Are You Struggling to Help Your Child Master Phonics?
If you're like most of my readers, it's hard to find time in your day to help your child learn to read, or read better. The problem that most parents are facing, is that a majority of schools expect children to waltz into kindergarten, already reading on a basic level! This would be great, but not totally realistic for most kids.
I have spent countless hours researching and trying out different reading programs, in order to find the best online phonics reading programs that will help your kiddos learn to read faster and more effectively. For those of you who need help due to time constraints or something else, I would love to share!
Please Be Patient and Experiment...
As I tested these programs out, I found that some of them worked well, but others, not as well. Not all of these programs will make your child a successful reader all at once. All kids have different learning styles. What works with one child may not work with another. You just have to experiment.
However, by using many of these programs, my pre-k and kindergarteners made leaps and bounds as they learned to read phonetically. My older kiddos also improved their reading, writing, and spelling skills dramatically, and increased their reading Lexile levels at school! What a win-win situation:)
I think that some kids just seem to learn more and better when they are using technology. I believe this is due to the way our society is wired. Kids are taught to use technology in school from an early age.
The programs that I am going to share with you are geared for children, ages 2-12, and in my opinion... are some of the best online phonics reading programs available today! This doesn't mean there aren't other programs out there. This is solely based on my experiences with my tutoring kiddos. So...let's get started!
I would like to be open and transparent with you, as parents and caregivers. When you buy something from the websites listed on my site, I may receive an affiliate commission. I never recommend poor quality products, or create false reviews to make sales. The opinions I express are not representative of the companies that create these products. It is my intention to explain products in such a way that you can make informed decisions on which ones best suit your needs.
In another post, I wrote about this terrific phonetically based online program. The ABCmouse.com curriculum is geared for kids, ages 2-8, and basically begins with teaching the letters of the alphabet, and the sound that each letter makes.
ABCmouse.com is a 10 level course, with almost 900 lessons that will not only teach your child to read, but keep them engaged for hours on end! As your child shows mastery of one skill, he/she will then be guided to the next lesson. It's much like being in the classroom. However, the teaching is done with online lessons and activities.
In addition to teaching both upper and lowercase letters/sounds, this reading/language arts program also incorporates word families, rhyming words, and writing skills, such as sentence structure, and parts of speech.
Once your child has mastered phonics, the ABCmouse.com program has close to 500 books for your child to read, starting with beginning readers. This is one of the best online phonics based reading programs available, in my opinion!
The price for this particular program is around $12.99 a month, and for a limited time, parents and caregivers are allowed to try it out for free! If you're interested in trying it out, simply click on the words below, or go to ABCmouse.com.
In addition to the ABCmouse.com phonetics reading program, they have also partnered with Reading IQ, which is a wonderfully huge digital library for kids, ages 12 and below.
In the Reading IQ program, there are well over 7,000 digital books with the different Lexile levels that will match your child with books that are appropriate for them based on their reading levels. These books are leveled, beginning with picture books, and simple to read stories for kids, ages 2-5.
From there, they offer a wide assortment of early chapter books, fiction and non-fiction books, and many Caldecott and Newbery Award winners!
Availability and Pricing
Reading IQ is available for desktops, tablets, and smart phones. The current price is $7.99 a month, and they are giving parents and caregivers the first month free! In addition you can have up to 3 kids on one account. If you're interested in gaining access to Reading IQ, please click on the banner below, or simply visit readingiq.com.
Reading Bear is a free online phonics/vocabulary program for kids, ages 4-7. Kids can access Reading Bear on computers, laptops, and iPads. However, in order for this program to be effective, your child needs to know the letters of the alphabet, and the sound that each one makes.
This program introduces different presentations, beginning with word families. Each presentation is about 15 minutes long, and presents each phonetic word in seven different ways by:
- Sounding out the word slowly
- Sounding out the word quickly
- Letting the child sound out the word
- Audio Flashcards with pictures
- Silent Flashcards with pictures
- Audio Sentences- Shows the sentence with the phonetic word, and reads to the child.
- Silent Sentences- This is where the child reads the sentence that contains the phonetic word.
