Choosing Online Libraries & Apps
Wow, what a month March has turned out to be.
My heart goes out to all those affected by the CoronaVirus and I thought one thing I can do to help right now is to offer families an online resource list of the best online libraries and apps approved by a credentialed teacher.
I curated this list based online libraries that offer free ebooks or eReaders that families can access from home. These sites have the highest quality books and most of them offer plenty of free reading resources. Bookmark this post for easy reference when you are ready to add to your reading list.
This post is not sponsored in ant way by any company.
Here are our best picks for online libraries in order of preference:
- Your local Library (may) have an online site. Start local online to check out ebooks.
- International Children’s Digital Library This fabulous resource caters to children of all ages and offers great options for diversity.
- Raz-Kids is a personalized online digital library for school age kids from Kindergarten to 5th or 6th grade (depending on your child’s reading level). Kids get their own leveled library and when they have read through them (and pass short comprehension quizzes) they “level up” and get a whole new library. This company always offers a 90 day free trial. I have paid for their service and highly recommend it. For preschoolers or TK sign up for a Headsprout account.
- EPIC! This has an excellent variety of picture books and caters to kids 12 and under.
- Bookshare is an online library for people with reading barriers like Dyslexia, Blindness, Cerebral Palsy, etc.. (Free for school or child use. Adults pay $1 per month.)
- Internet Archive– is just like it sounds but so much more. This amazing resource has millions of free books, movies, music, software and more.
- Project Gutenberg– This is more for adults and high school aged kids but it’s still a really great site with over 60,000 free titles.
- Storytime Online– ok… technically this is not an online library. It’s a compilation of famous actors reading popular picture books to animated pages. Its a great resource if you have young kids or if you need a break from reading. (I use this when I lose my voice.)
- Library of Congress this is a compilation of more classical books.
- Oxford Owl is a UK based online library site that is free for homeschoolers.
BEST Reading Apps:
Online Reading Apps are another great way to get quality reading time. Here are my picks for the highest quality apps out there!
- Read Ask Chat– this is HANDS DOWN the BEST app for early readers. The content is based more for preschoolers, however the format is PERFECT for K-1 comprehension! Kindergarteners should be reading, parents ask questions and then they chat about the book they are reading (as they read it). This app is free for all until June 2020.
- Vooks– is a high quality compilation of texts (famous children’s books) with animated read alouds (that children can read along to). This app offers no adds or “in-app” purchases and is offering your first year for free!
- Let’s Read WOW, this is such a clever idea for the modern family who wants to be able to read to their children. I had to watch the video to fully understand what this app does. Parents, grandparents & caregivers can pre-record reading of a digital book that is stored in the library. So when it’s daddy’s turn for story time but he has a trip, he can still tuck them in with a bedtime story!
- Skybrary This is a fee based app that offers online books and video adventures.
- Smart Kids Club This is a fee based app is ad free and offers online resources. I have linked some free resources for you.
- Amazon (Kindle) – offers a huge selection of ebooks and on my account my first download was free.
- Google Books– another, very large, selection of ebooks mostly for purchase.
- Farfaria– this subscription based online library offers a free trial and contains over 1,000 ebook titles.
One way to help keep things calm at home is to establish a reading routine.
You can read in the morning, at bed time or anytime in between. Kids do best when there is consistent reinforcement and whether you have a extensive home collection of books or you’re looking to try new online ways to read I hope you are able to find some comfort snuggling up to a good ebook with the kids!
With love from our home to yours,