While studies have shown that children whose parent or caregiver reads five books to them per day know one million more words in kindergarten than children whose parents don’t read to them, not all parents have the time to read to their children.
There is a way for parents to bridge the learning gap for their children. Parents can download reading apps that provide the storytime experience. These resources can let children choose their favorite books and listen to the story professionally narrated. What is the best app to read books to a child?
While there are numerous audio book apps available for parents to download these narrated stories. Readability is the only app that combines a reading tutoring program with a storytime experience. Here’s what parents need to know about finding audio books for their child and how to use apps like Readability that can guide the reading journey, too.
Where to Find Audio Books for Free
Parents might not be just crunched for time, but, with the ever-so soaring costs of groceries and other goods, money also could be tight. For parents who want to encourage their child to listen to books and enjoy a storytime experience, are free resources accessible?
Local libraries might be the best place to find free audiobooks. Some local libraries let their members download audio books via an app. Now that books have gone virtual, parents don’t necessarily need to visit the library to borrow a book on tape; cassette tapes were once the preferred medium for audiobooks.
Some libraries might have an extensive number of children’s books available in an audio format. However, smaller libraries might have a more limited selection.
Parents who don’t have a library card might visit the library and explore their options. Public libraries are funded by taxes, and getting a library card should be free of charge. However, returning materials late or losing books could result in fees and other charges.
Audio Book Subscriptions and Purchases
Some apps offer an extensive library of audiobooks and podcasts. Audible is a popular platform that requires a subscription to access materials. However, some books also can be purchased.
Parents could purchase audiobooks through their smartphones. Apple features the Books app; this takes the user to a library. In the Books app, users can purchase ebooks and audiobooks. Prices vary per book.
Since parents might need to buy each audiobook separately through these smartphone accessible libraries, those who plan to use audiobooks for their child’s storytime experience might decide to subscribe to a service like Audible.
Create Audiobooks for Children to Enjoy
Parents might not have the time to read to children after they come home from school or even at night. Free time for parents might be at a point during the day when children are still at school or maybe parents aren’t free until children are asleep.
For parents who struggle with finding the time to read to their children, there is another way to ensure that children can still enjoy books read aloud by their parents. Many phones or tablets offer recording functions.
Parents can use these phone or tablet functions to record themselves reading a story. They can save each recording, and children can listen to stories in the evening or at another convenient time.
Technology can enable parents to record multiple book narrations and ensure their child always gets to enjoy storytime. Parents also could create a video of them reading the book to their child; make sure to show the pictures of the story, too.
The Best App to Read Books and Enjoy Storytime
The Readability app also lets children listen to their favorite books. The Storytime function of Readability reads to a child; they can enjoy hearing their favorite Readability books at any time and from anywhere. Children can follow along in the book as the narrator reads the story aloud.
When children use Readability for Storytime, they also have access to the reading lessons that provide the basis for the program. Readability is a reader helper app that is designed for children in preschool through sixth grade.
Readability can help children who struggle with decoding, comprehension or all aspects of literacy. The program includes a built-in AI tutor that guides lessons. Children read books aloud via their leveled online library; as the child reads, the AI tutor learns their voice. The tutor is programmed with voice recognition software and this technology allows the tutor to identify when a child struggles.
At the end of every story, the tutor also helps to measure and assess the child’s comprehension. The tutor asks a series of questions about the book. If a child answers a question incorrectly, though, the tutor helps the child understand how to find the answer.
The tutor shows the child the section of the book that offers clues about the answer to the question. The tutor also reads this section of the book aloud. This helps children understand that sometimes it’s necessary to re-read parts of a book or story to improve understanding and comprehension.
With Readability, children also are encouraged to explore the words in the book. If a child doesn’t know the meaning of a word in a story, they can tap the word and the tutor will read them the definition. Children also could opt to hear the word used in a sentence.
Not only does Readability offer children the opportunity to improve their reading fluency and confidence through the lesson-based design, but it also helps bridge the learning gap for younger children whose parents cannot read to them.
Children can listen to as many stories as they want with a Readability subscription. They can spend hours enjoying storytime and, in the process, will be exposed to new words, adventures and characters.
Parents Without Access to Books
Parents might not have a public library near their home, or they might not have transportation to drive to the library. Families also could live in areas where it is simply unsafe to walk.
What if parents don’t have access to books for their children? How can they read to their child?
There are organizations that provide free books to young children. These organizations can ensure that parents always have access to age-appropriate books to read to their child.
Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library provides free books to children from birth to age five. If the program is available in an individual’s area, they can sign up to receive books. There are no income requirements to participate in the program.
Some states offer scholarship opportunities to help parents of struggling readers pay for tutoring or other literacy resources and/or services. Parents can research scholarship opportunities in their state.
Parents on a limited budget also could purchase books for their children at garage sales or thrift stores. The cost per book might vary, but parents might find children’s books for a quarter.
Storytime When There’s Little Time
Time is a luxury for many parents, and not all caregivers have the time or the opportunity to read to their children. Yet, there exists a knowledge gap of more than a million words between kindergartners who read five books daily and those who did not hear stories read aloud.
Audiobook apps and reading helper apps like Readability provide narrated books that allow storytime to become accessible to children whose parents cannot read to them daily. In addition, parents also could borrow free audiobooks from their library or even create their own audiobooks.
Parents who are interested in exploring audiobooks and storytime features for their children via Readability can sign up for a free seven-day trial. This free weeklong preview allows children to explore Readability, listen to stories and even work with the reading tutor. Sign up today and start exploring Storytime with Readability.