Parents of struggling readers may be at a loss for how to help their child reach literacy benchmarks and meet grade-level reading standards. Some children may qualify for additional help at school or in the classroom, whereas others could seemingly fall through the educational cracks of the system. An at-home reading program could help ensure that children who struggle to read at grade-level receive the enrichment and help they need outside of the class environment. The most successful reading programs address the individual needs of each child to help ensure success, retention, and fluency.
What is the Best Reading Program?
Parents may seek out the best reading program for their children. However, there may be no one-size-fits-all approach to literacy success. Every child is different, and their individual needs and struggles differ, too.
Parents can find the best reading program for their child by seeking out what their child specifically needs from a reading program. How do parents assess individual literacy needs? A child’s teacher may be the best resource; parents can inquire about what skills their child is struggling to master or what issues should be addressed.
Some children may struggle with phonics, but others may be able to read fluently but cannot comprehend what they’ve read. Helping a child to read better may begin with uncovering their specific struggles and finding ways to best address these struggles.
Before parents reach out to a teacher or school administrator, they may want to prepare a list of questions first. Here are a few key questions to ask when you need to better understand a child’s literacy struggles:
- What is my child’s reading level? What is the reading level benchmark?
- What are specific areas of struggles? Sounding out words? Comprehension?
- Can additional help be provided at school? How can we better understand if our child qualifies for additional classroom assistance?
- What reading programs would be best for our child? What are some specific features that a program should include?
Are Reading Programs Effective?
Reading programs can be an investment for parents. Many may wonder if an at-home reading program is even effective. If the reading program addresses the needs of the child, then, yes, it should be effective. However, parents need to research programs before investing money.
Reading programs should be evidence-based, which means that the program’s methodologies are aligned with previous research that has been effective for literacy instruction. In other words, the program should use teaching methods that are shown to work, as evidenced by previous research.
Parents need to feel confident that the program they choose is right for their child and is shown to be an effective tool to help struggling readers gain proficiency.
What are Some Reading Intervention Strategies?
Teachers also may offer guidance to parents regarding reading intervention strategies to use at home; these recommendations could include reading programs or the school may provide tips on how to best help children during independent reading time (at home).
When a child is struggling during reading time at home, here’s how parents can help:
- Encourage children to sound out words
- Ask ‘wh’ questions (i.e. who, what, where, when and why) related to story comprehension
- Have a child listen to the story while they follow along
- Have a sight word scavenger hunt (to help children identify sight words)
What is an Effective Literacy Program?
The best literacy program should help a child read on grade-level and help address struggles. However, each child may have different literacy challenges. So, again, it’s very important parents research programs before making an investment or settling on a particular program.
Not every program will be the best choice for every child. So how does a parent know if a program is the best for a child’s struggles? Most programs or reading apps should provide a free trial that allows parents and their child to better understand the program, its format and the tools that it can provide to aid struggling readers.
This trial is a great way to see if a child will even engage with the app or program. Some children might not like the stories or design of the program. Engagement is important, because, ultimately, if a child doesn’t like the program—or doesn’t feel comfortable using it—then the program’s benefits might not ever be realized.
Programs like Readability provide features to keep children engaged and involved with literacy lessons. Readability features:
- Engaging stories and content
- Colorful illustrations
- A built-in AI tutor to assist with pronunciation and gauge comprehension
- Interactive features
- Leveled reading instruction that increases with difficulty as the child shows mastery
Readability provides a free seven-day trial so parents can feel confident that the program will work for their child. Children can access stories and instruction for a week, but parents should work with children to better understand if Readability’s features provide the tools their child needs. Ready to try Readability? Sign up for a free trial today!