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.



Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Time Traveling

The windows are wide open and I hear the crickets chirping.  The air is crisp and cool against my skin.  I am transported back to my childhood.  The mornings are foggy and cool and I need a jacket.  I can see myself standing at the bus stop with my yellow and grey backpack on my back, ribbons in my hair, a huge smile on my face.  Autumn is here!

Photo taken from:

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Models Wanted!

Starting a family is a blessed event. But why doesn't anyone level with us about how much hard work is actually involved in raising children? I think they leave it as a niffty suprise for us unsuspecting Pollyannas like me who think it will all be pretty simple. See I thought if my children were well behaved then I should be able to give them instructions and they would follow them. They would listen and just do the right things. But in reality...

Kids need consistency and a model to follow. That's right. Don't just talk the talk, but walk the walk. Because when I think back to most of my lessons as a child, I remember seeing my grandmother do the  action she wanted me to mirror. If she said make up your bed each morning, best believe hers was made up first. I also saw her read her bible and I often heard her pray. So it wasn't foreign to me. When she spoke to people she was kind and respectful so I learned that too. Many of her teachings were embedded in my memory so I could use them when the time came.

No parent can always expect to be a perfect model but if we put some effort into following our own advice, our children will see our good works and want to emulate us. With that in mind, let's take it a step further and copy the Master's lead. In doing so our children learn to be less like their parents and more like God.



Tuesday, March 20, 2012

You Are What You Eat!

It's true and I've finally accepted it. The only way to look and feel better is to fight the cravings and actually eat better. So I turned to Dr. Ian K. Smith's book titled EAT for a little help.  Dr. Smith's book, published in 2011, is packed full of goodies. He tackles nutrition head on and breaks it down in an easy to swallow format.  The book talks in detail about what's in the food our bodies need and has a great section on buying organically grown produce. I couldn't help but notice that this wonderful food has always been a part of God's plan, but maybe I was moving too fast to take advantage of it.

Dr. Smith made me pause to think about what I've actually been consuming.  Then I began to learn what I should eat. So instead of buying tons of fitness gadgets and weight loss shakes, I've started buying more vegetables, whole grains and leaner meats. (I love poultry and fish so this is exciting!) EAT, reminded me that I don't have to stay chained to my bad habits. I can take a progressive step for myself and for my family. I'm learning to make good deciscions whether eating out, in, or just for enjoyment. I encourage you to read this excellent book and say yes to health when you eat!