Reading Apps for Difficult Readers - Reading Tutor vs. Reading Software for Friends - Help struggling readers with AI! - Science reading center (2023)

TABLE OF CONTENTS1:The importance of practice (and strategic practice) for struggling readers.2:IN A HURRY? Issues with Readers apps side by side.3.Struggling Readers Overview #1 (Readability Tutor)4.Struggling Readers Overview #2 (Reading Buddy Software)

*Affiliate Disclosure: Some links may direct you to Amazon. As an Amazon Associate, I earn money on qualifying purchases. Also, some of the other links may be affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission if you choose to purchase from them, at no additional cost. Thanks to this, the information on the website is free and available to everyone.

IMPORTANT UPDATE 2023: We have been informed that one of the applications mentioned in this article (Reading Buddy Software) no longer exists! Yet another app mentioned in this article (reading teacher) is still 100% functional.

Introduction: The importance of 'strategic' practice for struggling readers

If you have difficulties reading at home, surely the idea of ​​looking for a reading tutor has crossed your mind.

This is one of the most common recommendations from reading professionals and experts: Find a reading tutor, someone with experience who regularly (preferably every day for at least half an hour) you will sit down with your child to guide them, choose the right books, correct mistakes, and record their progress.

Andpractice is really crucial for all childrenon the road to learning to read, in the case of astruggling reader…Practice needs to be taken to the next level!They need MUCH more!

But in addition to a lot of exercises, struggling readers also need what I would callstrategic practice.

What do I mean by "strategic" practice?

I mean someone who understands the REAL needs of the child and considers the following...

  • How much time does a child need to exercise each day?
  • What books should I read? (suitable for your reading level)
  • How is your reading fluency? (ie how fast is the decoder?)
  • What is he fighting with?
  • What mistakes does the child make?
  • Do you understand what you are reading?

It's sad, but so many families can't afford a tutor...

Tutors can be very expensive ($25 to $80 per hour).

So ultimately, the readers who have a hard time accessing this kind of help are those from families who can afford it.

What happens to families who cannot afford tutoring?

(Video) 4 Steps to Read Difficult Texts Faster (Academic Speed Reading Comprehension)

All the responsibility falls in the hands of the parents.

Do not misunderstand! I believe that we as parents need to play an active role in supporting our children on their journey to learning to read. This is crucial if we want to raise successful readers!

But me too now, when sometimes reality sinks...

It's not just about the time aspect (Even busy parents find time when it comes to supporting their children!)... It's a challenge dealing with your own struggling son...

These children are so afraid to read that things do not end well for their parents: sweat, tears, even screaming...

you get the picture!

Parents often lack knowledge on this topic as well. Just because you know how to read doesn't mean you know how to teach reading...Chances are you don't remember how you learned to read!

Again, this is even more difficult for readers with reading difficulties because things don't seem to come naturally to them when it comes to reading.

Applications for Weak Readers based on Artificial Intelligence!

Bottom line: if you have difficulty reading at home,Artificial intelligence can help!

I recently discovered 2 amazing apps/software that use the power of Artificial Intelligence to become reading teachers for children... And their potential blew my mind!

Although these are paid apps, you pay a fraction of what you would pay for a tutor.

Apart from,both currently offer FREE trials(7-day and 30-day free trial, respectively).

If you're struggling with reading or just a kid who needs more reading practice, we recommend checking out these apps...

