Reading Together, While Apart

Cheryl Beaudoin
January 17, 2022
an online screen shows a few pages of a book along with video shots of a grandmother and a grandson each reading the book from different places

Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him.  —Maya Angelou

Having come from the world of education, I know it is important is to read to young children.  Reading opens the imagination and creates conversation and connections. It is a favorite joy for many grandparents to have their grandchild on their lap and read a great picture book together! 

During the pandemic I haven’t been able to be with my grandchildren as much as I would like, but I still want to be able to read with them. So awhile back I did some research on reading apps that let you share a book remotely: I looked at both Readeo and Caribu.  Both focus on grandparents staying in touch with their grandchildren.

Caribu has features both for reading and playing games with your grandchildren. While playing games together may be a nice fit for some, my main focus was to provide a positive and interactive reading experience with my grandchildren. Readeo is focused on virtual story time and works great for us. 

With Readeo you can see the book pages on-screen and share the screen with your grandchild, and you can also see each other (sort of like FaceTime) while you are reading to them.  You can choose from more than 1,000 books and can use a PC, laptop, tablet, or mobile device. As you are reading together you can “book chat” and talk about what they are noticing: the pictures on the page, how the characters are feeling, or anything else.  That can provide rich conversation as you move through the book together.

Another great feature is the ability to create a library for each grandchild, which is very helpful when you have grands of different ages and interests.  They can also help build their own library, which is helpful when you are choosing books with them in real time.

There is a monthly fee, but you can start with a free trial to make sure it works for you and your grands.

I have read to my grandchildren with Readeo many times now and, for the most part, it has been a positive experience. Each of my 3-year-old grandchildren have asked to “read with Gigi”! 

Do you like to read to your grandchildren? Have you found any apps or other creative ways to do so during COVID? Do you have any great books to recommend—please share!

Please send me your questions, thoughts, and ideas through the comment box below or by email to gpdiscoveries@gmail.com. And, please subscribe to the blog! That way you'll get a notification of new posts, and I'll know that somebody is reading these! You can subscribe here.

 

 

 

Cheryl and two of her granddaughters
Cheryl Beaudoin

Hi, I’m Cheryl: grandmother, retired Kindergarten teacher, longtime friend (and current Board member) of the Discovery Museum—and now, blogger!  As a grandparent, I try to apply what I learned as a teacher about children and their development to strengthen my relationships with my grandchildren and bring them joy. My hope for this blog is to engage with other grandparents in the Museum community to collect and share stories and ideas about the joys—and challenges—of grandparenting, and how we can connect and deepen our relationships with our grandchildren. Please join me in this wonderful journey we are on—I look forward to hearing from you! Use the comment box at the bottom of any blog post or email me at gpdiscoveries@gmail.com.

Comments

What can we discover together about the wonderful journey that is grandparenting? I will bring to our conversation what I learned as a Kindergarten teacher—and what I am learning as a grandmother of four!—and will "ask the experts" for perspective on subjects we have questions about. Let's engage to share stories, insights, and ideas about the joys—and challenges—of grandparenting, and how we can connect and deepen our relationships with our grandchildren and bring them joy.

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Subscribe to the blog at the link below to be sure to receive updates. And please comment, share your stories and ideas—including how Discovery Museum can best support you and your grandchildren,—and ask questions through the comment box at the end of each post or via email to gpdiscoveries@gmail.com.  I look forward to connecting and learning about our grands together!  —Cheryl