Why Your Child Should Use Reading Comprehension Apps
Sometimes children may struggle to understand the meaning or plot of a story or book. Reading comprehension is one of the key components to literacy, because if a child doesn’t understand what they read, they may have difficulty reading to learn.
There are numerous ways that parents can help their children boost their reading comprehension at home, and reading comprehension apps could be a fun and beneficial tool to helping a child become a better reader and gain the comprehension skills needed to boost their reading level. Here’s why your child should use reading comprehension apps at home!
Reading Comprehension Apps are Fun
While traditional books are the default option for encouraging children to do their daily reading, some children—especially those who are struggling to read—may roll their eyes when the binded books come out for the night. Reading materials come in multiple forms of media. Children can read comics, magazines, and newspapers. But these materials don’t have to be in inked print. Digital media also is an option. And heading online, downloading an ebook, or using an app could be a fun alternative for children who just don’t like to read.
Some reading apps are developed as a more formal literacy program, while others can be in the form of a game. Parents should research apps before committing. For children who struggle with comprehension, parents should make sure that an app will fit the child’s needs and help address their individual reading struggles.
Reading Comprehension Apps are Convenient
Yes, books can go anywhere, but apps are particularly convenient. Apps can be downloaded to phones, PCs, laptops, and tablets. Going on a road trip? You might forget to pack a few books, but most parents will remember to grab their phone or tablet.
Reading comprehension apps can be used anywhere with a wireless signal. Or use a phone’s network. Children can read at a park, their siblings’ sports event or on a beach. If parents are using their cell phone network, it may be a good idea to check the data plan. Using an app may eat at the data and could result in extra charges.
Apps Should Progress with a Child
The right reading comprehension app should advance with the child’s skills. This means that the stories on the app shouldn’t be too difficult for a child to read, but they also should not be too far below a child’s reading ability. As a child gains proficiency and shows an understanding of the content, the app should gradually increase in difficulty. Children should move at their own pace, and parents should research different apps to find the best one for their child.
When children are engaged in independent reading outside of apps, parents should make sure they choose books at their reading level. Not sure what level is best? Talk to the child’s teacher for guidance. Dear Teacher also offers tools to help determine a child’s reading level.
Apps May Appeal to Tech-Savvy Kids
Maybe a child doesn’t hate books, but they simply love technology. Apps appeal to children who love technology. Most kids today have access to technology, and some younger kids even have their own smartphone. In fact, NPR reported that half of all children in the U.S. have their own smartphone!
Game consoles, gadgets, computers and tablets have become a normal part of the childhood experience. For kids who thrive on technology, a reading comprehension app may entice them to open up a virtual book and practice their skills.
Parents may worry, though, that their child is having too much screentime. It’s up to parents to set limits and boundaries related to the screen, especially since many children spend their school day staring at a computer.
The American Academy of Pediatrics doesn’t recommend a specific screen time limit for grade-school kids, but the screen shouldn’t get in the way of socializing face-to-face (when it’s safe, of course), good health habits (like eating or physical activity) or sleep. The AAP recommends that parents create a Family Media Plan to outline the rules and guidelines for daily media use. Parents can create their own family plan on the American Academy of Pediatrics’ website.
Less Expensive than a Tutor!
Reading comprehension apps that are designed to help kids increase their reading proficiency may charge a monthly fee for use. However, this monthly charge may be much less than the cost of hiring a professional reading tutor!
Angie’s List notes that a private tutor can charge between $45 and $60 an hour. If a child needs multiple tutoring sessions each week, this can add up quickly. Even a weekly lesson would cost between $180 and $240. For parents who might be on a tight budget, this investment might not be feasible.
Reading comprehension apps, however, may cost as little as $10 a month. More in-depth programs may charge a higher rate, though. Parents who are watching their budget should research all their options. Teachers also may be able to offer suggestions about the best apps or programs to help a struggling reader.
Apps are Interactive
For kids who think books are boring, apps may provide a bit more engagement. While books often feature illustrations, apps offer something that books cannot offer: interactive features! On apps, stories may come to life. Or children may be able to explore pictures and sounds on each page of the story.
Apps differ in their features and benefits, and this is why parents need to explore their options. Reading comprehension apps should offer a free trial; this allows parents and kids the chance to check out the features and benefits of the app.
Some apps like Readability include a built-in AI tutor that recognizes a child’s voice. This virtual tutor will help correct any errors that a child makes during the lesson. The tutor also asks the child questions about the story to check for understanding. These interactive features can help keep a child engaged and immersed in the lessons. Plus, the virtual tutor offers help and feedback along the way.
Apps Inform Parents About Reading Progress
The best reading comprehension app for children should offer parents a way to gauge their child’s progress with the program. Parents need to understand if an app or program is working for their child; if they cannot see the benefit, then they may question the investment. Readability provides parents with a Parent Dashboard. This feature allows parents to see how long their child used the app, and the dashboard also shows the child’s progress.
Parents shouldn’t just see progress via the app, though. Progress also should be revealed via tests administered by the school. Many districts regularly test students in the subjects of math and reading; these standardized tests are a way for schools to better understand a child’s performance and progress.
If a child is using a reading app at home, parents may want to pay close attention to test scores to better understand the efficacy of the app.
In conclusion, using a reading comprehension app just makes sense!
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.