(Video) 5 Tips to Help Struggling Readers // Help Struggling Readers at Home or in School

App name:readability teacherReading Buddy (Update: NO LONGER EXISTS!!!)
Available for:Android e iOSFor computer use only. For both Mac and Windows.
Free Trial:YEAH! (7 days)YEAH! (30 day trial period). Use coupon code "COVID19" at checkout to take advantage of the free trial.
Cena:$19.99/mo. Cancel at any time.$79/mo. Cancel at any time.
Expected period for improvement:It doesn't say specifically.3 months.
The app in a nutshell:Interactive reading. Your child is corrected when he makes a mistake. Comprehension questions at the end (the child asks open-ended questions and answers in his own words). Parent zone with detailed reports. Room for customization and flexibility (decide the number of minutes per day, choose from a large library of books, set reminders).Interactive reading. The child is warned first when he makes a mistake and is corrected only when he does not do it right. The sessions are more structured and follow a 7-step practice protocol (repeated reading, word mastery, and comprehension questions). Detailed reports.
Where:Readability: Get a free 7-day trial todayWe have been informed that this company is no longer operational.

Reading Apps for Difficult Readers - Reading Tutor vs. Reading Software for Friends - Help struggling readers with AI! - Science reading center (1)Reading Apps for Difficult Readers - Reading Tutor vs. Reading Software for Friends - Help struggling readers with AI! - Science reading center (2)

Readability Teacher:

readability teacheruses artificial intelligence and advanced speech recognition technologyspot the words your child is reading. If they are wrong thencorrect your child's mistakes, in the same way that you would read with your own child. At the end of the book, your child also askscomprehension of questions

The app asks these questions orally and your child also answers them orally. I repeat:Your child orally answers the questions in their own words.

Sorry, I just wanted to point this out because what I've generally seen with comprehension questions and technology is that they force kids to choose the correct answer from a multiple choice test.

Readability Tutor - Get a FREE 7 day trial!

So asking a child to use their own words is quite unusual.

It's really like someone asking you open ended questions and forcing you to think critically.

Here's a note though: I've noticed occasional glitches with this feature. I've contacted the company and they tell me they're aware of this and are working hard to perfect the system and their super advanced technology (it's supposedly called "Interactive Voice-Based Questions and Answers (IVQA™)" and they're the first in the industry to use it). In fairness to them, I have noticed that it has improved from them.

Another great feature of this app is that if your child doesn't knowthe meaning of the wordyou can press any word while reading to find outpronunciation, aremeaningand add it to yoursvocabulary list.

You can create up to 3 profiles. You provide details about your child's age and reading level andthe app does a pretty good job of creating a set of books for your child that are appropriate for their level.

This is really important. I already told you about it on the blog! For beginning readers and those who have trouble reading, you should be very careful to choose books that are appropriate for your level.

Reading Apps for Difficult Readers - Reading Tutor vs. Reading Software for Friends - Help struggling readers with AI! - Science reading center (3)
Readability Tutor - Get a FREE 7 day trial!

Once your child selects a book they want to read from their personalized book library and starts reading aloud...

Well, this is where the app starts to work its magic, correcting your baby as needed and helping them along the way.

(Video) What to do BEFORE you teach sight words #shorts

When setting up these profiles, you are also asked what is realthe number of minutes you want your child to read every day or every other day or just on weekdays...It really depends on you.

Also,you can set a reminder at a specific time so you don't forget.

As a parent, you can access the ikeep track of how your child is doing. Get reports on: How accurate was your reading? How many minutes a day/week did you spend reading? How fast was he reading? What is able to complete the comprehension questions?

However, I wish the app would also tell me what specific mistakes my son made, and I didn't find that... I also gave my feedback to the company behind the app! Let's hope they keep it in mind!

Reading Apps for Difficult Readers - Reading Tutor vs. Reading Software for Friends - Help struggling readers with AI! - Science reading center (4)

But overall... You get very useful information and a very complete report of your child's progress that can really help you know if your child is going in the right direction in reading.

Readability Tutor - Get a FREE 7 day trial!

Of course, if you want to support and read with your child on your own, I do not suggest that you assign this app to read with your child all the time.

Especially if you are confident in what you are doing – definitely read with your child!

But sometimes life gets busy... You have a million things to do, plus kids, and in the end you only have a few minutes left a day.

So, as we've already learned, especially with a troublesome child who needs someone by their side all the time… why limit their reading time?

This app is available for both Android and iOS.However, it is not available for use on computers.

