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I’m not a morning person. I live for lazy Saturday mornings when I don’t need to rush out of bed, make breakfast, and get ready for virtual school before 9:00 am. Saturday mornings are TV and iPad time in my house. So, when my sister, who lives in Iowa and is over 1,000 miles away from us, offered to read with my daughters through the digital freading app Readeo on a Saturday morning, I laughed. I was sure there was no way they’d give up their TV/iPad time to... read.
But like most things in parenting, what I anticipated didn’t occur -- not even close. When I told my daughters Aunt Marcie wanted to read with them, they jumped out of my bed where we were watching TV together, grabbed their respective iPads, and disappeared into their bedrooms.
I’ve tried a bunch of educational technology tools over the past year and a half. But, before you roll your eyes at another digital reading platform, let me tell you why Readeo is different.
Why Fit In When You Were Born To Stand Out?
Readeo connects families—both near and far—by making “screen time become storytime.” The platform’s video chat/ book library allows both parties to flip through books together, an interactive feature that stands out in a crowded digital-learning space.
Let’s be honest, long-distance reading with a kid via Zoom, Skype, or FaceTime is virtually impossible. My sister tried at the beginning of the pandemic and spent the entire time asking the girls to show her the book. Those reading sessions lasted for about two minutes. Their Readeo reading session lasted for about two hours.
Another stand-out element is Readeo’s simplicity. Every time we sign into Readeo, the platform conducts a systems diagnostic test to make sure our microphone and webcam are turned on—a feature I’ve never seen on any other digital reading platform. This makes seamless participation incredibly easy for my family --especially my mother, who is not very tech-savvy. She has been able to read with my girls without worrying about how to navigate a complicated digital platform.
Be Awesome! Be a Book Nut!
Readeo’s small but mighty library of books is filled with recognizable children’s book titles. It’s little details like seeing a title they’ve read before that makes my girls go nutty over Readeo.
Before reading with my sister, the girls and I sifted through Readeo’s library of books and they each found what they wanted to read. It took them just seconds to land on their books—my five-year-old picked Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and Lost and Found, and my 7-year-old chose Mercy Watson: Princess in Disguise—a series she used to learn to read.
Sometimes You Will Never Know The Value Of A Moment Until It Becomes A Memory
I didn’t realize how special the moment of reading was for my sister and my daughters until I discussed Readeo with them after the fact. My daughters haven’t seen their aunt in over a year because of the pandemic. The last time we were together for an extended period, my oldest daughter was in kindergarten.
Since then, she’s learned to read. I’ve watched my daughter’s growth; my sister has not. Until now, when my daughter picked out an 80-page book to read.
I told my sister they probably wouldn’t finish the entire book, but once again, I was wrong. My daughter read to my sister for an hour and proudly finished the entire book. My sister couldn’t believe how well my daughter could read, something she’s missed out on witnessing because she lives so far away from us.
Without Readeo, there is no way either of my daughters would spend a Saturday morning reading. And not only reading but begging to read more. My youngest said when she was done, “I loved reading with Aunt Marcie. Can we do it again tomorrow?”
Yes, my love, we can most definitely read with Aunt Marcie again! And I urge everyone to join us because Readeo can instill the love of reading into our little ones.
5 More Things We Love About Readeo
1. In terms of pricing, one family plan (which costs $9.99 a month) gives four family members access to the reading platform. My daughters could invite their grandma, aunt, cousin, and friend to read with them all under the one membership. A one-year subscription costs $99.99. Both options offer a 14-day free trial.
2. Both parties can flip through the book on their respective screens, making the reading experience collaborative and interactive.
3. Readeo’s library of books consists of 450+ well-known bestsellers from publishers like Simon & Schuster, Candlewick Press, and ABRAMS. Most of the books have pictures and cater to kids 11 and under.
4. Readeo allows users to filter books by age and category so you can find the age-appropriate book for each person who is reading. We filtered by age so my five-year-old could find books she enjoyed and my seven-year-old could find books for her age range.
5. We love the bookshelf feature on Readeo, which allows us to save the books we enjoy. Every family member can see the books we save in our library, so we have easy access to the books we love.