Books are important in our family! We have a pretty nice home library of physical books, and we borrow two or three dozen more from our public library every week. Seven-year-old Johnny is reading plenty well for chapter books, but he has mostly stuck to short books that he can read in one sitting, because he worries about losing his spot when he is partway through his book. When we were offered the chance to try out Amazon’s entry-level Kindle*, together with a FreeTime Unlimited subscription, I knew I had found a way Johnny would enjoy reading!
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Encouraging Literacy with the Amazon Kindle
The Kindle we were sent is priced at $79 – the cost of a few paperback books. FreeTime Unlimited subscriptions start at $2.99 per month. With a FreeTime Unlimited subscription, kids get access to all sorts of books for free, including many character-themed books like the ones featured in the photo above that my kids like to read but that I am not likely to invest in for our home library. FreeTime Unlimited also includes access to the entire Harry Potter series, Mary Norton’s The Borrowers, and several Newberry Medal and Honor winning books.
Using FreeTime Unlimited* also allows kids to set reading goals and track their progress. This is great if your school has a reading program, or if your local library has a summer reading program!
The touch screen makes this Kindle really easy to use, and Johnny really enjoys being able to look up the definitions of words he doesn’t know (this is a Kindle feature I have also used.) Since Johnny is an early reader, it would be nice if the definitions included a phonetic pronunciation guide – maybe Amazon will eventually add this? I also wanted a way to add specific Freetime Unlimited books to my kids’ profiles through my desktop computer, but it seems that this can only be done through the actual Kindle. I wish there were a section kids could click on with “books recommended by mom/dad/your teacher”, for example, that parents and teachers could easily add to through Amazon’s website. Maybe in a future version of Freetime Unlimited?
I made a short video of Johnny and then Emma reading a Curious George story out loud together on the Kindle – they definitely enjoy reading together this way!
Do your kids read on a Kindle? Do you? Here are some of my top tips for raising readers. What are yours? I have featured some great literacy activities to try with your kids below!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.