Does anyone have online reading program recomondations? Levi is 4, knows all of the letter sounds and most letter combos (th, er, , ow, an, etc). He can sound out words if he tries too, but usually won't read books because it takes him too long and he just wants to hear the story! He will read signs, labels, single words I write for him, etc though.
We did the "free trial" for Headsprouts and Reading Eggs.
Reading Eggs I thought was pretty good, they had variety in the ways they introduce information. I also like that it started him at his level.
Headsprouts I found anoying, more repetative, and it started him at level 1, which is too easy. But he liked it best.
Is there any other good ones? or thoughts on either of those 2 programs?
We do starfall too, but he is to the point where he is done all the stuff thats at his level and is bored with that, but the next level is too hard for him to do without my help.
(BTW: my main way of teaching him to read is reading him 5 million books every day and I'm not pushing it or anything, I just need something for him to do when I take him to work with me, the computer is a treat for him to use, and I'd rather have him doing something educational on it!)
Nirvana is . . . the living happiness of a soul which is conscious of itself and conscious of having found its own abode in the heart of the Eternal. --Gandhi
Headsprouts does require everyone to start on level one. That can be a bit annoying, but if the child isn't bothered by it don't worry about that. It may just be a great confidence booster for him. It does get to more challenging stuff. And, when he finishes it, they have a second program to continue building fluency skills and comprehension. Look at the scope/sequence. If 70 of the lessons will be review, maybe cover the other 10 lessons at home and start with their other program. But if only 40 are review, I wouldn't worry about it. I know that it is still half of them but so much can be accomplished by review. Fluency, especially can be built this way. Since he doesn't want to read himself because he is slow, this might be the best thing. I would go with it because he likes it best.
I was also going to recommend Progressive Phonics. My daughter who is 4.5 loves it -- she's nearly finished the 'intermediate' level. There are a few wonderful things about this program.
1) It's totally free -- read on screen or print it out.
2) The scope and sequence makes sense
3) Probably the most important one -- the presentation is wonderful. Basically, the child reads the red words and the parent reads the black words. So they get a more fleshed-out story than if they were restricted only to their 'lesson' words. The stories in each book are short and VERY silly. In later levels, there are also blue words -- words they know well by now, to differentiate from the red, new concept words. Because the parent is always participating in reading the story, they don't feel as much like they're being FORCED to read, if you know what I mean. It's fun. DD even gets mad if I accidentally read one of 'her' words.
The disadvantages -- there are some typos in some books, so you have to watch out for that. Like, a word that's blue that they actually haven't learned yet (colouring typo), or the page header still says "SL" when you're now in the "ST" section. And in the examples, there are some regional pronounciation issues... Like, if I remember right, "roof" being used as an example of 2 o's making an 'uh' sound. But we say "roof" to rhyme with... um... "poof" and not with "puff".
And it seems to be in a state of perpetual development -- there is an older version of the series, and the newer version is what's on the site. They're 'working on' the newer version of the advanced level, so you do not have all the books for that level, but you can still access the older books if you like. But they've been 'working on it' for a very long time now. There's a forum, and a section in the forum to report typos, errors, etc. I've reported several that I've found. Then I find that they were also reported over a year ago... there's no response or update.
So it seems the folks who make/made these books have had life get in the way and they're not keeping their site updated, which is a shame, because it really is a great program. I am NOT suggesting that you should stay away from the program because of these problems -- I just wanted to point them out so you're prepared for it.