Children of all ages can benefit from extra reading time and instruction. And now with summer just around the corner, engaging your child with printed books or instructional online activities becomes even more of a challenge. Here are a few internet options to help engage kids in the love of reading and increase their skills in this area, no matter what time of year it is.
This is a self-paced reading and instructional program for teachers and parents to use with single students, or even an entire class. ReadTheory is available for use on all your devices, and it's totally free. It has an easy interface to navigate, and chooses passages at your child's grade level to read, and afterward has them take a quiz. The data can be analyzed to help target skills which need extra practice.
For ages three to six, this site is jam-packed with reading activities and games for young children with the beloved Dr. Seuss as their guide. All you need is Adobe Player installed on your computer to use the games and videos. There are sections for parents and educators to find events near them, and to discover resources to use for monthly, themed learning. This site is also free, but requires a sign up and a password.
This site is for home or school use as well and is geared toward kindergarten through third graders. Professor Garfield boasts reading and writing games, videos, and printable resources like awards and bookmarks for parents and teachers. The site also has some links to basic science skills and computer programming– all which require further reading, of course!
This site is for readers of all ages and skill levels. The instructor or parent simply sets goals for reading by book or by pages. As the child reaches the goal, they log their success online and watch the “miles” pile up. The rewards are set by the child's parent or teacher, so they can be tailor-made for each student. The system can track reading minutes and reward the child with TV time or another chosen prize. There are also built-in rewards like badges and games inside the site. Basic accounts are free, though the premium and school accounts charge yearly fees.
Helping children love to read is a rewarding endeavor. Let them explore online during the hot or rainy days this summer and watch their skill levels soar!
Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. For more information on educational reading materials check out courses for an education master’s degree or contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan