Ebooks vs. Real Books
What’s the difference? More importantly, does it matter?
I believe so. Screen time, even spent reading books, has drawbacks. I know from experience that my daughter tends to be very interested in pressing buttons and turning pages, and it takes away from the quality of our reading time and her understanding of the story. Many ebooks also include games and interactive material within the story. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but again it takes away from reading time and turns it into an entirely different experience.
What about the types of books parents read? We all want to set a good example for our children. A wonderful way to get them excited about reading books is to read them ourselves. If our little ones see us reading for enjoyment, they’ll want to do the same. So what if you’re reading ebooks? Well, all your children are seeing is screen time. You know you’re reading and not surfing the web, but they don’t. And even if they do, they’re not making that connection deep down. They still see Mommy glued to her iPad, just like they see when you’re shopping online, using Facebook, and anything else you do on your tablet or phone.
If you want to set the example of reading for enjoyment for your kids, you need to pick up a real book. There’s really no other way around it, y’all. Don’t get me wrong, I love my iPad just as much as the next person, and Reagan and I both have an extensive selection of ebooks, but I really keep those for times when we’re on the go, or to read in bed so I don’t have to worry about a book light. Our children are so impressionable at young ages and the messages we send them without saying a word are the ones that really stick.
With all that being said, there are ways to get better quality time out of ebook reading.
When you sit down and read the books together rather than let the voice in the app do it for you, you’re engaging in the story with your child and emphasizing the exciting parts of the story and creating a much better learning experience than if they sit down with the tablet by themselves.
Involve your child in the story by asking questions and talking it out. When you make them think about what you’re reading, you know the story is coming alive for them and not going in one ear and out the other! This is also great bonding time and teaches you SO MUCH about how your child thinks!
Stick to the story.
Yes, the games and noises are fun, but they take your mind off the story. When you’re reading, focus on just that. Those buttons and games aren’t going anywhere and you can come back to them after you’ve learned what the story is all about. And when you do, you can still play along with your child and ask more questions to stay involved.
How do you engage your children in learning experiences using technology? Are you a huge ebook fan or do you prefer traditional books? Comment so we can discuss it!
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