SuperKids' reviewers compared six new Reading Software programs this month, evaluating their content and design, as well as their kid appeal and ease of use. Which is best for your child? The first four are for true beginning and pre-readers. The fifth, JumpStart 1st Grade Reading is for the next step up, and the last, Carmen Sandiego Word Detective is for language skill development for older children.
Learning to Read on the Promenade [for ages 4 to 6] from Thinking Cap, combines alphabet recognition and phonics with whole language, and adjusts to meet the user's specific learning skills and needs. Lots of challenges, plus a semi-addictive baseball game.
Let's Go Read An Island Adventure [for ages 4 to 6] from Edmark, stresses a balanced approach to reading instruction that combines both phonics and whole language activities. Excellent for beginning readers.
Ready to Read with Pooh [for ages 3 to 6] from Disney, provides a familar environment for pre- and beginning readers to learn early reading essentials. If your child likes Winnie the Pooh, this program should be a hit.
Reading with Phonics is Fun! [for ages 4 to adult] from Arrow Publishing, offers information and drills covering reading basics. Designed as an educational tool, our reviewers found it dry rather than fun.
JumpStart 1st Grade Reading [for ages 5 to 7] from Knowledge Adventure, addresses reading skills such as consonant blending, vowel sounds, spelling, identifying synonyms, antonyms, and rhyming words. Appropriate for early readers.
Carmen Sandiego Word Detective [for ages 8 to 14] from Broderbund, contains word puzzles, stories and games that focus on spelling (10,000 words), grammar and vocabulary. This program will appeal most to mystery and problem-solving fans.