Learning to read for the first time can be challenging and many children might struggle with learning this valuable skill. The best way to help your child if they are struggling with reading is to give them as much practice as possible. However, studies show that children learn best when they are having fun and when they are reading for fun their brain development improves significantly.
How can I make reading fun for struggling readers?
Reading for struggling readers often feels like a task or chore, so the best way to make reading fun for them is to incorporate reading programs that are designed to make learning fun. These programs combine technology and learning to give an immersive experience for new readers.
- Book Adventure- This is a great program for struggling readers because it turns reading into an adventure rather than just an exercise. This program is great for grades kindergarten to 8th grade. The program specifically helps practice and learn reading comprehension. Instead of just reading a story or a book, the program uses games and literature lessons for users to “progress” through the adventure and reach its conclusion. This turns reading comprehension practice into a fun video game which can be a great approach for those that do not seem to enjoy reading.
- ABCmouse Early Learning Academy – ABCmouse is a great reading program for those who are new to reading. The program helps readers learn the basics of reading such as sight words, phonetics, and the alphabet. Best of all this reading program provides materials that help to practice reading skills that can help with comprehension such as games after readings and practice with skimming and scanning. This reading program creates an immersive experience for learners so that they get a good overview of reading skills. This effective reading program is often utilized in schools, so it is a great reading program for struggling readers because it can allow further practice at home for what they are learning in school.
Pronunciation and fluency
- Readability – While comprehension and understanding are integral parts of learning to read, a big part is also learning pronunciation, phonics, and building fluency. Readability is perfect for struggling readers who are having trouble with these specific skills. Even if your child does not seem to be specifically struggling with these reading skills, gaining practice in pronunciation and phonics can help them learn new vocabulary words quicker and improve their writing skills as well.
Readability uses AI technology to help your child recognize accurate pronunciation. The app provides readings for your child to read aloud and listens to them. The program then recognizes any errors to identify and helps your reader fix those errors. The app is essentially a personal virtual tutor for your child to help them enhance their skills at home quickly and in an entertaining way.
- K5 Learning – This extensive reading program includes practice for comprehension but is also particularly great for teaching phonics. This program essentially helps to provide lessons without going through the hassle of dealing with licensing. You are able to access plenty of materials to help assist with at-home learning.
- StudyDog Reading – This reading program is one of the most well-researched and documented approaches to online reading. It is backed by scholarly research and has documented results through standardized testing from No Child Left Behind. StudyDog uses assessment tools to create an individualized approach to learning to read. Their “Adventures in Reading” series is a great reading program to use at home to help supplement reading practice. Each lesson keeps readers engaged through fun reads and activities. Some lessons also target specific learning objectives such as learning to read contractions or rhyming.
Using any or all of these reading programs for struggling readers at home can help further their learning experience and help enhance their reading skills. The most important thing to keep in mind when using reading programs for struggling readers at home is to make sure it is a program that they enjoy. When reading becomes fun for them, it no longer becomes a struggle for them.