Families might have multiple children in different elementary grades. Each child may be learning the same subjects with different expectations. However, all elementary students have one common homework assignment: reading!
Parents may be managing reading expectations at different levels of reading. Some children could be fluent readers, others might just be learning. Parents also may have children who struggle with reading. The bookshelf could be overflowing with literary options, and parents also could use reading apps to encourage reading.
Are there apps that can be used by all ages, though? Yes! Check out these elementary school reading apps that are perfect for all reading levels and all elementary grades, too!
Audible can be downloaded for free and it’s perfect for all ages The app is actually a portal to hundreds of thousands of books, including many favorite titles.
Parents can play around with the app to find audiobooks that could be used to let children listen while they read. Some children benefit from hearing the story as they read it and follow along.
Audible also includes non-fiction stories, and children can read about different subjects. Parents may need to search to find the best titles for the child’s age. However, audiobooks can help complement reading time for children who need an auditory component.
While downloading the app is free, parents will need to sign up for a subscription to access books. Audible sometimes has deals on subscriptions, and parents may want to review what’s available. When signing up for promotional deals, though, parents also need to understand that after a few months, the rate may revert to the typical cost.
This app is unique in that it helps children be an author and write their own stories. The app lets children get creative with story writing and incorporate their own photos or illustrations. Using the app, they can write poetry or start a journal, too.
The app is free to download, and it can even be used in the classroom. However, the app explains that there are options to purchase in-app products. Prices for these products range from $4.99 to $79.99.
Parents who want to use this app to foster creativity and encourage their child to develop their own stories should be mindful of the in-app purchasing options. Parents might consider downloading the app and exploring it first before letting children use it solo. That way, parents can better understand what items might be available for purchase and can take measures to disable in-app purchases if necessary.
If children use Raz-Kids at school, download Kids A-Z for home. The app lets kids read stories and complete comprehension quizzes. Their app also provides access to Headsprout and Science A to Z programs.
Parents can download Kids A-Z free of charge, but children must have access to one of the products to use them at home. Not sure if children use these products in the classroom? Contact teachers to inquire.
Local Library Apps
Books don’t always have to be bound. Try e-materials to add a virtual element to reading.
Local libraries may use apps like Overdrive (ebooks, magazines, etc.), hoopla (ebooks, audiobooks, music, etc.), Flipster (magazines) or others for virtual e-rentals. Check with the local branch to inquire about renting ebooks or other materials for elementary school students. Then download the applicable apps via Google Play or the App Store.
Ebooks and other virtual reading materials might be a great option for children who love technology.
Many tablets and smartphones are preloaded with an e-reader app. Clicking the app icon will lead parents (or children) into a virtual environment that allows them to purchase and download books. Some titles are free!
Virtual books are a great way to let children explore different books and stories from home. Some children may gravitate toward the screen, and using an ereader could motivate them to read more.
For children who struggle with reading, try the Readability reading program app. Readability offers a lesson-based approach to reading. The program includes a built-in AI tutor that is programmed with voice-recognition software to allow it to understand each child’s voice. All stories are read aloud with Readability, and, if a child stumbles or struggles with a word, the AI tutor will provide assistance. At the end of each book, children also are quizzed by the tutor to test their understanding of the story.
When using Readability, parents can set their child’s reading level or the program can determine the best level. Children will only move to a more difficult reading level when they have demonstrated proficiency with fluency and comprehension. This ensures that children don’t advance to harder text until they are ready.
Parents can use the Parent Dashboard to follow their child’s reading journey. This portal shows all the child’s reading data, including words read per minute and reading level. Parents can even compile this reading data into a report that can be sent to the child’s teacher.
Readability is a subscription-based program. Subscribers pay $19.99 per month, but up to three children can use one account. In addition, parents can sign up for a free seven-day trial period, which offers full access to stories and the AI tutor.
What Game-Based Apps are Good for Reading Practice?
When parents search through the App Store or Google Play, they will find LOTS of reading apps that are designed as games. Many apps include games to help children learn their letters and sight words. These apps are designed more for younger children than those in higher elementary grades.
However, children in lower grades will need to learn a list of sight words. These games can help children review and learn to recognize sight words while having fun.
Game-based apps also could be beneficial for younger children who are struggling to identify letters and sounds or who just need a little practice. However, parents should research the games for their children to make sure they are a good fit for the child’s age and learning needs.
Many game-based apps are free, but they may offer in-app purchases. Parents should disable in-app purchase options via their phone if they don’t want their child to be able to make purchases while playing the game. Otherwise, parents could end up with charges that they weren’t expecting.
What Apps Will Grow With Children?
Some subscription based apps like Epic, ReadingIQ and Readability can be used throughout elementary school and maybe even into middle school. In addition, apps that provide access to library materials also can be used by all grade levels (although parents should supervise).
Choosing apps that grow with children also means that parents with children of different ages can all use the app. Some subscriptions—including Readability—let multiple children use one account. With multiple users having access, parents can get much more use out of the subscription.
Not all apps will be ideal for every child, though. Before signing up for a monthly subscription, parents can inquire about any trial offers. Trial periods let parents and their children use the program to see if it’s something that they will enjoy using. No one wants to pay for a program that isn’t beneficial!
Parents should read the terms of trial period offers, though. Programs may require users to cancel the trial within a certain time period, otherwise they may be billed for a month of service.
Interested in trying out Readability? Sign up for a free trial today and meet the AI tutor!