How to choose an elementary reading program for your child

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What should you look for when evaluating elementary reading programs for your child? Whether you’re evaluating a school or after school reading program, homeschooling your child, or supplementing your child’s existing school curriculum with at home reading instruction, choosing a good, effective reading program for your child can make a huge difference in your child’s experience of learning to read.

Here are 12 key elements to look for when choosing an elementary reading program.

Choose a program that has interesting material
You don’t want your child to say, “Oh, not that again.” Your child should be engaged.

The program should combine in a well- integrated manner, reading, spelling and comprehension.

The program should correct your child’s errors immediately.

The program should not respond to your child’s mistakes by telling your child to “try again”
This technique does not work and often leaves a child feeling like she or he has failed.

Word lists, disconnected words and non-meaningfully integrated words should be at a minimum.

There should be lots of work of meaningful, connected sentences
That’s what real reading is all about!

There should be discernible progress within 6-8 weeks
It takes about 30 or so weeks of instruction for a child to advance one grade level.

The program should do more than ask your child to “sound out” the words.
If the main demand is repeated sounding out and if that is not working for your child, it is not productive.

It should offer auditory links between the written word and the spoken word
This is invaluable.

It should offer excellent representations of the meaning of the words and text
This is really only possible with an online program where you can use audio and visuals in a coordinated manner.

If child keeps making same mistake, or keeps “forgetting” what was taught, the program is not working for your child and you should try another one.

Your child should understand easily what to do and be able to do it on his or her own after introductory minimal instruction.

Reading Kingdom is an online reading program that works with children at multiple levels including preschool, kindergarten, first grade, second grade, and third grade. Each level teaches all the skills and abilities required to be able to progress to the next level. With Reading Kingdom’s comprehensive 6-skill system children’s eagerness to learn will rise significantly even as they experience the lessons as fun reading games. Sign up for the Reading Kingdom’s 30 day free trial today.