At the end of every five lessons, your child has the chance to take a quiz to see how well they have mastered the words. Eventually, your child will learn digraphs, blends, and so much more. This is a good program, but I recommend that it be used in conjunction with another phonics program.
Pricing and Site Info.
As stated before, Reading Bear is a completely free online reading program! If you're interested, please visit readingbear.org..
This is a terrific online phonics program for kids, ages 2-13. Reading Eggs is a comprehensive reading program that will guide your kids from learning letters/sounds, through the entire phonics process!
I love this program because it was created by an extremely experienced group of elementary school teachers, as well as proficient writers and technology developers, in order to give children an easy to follow, self paced reading experience.
The 5 Essential Keys to the Reading Eggs Program's Success
This program works off of 5 basic reading principles:
- Phonemic Awareness
- Reading Comprehension
Each lesson uses fun animated characters, songs, and rewards to keep kids motivated to progress to the next level. In addition, parents can have multiple kids on one account, and track their progress with detailed progress reports, as well as being able to utilize hundreds of activity sheets, corresponding to the lessons, that can be downloaded to reinforce the skills learned.
Appropriate Age Skill Levels
Reading Eggs comes in 4 different age level stages:
Reading Eggs Jr. is for kiddos, ages 2-4.
At this "First Steps" stage, letters/sounds are introduced, as well as a host of other activities that children will need to know before kindergarten. Kids will participate in activities related to colors, same/different, counting, matching games, and more!
Reading Eggs "Ready for School" is for kids, ages 5-7.
This level has self paced phonics lessons, and incorporates sight words and a myriad of other phonetic skill that will help kids become more proficient and successful at reading.
Reading Eggs "Practice Makes Perfect" is for children, ages 6-7.
This level incorporates spelling, vocabulary, and comprehension in such a fun way that will keep kids engaged for hours. This is where kids can put what they've learned into practice, as they begin reading fluently.
Reading Eggspress "Reading for Meaning" is for kids, ages 7-13.
This is the final level where kids continue with structured comprehension lessons, games, and an online library!
By the time children are at this level, they should be proficient in reading using phonics, and reading fluently. Reading Eggs also offers, Mathseeds, a unique way to teach the basic concepts of math in such an easy format that kids shouldn't have any trouble using. They also offer workbooks that are easy to use, and very informative.
Reading Eggs is offering a free 4 week trial offer to see if this would be the appropriate program for your child/children!
After this, they offer 3 different pricing plans to choose from:
1.) Monthly-$9.95 This includes access to each of the 4 levels of Reading Eggs for as many as 4 children, as well as Mathseeds.
2.) 12 Month Subscription- $69.99 This includes access to all of the 4 levels of Reading Eggs for up to 3 children, as well as Mathseeds. This is probably the best value. This totals about $5.83 a month.
3.) All Access Family Plan- $89.00 Included in this plan are all the levels of Reading Eggs for 2-4 kids, as well as Mathseeds. This comes out to $7.41 a month. If you're interested in giving Reading Eggs a try, simply click the banner below, or go to Readingeggs.com
Hooked on Phonics
In another post, I give a detailed description about the Hooked on Phonics Learn to Read program. I hope you'll take time to read it. This wonderfully based phonics program has been around for a while now!
The philosophy behind this program is really very simple:
Hooked on Phonics begins with emergent readers, and carries kids on until the completion of 2nd grade. As a child shows mastery on a certain level, they can then progress to a more difficult stage.
This program teaches the letters/sounds of the alphabet, rhyming words, and progresses to word families, digraphs, phonetic blends, and so much more.
I love this program because it has been around for so long, and is well trusted with parents and caregivers, who just want to get their kids up and reading successfully.
Please be sure to check out my post about the Hooked on Phonics Learn to Read program. This is definitely one easy way to teach your child to read with phonics, with very little effort on your part!
Pricing for Hooked on Phonics varies from store to store. Below, I've listed some places that you can find it, along with the current prices. Please remember that pricing may vary, according to the date you purchase.
I am affiliated with Hooked on Phonics, as well as Christianbook.com.. If you're interested in checking out their huge selection of the Hooked on Phonics Learn to Read Programs on one of these sites, simply click the banners below.
I hope the information I've provided will help you find the right online program to help get your kiddos up and reading! If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will get back with you as soon as possible.
