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4 Online Programs that Help with Reading Comprehension

Most schools use online programs to help with reading comprehension. If you search online, hundreds of programs are available to schools, teachers, and families to support reading development. However, not all online programs are equal; some even teach the wrong reading skills.

As a parent and educator, I worry when I see some kids struggle with reading comprehension. This is concerning because reading comprehension is the ultimate goal of reading development. Reading is necessary for content-area mathematics, science, and social studies learning. Hence, text comprehension facilitates all other learning.

During elementary school, my son experienced reading difficulties. I took several actions to address his reading struggles, using online programs to support reading comprehension at home. I used reading A-Z, readworks.org, imagine learning, and the one-minute reading application to help improve his reading development.

Next, I share how I used each program to support my son with reading.

Reading A-Z Program

Reading A-Z is an independent online reading program that provides thousands of books for online-level readers. The site has 29 levels students can choose from based on their reading abilities. Although this program is not free, the one-year subscription for the Spanish-level readings is well worth the investment.

The program has an app that students can use on their tablets and even cell phones. The website notes that graduated difficulty levels build students’ confidence while increasing comprehension and fluency. Other features are available to support learning in other content areas.

Imagine Learning

Imagine Learning is an individualized reading program that assesses each student the first time they log in and creates a personalized learning experience based on their needs. The program is only available to families through schools because educators must manage some features. Imagine Learning uses the 5 essential skills of reading development: phonemic awareness, phonics/decoding, fluency, vocabulary, and reading comprehension.

Some schools purchase online accounts to provide additional practice to struggling readers. Check with your school to find out if there are any available online program memberships you could use at home to reinforce reading or math. We could also use the Imagine Learning program to simultaneously increase his language and literacy.

Readworks.org

The website readworks.org is a free reading program that uses nonfiction articles to reinforce reading comprehension. For instance, readworks.org focuses on vocabulary to increase knowledge about real-life events. I signed up and assigned short articles for my son to read daily to increase his oral vocabulary.

Parents can sign up for readworks.org and assign articles to their kids free of charge. Schools and educators know this website as a program that helps with reading comprehension.

OneMuniteRead Application

In 5th grade, we began using the one-minute-read application. In short, this app uses a 3-step process to engage students in quick nonfiction reads to target fluency and comprehension. First, the student completes a cold read for 1 minute. Then, the student re-reads out loud with the app three different times. Last, the student re-reads the same paragraph using a 1-minute timer. The immediate impact of re-reading and constant practice improved my son’s fluency skills.

Takeaways

In summary, the benefits of online programs that help with reading comprehension all impact vocabulary and reading development. I used each application at different times to change the routine. It was helpful to have options, but we must remember that not all online programs are equal. Of all the steps I took, I think setting aside time to read with my son was very helpful. I firmly believe that by incorporating these ideas and resources into your child’s learning routine, you can offer them the support they need to thrive in their reading endeavors.

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