For Christmas we go the girls a Kindle Fire. Kadyn has started asking for bigger kid stuff and, of course, ipads, ipods, and a computer is on that list. I One of the biggest reasons I allowed for this purchase was that it fulfilled a need. My girl is expected by her teacher to read each night for 20 minutes. She is way above grade level and it's hard to keep her stocked with new reading material. I don't have time to take her to the local library and they don't have books hard enough for her at her school (or so she says). She reads things too fast, so buying new books would be ridiculously expensive.
We have subscribed to a service that allows Kadyn to read as many new materials at her level as she likes. It's a virtual library. Perfect fit for our busy lives. No worries of getting to the library or returning books. The best part is, this service allows us to put limits on the use of the kindle. I can limit how long she reads, how long she plays games, etc. She basically needs a password to do anything on that thing. The password is secret to her so I have to type in the password, this allows me to be in the know of what she is about to do on the device. We also have it set up so she can't access the web on it.
Then I thought of yet another way to use it that is genius! Every week Kadyn has a list of spelling words to work on. This has always been a pain to fit into my schedule. After work, keeping up with the house, making meals, cleaning up meals, making lunch for the next day, and making sure kids take baths and get their homework done, teeth brushed, and off to bed on time makes for busy weeknights. Sitting down and reading Kadyn her words felt so time consuming so I got into the habit of trying to read her her words while getting something else done at the same time, which usually resulted in hearing a lot of "Mom. MOM!!! I'm ready for the next word!!!" In addition, she always seemed to have a foul attitude about studying her words.
SO I solved the problem with the kindle. Now I record myself reading her words. When it's time for her to study she can push play, hear the word, push pause, write the word, push play again and hear the correct spelling of the word to check her work. It's perfect! She seems to enjoy doing them this way much better. She doesn't have to wait on me to read her the words. She can go at her own pace, and because she loves being on that Kindle so much, her attitude about studying them has gotten better. Shew! Problem solved.
This summer I am thinking about enforcing quiet time for each of the girls. Brennan takes naps at preschool, but that's because she gets up at 6. In the summers when we sleep in each day, naps aren't necessary. So I'm thinking of sending them to different rooms for 30 minutes for a little quiet time away from everyone else. That way we all get a little break from each other. The kindle sure will come in handy on those times.
Needless to say, the kindle fire was a great purchase for our family. I'm glad I took the plunge and got them one.