Here’s How Reading Programs in Schools Can Complement Reading Programs at Home

July 29, 2022

Reading Programs in Schools

School districts might use different reading programs. Parents might receive a list of the programs their child uses in the classroom, and some schools could even provide login information that allows children to access these programs at home.

Common reading programs in schools could include:

  • Raz-Kids
  • Star Reading
  • Accelerated Reader

In addition, school districts might offer reading intervention programs like the Wilson Reading System or the S.P.I.R.E. Reading Program for children who qualify. For children who struggle with reading, parents also could use a reading program at home for further enrichment. Reading programs in schools can complement reading programs at home, and vice versa.

About Common Reading Programs Used in Schools

Again, every school district can offer and might offer different reading programs that are used in the classroom to help students learn to read and gain proficiency. Some of the more commonly used programs include Raz-Kids, STAR Reading and Accelerated Reader. Here’s what parents should know about these programs.


Raz-Kids is a product of Learning A to Z. Raz-Kids helps children learn how to read by using different resources. Typically, children read a story online, then they listen to the story. To prove that they understood what they have read, they also need to complete a quiz.

Raz-Kids is leveled from A to Z. Children need to read, listen to and complete quizzes on each book in the level before they can advance. In addition, the program includes fun components and online rewards systems.

Star Reading

Star is offered by Renaissance; schools often use both Star Reading and Star Math programs to help understand a child’s abilities in both of these subjects. Star Reading provides data related to a child’s literacy abilities.

The program requires children to complete a timed test. Questions become harder as children show their proficiency. At the end of the test, a report is generated that notes the child’s reading level, their percentile range (this denotes how they read in comparison to other students in their grade level) and shows their reading growth through the years. Parents are often provided this report.

Schools typically conduct multiple Star Reading and Star Math tests throughout the year to understand each student’s growth in these areas.

Reading Programs in Schools

Accelerated Reader

Accelerated Reader (AR) also is a product of Renaissance. However, AR is focused on helping teachers understand a student’s comprehension of books they read. The AR program includes thousands of different book titles in its quiz library.

When a child finishes a book at home or in the classroom, they can take a quiz via AR. The quiz measures comprehension, and children earn points for passing the quiz. Teachers might set a mandatory grade that children must receive in order to earn the full amount of points.

Teachers commonly offer prizes or privileges correlated to AR point benchmarks. In this way, children are rewarded for reading.

Accelerated Reader includes a Bookfinder tool that lets children and their parents look up any book to see if an AR quiz is offered. In addition, the tool shows the book’s reading level and the points that are offered when a child passes the quiz.

Reading Programs in Schools

How Reading Programs at Home Can Complement Reading Programs in School

While each school or school district might use different programs, parents can drop an email to their child’s teacher to better understand the programs used in the classroom and to possibly find a reading program to use at home that complements the in-class programs. However, since many schools use AR and Raz-Kids, these might be the programs on which parents focus.

When searching for reading programs that can be used at home, what are the features that parents should look for to complement either Raz-Kids or AR? Parents might focus on programs that include:

  • Programs that are compatible with AR (i.e. the books in the program offer AR quizzes)
  • Comprehension quizzes (like Raz-Kids and AR)

Read-Aloud Functions

With Raz-Kids, students are encouraged to listen to the story after they read the book. Listening to a story can help children better understand what they’ve read. This is another way to re-read. In addition, some children are auditory learners; listening to stories could be beneficial to these learners.

If children use Raz-Kids in the classroom, parents might look for a reading program to use at home that offers similar features. Children should be able to listen to a story after they read it aloud through an at-home program; again, this can help aid understanding. In addition, children might just enjoy the narrated experience.

Programs Compatible with Accelerated Reader

Children might focus on books that are included in Accelerated Reader. When reading at home, they might not want to read certain books if they cannot earn AR points. Some children are very motivated by the rewards system that some schools include with the AR program.

If children use Accelerated Reader in the classroom, parents might focus on a reading program to use at home that is compatible with AR. Typically, reading programs include books that children read aloud; parents can research the program to ensure the program’s books offer an AR quiz. This might motivate children to use the program and read more!

Programs That Offer Comprehension Quizzes

Comprehension quizzes are included in Raz-Kids, and they are the basis for Accelerated Reader. These quizzes can help educators gauge that a child understands what they have read.

Programs that offer comprehension quizzes can help parents better understand their child’s comprehension, too. Children need to be able to read fluently (i.e. decode quickly and proficiently), but they also must understand the content. As children get into higher grade levels, they will read to learn.

Reading comprehension is a vital component of literacy. A reading program used at home should help children work on comprehension skills, and it should help parents understand their child’s mastery of this reading skill.

Why Readability is the Best Reading Program to Use at Home

Readability is an at-home reading program that reads to children, offers comprehension-based quizzes and is compatible with Accelerated Reader. Readability is designed with a built-in AI tutor that features voice-recognition software; books in Readability are read aloud and the AI tutor can identify when the child is struggling and needs help.

The reading tutor measures reading fluency (words read per minute) and it tests a child’s comprehension, too. At the end of each book, the tutor asks children questions about the book.

If a child answers a question incorrectly, the tutor will show the child a section from the story that provides clues. The tutor also reads this aloud; the child can then try to answer the question again. With Readability, children learn that it’s ok to go back and re-read to gain understanding.

In addition, Readability also includes a Storytime feature. This feature lets children listen to their favorite Readability books. Children can enjoy ‘storytime’ from anywhere with an app that reads books to them.

Readability’s books are compatible with Accelerated Reader. After children finish reading a book in Readability, they can take the AR quiz at school. Parents might help children keep track of the books they read via the program so they remember to earn their points in the classroom.

Parents who are interested in using a reading program at home to complement reading programs in school can sign up for a free seven-day trial to explore Readability with their child. The free trial includes access to all the program’s features including the AI tutor.