Learning to read using technology

Boys reading a book

Boys reading a bookTeaching your child to read is most likely one of the hardest things I have done with my kids – but among the most rewarding.  Reading opens up a whole world for kids.  I remember when I was young, I struggled to learn to read, but using a variety of strategies I worked to learn.

Teaching my now first grader to read, is different.  There are apps to use versus physical workbooks.  We also have leveled early readers and go to the library often to pick up new books.  I remember going to the library when I was little and I always loved to pick out new books.

Independent reading is made more fun with Bluebee Pals.  My son enjoys sitting with Sammy the Bear and reading different books – and even sometimes just looking at the photos and trying to figure out what the story might say.  We have read a variety of different books including Poky the Little Puppy and reading along.  He often hugs Sammy and reads to him.  I asked him why he liked reading with Sammy – he said Sammy helps him to learn.    He uses Sammy to help him “tap” out his letters using Fundations which help him determine if he has a “just right book”

Reading apps for kids include

Reading EggsReading Egg – this app by Blake eLearning includes a test at the beginning so that you can determine your child’s reading level.  Through interactive games you practice sight words, digital story books, learning lessons including rhyming and interactive reading.  My son loves working for the Golden Eggs and pairs his iPad with his Bluebee Pal so the two of them can work on reading together!

Epic appEpic is a reading app that includes 40K books from 250 platforms.  You can choose books that are read aloud or your child can read by themselves.  The app includes picture books, different types of books including some of my son’s favorites community helpers like police and learning videos as well!

This post has also been posted on Bluebee Pals where I guest post on occasion.

Digital Media Screentime and Children

Digital Media Screentime and Kids

 

As a parent, one of the many questions I think about is the impact of screen time and kids.  For a child aged 2 – 5 years, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no more than 1 hour per day of high quality programs.  I struggle with this because we use learning apps like Reading Eggs, ABC Mouse and educational alternatives – how does this factor in.

As a previous blogger and app reviewer at The iMums – there are no easy answers.  For me, we choose high quality media while watching television such as PBS Kids and while using a tablet, we try to monitor usage while educating like Reading Egg and ABC Mouse.  These apps teach educational things like sight words, ABCs, early math, history, science and reading.

It’s important as parents to set limits for our kids and for ourselves. Knowing when enough is enough is important.  Setting a digital family diet will help to reinforce those limits and it may vary from family to family.