Learning to read can be difficult. Especially in the COVID era. Luckily, digital tools can be of big help. That’s why we have gathered a list of 7 apps, that can be used to support your kid’s reading development at home.
KOBI (FREE to use, Premium account)
For ages: 5–10
Kobi takes the art of learning to read seriously. The app comes from the writers of the Learning to Read: A Comprehensive Guide for Parents, which came in at #4 of the best-selling Amazon chart in the Phonetics & Phonics category.
The mobile app provides fun, but meaningful support to your kid’s reading development at home. Kobi is a perfect fit for parents, who know their kids needs additional reading practice at home. The app’s professional approach to reading might dissuade people, who just want their kids to play a mobile game and possibly memorize a word or two while doing so.
Kobi works in a simple 4-step formula:
- Import, scan or download any book.
- Personalize the reading experience (choose a font, background color,…).
- Practice reading 10 minutes a day.
- Get a report on the reading.
The free account allows you to read 10 minutes every week, and have a full access to all of the Kobi’s features. The premium account will remove the reading time limit.
That being said, Kobi focuses on helping your kid with reading, and the team does not plan to move into other subjects, such as math and science.
READING EGGS (Free to try)
For ages: 4–6
Reading Eggs is a popular mobile game for early readers. The mobile app uses a game-like system that teaches your kid to recognize sight words. That means kids get to watch videos, play games and receive rewards for doing so. At the same time, they are learning the basics of reading.
Just like Kobi, Reading Eggs comes with a pre-filled library of books, although there is no possibility to scan physical books or import digital files like in Kobi’s mobile app, as the app is focused on a younger audience.
Reading eggs provides a good introduction to reading, helping your kid make the first steps with phonic, sight words, and expand their vocabulary.
STARFALL ( Free )
For ages: 3–7
Starfall is a popular mobile and online app. The app teaches kids math, songs, reading, and more. Starfall focuses on a younger audience. Their content is targeted at pre-K kids, as well as kids in the first three grade levels.
Starfall is a nonprofit and its content is mostly either free or affordable, so if budget is an issue, it is certainly worth taking a look at.
Like Reading Eggs, Starfall uses short & fun games to try and motivate kids to learn. The biggest advantage of the app is its alphabet teaching module, which can help your kid to master the alphabet early.
ABCMOUSE ( Subscription required )
For ages: 2–6
ABCmouse is a curriculum, similar to Starfall. The program teaches kids everything from math to science and reading. The curriculum focuses on younger kids, aged two to six.
The reading part of the program is focused on read-along technology, so a younger audience is a better fit than kids aged 6 and more since reading along offers little to no help after the kid has mastered phonics & blending.
ABCmouse includes game-like levels that tries to motivate kids to learn. The best thing about ABCmouse is that you can use it on any device. It consists of a web-based application, as well as a mobile app. So if you are used to using multiple devices to teach your kid at home, ABCmouse is something to look into.
A subscription is required to start using ABCmouse, but the program does come with a free month, so you can try it for free.
HOMER ( Subscription required )
For ages: 2–6
Homer’s goal is to provide a fun way of making the first steps in the world of reading. Similar to some of the apps mentioned above, Homer can help with a wider variety of subjects, such as math and creativity.
Just like Kobi, Homer promises to personalize your child’s learning experience. In order to do that, Homer uses a combination of a mobile app and a physical kit, which will cost you around $200, although the first year is usually discounted on their website.
The learning path Homer teaches is dictated by steps. The child first starts to learn about letters and sounds, then continues to sight words and spelling. This gives the children the ability to grow at their own pace.
READING RAVEN ( $3.99 )
For ages: 3–6
Reading Raven is a reading-specific curriculum, with a step-by-step system that allows kids to learn at their own pace. The solution is presented as a mobile app for both iOS & Android. Reading Raven uses a phonics-based approach to reading.
The curriculum & the customizable mobile app starts with the children recognizing letters, then words and sentences.
Reading Raven is suitable for younger kids, who are taking the first steps in the world of reading.
ENDLESS READER ( Free to try )
For ages: 3–6
Endless Reader is a follow-up app to the Endless Alphabet, which focused on teaching kids the alphabet. Endless Reader focuses on sight words instead, so the next step in reading development.
The creators claim that learning sight words first, helps with early reading development immensely. The app uses avatars (or monsters), which is similar to Kobi, which uses Reading Buddies to support and motivate kids to practice more.
In the app, you get 6 words for free, but then you have to pay for every word pack, which will allow kids to learn those specific words that you buy.
With no end of COVID in sight, chances are, we, as parents, will again have to semi-homeschool our children in 2021. Hopefully, you can take a look at the selection above and find an app that will make your job as a parent and a teacher a bit easier.