Have you struggled to teach your child to read? Here are 5 outstanding online programs from Homeschool Buyers Co-op. (This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for details. Additionally, this post was sponsored by Homeschool Buyers Co-op. All opinions are my own.)
During undergrad I worked at an elementary school’s after care program. I helped the first and second graders with homework, hung out with them on the playground, and generally entertained them until their parents arrived. The playground and silly shenanigans I could handle.
Explaining how to count money or recognize letters and sounds drove me out of my mind. My adult brain couldn’t understand why something so easy to me was impossible to my little charges. I much preferred working with tweens and teens who not only had a grasp of the basics, but could explore and discuss the finer nuances of academia.
I was pretty much an educational snob.
Because I tracked into secondary education with a professional focus on high school English, my distaste for teaching little ones didn’t impact me after graduation. It didn’t even factor into my decision to homeschool, as my oldest child learn to read on her own without any prompting to me.
But my second daughter is a first grader who struggles with reading. We’ve tried curriculum after curriculum, workbook after workbook, and have been at the low progress, high frustration stage for sometime now. We’ve both been feeling pretty defeated.
Fortunately, I’ve discovered some outstanding online programs designed to teach your child to read.
Better yet, I found them at a steal – courtesy of Homeschool Buyers Co-op.
If you haven’t heard of Homeschool Buyers Co-op, you’re missing out. It’s an online buyers’ club that harnesses the power of group purchasing, bringing its members savings of up to 93% off top quality Language Arts programs. Their award-winning selection includes curricula for reading, writing, phonics, grammar, and spelling, all at a price most homeschool families can reasonably afford.
When B and I reached our most recent impasse, I took to the Co-op to see what they offered. Here are five of the top-notch programs I discovered, along with a quick rundown of what they do, how much they cost, and where to find them online.
Teach Your Child to Read: 5 Outstanding Online Programs
Explode the Code Online (Grades K-4)
We’ve been using Explode the Code for about two years, and we like it. B is incredibly strong-willed, though, and doesn’t like me to help her with her book work. Thank God for Explode the Code’s online version. The visual and auditory cues provide B with the help she needs, and she doesn’t resist it because it’s coming from me.
While I love that B can work independently with this program, there’s a whole lot more I love about Explode the Code Online.
- The program is individualized. Kids can work only on those areas where they need help.
- The program is intelligent. It tracks student progress, identifies areas of need, and shifts instruction accordingly.
- The program is comprehensive. You’ll find all the material from books 1-8 in one convenient place.
- The program is user friendly. It breaks down your child’s progress report into subsets, from skill set to response time, and more.
Interested in Explode the Code Online for your own homeschool?
Retail price: $65 Co-op price: $35
Reading Eggs (Grades K-3)
We discovered Reading Eggs through my toddler. Truthfully, we discovered Eggsperts first, which is a television show based on this excellent phonics program. Both B and her brother picked up a few phonics rules and sounds from the seven minute snippets, and I nearly fell out of my chair when I realized their favorite show was a spinoff of a well-respected language arts curriculum.
The premise behind Reading Eggs is genius:
- Animated games and lessons hold a child’s attention
- Repeated concepts and skills encourage long term memory
- Level-appropriate online books foster reading confidence
- Golden egg rewards build motivation
- A parent dashboard account tracks student progress
Both B and her brother (the toddler) love the games and activities; I love that they can use the program together. Reading Eggs is an engaging package for the emerging reader, and I encourage to check it out for yourself.
Retail Price: $59 Group Price: $44.25
myON crossed my radar about two years ago when a friend of mine couldn’t stop raving about the reading program his children’s school was using. He described it as a personalized library, complete with an advanced AI: the computer continually tracked and assessed his children’s reading progress, then suggested appropriate books.
I’ll be honest. The phrase AI makes me nervous. But the more I looked into the program’s offerings, the more enamored I became with the idea. My girls could read quality books from well-respected school publishers (like Capstone Publishing, Compass Point, Stone Arch Books, Picture Window Books and Heinemann-Raintree), and the program would grow and change with them. I fell in love – until I discovered it was only available to school districts.
Homeschool Buyers Co-op came to my rescue. Available to homeschoolers exclusively through the Co-op, a year-long subscription to myON provides homeschool families the ultimate virtual library for a fraction of the regular price.
With the myON Personalized Literacy Program, you’ll get:
- a collection of over 4,000 titles in a variety of digital book formats
- a personalized reading experience
- a set of scaffolding tools (narration, highlighting, and an embedded dictionary) which can be toggled on and off
- a suite of mobile apps for offline accessibility
Itching to check out myON?
Retail Price: (NA, as it’s not available for the general public) Group Price: $39.95
Oh, Reading Rainbow. How I loved you and your catchy theme song. It brings me great joy to know that not only is one of my favorite childhood pastimes available for my own children, but it’s now more interactive and exciting than ever.
Reading Rainbow Skybrary has put a major shot in the arm of its 1980s predecessor. With this award-winning, supplemental reading service from Levar Burton and company, children can experience the excitement of reading through video field trips and age-appropriate lesson plans.
With a one year subscription to Reading Rainbow Skybrary, your child will develop:
- Better reading fluency
- Improved critical thinking skills
- Increased comprehension of written material
- Improved short and long term memory
- Advanced grammar, vocabulary, and
While I may love Reading Rainbow Skybrary for the nostalgia, I think it’s a fantastic supplemental tool for teaching your child to read.
Eager to give it a try?
Retail Price: $170 Group Price: $39.95
I’m going to take this one straight from the source, because I think the Homeschool Buyer’s Co-op description says it so well:
MVRC is a comprehensive, online reading program that covers virtually all aspects of reading, including phonics, phonemic awareness, vocabulary, grammar & meaning, fluency, and comprehension.
That’s a pretty tall order, but MindPlay Virtual Reading Coach delivers.
With MindPlay Virtual Reading Coach, children develop reading skills under the guidance of speech pathologists and expert teachers. The program continually assesses and evaluates a child’s reading skills, highlighting strengths and targeting areas for growth.
What makes MVRC unique, though, is the emphasis on individual instruction. Video lessons with a virtual reading coach move children through benchmarks at a comfortable, self-monitored speed. In this way, MVRC is perfect for both struggling and accelerated readers alike: each child can advance at the appropriate speed, minimizing boredom and frustration.
This program is on my wish list for sure, as I think B would really benefit from the individualized instruction. Have I piqued your interest in MindPlay Virtual Reading Coach?
Retail Price: $299 Group Price: $199
Moms, you don’t have to struggle to teach your child to read. I know it isn’t easy, especially if you have a low threshold for frustration (like I do), and a strong-willed child (like my kiddo is). I love that I can turn to Homeschool Buyers Co-op for top-quality, award-winning reading programs that won’t cost me an arm and a leg. Hopefully you’ll find them helpful, too; please let me know if you give one a try!