5 Top Apps for Helping Young Readers Improve

99e1a060464675b6cfb41d2e79208233Fears that technology will make our kids illiterate are, if you ask us, pretty laughable. Reading and writing are more important in the Internet Age than ever before, and new technologies have given kids new tools to help them pick up these essential skills. As a case (or five) in point, here are some of the best apps aimed at getting kids to read better, faster, and with greater confidence.

1. Learn with Homer

Winner of this year’s Teacher’s Gold Choice Award, this app—available for Mac/PC or on your iPad—is aimed at readers who are just starting out or in their first year or so of piecing words together. Traditional phonic exercises in the “Learn to Read” section of the app let your progress after they complete each level, and they can learn cool facts while improving their reading skills in the “Discover the World” section. “Story Time” is pretty self-explanatory, and lets kids read along, and “Homer’s Clubhouse” has fun activities, too.

All in all, there’s more than 100 hours of regularly-updated content ready to get your kids reading.

2. Monkey Word School Adventure

For early readers to kids up to around eight years old, Monkey School Adventure (available for iOS and Android) is a fun way to build reading skills using both phonics and sight recognition. This dual approach helps give kids the reading skills they need to identify new words while also improving their reading speed and confidence. The words get harder as kids improve, adjusting automatically to their individual reading level.

3. Bob’s Books Reading Magic

Direct from the teacher-praised and kid-loved series of books for beginning readers, the Bob’s Books Reading Magic apps for Android and iOS—available in Level 1 for kids just starting to recognize words, and Level 2 to keep building vocabulary—are great and effective educational fun for younger readers. You can still get the books themselves, too, and having both the print and digital formats gives your kid more ways to interact and more chances to solidify their learning.

4. Montessori Crosswords

An emphasis on phonics gives the Montessori Crosswords app a traditional approach, yet the hands-on word building cements the learning faster and keeps kids engaged longer. Learning how to spell out words in simple crossword settings helps young readers wrap their minds around whole-word concepts and get used to dealing with slightly more complex contexts, which will make it easier for them to tackle their first “chapter books” in a few years. Available for iOS, Android, and Kindle.

5. iTooch

iTooch is way more than just a reading app, bit when it comes to helping older students master some more advanced language skills its one of the best around. Grammar, vocabulary, and etymology are explored in grade-appropriate lessons, enabling pre-teens to start tackling more challenging texts in the middle school years to come. Plus, the lessons revolve around real-world topics that most kids find interesting, making this Android/iOS app a must-have for older kids having trouble focusing on their reading.

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