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child using e-reader on iPad

It is Summer! An extra good time to relax and learn while having a good time…

As a home educator and a mom, I really count on technology to provide my kids with all kinds of resources and activities.

The tech resource getting the most use lately in our homeschool and home is my our iPad.

From using safari for quick research, to watching documentaries, to reviewing apps with whiteboards and algebra, my teens get a lot out of the iPad. My youngest really likes the iPad most for watching shows and playing games. I am okay with that, but I try to find at least educational games and things for her on there.

A new e-reading platform launched by Ruckus Media Group called the Ruckus Reader turned our iPad into a fun e-Reader for my baby!

The Ruckus Reader IS the main technology. Within that, there are loads of digital storybooks you can download for your children. Right now, I think there are about 30 titles that work with this format. The titles range from the storybooks to interactive readers (iReaders and eReaders) that have both the story and then games and maybe video as well, and also some of my favorites — the video books, great stories narrated by celebrities.

The titles are basically for kids 3 to 8. You will see old favorites like My Little Pony, Curious George, Crayola. Many publishers are working with Ruckus Reader, so there are many ebooks so far, and more are being added all the time. I just got a notice to go update and get a new ebook that was just added, in fact.

I like that there is a real variety of fiction and non-fiction, and the videos and such. My daughter is already a good reader, so I am not using the app to teach reading so much, but for the younger children, many of the titles are designed to build upon each other and help children learn to read, while the included games actually measure the child’s progress.

You can download Ruckus Reader titles individually, but it is great to download the whole library! The price is very reasonable at $24.99 for six months, as you get access to over 25 titles. OR, you can get the first title in a series for free, then pay $3.99 each or 2 for $5.99. My daughter and I loved getting the entire library, it felt like Christmas downloading like crazy!

Our favorite titles in this Ruckus Reader?

I love, love the SeaWorld Bookshelf. This includes Sharks, Penguins and Whales.

My daughters favorites include My Little Pony and Transformers.

We are both looking forward to one that is coming: Cyberchase!

There is a nice twist on this App, as it keeps track of my child’s progress and emails me updates, called the Reader Meter, weekly.

So what are the Cons?

  1. I worry that I will lose all the ebooks we have if I do not get this again in six months.
  2. I wish all the ebooks would stay under one main icon on my iPad (I hate having lots of icons all over the screen)
  3. Although the technology for the reading is designed around state standards, it is still a new technology. So far, my meter reader is a little off and doesn’t “know” that my child is a good reader. I have seen this with several of our technologies that keep track of childrens progress. It is still a developing technology.

What are the Pros?

  1. I have tons of really well designed eReaders, iReaders and Videos right on my iPad desktop.
  2. With the six month subscription, I have almost 30 ebooks already, o that is less than .99 cents an eReader, iReader or video. And, I will continue to get more.
  3. All are educational in nature and suitable for her age. She does not get frustrated and need help, but sits and plays.
  4. The titles include tons of characters she knows like Curious George and My Little Pony, plus old classic stories that she enjoys.
  5. Most of these titles have options so they can read the book to the child and they lead the child in the games
  6. The reader meter does keep track of what my child spends time on and I can eve email that info to her dad and grandparents (you can set it to email to up to four email accounts)
  7. The App notifies me when new titles are available.
  8. I love the little library shelves in the App. Adorable setup

All in all, I really recommend the Ruckus Reader App. Go take a look! You can connect with Ruckus Reader:



*I received a trial membership for Ruckus Reader in order to do this review. I have given my honest opinion.

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Barnes & Noble eReader Software Coming to iPad

Image by John Federico via Flickr

Well, I am glad to see this pop up! Last week, I wrote a post about e-readers for your iPod, iTouch, iPad…computers, etc. One thing I was disappointed about was that I didn’t like the free ebook offerings from B&N. Today, I see in my email that they have a bunch of classics available for free–just in time for back to school! Check out these B&N classic FREE ebooks.

And, it looks like they may continue offering FREE classic ebooks weekly through Sept 14th! I just may end up reading on these things…..

Help Lord, I’m Getting Ready To Homeschool a High Schooler!

Rating and Summary: 4+, See a Sample, here

From the introduction to the last author biography, the ebook “Help Lord, I’m getting ready to Homeschool a High Schooler,” is a testament to the marvelous possibilities inherent in homeschooling. For me, this was a pageturner.

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Fabulous Finds!!

Heather —  April 30, 2009

As I look for new ideas for curriculum and fun learning experiences for my children, I keep finding fun stuff for…ME!! Really, the Lord is good…and funny.

Recently, as I was looking at The Old Schoolhouse products, I came across their new E-Book, HomeWork and their new line of WeE-books TM. I really enjoyed the reads!

Are any of you thinking of working from home? If so, The E-book, HomeWork, Juggling Home Work & School Without losing your Balance is a must have. Packed full of advice and inspiration for anyone interested in running a home business, the ebook is 95 pgs. The stories are funny and heart-warming throughout…and written by homeschooling moms in businesses from recycling jeans to computer network management! I loved the format of the book–it had personal stories as well as a bunch of resource sections, full of website links and further information.

This book really highlit the fact that there are sooo many ways to live, homeschool and work, and all can be offered up to the Lord. I loved one of the quotes from Jill Novak of Remembrance Press, “your products should be an outflow of the work that the Lord is doing in your life.” Truly, reading this E-book is like having coffee with a friend who is telling you all her business secrets! Great, easy read. Worth your time!

After that big read, I was tickled to find the WeE-book TM line. Each of these are real reasonable at $1.95 and vary in length. From the thirty available, I first chose A Light Unto My Path, by Donna Rees. This 23 pg ebook is a sweet, simple, studyguide with copywork included. This is wonderful to have at my fingertips for a sunny day for myself and the children!

A New Beginning, by Pat Marcum, was a 16 pg. serious look at the dangers of public education and a support for parents who are choosing to go forward with homeschooling. This would be perfect to share with your friends who are tentative about beginning to homeschool.

I thoroughly enjoyed my next choice–Homeschooling The Rebel, Part 1, by Deborah Wuehler. I myself have a “rebel” and found this to be chock full of specific helps, further resources and God’s word. The writer is down to earth, clear, and concise. I loved this one! I am definitely getting Part 2!!!!!

Take a look for yourself at: