Wonder in the Woods

Living and Learning in the Pacific Northwest

Reading A-Z

How about some homeschooling posts? ha!  This year we discovered Reading A-Z books.  I bought the one year subscription so we can download or print as many books as we want.  These are high interest stories that are perfect for our boys.  I cannot tell you how hard it is to find interesting books, or a series of books, for early readers at the library.  Many of them are about school, which gives our boys a distorted view of school, or they are too babyish and simple, or silly gross.

Reading A-Z is different.  It is a leveled reading program.  They are not as rich and lovely as classic books, but our boys need books they can READ without struggling over every other word.  These books go to a 5th grade reading level.  Once they finish the last Level Z book, they will be able to read most children’s chapter books.   Both boys are making good progress with their reading skills.  I’m so impressed with this school year!  At this time last year I was fretting about Hunter learning to read well. He’s reading well now!

I suspect that Hunter will always prefer to read books on the iPad and this is why:


When you view books from the Reading A-Z website using Safari on the iPad, it gives you the option to read the .pdf file in iBooks.  It’s a wonderful discovery for us. The books easily load to iBooks PDF shelf.  I can load up many books from their reading levels and each boy can choose which ones to read each day.


We can also print out the books on our black and white printer, but Hunter prefers to see the color photos which can easily be enlarged with a swipe of the fingers. The photos are high-resolution, even when enlarged on the screen.


Hunter can read this book without difficulty and only needs help with a few words.


This is the default view of the pages for the “single-sided book,” which is also how this book prints on an 8.5 x 11 paper.


Hunter likes to enlarge the text to make it easier to read.


If he gets stuck on a word, he can press and hold the word until these options come up.


If he touches “define,” this window pops up and shows him the syllables and pronunciation.  Breaking it up into syllables is helpful!  He rarely needs my help with words now.  I like the Search Web and Search Wikipedia features too.

2 comments on “Reading A-Z

  1. Only Small Things
    April 9, 2013

    Isn’t it funny how kids are either totally plugged-in learners or totally offline learners. I don’t think Benjamin enjoys doing much online — right now we have Reading Horizons’ Discovery online and although they offer an entire library of virtual books, he still prefers ‘real’ ones.

    I wonder why people (not just kids) prefer one or the other? I’m so happy to see Hunter enjoying reading! 🙂

  2. Wonder in the Woods
    April 9, 2013

    Maybe it is tactile? H likes quick info and the ability to enlarge text, etc. If you are a tactile learner maybe this person likes the feel and smell of books? H is more auditory and visual. I like real books better too, and I also like to knit and the feel of the yarn, etc. I would say I’m visual and tactile. Not auditory at all. Tell me something like directions or a detailed description of something and I have trouble following unless it’s in story or conversational form.

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This entry was posted on April 9, 2013 by in Books, Learning, Reading Instruction.



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