Friday, April 26, 2013

Kindle Free Time App Boosts My Kids' Reading Scores

Holiday Drama

A little over four months ago, it was the holiday season and time was running out for me to decide on an ereader/tablet for my daughters. When all of a sudden... BOOM! Amazon blew me away in an email announcing the Kindle Free Time Unlimited app for all Kindle Fire ereaders --with one month to try it out for free. That was it. Game, set, match. I purchased the two ereaders for about $130 a piece by waiting for sales and then plugged them up to try out the Kindle Free time app. From the moment I turned it on I knew my children were in for a treat.

The Details

Using this app, which starts at $6.99 per month for 1 child and tops out at $9.99 per month for up to 6 kids, children have unlimited access to tons of books, games, educational apps, movies and TV shows. All content is screened for children ages 3 to 8 years old and contains titles from Disney, PBS, Nickoloden and Sesame St. to name a few. Best feature of all? Parents control the amount of screen time children are allowed to have each day. Via my one amazon account, I can easily turn things on or off at will. I later found that I could aslo place other apps and books I'd bought or downloaded from the public library within the Kindle Free time app so all my children's usage of their ereaders could be monitored. Ahhh. What a relief!

Exceeding Expectations

My 6 year old got his Kindle Fire for his birthday just, 3 months before Christmas. So thanks to him I knew what the ereader could do. But once he had access to all those books, he became even more excited about reading. I'm convinced that by using the apps which allows books to be read to the child, as well as the text to speech reading function, my son jumped 3 levels in reading skills and has already met the end of the year requirement! This in turn fueled our trips to the library for more printed books. Now he's reading chapter books like the Lego Ninjago series and Junie B. Jones. Both girls are avid readers on and off their Kindles. I especially love that they practice spelling, math, and read about science on a whim thanks to quick access through their ereaders. My oldest child is 9 and she finds plenty of good chapter books and math apps within the Kindle free time app. Amazon continues to improve on the offerings and they are updated often. Together the kids and I explore new things as they pop up. I am so glad I gave this app a try. The return on investment has been huge. Have you tried Kindle Fire or another ereader for your children? I'd love to hear your comments.