One of the internet resources I find helpful in helping children to learn to read is starfall.com. This particular website is very child-friendly as the graphics are very appealing for the little ones. My children really enjoy using this website.
We are very careful when letting the children get on the internet, thus we only allow them to use starfall.com on a very limited basis. I mainly use the website as a supplement and for reinforcement. I teach the children to read using Ordinary Parents’ Guide to Teaching Reading. After they have a good grasp of phonics, I allow them to use starfall.com on a very limited basis. I think it is best that the real teaching comes from a person instead of a website, and this is the reason I don’t allow them to use this site before they are ready to read.
There are stories for different age levels and reading competencies. For most of the stories, the child can either read it himself, or listen as the website reads through words (while highlighting the words being read). In addition, there are interactive activities to help them practice reading as well.
One precaution we have set up is having the children use the computer in the common area. My computer is in the kitchen and I’m pretty much in this area most of the time. My sweet husband recently got me a 22″ monitor so it’s nice and big for my aging eyes. He’s also set up a custom solution to filter out objectionable websites. The bonus for this location and configuration is that I can easily see what the kids are doing when they’re on the computer.
I heartily recommend starfall.com provided that parents are careful and monitoring their children when they use the computer.