Reading to your children is an important developmental milestone and it is crucial to develop reading habits from an early age. As a child matures, their reading habits tend to change drastically, becoming less receptive to the phonetic structure. This results in poor reading fluency, phonemic awareness, and a highly-developed understanding of word meaning. A parent must therefore encourage and teach their child the basics of reading, especially phonemic awareness and the importance of building a wider vocabulary.
Many parent educators believe that introducing a new media (art, film, and video) into the reading routine will help to create a deeper engagement with the material. In fact, recent studies have shown that introducing these new media to children at a young age can promote advanced reading skills and increased vocabulary. Conversely, studies of preschoolers have demonstrated that highly-flexible readers do not prefer the new media. Interestingly, preschoolers who are more flexible read stories, no matter what the content, and are capable of distinguishing between different images, words, and sounds. Thus, they take in more information and retain the information for longer periods of time.
Although you may not think that a new multimedia platform would help your child with their reading problem, research indicates that it can be beneficial. For instance, one study demonstrated that children who are introduced to visually-appealing pictures are able to recognize and remember more words than those who were presented with purely text-based content. Likewise, another study showed that the auditory cortex (the part of the brain responsible for sound perception) is activated by images that are visually appealing. Thus, it stands to reason that we can make reading more enjoyable and effective through the incorporation of new media, such as illustrated, printed kids’ books. However, when we begin to introduce these materials in our daily reading routine, we need to be very careful to establish appropriate levels of exposure so that our young children do not develop inappropriate reading habits.
One example would be to let your young son or daughter go to the bathroom while you are reading. While this might seem like a strange suggestion, studies have shown that this is an excellent way for a child to get his or her required number of bathroom breaks. Because you are searching for a word that he or she has not yet learned, he or she may take several minutes to find the correct word. This extra time could be spent enjoying an activity he or she would not normally enjoy.
Another way to use a kid’s book app on your child’s iPhone is to turn your iPhone into a book reader. You can do this easily using an app called Babble. You simply purchase the app and add the book you want to read to your phone’s book reader list. When you’re reading, you can rotate pages using your finger or a small tap on the screen. If you want to read the full book, you can swipe left or right. Your kids will love the interactive experience that this type of app provides them.
The key to using an iPhone app for reading with your kids is to create some space in your schedule for reading. Keep it out of their way so they don’t feel pressured to do homework or watch television. You can also set aside a certain time each day that you want them to learn a new skill. After they master one you can teach them another.