Reading Programs For Kids: The 6 Best Reading Apps For New Readers
For many young children, learning to read can be an exciting but also an overwhelming task. While most new readers are able to master the skill readily, there are still many new readers that struggle with the task.
Studies have shown that reading interventions such as reading programs for kids can help struggling readers catch up to their peers as long as they are given such interventions early on. The earlier a new reader who is struggling receives intervention, the more likely they are to catch up to their reading level and peers.
The key to improving your child’s reading skills is to get them to practice and to practice often. This might not be easy for new readers who are already feeling frustrated and reluctant to read. A great way to get kids to be excited about reading is to use a more engaging and interactive form of a reading program like reading apps.
There are many kinds of reading apps available and finding the right one for your child can be challenging. Knowing what your child needs help most can help you figure out which reading program or app will work for them.
Also, knowing what kind of learner your child is can help you find the best one that fits their needs.
Early and new readers are likely working on these three big reading skills:
- Vocabulary – Adding new words to their knowledge
- Phonemic awareness – learning how sounds and letters correspond
- Fluency – being able to read in a natural way that is similar to how they speak
Improving your child’s reading skills often means targeting these big three. Luckily, there are several reading apps that can help your child practice these skills at home.
Vocabulary and vocabulary building is arguably the most important reading skill to improve and continue to improve as they learn to read more advanced texts.
Vocabulary knowledge is the base for new readers to understand what they are reading. Your child will be building their vocabulary more and more as they learn to read more advanced texts.
However, starting them off with commonly used words and sight words can give them the foundation to easily learn new vocabulary in the future.
1. Learn Sight Words – Sight words are commonly used words that do not fit the usual spelling conventions, so they must be memorized instead of learned. By the end of first grade, your child will have learned over 100 sight words.
Sight words are also often high function words, so they help bring meaning to sentences. Learn Sight Words is a great app to help your struggling new reader learn new sight words.
2. Bluster! – Kids learn the most when they are having fun. Bluster! makes learning new vocabulary engaging and effective for new readers.
The game can be played as a solo player, two-player, or in teams.
Your child will learn new vocabulary words as well as learn about important word skills such as prefixes, suffixes, parts of speech, homophones, etc. These are important word-recognizing skills that can help them learn to decode unfamiliar vocabulary.
Phonological and phonemic awareness:
Phonological and phonemic awareness helps children to prepare themselves for learning to read print.
Phonological and phonemic awareness are also the keys to helping your child learn new vocabulary words. Before your child can even tackle reading a word or sentence, they need to understand how the sounds in words work.
1. Monkey Word School Adventure – Through six captivating and interactive games, Monkey Word School Adventure helps your child learn sounds associated with specific letters, spelling, and basic phonics such as consonant blends and irregular verbs.
The app also creates a custom learning experience for your new reader as the app adjusts the game’s difficulty as your child plays.
You can also customize the kinds of games your child plays so that if you would like them to focus on letter recognition, they will only be given those types of games.
2. Reading Raven – Reading Raven is another reading app that has gamified learning to read.
This app takes a more multi-sensory approach to learn letter recognition, spelling, and phonics.
The app helps your child practice their writing skills as well by tracing letters and words with their fingers.
This approach helps to further strengthen the shared processes between reading and writing so that your child is not just practicing their reading skills, but their writing skills as well.
Fluency is key to understanding a text. It becomes the bridge between word recognition or decoding and comprehension.
So, it is important that your new reader continues to build their reading fluency.
Fluency is a big reading skill to master as it relies on other reading skills to be established.
Fluency relies on:
- Reading speed
Because fluency relies on several other reading skills working at once, it is important that new readers master these skills before mastering fluency.
Improving fluency then will require practicing all these skills at once.
1. Readability – Readability is a great overall app that can help specifically with improving your child’s reading fluency.
The app provides a digital library full of stories for children to practice reading with, and it is constantly being updated with original content.
The app helps improve fluency by listening to your child using speech-recognition technology and giving them feedback and error feedback when it comes to their pronunciation.
This can help improve their accuracy as well as speed and rate at which they read texts. The app also has the option to work as an audiobook so that your child has the option to listen to the story as they follow along reading the text.
Readability can also help your new reader improve their comprehension skills, which often comes from mastering fluency.
Through the innovative Interactive Voice-Based Questions & Answers, your new reader can interact with the app to discuss questions about the reading and check their understanding.
2. ABCMouse – ABCMouse is another overall app that can help your child improve their fluency as a new reader. The program has many different games and activities that target specific reading skills that can help build fluency.
ABCMouse provides reading help for a variety of reading levels. Your new reader can work their way through the various levels and be able to practice fluency skills at different challenging games.
While these are just three reading skills that your child will learn to master, there are many other skills they will develop as they continue with the learning process.
Reading improvement is also something that is continuous and your child will need to practice and perfect the skill more and more as they go on to read more complex and advanced texts.
New readers often struggle at the beginning of the learning process because they are not just learning new reading skills, but also learning how they work together.
The key to getting your new reader to become a successful reader is giving them ample amounts of practice in a fun and engaging way.
Apps like Readability and Bluster make learning to read fun and game-like. Children learn best and the quickest when they are having fun and actually enjoying the learning process.
My latest project is truly where my happy place is, helping children. I’m a mom to two amazing souls who are my inspiration to be better, do better and strive for more. As a technology entrepreneur, I’ve had the privilege to contribute to the advancement of humanity through tech. My passion has always been to ensure the end user of our products enjoys huge benefits. We are taking the world of education by storm with industry first reading and comprehension learning technology that levels the playing field for all kids. With over 20 years of tech experience and an army of child development professionals, reading specialists, and experts in education, I created Readability.