Thursday, 2 August 2012

Websites for learning to read

Reuben, my eldest is four and a half but has been fascinated by the alphabet and reading since he was two, these are some of the resources he uses (the ages represent when Reuben started using them so it's just a vague guideline).

  • Youtube and endless repetition of the alphabet song in as many guises as he could find (age 2)
  • Reading Eggs subscription only, a lot of children use it but Reuben doesn't like the linear/building blocks approach (you must finish one activity before you go on to another) and the fact that you get eggs as rewards allowing you to use them in the arcade bit of the website. Reuben loves jumping from one task to another so got very frustrated and then he has no idea of how the rewards system works (never having been to school of received pocket money) so doesn't understand the egg thing at all... But from feedback from other home ed families, this is very popular and children enjoy it (from age 3)

  • Starfall free, and the subscription version we really like this website so also use the subscription one, it is phonic based (which Reuben doesn't seem to be going with, he prefers to recognise whole words) but Reuben can pick and mix his activities (also numeracy and other topics like music and art) and he really likes the story book format (from age 4)

  • Early Learning at home a ton of resources, mainly things to make and do at home, Reuben has not seen this himself as I tend to print things out for him if I see he has an interest in a particular area, it's the same sort of activities children do at school, see video as an example (from age 3)
  • Oxford Owl from the publishing house, books to read online with activities/quizzes (from age 4)

I'll be happy to hear what other children are using, and having compiled this list I realised that the biggest motivator for learning to read is necessity! Reuben uses the computer and ipad himself so he really needs to know what all the writing means!!

Oh and a little end note: I'm writing this in the evening and about half an hour ago I heard some noises from upstairs, I went to see and Reuben was still awake, sitting up in bed, "reading" Green Eggs and Ham by Dr Seuss... a REAL paper book!!

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