How Do Institute of Reading Development Programs Compare to Other Educational Services?

As a parent, you know when your child needs extra help in reading. You see it in struggles with homework, less-than-stellar report cards, and a reluctance to read outside of school. But what to do about your child’s struggles is often less clear. There are lots of educational services out there, ranging from organizations that offer tutoring, small classes, or afterschool homework help. How do you choose the one that best fits your needs, as well as your pocketbook?

The Institute of Reading Development stands out in several ways, with instruction that is effective, engaging, and affordable. Read on to find out about how we turn struggling readers into kids who love books.

A Teacher Who Specializes in Reading Development

Any educational service is only as good as its teachers. Every teacher at the Institute goes through a highly selective hiring process—we hire 3% of all applicants—and a rigorous training program. All of our teachers are skilled, knowledgeable, and know firsthand the joys of reading. They don’t just teach reading skills, they inspire kids to love reading.

Unlike services whose teachers are asked to teach a broad range of subjects, our teachers specialize in reading instruction. They work with students of all ages, from pre-K to high-schoolers, so they have a real understanding of reading development and know what kids need, whether they’re struggling readers or strong ones who need extra challenge. Compare this to some services that ask their teachers to teach a broad range of subjects, or don’t even require a college degree.

Carefully Selected Great Books

The key to turning kids into skilled, enthusiastic readers is to make sure they have access to great books at the right level of difficulty. Since 1970, the Institute has been choosing books that kids love and succeed with, from Easy Readers for beginning readers to outstanding children’s novels for older students. All of the books in our programs are theirs to keep.

Unlike many other services, we give every student the experience of reading books in their entirety, from cover to cover. The value of doing this is immense. Kids learn to track plot, character, and theme, and connect each book to their own lives. Most importantly, they have the powerful experience of getting completely absorbed in a book. They come away not just with stronger reading skills but with a real sense of accomplishment and the motivation to keep on reading.

Engaging Classes

The Institute is a leader in online education – we’ve taught live online programs to over 100,000 kids of all ages and receive overwhelmingly positive feedback from parents and students. Led by expert teachers who know how to get every child involved, our classes teach students core reading skills and give them the opportunity to talk about books with other kids their age.

These guided discussions are a unique feature of the Institute’s programs. Students not only build comprehension, they deepen their connection to books, explore ideas that are meaningful to them, and flex their critical thinking skills. Most of our students say that these discussions are the highlight of the program.

Proven Curriculum

The Institute of Reading Development has spent more than 50 years developing effective curriculum for all core reading skills as well as writing. What sets our program apart is our integrated approach—we pair in-class instruction and discussion with interactive online lessons that keep kids learning and engaged between classes. All of our lesson plans and online curriculum are research-based and tested in the field, so parents have confidence that their kids are getting what they need.

Low Commitment and Cost

The educational services sector is a multi-billion dollar industry – and it’s little wonder, with the high costs of some services! After an expensive initial consult, many educational services require you to sign up for at least three months of tutoring. This can very quickly add up to thousands of dollars.

The Institute, by contrast, offers instruction for under $50 a week. This includes weekly classes, interactive online skills lessons, books, individual support from a teacher, and access to our on-demand reading and homework helpline. At end of each six-week program, parents get a progress report with recommendations for what to do moving forward. We offer programs year-round, but do not require any commitment upfront. Because this is such a great value, though, many parents choose to save big by signing up for multiple programs year after year, allowing their kids to grow up with Institute support.

Get the skills, books, and reading experiences your child really needs for less than $50/week.

Our Mission

Perhaps what distinguishes the Institute of Reading Development most is our core mission. While many other organizations help students with reading skills, we take it one important step further. We turn kids into strong, enthusiastic readers with the habit of reading for pleasure. This is something that has an impact on a student not only for a school year but for an entire lifetime.

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

More on How Our Programs Compare to Your Other Options:

Institute Programs vs. Private Tutors

Institute Programs vs. Online Apps and Tools

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