I wish for your child the very best, as he/she continues down this pathway of learning:) And as always...Happy reading to you and your child!
24 Replies to “Best Online Phonics Reading Programs for Kids”
I moved to London when my son was going into reception and I got a shock how the school expected him to be on such a high level. I think the UK is the only country like that, most start school later.
Thanks for the phonic recommendations, my kids will love them. Learning from fun and interactive ways tend to teach them much quicker.
Hi Hollie:) Thanks so much for stopping by! It’s amazing how hard the schools are pushing kids in this day and time. You’re not alone in the UK. I live in America, and it’s pretty much the same thing here, as well. In a way, that’s a blessing, in that kids have the opportunity to learn so much more than ever before:) (As long as we don’t stress them out, that is!) This is where being a great reader helps! Best wishes to your son, as he continues down the pathway of literacy…
Hello, great article.
I have a child of 9 that could read very early. The books you mention are great books he liked to read.
Between 6 and 8 he has read a lot of Geronimo Silton books. It’s a series of a hundred different books with cartoons. The Horrid Henry series are also great.
Reading every day to a young child in the early years enhances indeed comprehension. After three children I can definitely confirm what you describe perfectly in your post.
It’s good to have people like you writing about the importance of reading books. Cannot stress this enough.
Awww, thank you so much for your nice comment! I definitely agree with you that parents need to be reading to their children every day when they’re young. It makes it that much easier for kids to learn how to read later on. Thank you, again, for your insightful comment! I appreciate you stopping by…
P.S. I am familiar with the Geronimo Stilton books! They have wonderful plots in each book! Thanks for mentioning them!
I have to admit, I didn’t bother to finish reading the article once I got to the ABCmouse. The video on it that you provided was really insightful, as well as all the extra info you shared. I will check out your post on it as well as the free version for even more insights. However, I’m pretty sure that this might be the one. And as far as I can tell, my daughter should absolutely love it.
Overall, I really like the idea of combining what modern technologies offer with how we teach our children. Furthermore, what I love best about the ABCmouse is that I feel it truly fosters curiosity. And many people much smarter than me have talked and written much about the importance of cultivating curiosity in our children.
Thank you!!!!!!!!!! There are no words in the English language to properly express my gratitude for the piece of content you created!
Cheers, and have a Great One!
Thank you, Matiss, for your inspirational comment! I hope that ABCmouse is the right online educational program for your daughter:). It’s a wonderful program that takes each child and moves them through the compete reading process! Children seem to really enjoy it, and I know that it works. Best wishes to your daughter as she continues down the pathway of learning!
Hey, Suzi! I just wanted to let you know that I really enjoyed this article. It truly seems that you have invested a lot of time into researching this and thus, I do feel a sense of trust for your opinion completely. In that regard, to me, the ABCmouse one seemed like the best by far. And I will have to look more into it.
Truth be told I never considered that we should get something like this for our child but my husband was really hyped and forwarded the article to me. He’s a pretty smart and well-read guy. And I do see where he’s coming from and why this in his mind is so incredibly important. It’s all about the curiosity and fostering it as he put it. To him, it’s one of the best qualities anyone can have. And thus, every single one of us (not only our children) should seek that in their life. It will make for a happier and more successful one. 🙂
Again, Suzi, thank you! God bless,
And Take Care!
Hi Rasa:) Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts about ABCmouse! It really is an amazing reading program that children seem to enjoy:) I truly wish all the best for your child as she continues to read, explore, and enjoy reading!
P.S. If you ever need any educational help, please let me know:) I will be more than happy to assist:)
This list of programs for phonics is so detailed, thanks a lot. Most of them aren’t even expensive, especially as some are even free to try for a short while, that’s great. Not to mention that others are really free, like Reading Bear. I have some nephews that are still small, but once they approach reading age I will surely have them check it out, it sounds like a lot of fun.
Thanks for leaving such a sweet comment, Heather:) Actually, you can use programs, such as ABCmouse.com, with even small children. It basically teaches them to read, with very little effort on your part! You might check into getting a short subscription for your nephews to see if they enjoy it!
