Reading nightly has become a standard mandate for children in the elementary years. Children may favor specific authors, a book series or might adore one genre. Some children love to read and can’t wait to curl up with a good book. Others dread the nightly expectation.
When children struggle with reading, they may avoid the task. To help their child reach benchmarks, parents may utilize reading software designed to help a struggling reader. These programs can be used at home and are often accessible via an app.
For children with an aversion to reading, though, parents should be mindful of content and the stories offered by programs. Struggling readers might be reading below their grade level, but that doesn’t mean they want to read stories aimed for younger children.
Content is important. Children should feel excited about reading, and reading software programs need to hold their attention.
Readability strives to ensure that children using the program are exposed to stories that will be entertaining, informative and engaging. Readability’s authors ensure that children reading at all levels can enjoy amazing stories that are age and reading level appropriate.
Check out some of the authors on Readability and learn about their featured books on the program.
Alexander began writing books in response to her son’s own struggle with reading. She found that the books he wanted to read weren’t at his reading level. Her solution? Non-fiction books that feature topics older kids enjoy at reading levels that are appropriate for those who struggle. Alexander’s stories focus on sports and athletes including Tom Brady and Bryce Harper.
Mosback’s book series Super Skills is featured on Readability. These books aim to help children better understand healthy habits that can support positive mental health. Mosback is a licensed mental health therapist.
McBride and Thompson introduce Readability readers to Connor the Courageous Cutter. Who is Connor? He’s a tugboat! His friends include a lighthouse and a buoy. McBride was in the Coast Guard and Thompson was in the Navy, and these experiences helped inspire the adventures of Connor.
Skog’s stories are the perfect homage to fall and all of the season’s fun and festivities. Children will enjoy reading about a pumpkin-eating dinosaur and other adventures on a pumpkin farm. Skog’s inspiration for her books was her own experiences working at a pumpkin farm. She worked in the store and even organized the school tours.
Why Stories Matter
When parents learn that their child is struggling to read, they may research different reading programs and apps. The lessons in reading programs may focus on books and stories; this is the easiest way to help children grow their reading skills. However, the content of these stories is important.
Children shouldn’t feel as though a reading program is talking down to them or forcing them to read content that is aimed at younger audiences. Children who struggle to read may already feel embarrassment or frustration. In fact, one study showed “that being a poor reader increases a 3rd grade child’s risk of self-reporting feeling angry, sad, and unpopular by 5th grade.”
While they may want to read the same stories as their friends, they might not be able to read those books. And as a child advances through grade levels, the divide between their reading level and the benchmark reading expectation could increase, too.
Reading programs should feature stories that include content that children will enjoy…based on not just their reading level but their age. For this reason, Readability’s lessons include a wide range of stories and content. Children will read both fiction and nonfiction stories as they learn.
Readability features award-winning authors and a variety of stories and genres to keep children enthralled and looking forward to reading the next book. While content is age appropriate, it is also not too difficult…or too easy. All stories are leveled for the child’s ability.
Using Game-Based Apps for Reading
There are many free reading apps available via both the App Store (for Apple devices) and Google Play (for Android). Often these apps are designed as games.
Game-based apps can help children with skills like identifying sight words, understanding the sounds of letters or identifying the letters of the alphabet. For improving skills like reading proficiency and reading comprehension, though, lesson-based apps or programs may be more beneficial.
Games can be used in conjunction with more lesson-intensive reading apps. Both apps can be used to help children master different fundamentals of reading or even to mix up the way a child learns.
When researching reading apps, though, parents should seek to identify programs and reading apps that aren’t just instructive but also immersive and fun for the child. These lesson-based apps won’t be developed as a game, but they should keep children engrossed in the reading experience.
Reading Software Programs that Offer Tutoring and Guidance
Content and the story-based lessons of apps and reading software programs should engage children. Yet, children can still struggle to read stories at their level during reading program lessons. So while content is important for engagement, how do children receive help if these stories cause them to struggle?
Every reading software program is unique in how it’s developed and how help is provided to each child during instruction. With Readability, children have access to a built-in AI tutor that guides lessons and is always ready to help.
Readability’s AI tutor is programmed with voice-recognition software that identifies and understands every child’s unique voice and inflections. With Readability, story-based lessons are completed by having the child read aloud. If a child cannot pronounce a word, mispronounces a word or has difficulty during lessons, the AI tutor offers assistance and guidance.
The AI tutor also is responsible for identifying the child’s reading proficiency and comprehension. After each story has been read aloud, the tutor will ask the child questions about the story. These questions are designed to measure understanding and overall reading comprehension.
As the child reads, the AI tutor is gaining an understanding about the child’s reading fluency, too. The tutor will measure fluency in words read per minute. This measurement helps the program identify that the child is mastering stories at their current reading level.
Mastery is important for a child to move ahead in Readability. However, a child must demonstrate mastery of both reading fluency and reading comprehension to move to a more advanced reading level.
As a child moves through the program, the content will evolve to become slightly more difficult. At all reading levels, stories feature immersive elements to encourage reading exploration. Children can click on a word that is unfamiliar to them to uncover the definition; these immersive elements help children expand their vocabulary and their reading curiosity.
Reading Beyond Readability
While Readability can help children gain proficiency and confidence, reading software programs are only one component to helping a child improve their reading skills. Children who use Readability will be exposed to many different authors, stories and reading adventures, but parents should encourage the reading adventure beyond the program, too.
The more a child reads, the more words they may learn and the more they may discover. All reading is beneficial. If a child loves the stories and authors on Readability, explore other books by their favorite Readability authors.
Readability has partnered with many authors who have written popular books and book series that are available in libraries and bookstores. Perhaps reading sports stories on Readability by Andrea Alexander has inspired a child to read more about a favorite athlete or learn more about a sport. Visit the local library to let them investigate their literary curiosity.
Reading programs like Readability can be a portal to other reading adventures. Ask a child what stories they have loved to read via the program. Use the conversation to learn about other topics they wish to explore.
When parents visit the library with their child, they should let the child choose their own books. Not only does this encourage independence, but it also helps children really find the books THEY want…instead of the books their parents want them to read.
Remember, reading should help children explore their world, find new adventures and even learn about new ideas. Children might be interested in topics that their parents might find unexpected; perhaps they want to learn more about weather, about certain animals or even another country.
While parents should let their child choose their own books, parents might want to make sure that these books are appropriate for their child. To encourage independent reading, books should be within a child’s recommended reading level. For children using Readability, parents can review a portal on the program called the Parent Dashboard to find their child’s most recent reading data.
Some parents also are a bit stricter on the content of books. Parents have different comfort levels regarding what topics they do not want their child to read. A parent might feel that a book has a theme that is much too mature for their child. Parents should use their own judgment regarding content.
Are Reading Software Programs Expensive?
Parents might be curious about the stories on Readability and might want to learn more about what their child would read. Parents also may be concerned about the cost of reading software programs.
Every program might be priced differently. Readability is subscription-based, and subscriptions are charged $19.99 per month. However, Readability accounts can be used for up to three children. This can be beneficial for families who have multiple children who struggle with reading.
Parents and their children also can explore Readability’s stories for free. Readability offers a free seven-day trial that offers access to content and all the program’s features.
Ready to explore all of Readability’s amazing authors and stories? Start a free trial, and start exploring today!