Final thoughts about the program:
This program has a lot of activities to offer and can help kids learn and improve their reading and math skills. It is affordable at just $35 a year for the entire family, so if you have multiple younger children, you only have to pay one low price and they can all use it. You can try out the free version and see how it works for your family. The paid version offers a whole lot more. Also it does not keep scores after the activity, and kids can repeat the activity as many times as they want. You can take it on the go with you by using the mobile app so it can give kids something fun to do while traveling in the car or when “waiting” on appointments or waiting for other activities to begin. It is flexible and my younger kids have enjoyed using different parts of the program.
I would have loved to have had this program when I was teaching English as a Second Language to International college students. A program like this would have helped immerse the International students in the English language and engage them with fun activities, songs, and audio visual interaction. The read aloud option of the books, with emphasis on tones and expression would have really helped practice speaking and understanding language and how it is applied in conversation and different situations.
One consideration to keep in mind for religious homeschools, and especially Christian families, is that there are themes in the books and games options (such as aliens, fantasy, dragons, magic, Halloween, etc) that would be part of public school education, but may conflict with bible teaching and a homeschool with a Christian worldview. However, each activity is optional and you can choose which games or books you want to use in the program and avoid selecting certain topics that do not agree with your religious beliefs and cultural practices. The program is flexible and has many different options and you can use what you want from it.
Starfall learning games and books are interactive and engaging and the program has a lot of different things to choose from to build skills and practice reading and math. It is a publicly supported non-profit educational foundation, and it’s standards are aligned with the public school Core Curriculum of both European Union and USA and other countries.
Homeschool Review Crew
Be sure to check out what others on the Homeschool Review Crew had to say about using The Starfall Home Membership in their home.