Learning to read is one of the key milestones in a child’s development. The UK government is determined to raise the standard of reading achieved by the nation’s children and parents are encouraged to help their children. Whilst classroom teaching and reading books at home have traditionally been the primary learning methods, new technologies are now available so that computers and tablets can help children to read.
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There are many interactive websites that will help your children to read. Try primarygames.com for a range of videos, typing games, puzzles, online storybooks and other interactive games that will help improve reading skills. Another good source of online help is familylearning.org.uk. It has sections for children at the pre-reading stage, games for kids at pre-school, and phonics and sight word games for children who are learning to read at school.
CBeebies, the children’s section of the BBC website, has a wide selection of reading resources for children using characters that they will recognise. Your kids can practice phonics online, get involved in interactive stories and play other games aimed at improving reading and spelling. Many of the activities are based around favourite programmes from the BBC such as the Alphablocks, Tweenies and Balamory.
Apps for Smartphones and tablet PCs can also teach your kids to read. There is increasing evidence that educational apps can help kids with skills such as reading and numeracy. Tablets can store multiple reading apps and have the advantage of being portable. In a world where technology is more commonly used in classroom teaching, using a tablet to improve your child’s reading skills is a sensible option.
You can buy software for your PC for your children to practice reading. CD-ROMs and DVDs are available with child-friendly interfaces and require minimum adult supervision. Games and exercises teach the basics of phonics, whilst illustrated stories also allow your child to read on a PC. Try websites such as amazon.com or elc.co.uk for a wide range of products. The advantage of this type of software is that an Internet connection is not required.
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