Price-wise, the app at the time I'm doing this review offers a 7-day free trial and then costs $19.99/mo.


(Video) How to Teach a Structured Literacy Lesson

Name:readability teacher
Available:Android and iOS tablets/phones
Cena:$19.99/mo. Cancel at any time.
Free Trial:SO
Readability Tutor - Get a 7 day FREE trial here!

Readability Tutor - Get a FREE trial!

a reading buddy

UPDATE 2023: We have been informed that this company no longer exists!

The idea behind Reading Buddy is exactly the same: use AI for interactive reading between Reading Buddy and your child.

Once again, the software supports your child along the way by correcting their mistakes, helping them get stuck, and telling them how to pronounce words correctly when they run into difficulties.

So, since the idea is the same, I'll just describe the differences:

  • The first big difference is that Reading Buddy cannot be used on an iPad or phone (at least not yet!).Must be used on a computer (Mac or Windows)using one of the following browsers: Chrome, Firefox or Microsoft Edge. So, strictly speaking, it's not an app.
  • They also recommenduse headphones for optimal experience. The headphones they propose are Logitech's h390 (around $30). Headphones can be purchased here(Amazon – affiliate link):Logitech New Logitech H390 USB Headset with Noise Canceling Microphone Bulk Pack, 5.8 oz
  • Instead of the software telling your child the correct word while they struggle with the word, it triggers a visual cue to encourage self-correction.If additional help is needed, the word is read aloud to the child and the child is expected to pronounce it correctly before continuing.
  • Softwarerecords your child's weaknessesand build on thempersonalized reading suggestionsto keep practicing (until both fluency and comprehension improve).
  • Aa more structured approach: 400 reading sessions (approximately 20-40 minutes each) divided into 4 reading levels for grades 1-8. This differs from the Readability Tutor: With the Readability Tutor, you decide the duration of the session (you can choose just 10 minutes a day or a maximum of 1 hour at any time!). There is also no limit to the number of reading lessons you can take. Its growing library allows you to use the app for as long as you want.
  • much attention toRepeated readings... Repeated reading produces excellent results with students, increasing their fluency.Readable Buddy takes this approach and places it at the heart of its software.In many reading sessions, the student will practice repeated reading passages until they are mastered.
  • Although there are still doubts of understanding,it is not an interactive system of open questions (as in Readability Tutor).
  • System of incentives of points and personalized prizes.Rewards and incentives are set and controlled by parents.
  • Custom dictionary for kids, but also one-click access to synonyms, Spanish translations, Wikipedia and photos.
  • It also offers comprehensive reports with important statistics to track your child's reading progress, such as: time spent, word accuracy, comprehension, and pass/fail.

WE HAVE INFORMED THAT THIS READ PURCHASE IS NO LONGER WORKING, even though their website is still up and running.

Name:a reading buddy
Available:Computer (Mac and Windows)
Cena:$79.99/mo. No blocked contracts. Cancel at any time.
Free Trial:YEAH. First 30 days free. Remember to use coupon code "COVID19" at checkout!


Both the Readability Tutor and the Reading Buddy are very important options for struggling readers. Both programs are powerful and use the power of AI to create interactive reading experiences. This experience can really feel like your child is being guided through a reading session by the teacher (within a computer, tablet, or phone).

Ultimately, when trying to decide between the two, it all comes down to personal preference and which approach you think will be best for your child.

For a more structured approach (based on repeated reading) or if you prefer to have your child complete the sessions on the computer, use the Reading Buddy software.

For a more flexible approach (you decide the length of the session, your child chooses his own from the library of books) or if you prefer your child to have sessions on a tablet/phone, selectreadability teacher.

And if you're still not sure, you can always use their FREE trials, see what works best for you, then stick with that app and cancel the other one.

Readability Tutor - Get a FREE trial!

