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Monday, August 26, 2013

Kindle Reader & Kindle E-Books For Children

This post is written for the parents (of Dr Pet's English Enrichment but other parents may also find it interesting). Hopefully this will help encourage your children to read even more and even faster. The Kindle has a built-in dictionary. This saves the child a great deal of time and prevents a fair bit of tedium resulting from having to flip the dictionary every so often.

Side View of Kindle in its Case. I bought a jacket with a stand and a cover to protect the glass screen. Kindle jackets are sold separately. Some are HERE. I've also seen some really pretty ones on sale at Challenger in the local malls.

Front View of my Kindle. 

My Kindle Out of Case

Which Model to Buy for Children
Mine is a simple Kindle that retails at US$69 HERE. I would recommend either the simple Kindle (cheapest) or the Kindle Paper White HERE (2nd cheapest) for children. Both are dedicated readers. This means you can ONLY read books off them. I would just go for the cheapest model and buy two. Why?

(1) If the children carry these to school, they'll see rough use, and might get lost.

(2) Kindle Paper White has a built-in light which the simple Kindle does not have. If your children LOVE reading then Kindle Paper White encourages them to read in the dark. If you don't mind this then it's ok. I did mind.

(3) Unlike hard copies, the Kindle library cannot be physically shared. If you have only one Kindle, then only one child can read at any one time. All the other books already inside the Kindle cannot be read at that time. Amazon Kindle allows users to download each Kindle book into a maximum of 6 devices. Hence, if you've more than one child then it may make sense to get TWO Kindles.

Why Kindle E-Books?
(1) These books travel well. 1000 books can be stored in a Kindle. Imagine carrying 1000 books onto a plane or in your schoolbag.

(2) There is a built-in dictionary. Children save time and avoid the tedium of flipping the dictionary.

(3) Kindle books tend to be cheaper than hard copies.

(4) A lot of Christian literature is FREE on Kindle if you know how to wait for and look for the free promotions that come around.

(5) Kindle books are delivered to my laptop IMMEDIATELY. I can buy any book and receive it in 5 seconds - the time required to download it onto my laptop.

Amazon Does NOT Sell Kindle Readers To Singapore
See HERE or HERE for how to buy a Kindle Reader without having to pay the marked up prices that local retailers charge.

Amazon Will Block E-Book Downloads If They Detect That You Are Located in Singapore
See HERE for how to get around that.

You will need a VPN. I use this VPN provided HERE. An US$8 subscription has lasted me 2 years and I still have not exhausted the US$8. The VPN is a US server that allows you to download Kindle e-books through it. This makes it seem that you are in USA, and Amazon will then not block your account.

Please be careful. I've had my account blocked before and it is no fun to get it reinstated.

iPAD Has A Kindle App
If you so prefer... the iPAD has a Kindle App. You can download this in a jiffy and then follow the instructions HERE to buy your Kindle books. However, I don't like this because...

(1) The iPAD screen light interferes with my sleep cycle. The strong light wakes me up and then after reading, I can't sleep, when usually reading relaxes me well enough for me to sleep better.

(2) The iPAD has too many other distractions and I lose control over the way my child uses his/her time. Up until P6, I still exert a strong influence over my child's schedule. Instead of nagging a child to do work, schedule the work instead. Reading was part of our schedule and I could not afford to have my child sneak off to play computer games on the same device.  In Primary 4, I planned with Little Boy. This modeled for him how to plan. In Primary 5, Little Boy planned. I okayed his plan or asked for revisions. In Primary 6, Little Boy planned and I mostly okayed, because by then, he was really good at planning. In Sec 1, I don't bother to approve his schedule anymore.

(3) When everything is on a single device, other family members have to wait to read whilst someone else is playing a game. Our family reads a lot and we are often reading at the same time. Having to wait around for your book to be available can turn a child off.

Short Note About Planning & Scheduling
By the time they reach Sec 1, my kids know how to do a TWO Year, ONE Year, 6-month, 1 month and weekly plan. They know how to account for CCA competitions and school holidays. This means that by the middle of Sec 1, my son has looked at his syllabus for Sec 1 AND Sec 2.

He knows what will be covered for each of the CAs and SAs up until end of Sec 1. He doesn't wait for the Teachers to teach because at some points in the year, he has so much training that he has no time to study. He reads up ahead on his own and studies at HIS OWN pace, not the school's. For example, over the National Day weekend, he refused to vote Yes for going to Chiangmai because he had already planned to complete a first read-through for his Chinese syllabus up to the end of the year. This means that Little Boy can miss lessons (to train to compete in 2 CCAs) and still score at the top of his class in 3 subjects.

Happily, in his secondary school, Little Boy also has very supportive and loving teachers.

For Sec 2, he has incomplete information. However, based on what he knows, he takes steps to work ahead in subjects such as Math, which he finds too easy in Sec 1. He also asks his Seniors for information about the following year's challenges. Once in a while, I might ask a question such as "When are your competitions next year?" and from there he already knows that he needs to plan his work around those peak CCA training periods.

Good planning and scheduling is ultra important for performance. In the corporate context, it's no different than doing an external environment scanning and building projected environmental and competitor changes into one's strategic and tactical business planning.


Have Faith said...

Great and informative information on Kindle. Btw, for two devices, would we need to subscribe to VPNs?

Petunia Lee said...

Have Faith - Nope! You don't need to have 2 VPNs. The 2 devices need to be linked to the SAME Amazon account. You buy the book ONCE and then you specify for it to be transferred to the 2, 3 or 4 devices you have registered to that account.

In fact, the same VPN can be shared by multiple Amazon accounts too.

Have Faith said...

Thank you for your information!

Have Faith said...

Thank you for your information!

Rachel Tan said...

Thanks for the info! Sorry for suaku-ness but do Kindle ebooks come with coloured illustrations?

Are books by classic British authors like Enid Blyton or CS Lewis available on Kindle?

Petunia Lee said...

Rachel - Can I bother you to search Amazon Kindle for the books you want? The simple Kindle does not have colour but some books have pictures. The more expensive models have color display. I am not sure if there is a DEDICATED reader with colour display. Could you search Amazon Kindle Store?

Rachel Tan said...

Yes I will do just that! Thanks for kindling the idea of the Kindle!