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reading unicorn [ˈrē-diŋ  \ ˈyü-nə-ˌkȯrn]

noun – A mythical perfect book at the perfect reading level with the perfect content; often mistaken for flashy covers masquerading as quality; recognizable by producing instantaneous joy on the faces of children.

1. What Is This Reading Unicorn?

In the end, it all comes down to the Reading Unicorn. And chances are your kids haven’t found it in a bookstore.  Or your public library.  She’s an elusive beast, extremely rare and incredibly unique…in fact, she appears differently to every child.  

The search can be difficult, but the key is to not lose hope!  Everyone’s Reading Unicorn will appear if you know where and how to look!

The Challenge of the Hunt

Whether you have voracious readers, I’ll-read-if-I-have-tos, or anti-library picketers, every parent knows the challenge of finding good books for their kids to read.  The dilemma lies in several avenues:

Reading Level – content that is leveled appropriately to both meet the reader on their level and challenge them to improve reading fluency

Content prose, poetry, dialogue, or non-fiction – the content has to be appropriate for the reader’s age, family morals and values, and maturity level

Interest – cover art and content intriguing enough to keep the reader hooked

Accessibility – both locating the book, and the ability to read it well

Hunts used to take place often in libraries across the nation, in both schools and public avenues, but then COVID.  In the age of the pandemic, not many of us are willing to spend extra time in public libraries leisurely browsing the shelves for the Unicorn.

Books are assigned for homeschool as well, but often what is assigned just isn’t your kiddo’s cup of tea, or they choose the easiest thing they can find during trips to the library.  

2. Reading Unicorns on LightSail for Reading at Home

Enter the very real-life land of thousands of Reading Unicorns, just basking in their glory on this online platform waiting to be spotted by the just-right kid they’ve been hoping will read their words – LightSail for Homeschoolers.  Here, there are thousands of free books to read for kids, and many LightSailers have told us they have met multiple Reading Unicorns within the site.

How do they do it?  Let’s go back to the requirements:

Reading Level 

LightSail is powered by Lexile, a proven scientific tool used to measure and forecast reading ability, enabling kids to be matched with books and other content on their just-right reading level.  When you start your 7-Day FREE TRIAL with LightSail for Homeschoolers, kids will be able to take a Power Challenge that will accurately determine their Lexile level.  Knowing their number empowers them with a search tool to look for that Reading Unicorn one step closer.  It’s like a magic wand, except it’s a number based in science and research.


LightSail offers ChildSafe Controls for parents to select down the bones which content they will allow their child to read…or even see…on the digital shelves.  You can align your child’s age and maturity level along with your family’s values with the content found on LightSail, and match it with their Lexile to get one step closer to that Unicorn sighting.


Packed with high-definition graphics and enticing titles, LightSail literally houses shelves of Unicorns just waiting for their perfect match.  Tens of thousands of free books to read online for kids can be discovered here, but that Unicorn may still be elusive.  


And herein lies the magic that brings your child and their Unicorn together…

3. They “LightSail” their books.  

Once they crack that digital cover and open up a book, your child has the ability to personalize EVERYTHING.  From text size, to background color, to page orientation, to audio speed…you can even see the words highlighted one by one or sentence by sentence, a goldmine for early readers, artistic minds, and struggling readers alike!

You don’t get that with the public domain or from an ebook download.

4. How Do I Get This Magic for My Kids?

LightSail for Homeschoolers offers a 7-Day FREE TRIAL right now to begin your search and let your kids read books online free!  No strings attached, and no credit card needed!

It’s an amazing solution for finding high-quality content at that just-right reading level to satisfy both your and your kids’ reading demands.  

Don’t even worry if you’ve tagged your kid as “picky”…LightSail has loads of Reading Unicorns just waiting to meet their kid.  And if the “Unicorn” of it all has you ruffled, there are equally as many “Reading Dragons” out there lying on our digital shelves just waiting to light a fire underneath your readers!

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Posted on 9.Sep.21 in Homeschool Tips



B.S. in Pharmacy RPh - A 17-year homeschool veteran, Kristen has enjoyed teaching her four children in classical and eclectic styles. Kristen loves reading, writing, and volunteering as a reading tutor.
Favorite part of LightSail: Authentic Writing, Fluency
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How many parent accounts are included with a child's license?

Every family account includes two Parent Accounts.

I am part of a homeschool group and we share teaching responsibilities. How can I access those accounts?

LightSail has created a Teacher/Coach role that can connect with multiple accounts. This is available as an add-on purchase. This account acts as additional parent with full teacher control to all connected accounts.

Is your platform only Faith-Based?

LightSail is available for both Faith-Based and Secular families. A parent can choose to allow or hide faith-based content including Unit Studies. LightSail has created hundreds of faith-based Unit Studies, Bookmarks, Quotations, and Memory Modules.

If I want to purchase a book with your Premium Books Shop, do I have to buy a copy for each license I purchased?

No, when you purchase a book using our Premium Books Shop, you only need to purchase one copy for your entire family. Your purchase includes unlimited checkouts.

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At LightSail, a parent’s ability to oversee their child’s online experience and align it with their faith and values is of the utmost importance. To this end, LightSail contains an entire suite of parental control features and never-before-seen ChildSafe Content Controls giving parents ultimate peace of mind.

These content controls contain dozens of nuanced subcategories for potentially objectionable material based on both maturity and religious factors. Then, it shows parents if a book contains a reference to any of those subcategories and allows them to block or allow single titles or entire subcategories for each child individually. Our ChildSafe Content Controls offer unprecedented insight into and control over the content your children consume without the need to read every book in advance.

  • Block or allow individual pieces of content.
  • Block or allow entire subcategories of content.
  • Require a child to request parental approval before opening entire subcategories of content.
  • Block, allow, or require requesting parental approval for all Classics library content.
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We are LightSail for Homeschoolers—a complete language arts platform built on the shoulders of LightSail Education, advancing the literacy skills of K-12 students in public, private, and charter schools since 2012.


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