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Kids and Reading

by Jeannie Ruesch 27 December 2010 4 Comments

This Christmas, my son got a pretty darn good selection of toys, including a terrific train set that he loves.   In the few days past Christmas, however, I’ve noticed that one other of his new acquisitions, the v.Tech Ereader, is getting a lot of his attention as well.   I consider it a win if they get equal billing.

Especially after viewing this video:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sv4Hpz-GI3g[/youtube]

(in case the link doesn’t work, click here.)

Yes, his outrage was amusing, but as a writer and a parent, I cringed at the idea that a child would think books were “Poo” for any reason.  So when my son repeatedly picks up his ereader, just like Mama, and spends a good twenty minutes each time reading it, playing with it, and wanting to open another book to read on it, I’m happy.

I read some time ago that a large influence of what makes children want to read isn’t so much the reading we do with them (though it’s important), but it’s also their observations of how much we read and how much we enjoy reading.   My son sees a book or my Kindle in my hands whenever I can carve out a few minutes — and many times, he’s enjoyed sitting next to me and waiting for me to tell him “next” so he can click the “next” button on the Kindle.  He has liked being a part of an experience he can tell I enjoy.  And it’s definitely a natural sight for him.

For children being raised on computers, phones, video games and everything electronic, an ereader is a perfect blend of building both worlds.   I’m a big believer in getting him to love reading no matter how it happens.  If that means getting him animated books, or standing on my head and reciting The Little Engine That Could, I’m happy to do so.  He loves visiting the Disney or PBS websites where he can view animated stories of his favorite characters.

The v.Tech eReader is a terrific little device.  It gives him an animated book that highlights words as they are read to him.  There are reading games that relate to word choices, grammar and more.  And it’s something he can “do himself” which is very big in his world these days.

We still read good, old-fashioned books — almost every night, in fact.  I love that time with him. I love hearing him sound out words.  And I love when he brings a book to me and asks me to read it to him.  It’s music to my ears.

So when the eReader he got for Christmas gets equal playtime as the cool train set, I consider it a great cap on the year.  What about the younguns in your life? Are you seeing any of them migrate toward computer or digital books? Are they readers?

And since next Monday will be into the 2011 year, I’ll take a moment to wish you all a very Happy New Year holiday.  I can’t thank you enough for being a part of our community.  The community among writers is one of the reasons I love being one.

4 Comments »

  • Laurie Ryan said:

    Very cool, Jeannie. I, too, love to hear children enjoying books. My son in law, from the time his daughters (all three of them) were born, has read to them most every night. I have fond memories of them as babies, laying on his stomach looking at books as he read them. And so far, the two that are learning to read, are loving it.

    Happy New Year to you and your family, as well. Enjoy the new digs!

  • Lavada Dee said:

    Another payoff is when our adult daughter is my reading buddy. We exchange books back and forth, and discuss them. No little ones close to watch right now so we have to be content with wonderful memories. Enjoy while you build them.

    I agree being a part of a writing community is a bonus for being an author. I’m happy for you that you got settled so you could fully enjoy the Christmas season.

  • JK Coi said:

    That’s wonderful for your son. My son got 3 or 4 books for Christmas too, and was thrilled with each one of them, for which I am so very happy.

    And Happy New Year!!

  • Stacey Joy Netzel said:

    Very cool, Jeannie. My 9yr old is in love with the Guardian’s of Ga’Hoole books and after having already read the first 3 of the series, she got the other 12 for Christmas. Her excitement was the opposite of “Poo Boy.” She also got the Chronicals of Narnia boxed set and was equally excited. My 7yr old loves reading and so does my 17yr old. No ereaders for them yet, but my 17yr old did get an iPod for Christmas and I think he’ll start reading ebooks on there. And I may give him my ‘old’ Nook soon and upgrade myself to the Nook Color. :) Like Lavada, we occasionally trade books and it’s fun to talk about them.

    Hands down, I’d buy my kids an ereader anyday over an X-box. My two younger ones go on my computer to play games, but it’s at Multiplication.com, not just nonsense games. And we don’t have any other video game systems for them to play. Which means they do read a lot more and do MANY other creative things including play outside a lot–even in the winter.

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