How Do Institute of Reading Development Programs Compare to Online Apps and Tools?

Do an internet search for ‘online reading apps’ and you’ll get pages and pages of results. When children are struggling with reading, many parents turn to these online tools, but trying to figure out what will work for your child can be daunting. You don’t know exactly what you’re getting (one clue: with a free app, you get what you pay for), and you are essentially on your own when it comes to giving your child the support he or she needs. Before you go down this ‘do-it-yourself’ path, take a look at the Institute of Reading Development. We offer convenient, affordable programs that give you the best of both worlds – interactive online lessons plus the benefits of engaging live classes, teachers who specialize in reading development, and a time-tested curriculum that turns struggling readers into kids who love books.

Engaging Classes and Fun Online Instruction

The Institute of Reading Development offers programs that integrate live online classes with fun interactive lessons students do at their own pace throughout the week. Students receive the benefits of both—they learn new skills in class and get lots of practice online between classes. With this kind of reinforcement, skills really stick. Our live classes also offer something that an online tool can never provide: the experience of reading and discussing books under the guidance of an expert teacher. This helps kids build core comprehension skills as they track plot and character development and explore the themes of a book. As importantly, the experience of talking about books with other kids their age deepens students’ connection to books and motivates them to keep reading.

Teachers Who Specialize in Reading Development

Even with the best learning app, there’s no substitute for a live teacher. Teachers at the Institute get to know each child and make sure that each one is making progress. In addition to teaching classes, they’re available every week to answer questions about your child’s reading development or to provide extra help for your child. On top of that, all parents and students have access to our on-demand reading and homework helpline for assistance with school reading assignments.

When you enroll in an Institute program, you can be confident that you are getting a highly skilled and knowledgeable teacher. We are extremely selective, hiring fewer than 3% of all teacher applicants. Every teacher goes through our rigorous training program and teaches students of all ages, so they have a real understanding of reading development. Institute teachers are also avid readers with a passion for books, and they inspire that same love in students. No app or online tool can offer this kind of personalized attention and support.

Proven, Time-Tested Curriculum

Finding the right online reading app is a challenge. As a parent, how do you know which one, if any, will give your child what he or she needs? Institute programs take the worry and effort out of that process. We have been creating research-based reading curriculum for students of all ages since 1970. We know what kids need at each stage of reading development, and we know how to provide it, with books, classes, and online lessons that instruct and engage students.

Unlike many online apps, we take a developmental approach, so your child can continue to grow as a reader year after year. That means that a first-grader will get the phonics instruction he or she needs to become an independent reader, a fourth-grader will develop key comprehension skills in fiction and nonfiction, and a high-school student will learn strategies for reading and retaining information in textbooks.

We know what kids need at each stage of reading development, and we know how to provide it, with books, classes, and online lessons that instruct and engage students.

Outstanding Books

While an online app may help your child develop basic skills, reading is about so much more than that. It’s about reading great books that engage you, whether you’re a beginning reader or a high school student. In our programs, we provide all of our students with carefully selected books at the right level of difficulty. All of these books feature compelling plotlines, interesting characters, and themes that are meaningful to students at every age. Importantly, students read these books cover to cover, giving them the opportunity to really immerse themselves in the story and providing a real sense of accomplishment when they’ve turned the last page. Successful experiences with books like these help kids develop strong reading skills and build confidence as readers.

Our Mission: Turning Kids Into Readers

An online reading tool has a very specific goal: to teach reading skills. At the Institute of Reading Development, we set our sights higher. Our students learn all of the core reading skills they need for their age–decoding, vocabulary, fluency, comprehension, textbook strategies. They have great experiences with great books. They work with an exceptional teacher who knows how to teach and inspire. In other words, we don’t just teach reading skills—we turn kids into enthusiastic readers with the lifelong habit of reading for pleasure.

Give your child a big head start on the next school year with our convenient and affordable programs.

Our programs feature live instruction from a knowledgeable, encouraging teacher and lots of opportunities to build new skills. Between classes, interactive online lessons reinforce and enrich what students have learned.

Early Fall Session

Available After-School or Weekends Starting in October.

Winter Session

After-School or Weekend Classes Enroll Now for January & February

Academically Endorsed Online Reading Programs

As leaders in online instruction for kids, we’re proud to offer programs with university partners nationwide.

Time-Tested Reading Skills Programs from Experts in Online Instruction