Best wishes to your “little human” family members, as they embark on this wonderful world of literacy…
Thank you for writing this article. Its amazing how many different reading programs exist for kids today. I personally have an Ipad and I find it much easier to read books that way.
I wish I had an Ipad growing up as a kid. If and when I have kids of my own, ill remember this article and I will definitely look into some of these programs. Thank you so much for this informative article, I will share this with some of my friends who have kids, thanks again.
Hi Johnny:) Thank you for stopping by to read some of my content! I wish that iPads had been invented when I was growing up, as well. I feel like I use technology most of the time! I appreciate your insightful comment…
These programs are pretty reasonably priced. Somehow I thought they would cost a lot more, considering how important they are. You make a great point about how our society is essentially wired to utilize technology for everything, including learning. It’s a tough world out there and kids need all the help they can get. If you can acquire some great programs like these to help them with phonics and other key areas, I think they’ll be better prepared for what lies ahead, both in their education and life in general. Thanks for sharing!
Thank you, Mark, for your insightful comment! You are exactly right, in the fact that if we can utilize online reading programs with kids, their reading will improve. They will be using their much loved technology to learn the basics of phonics! I appreciate you taking the time to stop by and leave a comment:)
My children are three and four with my eldest due to start school in September, do my children need to be computer literate to get the benefits or is it interactive in the sense that I can sit with them while they go through it? Also I’m UK based do you know if any of these programs have a UK version?
Your children do not need to be computer literate to try these programs. These online reading programs will be easy for your kids to use, as they will guide them, step by step! As far as you living in the UK, I know that Reading Eggs and ABCmouse.com accept UK residents. I’m assuming that the other programs will, as well.
I wish all the best for your children as they learn to read!
Hi Suzi! I’m grateful I found your site. Two of these platforms have caught my attention. The first is ABCmouse. It’s a no brainer. I’ll go over to their site and test it for the first month.
And concerning Reading Bear, I didn’t wait until finishing your post. I went over to their site right away. And it’s really fun! Thank you!
Hi Henry:) I’m so glad that you’re going to try out ABCmouse.com and Reading Bear! They’re both wonderful online reading programs that, essentially, guide children through the reading process with very little effort on the part of the parents and caregivers. Best wishes to your children as they continue down this pathway of learning!
I find your article very informative. A couple of my grandkids was held back regarding thier reading. Which made no sense because one of the children won an award for reading so many books.
I have seen the advertising for abc.mouse and hooked on phonics. Children seem to excel on those programs.I am glad to see an article on reading.It seems so many children struggle with reading.
As you have shown technology seems to be beneficial. Online courses are helpful.
Hi Connie:) I’m sorry about your grandchildren being held back. Coming from a former teacher’s perspective, I think the main reason that kids are held back is, in part, due to reading test scores. So, that being said, they can read all the books they want, and still not do well with the comprehension part of the test. Prayerfully, things are going better with them:)
I wish your grandchildren all the best, as they continue to travel down this pathway of literacy!
It is always good to teach the child how to make those sounds from a very tender age and this is where all these come from. I like the fact that you decided not to mention just one of these but quite a couple. In all honesty,this is very good and I am thinking of getting the reading Bear for my niece. She will really enjoy the lessons that you have spoken about in the short review for the programme. The price is not that bad either. Nice work.
Thank you, Henderson, for your insightful comment:) I think your niece will love the Reading Bear program! Wishing her all the best as she continues on the pathway to reading!
Oh my, this is good. Just perfect for my sister. She has been having a couple of issues with reading and I am not going to let this just pass by because it will really help her. You have mentioned a number of platforms that will be very helpful and I am willing to try one out. The fee is not that much for them which is also good. I want to know though, which of these have you tried before because I your review, I notice that they are all very good.
Hi John:) I have actually tried all of these programs due to the fact that I’ve been working with children for the last 32 years! My favorite is definitely ABCmouse.com, simply because it starts your child at the level he/she is at, and then progresses them to the next steps. This program is perfect for extremely busy parents and caregivers who don’t have the extra time to sit and work with their child/children:) I think that in today’s world, programs like ABCmouse.com are definitely a much needed necessity to assist children with learning how to read.
Thank you so much for your comment! I wish all the best for your sister:)