Today’s kids have grown up with a screen, and, quite often, that screen is portable. Tablets, phones, and other gadgets offer easy access to entertainment, friends, and games, making those small screens covetable. So the war against the screen rages on fiercely for many parents. Screens don’t have to be the enemy for parents, however. In fact, technology can make learning fun for children who might otherwise dig in their heels. Struggling readers may even embrace books and stories when lessons take place on devices. Here’s how to help kids improve reading comprehension online and put those screens to good use.
Some kids may avoid books; no matter what colorful story you pull off the shelf, your child may utter nothing but a groan in response. Since one of the best ways to help children to read more fluently and build comprehension skills is by reading, book avoidance may hinder any efforts that parents put forth to encourage kids to love those words.
Children might need more visual or auditory feedback while reading, and books online (or e-books) could be a great option. Some online books feature interactive features that let the characters come to life. Others could include a narrator that reads the story. Maybe the pictures online are simply more colorful.
If your child is resistant to reading hardbound books, try reading an ebook with them. See if they respond positively to these virtual stories. While you read, try to gauge if their comprehension improves. Ask ‘wh’ questions to find out if their understanding of the story improves when books are read online.
E-books are certainly not a magic solution to improve reading comprehension, but your child may like reading them more than ‘normal’ books. If a new medium improves your child’s enthusiasm, then changing the book format certainly couldn’t hurt!
Play Reading Games Online
Many parents have restrictions regarding what games their children play and for how long they can ‘game’ online. Parents may make an exception to the rule when children elect to play educational games. There are science games, math games and word games, too.
Yes, parents can even download reading games. So what are some fun and educational games to download for young readers? Try:
Learn Sight Words (all about those sight words!)
Endless Reader (more sight words)
Starfall (this has basic stories and is free)
Little Stories (these are shorter stories that put your child into the book)
How much time should kids spend playing educational games online? Really, only parents can decide the screen time rules. Some parents may have unbendable limits, but others may be more relaxed…especially during the summer break.
Set rules and guidelines that work for your family. Many kids are now spending almost eight hours staring at a screen. While this amount of time might seem oddly excessive, with so many children using 1:1 computing in the classroom and having access to gadgets like smart phones, clocking a full day in the virtual world isn’t such a difficult feat.
Download Audio Books
Hearing a story may help a child to better understand the story while reading. If parents can’t read to kids, or if the child doesn’t want their parent to play the role of narrator, download audio books.
Children may be auditory, visual or tactile learners. Some need to see, others need to hear or touch to fully immerse in a learning experience. If your child is an auditory learner, try incorporating audio books into the reading experience…see if you notice an improvement.
Use Reading Apps
For struggling readers who need more enrichment and guidance to help boost comprehension and reading fluency, try using a reading app like Readability. The app offers numerous features to help struggling readers gain proficiency and increase their comprehension skills.
Books are leveled to meet each child’s abilities. As your child becomes a stronger, more confident reader, the books will gradually become more difficult. Stories and books on Readability include colorful illustrations and interactive features to keep kids engaged and excited to read. A built-in AI tutor recognizes your child’s voice and provides guidance when words are mispronounced and asks questions during lessons to help test understanding.
How do parents know the program is helping their child? Understanding a program’s benefit and usefulness is necessary for parents to feel confident that their child is receiving the help needed. Readability gives parents a glimpse into their child’s progress with the Parent Dashboard; parents can view how long their child has read via the program and gain a better understanding about their reading progress.
Some parents may be afraid to commit to a program, especially if it requires an up-front financial investment. Parents can try out Readability for a week for free to see if it works for their child. So try it today and encourage kids to spend their summer reading with Readability!