September 28, 2010

Headsprout: A Progress Report And Another Review!

Posted by Becka

I recently BLOGGED about HEADSPROUT.COM, and their Early Reading Program for ages 4-7. Since then, Wyatt has completed 11 lessons, and has read the words and 2 books presented to him so far!! He is really enjoying this program and I have to pace him so he wont do it all in one day!! (I am trying to do it Monday to Thursday, with a review on Friday. That way, he has something each day of the week, for the next 16 weeks. (That time frame is based on our doing Monday to Thursday, with 2 lessons on Wednesday, and review on Friday, 10 minutes in the morning and in the afternoon on Mon., Tue., and Thur., 1 lesson in the morning and 1 in the afternoon on Wednesday, and review on Friday, whenever we have time!) 

The elements presented thus far, are: s, ee, v, an, n, cl, c, l, fr, f, r, fl, cr, sl, sn

The words presented thus far, are: see, van, Vee, San, the, Lee, can, feels, Fran, fan, ran

Potential readable words: sees, seen, ann, vans, cans, eel, eels, clan, clans, can, lee, fee, fees, feel, feels, free, frees, reef, reefs, reel, reels, sneer, sneers, freer, fran, flee, fan, ran

After my REVIEW, I was contacted by Kelly Allen, Marketing Coordinator of HEADSPROUT,  to review their Reading Comprehension Program, for ages 7 and up. I anxiously took the opportunity and immediately wrote back with a resounding YES! :) 

My 7 year old daughter got right into the first Episode, and LOVED the format and how well it explained what to do. She also liked the reward system after each part! In fact she immediately wanted to read every book she had after just one Episode!

There are 50 Episodes total, each getting progressively harder as your child goes through them. You also get a Reading Comprehension Progress Report after each Episode is complete. You can choose to look at each Episode individually, or compare across all the completed Episodes, giving you an idea of how your child is doing, and where they can use a little more help.

The Episodes go through and have the child read a paragraph or story, and then it asks the child a question, such as "what did she look forward to," to make the child think and comprehend what was going on in the story. Having a child answer specific who, what, where, when, how and why questions about a story, book, article, or other written material, helps them grasp what the story is trying to tell the reader, instead of just having the child read a book from front to back, and not really know what the story was trying to say.

Here is a screen shot of what a sample lesson (this is a higher Episode) looks like, and the questions asked:

I also loved that there are books you can print out for your child to not only read, but also answer questions about the story, as to keep them thinking even after they have finished! There are also short stories and questions to go along with them, as well as other learning reinforcements within each book. so, as I said before, they are not just reading, but also learning to understand that each story has a meaning, main parts, and so on.

This is especially important to me, since, starting next year, my 7 year old will start having state tests, and these skills are rudimentary!  

The stories are suggested to be printed out as follows:

  • Volume 1: After Episode 15
  • Volume 2: After Episode 25
  • Volume 3: After Episode 30
  • Volume 4: After Episode 39
  • Volume 5: After Episode 50

You can print them out at anytime, but after looking at the lessons, I suggest you go with how they have it suggested, so your child is not stressed or discouraged if they can not complete the tasks given to them in the books. 

I have looked through these books and was VERY impressed with the quality of the writing, and the way it makes the child think through the story, knowing they have to answer questions about the story, not just read through it, possibly not even understanding what they just read!

A fun feature for this program, is you earn coins and can use them towards playing special learning games! My daughter liked this idea, and was happy when she learned she could do this. She is saving up her coins so she can play all the games! 

Personally, I believe that reading comprehension is just as, if not more, important then knowing what the words and punctuation say on the page. It ranks right up there with knowing not just the letters, but also their phonetic sounds. There is SO much more to reading then just knowing words, and this program truly covers ALL aspects of learning to read.

I actually have several friends that home-school, that use this program successfully with their children! In fact, it was my friend, Gabby, over at Work Of Childhood, that introduced me to this program, by stating on her Facebook and blog that her son, age 4.5, was on a higher level Episode of the Early Reading Program, and reading like a pro!

When you visit, you can try the first few LESSONS free of charge. HEADSPROUT understands that their pricing is a little steep for some families, which is why they offer VERY affordable pricing plans as well as a 50% discount for the second learner in the family purchasing the same product.

When you decide to purchase either program, you will receive a FREE Scout (the bee) puppet at checkout. Type in the promotional codes below, depending on which program that best suite your child:

-Headsprout Early Reading (Episodes 1-80) = RAMBLERBEE
-Headsprout Reading Comprehension (1-50) = RAMBLRCBEE

The puppet may not show up in your cart at checkout, but will be shipped along with your order! 


If you have any questions about Headsprout, they have a detailed CONTACT page. Feel free to contact them with any questions or concerns!

Please feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions about my experience with either the Early Reading Program or the Reading Comprehension Program!

I was not compensated in any way for this review, except have access to the Reading Comprehension Program for myself and my children. 

Stay at home, business owning mom of 4 young kids, Nick the Sportsman, Michele the Princess, Wyatt the Wild One, and Evan the Baby.Bachelor in Early Childhood Development and Education, with 20 years experience. I could not ask for anything more!

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