When you first start to think about encouraging your child to read, the mind almost instantly goes towards kids’ books and reading applications.
There are some free reading programs, but they do of course have some limitations. Most free reading apps have a strong focus on battery life and ‘book like’ delivery. In many cases, this results in books with very few images.
They also are often not as ‘free’ as they appear, charging for full access or per book. Most show advertising or resell user data to third parties. Very few are truly free.
Some reading programs are specifically for kids and so contain more imagery to capture their attention and light up their imagination. These can help a lot, as having a good reading library of fun books is essential to motivating them to read more.
So, when you choose a free reading program, make sure it is for kids and check how they earn from users.
How Can I Help My Child Read With Reading Programs?
Reading programs that are aimed specifically at children should be crammed with colorful images and vibrant stories. However, ideally, they should go beyond just being an online library.
Most children find reading a challenging skill to conquer. It can be really frustrating when things don’t make sense, or they simply can’t sound out the words correctly. Writing also has multiple levels, what is written in words often isn’t the actual meaning or moral of a story.
This is why children need all the help they can get. If you are considering using reading programs to help them, be sure to find a good application that will actually help to tutor them and support their growth.
They need more support than simply being given stories to read. And, unless you have the time to spend with them, a good reading application should be able to guide them through the reading process and teach them to read better.
As they progress, it is also a good strategy to get them to practice different approaches to reading.
What are the 4 types of reading?
Once your little one has mastered basic reading skills, it can be a good idea to get them to practice different reading techniques. Some of these techniques can help them to study more effectively as well.
The main types of techniques for reading include:
- Extensive – is reading for enjoyment, and so the book needs to be interesting and not too difficult
- Skimming – with this type of reading you would scan over the words quickly, grabbing the ‘key information’ of a story or article
- Scanning – this is similar to a more focused version of skimming, where you scan the text and images on a page for information
- Intensive – a way of reading with a purpose, such as when you have an assignment or project that requires you to find information and deeply understand the text
They can practice reading on their own, but it is a good idea for parents and teachers to discuss what they are reading. Possibly set tasks, such as “try to read this story as quickly as you can and tell me what it was about” or as trick questions that require them to really understand the story.
This can take a bit of time, but if you use the internet to your advantage, it doesn’t need to be a mission. Many websites share reading activities related to children’s books. Another option are specialized reading apps like Readability.
What Are Some Good Reading Websites?
Using some reading comprehension websites in conjunction with a quality reading program can be a very effective way to boost your child’s reading level. The link in this paragraph suggests some good websites with varying levels of difficulty. It is important to pick on things that are not too challenging, but equally not too easy. After a couple of activities, you will soon get the feel for what works and what doesn’t.
A good reading app can help to support your child to read well, guiding them in pronunciation and speed.
As they grow and their vocabulary expands, their comprehension will increase. In the beginning, it is quite normal for children to be able to read words they don’t understand.
Then, as they increase in ability, introducing additional activities from reading comprehension websites can help to challenge them further and increase their understanding of the text, intentions of the author, and reading between the lines.
What is the Best Online Reading Program?
The “best” anything is a matter of perspective. However, if you want the best reading program for your child, you should consider at least trying Readability. The key features include:
- Constantly expanding library of fun books for all ages
- Interactive learning
- AI-driven tutor with live correction, feedback, and reports
- Texts can be read aloud with a realistic voice
- Colorful illustrations to help them imagine and understand what they’re reading
- Supports multiple readers
- Task and goal setting
- Full reports for parents
Admittedly, Readability is not a free reading program, but it does have a free trial where you can see why we charge for access. There was a lot of dedicated work and investment put into creating this application, and we use the fees to continue its ongoing development and maintenance. Our users love the results of using our reading program and consider it great value for money. So, give us a try and see how we can help your child gain confidence and read better.