Wednesday, September 4, 2013

I HEART...Reading Rainbow

Everybody loves Wednesday, right?
The week's half over.  The weekend is on the way.
What's not to love?
Each Wednesday, I want to share something with you
that I absolutely love and can't live without! 

(I have not been paid for my recommendation below.
I was just a mama on a mission who ended up finding a great resource!) 
Reading seems to be the heart of a good homeschool.  Right?  I mean - that's what I've been told.  Homeschoolers love to read!  Well - what do you do when you have a kid who's not so crazy about reading?  Case in point -Brack.  He's a more-than-capable reader.  I know - I have him read aloud to me on a regular basis.  He stayed a little more motivated last year due to Accelerated Reader.  (He's always up for a little friendly competition!)  He's more than happy to snuggle up and be read to.  But he doesn't like to read. 
In order to have time to teach grammar and math individually, I needed to structure our day where they have a few independent activities while I work with the other child.  Brack was supposed to be reading independently for about 30 minutes each day while Jewell and I worked on grammar.  After about five minutes of "looking" at a book, he'd announce he was done!  After just one week, I knew we had to find a solution. 
He had asked me early on if we could watch Reading Rainbow each day while we ate lunch.  A quick satellite search quickly nipped that in the bud.  It's not on any more!  I hopped on-line to see if I could find some used DVD's and discovered that, like many other things, Reading Rainbow had adapted to the tech era!  I downloaded the free app to my iPad, and then paid a mere $30 for a year of unlimited access to thousands of books!  And that covers multiple kids in a family.  (OK - I must admit I initially winced at the $30 subscription rate.  Homeschool curriculum is not cheap - especially for a junkie like me - and I had already spent, well, too much this year!  But we had a problem and I needed to fix it!)
It's very simple to set up.  Just register your child(ren) by answering a few questions about age, sex and reading interest.  Then choose a back pack!  (As you can see, Brack's into dinosaurs right now.)  Your preferences can be updated at any time.

Visit the different interest "islands" to choose books you want to read and download them to your backpack.  When you're done reading, drag them down to the book return slot and turn them back in!  (BTW - it's amazing how much that avatar actually looks like my little buddy!)
Books can be read by the child, or they can be read to your child.  Right now, Brack is being read to.  But that's ok!  He's in second grade, and hopefully, this program will help to create a life-long love of reading.

As he completes each book, he gets a virtual sticker on his island.  (For some reason this tickles him, while he used to run screaming from the Wal-Mart greeter when said 75 year old grandma tried to give him a smiley face sticker.  Go figure.)

And the best part (from a mommy POV) is that I can check his progress.  It tells me exactly how much time he has spent reading.  Sneaky, huh?
Actually, the best part may be that he's reading each day and not complaining about it.  And he walks around for the next couple of hours singing "I can go ANYWHERE..."  (Bet you find yourself humming that the rest of the day, too.  Sorry!)


1 comment:

  1. What is the level/range of the books available on the Reading Rainbow app? $30 a year is probably cheaper than my late fees at the library!!!