When a child is struggling with reading or when parents just want to seek out extra reading enrichment, they may ask: “How do I find a reading program near me?”
There are many reading programs for children. Some may be developed for children with learning disorders (like dyslexia), but others may be broader in scope. There are reading tutors, tutoring services, specialized classes, online apps and so much more. There isn’t a shortage of options, but the difficulty for parents may be finding the program that works best for their child.
Parents could even decide to use a few reading programs together; perhaps parents sign up for a reading app and utilize a reading program through a school or tutor. Parents also could create their own reading program at home.
Who Can Use a Reading Program?
There are no rules regarding who can use a reading program. However, some specialized reading programs only advance to a certain grade level. Reading programs can be beneficial for all kids—those who struggle and even those who don’t.
Sometimes parents want to find extra enrichment opportunities for kids to keep current on their skills or to ensure that they don’t lose skills during a long summer break. Using a reading program online could be an easy and convenient way for parents to provide their child with this type of enrichment.
Some reading programs may be more specialized, however, and may be better suited for children who need more intensive instruction. Other programs could be generalized in scope and may be a good fit for any child.
With Readability, for example, a child who uses the program to stay refreshed on skills may start the program at their current grade level and move up from there. When parents are on the hunt for a reading program for enrichment, they might not be interested in higher-priced programs. Monthly subscription programs may be a better fit.
Reading Apps: The Choice is Vast
Reading apps or online reading programs are numerous. However, many of these programs could offer the convenience of at-home use.
Choosing the best reading app or reading program really depends on the child’s struggles and their specific needs. Every parent may have a unique preference. Some programs may be designed to address auditory processing issues that could affect comprehension. Other programs may be developed to help children who have been diagnosed with dyslexia. Some parents prefer a program that is more specific in design.
If a child was diagnosed with a learning disorder and parents are struggling to find the right reading program, there could be organizations that could provide assistance and advice or guidance for parents.
Summer Reading Programs
Some parents simply want a summer reading program for their child to participate in to keep reading during the long break. Summer reading programs are commonly hosted by local libraries and the program’s purpose may simply be to encourage summer reading.
Summer reading programs through the library could include prizes or giveaways. To find out what programs are available near you, contact your local library. During Covid, these programs may be hosted virtually (online).
School Reading Programs
Local schools also may participate in reading programs. These programs may even be affiliated with a restaurant. For example, Pizza Hut hosts the BOOK IT! Program, which began in 1984. Children who complete the program receive a free personal pan pizza!
These types of reading programs also tend to be more about encouraging children to read. Contact the school to find out what programs the district (or the individual school) participates in each year.
Whether a child struggles with reading, math or another subject, parents may want to enlist the help of a tutor to help children meet benchmark standards and ensure success in school. The price of tutors can vary, though.
Tutors may be retired teachers, college students or maybe even specialized instructors. Some businesses like Sylvan Learning offer services, too. Parents may find tutors through an online service or through a friend or relative.
Choosing a tutor can be based on a lot of criteria, including cost and expertise. Of course, parents will want to ensure that all tutors have been vetted (for safety reasons). Tutoring programs typically require all tutor applicants to pass a background check.
Those living in more rural areas could struggle to find a tutor close to their home. Depending on parent or guardian work schedules, the proximity of a tutor could become an issue. Parents could serve as their child’s tutor.
Virtual tutoring sessions also could be a solution. Some reading apps—like Readability—provide built-in AI tutors that help guide reading lessons. However, some tutoring programs or businesses also could offer remote tutoring for children (especially during the pandemic). Parents should research the options in their area.
Parents also can reach out to a child’s teacher or school to help find tutors. Some schools offer after-school sessions for children needing help. It never hurts to contact the school for resources!
Reading Programs at Home
For parents looking to provide their children with extra reading enrichment, developing a reading program at home could be a great solution. Reading programs at home can be a wonderful idea for all children, though. Extra reading is beneficial, and creating a program that turns reading into a fun adventure may help children who aren’t necessarily enthusiastic about cracking open a book.
Reading programs at home can mix instruction or assistance with fun activities like cooking, movies and games. Parents don’t have to be specialized in reading education to create a program. Again, an at-home reading program could simply be used to help get children excited about books.
Parents can get creative with a reading program or simply just pick a time to read with children. Need suggestions? A DIY reading program (for home) can include:
One-on-one Reading Time with Parents
Parents can set aside a half-hour to read with children each day. Parents and children can take turns reading passages or chapters, or parents can just provide encouragement and help as needed. If children need to work on comprehension, parents may ask questions during reading time to ensure that a child understands the story.
Read and Cooking
This isn’t about bringing a book into the kitchen! Instead, parents can have children help them with recipes. Children can be in charge of reading the steps to a recipe or may help in gathering ingredients. Reading recipes or reading the ingredients list can be good reading practice. Children also can help measure ingredients, too (math!).
Parents may pick fun, kid-friendly recipes for this component of their program. Need recipe ideas? Check out the list of 30 recipes from The Modern Proper.
Eat and Cook Foods from a Story
Immerse in the taste of a book! Find recipes related to a child’s book or story, or ask children what foods their character enjoys in the book. Eating foods from a book may help children step into the shoes of the character. Bonus: have children read those recipes!
Take a Book Trip
Another way to help a child experience a book is to visit a place from the book. Parents may need to get creative when planning reading field trips, though. Some museums or historic places might be closed. Virtual tours could be an option, though!
Carve out a Reading Nook
When creating a reading program at home, parents can set aside a special reading nook for the program. Build a pillow fort or a blanket tent and create a comfortable and unique reading environment.
Try Reading Rewards
For some children, a prize or a reward is incredibly motivating. Parents can sit down with children and set reading goals related to reading minutes or the number of books read. When a child hits reading milestones, maybe they earn a prize.
Use Reading Worksheets
Parents also can incorporate reading worksheets to help children work on their reading skills. Parents may find reading worksheets online or could ask teachers for extra enrichment worksheets.
Listen to the Book
Some children like to listen to the book as they read. Parents might consider integrating audiobooks during reading time.
Watch the Movie…After Reading
Read the book and see it play out on the big screen (or small screen!). Watching the movie adaptation of a book is a bit like playing ‘spot the differences.’ While some movies stay true to the book, others take many different turns. Use movies as a means to talk about the book, and have children compare and contrast the two.
Stop wondering, “How do I find a reading program near me?” Use reading apps like readability and other programs to help children boost their reading skills. Parents don’t have to choose just one program. Apps and tutors or at-home programs can be used together to help children who struggle to read. Not sure if a reading app is a good fit? Parents can sign up for a free seven-day trial of Readability!