Reading can start young…even in infancy! Reading aloud to children introduces new vocabulary, illustrations, characters, and experiences.
In fact, a study by Ohio State University reported that children whose parents read them five books a day had more than a one-million word lead in kindergarten over children whose parents did not read to them; this finding is now known as the “million-word gap.”
As children get older and begin to recognize letters and sound out words, parents can use learn to read programs to help encourage literacy development and fluency. However, parents should look to learn to read programs that are fun, keep kids engaged and instill curiosity…not boredom.
What is the Best Learning to Read Program?
Parents may use learn to read programs to complement school lessons and to help improve reading comprehension or even just to practice fluency. For kids who struggle to read, parents may want a program that offers more tailored instruction, and that advances only when the child is ready for the next level.
Every parent may have different needs or demands from a reading program. Cost may be an issue. If the budget is tight, look for a program (like Readability) that offers a free trial period.
Parents need to feel comfortable with the program and a free trial helps them understand if the program is the right one for their child. Don’t be afraid to call the company to ask about cost; parents should ask about fee schedules. Some programs are billed at a monthly rate, but others may bill differently.
What if parents don’t know what type of program their child needs? Talk to the child’s teacher to inquire about what features will best help address specific reading struggles. A child who struggles with reading comprehension needs a program that focuses more heavily on this component of reading.
All programs are different. This is why it’s important to understand a child’s literacy struggles and how to best address those areas of concern.
How Can I Help My Child Learn to Read?
Some parents may introduce learn to read programs to prepare a child for reading in kindergarten. Every child is unique, though, and some children may be precocious readers who are eager to dive into books.
What is a precocious reader? Psychology Today explains that precocious readers are kids who begin reading on their own at an earlier age—no one really teaches them to read.
For these kids, parents may use programs because a precocious reader may simply enjoy them (more reading!). Parents also may introduce learn to read programs to provide more enrichment or maybe help early readers boost comprehension (if they need this assistance).
Children who are simply just learning to identify letters or sound out words may enjoy learning to read programs, too. If kids are too young and not ready to read books, parents can download apps or use programs that also help children recognize letters and understand their sounds. There are many different types of learn to read programs, because literacy is developed in stages.
Can Parents Create Learn to Read Programs?
Learn to read programs don’t necessarily have to be downloaded or purchased. Parents can get creative! Yes, parents can create their own learn to read program…although a DIY program is simply about encouraging kids to have fun with reading.
Creating an at-home reading program won’t–and doesn’t!–make parents a reading expert or put parents in a position of developing a ‘research-based program.’ At-home reading programs are just relaxed and recreational reading opportunities that parents can provide kids to keep them immersed in books…without the stress.
An at-home reading program may be a fun and unique option for kids who may be receiving more intensive reading programs at school (or maybe at home). Make the at-home learn to read program an enjoyable and an immersive experience. Here are a few ideas:
- Create a story-themed snack
- Build a reading fort during story time
- Listen to the book as kids read
- Make a story craft
At-home reading programs may combine some or all of these ideas to create a fun reading experience for kids. Maybe the at-home program only allows parents to read to their child! Make your at-home program fun, stress-free, and engaging. This isn’t about schoolwork, lessons or results…it should be an adventure.
Download a Reading App
Parents who are looking for a learn to read app to help a struggling reader can try Readability for free for seven days to see if the program is a fit. If the budget is tight, a parent may be hesitant to commit to a program because of the cost. Free trials are a great way to try out features and see if a child likes to use the program.
Readability offers an integrated AI tutor that recognizes a child’s voice; the tutor provides auditory feedback during lessons and asks questions to gauge comprehension. Stories are interactive and engaging, and levels advance with the child. The Parent Dashboard provides insight about a child’s reading progress with the app, and parents also can see how long the child reads each day.
Ready to try out Readability? Start your trial today!