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headsprout discounts? pro/cons of program

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
So I have been searching for another reading program that will seem to engage DS to learn to read (my non reading 2nd grader)

Someone on here mentioned headsprout and we tried the trial and he seems into it. Very interactive and he has a thing for space aliens. Downfall is oh course cost....$200!!

Anyone know of maybe a similar program (cheaper) or a discount or coop that I can get it thru?

For those who have used it what are some pro/cons of it? oh course the online reviews are glowing but really are they going to put up bad ones

Im not planning on using it as a stand alone. I will be supplementing with some workbooks/starfall/bob books
post #2 of 13
I tried headsprout with my middle kiddo when he was 5.. he liked it for the most part. THere were parts though, that were boring! He hated having to 'help the friend get to the tree' (by clicking hte proper sound about 20 times... for THREE friends) type activities. He sort of tuned out after a bit, and started balking at doing it. (big red flag for a kid that loves to use the computer)

I've bought a subscription to reading eggs and he seems to be liking that one a little more. The activities are shorter, and most of them a little less boring (in his words lol). The Aussie accent (not extreme though) bugs some Americans.. but since we live in australia it kinda works for us

What *I* didn't love about hs was that I could only have him 'review' the last lesson. SO if he just was.not.getting.it... I couldn't stop at lesson 6 and restart the program, you have to email and get the company to do that. (with the one we use now I can just back him up to a previous map anytime).
Headsprout is a 'you buy it, it's yours (for that student), while reading eggs is a you subscribe for a year and your student works through it without a limit on how many lessons they can do.

I got our headsprout with a 50% off code, you might have a look around the web & see if anything is going
post #3 of 13
Headsprout has a discount code on their Facebook page. I'm not sure if it is still valid but worth checking into. We are only on lesson 20 so its a little too early to judge.
post #4 of 13
If you wanted to check out Reading Eggs, you can google around a bit and find a code for a 5 week trial period (instead of 2 weeks, which is what they offer on the site). There are a bunch of different 5 week codes I found. That should give you more time to evaluate the program. It seems really nice.
post #5 of 13
I bought Headsprout at 50% off through www.homeschoolbuyersco-op.com .
I'm not sure if they have that running right now. There weren't any cons with Headsprout. Dd loved doing it and she did learn to read! We did maybe 2-3 lessons at a time and got done much faster than what it recommended. She did this when she was 6 1/2 I believe.
post #6 of 13
I really like Headsprout - the biggest *pro* is that there's no time limit. My son likes to get into things and then not look at them again for a while so the subscription things are just too risky for me. I only bought the first 40 lessons ($100) and he's on 36 or something like that... hasn't touched it in a little while and I'm not sure he'll finish it, but he did learn to read using it on his own

I like Reading Eggs as well and always use the free weeks when they come through, but can't see paying for it b/c of my son's lack of commitment (and I really don't want to have to bug him to get on the computer so I feel like I get my money's worth).
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lach View Post
If you wanted to check out Reading Eggs, you can google around a bit and find a code for a 5 week trial period (instead of 2 weeks, which is what they offer on the site). There are a bunch of different 5 week codes I found. That should give you more time to evaluate the program. It seems really nice.
we actually did try reading eggs and DS hated it. Glad we didnt pay for it
post #8 of 13
I like HeadSprout and DD is using it. I found a 25% off code not too long ago and used that. We did a 2 week trial of ReadingEggs and it was glitchy and stopped working.

ETA that DD is indeed reading now and is not even to lesson 20 yet.
post #9 of 13
I did not have a good experience with Headsprout and it's the one homeschooling purchase I've regretted (and at great cost x 2 even with the discount).

I will elaborate and I'll also share what I ended up doing with my son as soon as I get a chance today. But I wanted you to know it's not a good thing for all and I think a non-reading 2nd grader might be at higher risk for the problems I saw with my son. I know at least two other people (one in real life and one I from online just this week) who had similar experiences as ours.
post #10 of 13
This is my "issue" with Headsprout. The lessons introduce a word or sound combination and ask the child to sound it out but they often sound it out for the child or tell him the sound first or sometimes as he clicks. At that point they have the child do a series of activities where they recognize and repeat that particular word or sound over and over. It's entertaining and my sons enjoyed it. One was memorizing all the words rather than really learning to read at all. We were on I believe week 20 when I realized that he was lightening fast to "decode" on any word he'd encountered in Headsprout but he could decode, essentially, nothing outside of those words and sound combinations.

My son was learning to sight read and do it well. Now, I think he tended that way anyway in that phonics wasn't natural to him at that point. I guess in summary I would say it goes through the motions of teaching phonics but does it in a way that, in my opinion, promotes sight reading or whole word reading.

The person I know in real life who did Headsprout with her daughter in K found that her daughter could read the Headsprout books but the decoding ability wasn't transferring to anything outside of that. She also told me she feels it was too sight reading oriented.

Someone online told me that she feels it promoted whole word reading and guessing habits in her child that did damage that remained even after they left the program.

That was my experience as well.

I know many people seem to love it but I feel for some kids it does harm.

I'm wondering if a 2nd grader that still isn't reading might be like my son who has a learning style that doesn't pick up on phonics naturally and might run into similar problems as ours.

Does your son have any signs of dyslexia or other underlying issues?
http://www.dys-add.com/symptoms.html
If he does you'll want to take a really specific approach to his instruction.

We started with I See Sam and the first two levels are online/free to try. Then we moved to a multi-sensory program I also found free online. I can link you to those online if you'd like and tell you exactly what we did. There are also other programs you could purchase--some inexpensive and some very pricey.
post #11 of 13
I wanted to add that DD isn't reading the Headsprout books because she feels they aren't interesting, but she is reading other books and sounding words out phonetically. It could be that she is taking more than one approach (not officially, just her learning style).
post #12 of 13
My oldest did Headsprout when he was 7-8 years old. It worked great for him. He went from a non reader to reading novels. The first book he ever read was Harry Potter. I purchased the second half and we never really used it. The first half, plus an explanation from me about the silent e ending letter was all he needed.

My second son (now 8, almost 9yo) hates Headsprout, he rushes through the episodes and then gets to a point where he has no clue of the sounds because he was not really paying attention. He is on the second half and we have restarted it twice. I have given up and am now working with him from the Phonics Pathways book. Even after a year of working Headsprout I had to start at the beginning with him. He is doing much better one on one with me and the book.
post #13 of 13
We just started headsprout, but I wasn't really sure what it was. My Kindergartner loves it, my second grader likes it. It's just been something they do while I make dinner. I guess I should sit down with them and do it more often. We're very fortunate that our online school has a contract with headsprout, so we don't have to pay anything.

Have you tried Explode the Code online?
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