Helping your child with their reading is a necessary but also immensely pleasurable activity, both for you and your son or daughter. As well as the conventional means of sharing books and stories, there are now a number of great reading apps which can add to the enjoyment and the success in your child’s learning journey. Here are some of the best apps currently available.
Starfall Learn to Read
Kicking off with the alphabet and bringing in phonemes (sounds) which help your child to pronounce all of the English words, this app then moves on to comprehension, covering all of the beginner bases which will set your child off on the right foot to becoming an accomplished reader, writer and speaker.
This app also has a particular focus on phonics-based learning, and helps kids master all the steps to recognizing letters, sounds and ultimately words, by which they can start to build sentences. A great early-reading app for younger kids.
Only available on Apple products, Homer is another great app for those early days of learning to make the sounds and words which will lead to more developed reading skills. The activities here are research-based, so have scientific best-practice behind them. “Homer offers an element of gameplay involved where kids can customize their particular character and lead them though the different levels by achieving rewards for completing reading and
listening exercises which are all designed to help with their reading development,” says Cindy Bernstein, a librarian at WritemyX and BritStudent.
This app is designed to help younger children recognize words by using digital flashcards. The animation is great, as is the accompanying music, and this is a really fun and interactive way to develop those skills necessary.
Developing reading skills
Epic provides access to thousands upon thousands of tales, from popular titles to the more obscure, there will inevitably be options to attract the interest of your child, whatever they are in to. As well as normal reading opportunities, there are activities such as reading logs and reward activities to further encourage your child’s reading, combing activities to really involve your child in the process of words and reading, says Colin Weldstrom, an English teacher at 1Day2Write and NextCoursework.
Famous as a product in itself, having the Kindle app simply gives you access to a breathtaking library of titles. There is always the possibility of additional costs with certain titles, but there is also more than enough of a free catalogue to pique interest, and this is a great app to have downloaded for those moments when only a bit of reading will do.
The Kindle of audiobooks, Audible has a great free catalogue but will incur costs if you download the free app. The number of options is staggering, however. Although not reading as such, audiobooks are a great way to further encourage love of stories and can be a perfect way to relax and keep your child occupied.
This app is great if you would like to download audiobooks directly from resources such as libraries. OK so it’s not reading as such, but audiobooks are a great way of instilling passion for stories and words, as well as filling time on journeys.
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the digital apps available on the marketplace to assist in your child’s reading development. Play around with the free options to see what suits best, but those listed here are a great way to get started and help instill a love of the craft in your children. It will stand them in good stead for the years to come.
Today’s guest blogger is English tutor and librarian, Joel Syder. Joel’s writings on educational and reading practices can be found at Essay Help and PhdKingdom. Assisting in the development of your child’s reading is one of Joel’s greatest passions, and you can also find his insights on the subject at Academic Brits, academic website.
Please note that as a guest post, the views expressed here do not represent the official position of ALA or ALSC.
If you’d like to write a guest post for the ALSC Blog, please contact Mary Voors, ALSC Blog manager, at email@example.com.
Audiobooks “not reading as such”? So, sad to see this in your piece. Audiobooks ARE reading – they offer opportunities for vocabulary building. We learn to read first by what we hear.
I was also so disappointed to hear these comments about audiobooks not being “reading as such.” Listening to quality audiobooks has been a game changer for so many readers. Listening should be celebrated and embraced! A little self-promotion here, but check out this piece on my blog if you have a chance: https://earsontheodyssey.com/2017/06/14/listening-counts/.
I also wanted to comment that while Audible has a lot to offer, it can be too pricey for many. There are so many free options for accessing audiobooks through the library: OverDrive , Hoopla, and RBDigital are some of the biggest, but there are others, too. These services offer access to great books, and they’re free to library patrons!
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