There are lots of things we have done over the years to create a love of reading in our children, but I wanted to share an idea you might not have considered before: using a Kindle.
I know. I know. You like the feel of a book in your hands. You like to curl up with a book. You can never imagine wanting to read on a Kindle. I know because I used to make all the same arguments.
Now that I read on my Kindle Paperwhite so often, I have been known to lament having to hold a “paper” book, try to tap on the page of the book to turn the page, and be disappointed that I need a light to read. (By the way, if you’ve ever been awake in the middle of the night with a sick child wanting to watch endless episodes of Thomas the Tank Engine while snuggled on your lap, the ability to hold a Kindle with one hand and away from you with an enlarged font really comes in handy. Just saying.)
Recently, I have come to realize that the Kindle is a really valuable tool for my children as well. Let me share 4 reasons with you why you might want to give a Kindle a chance.
NOTE: I’m talking about the book-reading kind of Kindle like the Kindle or the Kindle Paperwhite (which has a lit screen in a dark room but doesn’t look lit otherwise). I am not talking about a Kindle Fire which is more like a tablet. Some people like to read on a Kindle Fire, but my eyes get tired from a truly lit screen much more easily than with with a regular Kindle.
So, in no particular order here are my reasons you might want to “Kindle” your child’s love of reading:
1. It is a new and interesting way to read a book. If you have a reluctant reader or a child who just doesn’t love to read, having a book on a Kindle allows for them to read in a new way. This might just spark an increased interest in reading. My kids like to read a book occasionally on the Kindle even though they love “paper” books as well.
2. A child will read a book that they wouldn’t otherwise read. Sometimes a book looks too long or has too small of a font. That’s not a problem on the Kindle. In fact, my 7 year old daughter read Little Women, but only because I made the font bigger. A big font means an easier book, right? This might also work well if you have a struggling reader who thinks something looks too young for them. Just make the font smaller!
3. It is easy to look up unfamiliar words. My children were excited to realize that you can just click on an unknown word, and the dictionary will open with its meaning. Sometimes, my children will just gloss over a new word instead of trying to figure out the definition. Since it is so easy to look up words, they are far more likely to do it. Attacking a book with a lot of new vocabulary is wonderful on the Kindle (and sometimes why I like to use it for read-alouds as well).
4. There are lots of options for free or inexpensive books. Our library lets me check out e-books from the comfort of my home. Countless websites share free or discounted Kindle books (www.gospelebooks.net is one of my favorites for Christian books). Amazon has many of the classics for free like The Secret Garden or Treasure Island. Even authors will offer the Kindle-version of e-books for a reduced rate. For instance, I was able to buy all 40 Trailblazer books from Dave and Neta Jackson for only $40.
What do you think? Would a Kindle be a good tool in your family?
If so and you have questions, let me know. You may even want to ask around among family and friends to see if anyone has an original Kindle they do not use anymore. It is easy to register a Kindle to your account.
To take this picture, I opened Black Beauty on the Kindle and handed it to Elijah. I don’t think I’m getting the Kindle back today!
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