The last year and a half has felt like a whirlwind. With school closing, opening, closing, and hybrid, it has seemed to simultaneously take forever and go by in an instant. Now that summer is here, I want to make sure that my kids have plenty of reading resources. This year more than ever, I do not want to see the summer slide!
One thing (among many) that was difficult over the past year was the lack of consistent access to physical reading materials. My kids really depend on the school and public library to satiate their reading habits and it has been only recently that these have become available once again.
I needed to investigate other avenues to access books. I found some amazing reading resources for home learning that have become invaluable even with the opening of libraries. We made sure to include many free and low-cost options.
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Free Reading Resources
This is a great resource for children who are just learning how to read. It concentrated on sounds and phonics to break down reading into smaller more manageable material
While this is not a site where your child can read, it is a fabulous place where celebrities read stories. Any exposure to language is a great thing. These stories will keep your kids entertained in such a fun and meaningful way.
Epic is a site that has a huge library of books that ranges from 5 and under to 12. You can sign up and get a free trial for 30 days.
This site has great reading resources for children Kindergarten age through grade 3. There are cute games that kids really enjoy and it is phonics-based.
I have been using this a lot with my kids. They find the stories and information interesting. They did a really good job of making learning fun and interactive with activities to go along with the reading.
This free library site allows your child to read books in many languages. The books are on the site in the original language of publication.
While the local library branches are now open, the digital platforms are open 24/7. There are a ton of books available on kindle as well as audiobooks that are great for kids. Our local library is even extending the number of loans that each library card can borrow. You can use Overdrive or Libby to listen to audiobooks.
Hoopla is an app that allows you to borrow books through your local library. The difference between this and the library account is that there are no holds or waitlists. If the book is available, you can borrow it. They are also having additional borrows each month as well as a ton of books that are “bonus” books. Meaning, they do not count toward your monthly total.
Libro.fm has introduced a fabulous new audiobook program for kids. Each month, a select number of children’s books are available from their kids club for less than $10 – most are around $5. I absolutely love this idea. It’s a great way to build your audiobook library at an incredibly discounted price.
for voracious readers, we recommend amazon’s Kids + app (Formerly Amazon Unlimited). Each of Kirsten’s kids has a Kid’s Kindle Fire (see her full review here) and 2 years later, they still love them. The kids have access to THOUSANDS of books for the yearly price of $19.99. If you chose to get them a kid’s kindle, the first year is free. There are also lots of educational apps included in the price
Recently, our favorite independent children’s book store created a personalized book box. All I can say is wow! It is so simple and they do all the work and I have to say that every single pick was SPOT ON. I filled out a form to indicate what type of books my kids like to read, the last book they read and what kind of reader they are. Within 48 hours, I received a list of 10 book recommendations.
My middle son does not like to read very much and only reads books about sports or graphic novels. The recommendations for him were fabulous. They contained an element of sport but were not all books about sports which was such a relief for me. For my older son, who reads a few hundred books a year, they were able to recommend a number of books that he had never heard of and was anxious to get started with.
I cannot say enough good things. It is so important, if you are able, to support the local bookstores. They provide knowledge and expertise and that is unparalleled. Make sure you mention on your form that Beyond the Bookends sent you.