In the company of book lovers, the topic of print v. e-book often solicits strong emotion on each side. Most classical educators are not proponents of electronic media – especially in the grammar stage. They asset that children should be engaged in reading books and putting pen to paper.
I admit that I am torn on this topic. I love the ease of carrying around a whole library of books inside my iPad mini. I love the use of the Kindle app for homeschool. I can purchase a single copy of a book and then send it to everyone’s iPad mini. It is economical because we are essentially getting 2-3 books for the price of one. At the same time, there is still something wonderful and magical about the printed word and the smell that floats up with the turn of a page. I don’t want my children to miss that sensory experience.
We also cannot deny that fact that kids just take in information differently than we do. They are excited to practice math facts for long periods of time if they come in the form of blasting asteroids, healing zombies, or solving puzzles. My kids also read like fiends when you give them books on the iPad. I think it is because they become more focused on the story and are not distracted or intimidated by the number of pages left to go. They just read. While they agree that print books are far better reference books, they both prefer e-books for literature and free reading. I can’t seem to keep Brilliant B stocked in Kindle reading material, and I don’t see a single negative about that (other than potentially to my wallet)! An added bonus is that she actually looks up vocabulary words because she only has to highlight the word to get the definition.
Do you use an e-reader? Do you let your kids read electronic books? If so, do you notice any difference in how they read?