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What is the best online reading program for struggling readers? ›

Reading Eggs is independently proven to help struggling readers overcome difficulties in a short period of time. Used by over 20 million children worldwide, the online reading program is fun, self‑paced, and highly motivating for ages 2 to 13.

Is there an app to improve reading skills? ›

Reading Eggs

Availability: ​Available in the Google Play Store and Apple App Store. Reading Eggs uses fun games and activities to teach your child phonics and sight words. They can learn the basics, or jump into higher levels to improve their growing reading skills.

Is there a app for people who can't read? ›

Readability is a great app to help with reading skills overall for struggling readers. The app essentially works like a private tutor for your child and reads with them using A.I. and speech-recognition technology. Merriam-Webster is a dictionary app that can help your child build vocabulary and learn more sight words.

How much does readability tutor cost? ›

Your card will not be charged during this free trial period. After this free trial period is over, Readability will cost $19.99 per month.

What is the best intervention for struggling readers? ›

10 Strategies for fluency
  • Record students reading aloud on their own. ...
  • Ask kids to use a ruler or finger to follow along. ...
  • Have them read the same thing several times. ...
  • Pre-teach vocabulary. ...
  • Drill sight words. ...
  • Make use of a variety of books and materials. ...
  • Try different font and text sizes. ...
  • Create a stress free environment.

What is the best approach for struggling readers? ›

Shared reading is a great method for boosting the confidence of struggling readers. As the teacher activates knowledge, the readers are beginning to identify potential vocabulary that may be used in the text. Students can join in when they are ready to participate.

Is there a app to help adults learn to read? ›

Learning Upgrade is a fun and engaging digital solution to help adult learners build reading, English, math, digital literacy, work, and life skills. Learning Upgrade enables adult learners to study anywhere using smartphones or computers. Learners quickly gain confidence and reach their goals.

Is there an app that teaches you how do you read? ›

Best for Basics Reading Raven

This app-only program puts the focus on not only learning to read, but also on learning to love reading. The interactive app Reading Raven is designed not just to teach the basics, but to also help kids ages 3 to 7 get a strong start with reading.

Why can't some people read? ›

Dyslexia is one type of reading disorder. It generally refers to difficulties reading individual words and can lead to problems understanding text. Most reading disorders result from specific differences in the way the brain processes written words and text. Usually, these differences are present from a young age.

How much is Bartleby tutor? ›

Bartleby is a subscription service that offers textbooks and experts to help with homework questions for $9.99 a month.

Is a private language tutor worth it? ›

Is Language Tutoring Right for You? Language tutoring, quite simply, is the best way to get well-organized, highly-targeted language practice with a native speaker. With a paid language tutor, you can dictate what you learn, how you will learn it, and when and how you will receive feedback on your performance.

How long should tutoring sessions be? ›

Most tutoring sessions are from 45 minutes to 120 minutes or less. It's the responsibility of tutors to manage session time. All students are different, so are their learning styles. Some lose interest or focus if the session is too long.

What is the best reading program for children with learning disabilities? ›

Learning Ally is one of the most popular and effective reading programs designed specifically for students with dyslexia. The program has been around for about 70 years and continues to be a top-rated program that helps students with learning to read.

What are the three types of struggling readers? ›

Researchers have identified three kinds of developmental reading disabilities that often overlap but that can be separate and distinct: (1) phonological deficit, (2) processing speed/orthographic processing deficit, and (3) comprehension deficit.

How do you encourage struggling readers to read? ›

5 Tips to Help and Encourage Struggling Readers
  1. Integrate a variety of texts into your guided reading program. ...
  2. Promote literacy outside the classroom. ...
  3. Find out what other teachers and experts are doing. ...
  4. Embrace graphic novels. ...
  5. Give students what they want.

What is the website that helps kids read? ›

FunBrain. FunBrain, an easy to use educational website, doesn't just provide kids with reading support—it also has a plethora of activities to boost their social studies, history, spelling, science, and math skills. It's a great way for kids to practice reading for subjects outside of English and Language Arts.


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