I know. I get it. Me too.
I’d much rather hold the pages of the book, turn each page, and feel the weight of the book in my hands. I’d rather annotate in the sidelines, highlight the way I want, and stick in Post-It notes at my will.
I’ve gotten over it. Here are the top 9 reasons I’m using an e-reader. You and your kiddos should too.
Number One: No more “I forgot the book.”
If you’re using an e-reading app on a phone or device that is already glued to your kiddo’s hands, there is no excuse about forgetting the book.
I can’t tell you how many kiddos have told me they couldn’t read for homework because they forgot the book. Jack left it at school. Jill left it at home and couldn’t read it in class.
More and more school districts support devices and allow cell phones in the classroom, so use it to your advantage. If your kiddo has a book on her phone, iPad, or computer, she can’t forget the book. Face it, you know that phone, tablet, or computer is always by her side.
While I can’t guarantee you some other non-reading excuse won’t pop up, I can’t promise it won’t be “I forgot.”
One excuse gone!
Number Two: You can (still) highlight.
Most e-readers these days allow users to highlight. You can highlight a little bit or a lot. Heck, you can even highlight every word. This may go against your highlighting intuition, but there are reasons your kiddo may want to do this. Many e-readers even provide different colors of highlighters. Imagine a rainbow of words!
With all these colors available, you can highlight for a variety of purposes, not just the typical “I need to remember that.” This is another post for another time, but I’ll get your thinking started. Your kiddos can color code dialogue from each character to to help keep track of who’s talking. (This is a huge comprehension obstacle I’m seeing in kiddos these days.) They can chunk texts by highlighting each idea in a different color. This will help kids monitor their comprehension and make it easier to look back. I could keep going, but I won’t. You’ll have to wait for the official post.
Number Three: You can (still) take notes.
Many e-readers offer the opportunity to take notes on highlighted text. Your kiddos can never again say “My notes are gone” or “All the post-its fell out.” We know things don’t actually often get lost in cyberspace without a push in the right direction.
Two excuses gone.
Number Four: You can communicate with your kiddos through the e-reader
Remember that highlighting and note taking function? Why not leave them notes or questions to think about while they are reading?
Number Five: You can get multiple copies of the book for one price.
You want to read what your kiddos are reading? With e-readers, you don’t have to wait until your kiddo isn’t using the book or buy/borrow a second copy. If your books are stored on a family cloud, you can usually download the same ones to your own device. You only have to pay once to distributed it to multiple shared devices.
Guess what, grown-ups? This scratches out an excuse for you AND your kiddos! No longer can you claim that you can’t get your hands on your kids’ books. Your kiddos can’t use the excuse that they didn’t read because you have the book.
Three excuses gone.
Are you getting the idea yet? Using an e-reader eliminates most of the typical excuses for not reading. Not only for the kids, but for you parents, too.
Number Six: Many e-readers/e-books offer an audio function.
This is not cheating! Repeat. I do not consider this cheating!
I’ll share more on that later, but here’s another teaser for you. Listening to audiobooks can be great for students who struggle with print disabilities. It’s also fabulous for fitting in reading when you don’t have the time or appropriate space to read. You can listen to audiobooks in the car or anywhere else where reading may not be convenient. (I don’t do well with audio, but I’ve taught myself to learn. Reading in the car gives me a case of the queasy stomach. Enter audiobooks to save the day!)
Some audio functions allow you to follow along with the written text while it is reading to you. Sometimes the text is highlighted in sync with the audio function.
Listening to audiobooks is an excellent strategy for practicing fluency. You know how your kiddo stops and starts in awkward places when reading aloud? Or doesn’t quite use the right tone of voice? Often, they don’t get to hear models of fluent and expressive reading. Gone are the days when teachers have plenty of time to read out loud to kids. YOU probably don’t have copious amounts of time to read out loud to your kids.
If you’re uncomfortable about using audiobooks for the initial reading, use it for fluency practice. Your kiddos can listen first and then go back and read. Or kiddos could read first and then go back and listen. Give it a try and tell me how it transforms your child’s reading.
Number Seven: Less clutter!
Unless you’re the type that decorates with books, an e-book shelf will do wonders to open up space in your house.
I’ve cleared out most of our hard copy books with the exception of a few favorites and conversation pieces. Between our ebooks and audiobooks we have 295 titles. 295! Try fitting our 295 books into our slightly-smaller-than average house. (In fact, we want to downsize. But that’s not why you’re reading this!)
Number Eight: You can often find free ebooks.
Your local library often offers ebooks and audiobooks delivered to your device without leaving your home. The books usually return automatically when you’re connected to the internet, so there’s no concern with late fees.
Number Nine: Your kids like to use their devices.
Show your kiddos that their devices aren’t just for games. In the real world, we grown ups depend on our devices. Our whole world falls apart if we forget our phone or computer. We need to start showing our kiddos the real-world way of using our technology. Devices are TOOLS, not something to keep your kids quiet. But there I go again with another post for another time.