As a parent, I admit to having a certain amount of nostalgia for my childhood. I would like to think this is because I had a wonderful childhood (thanks, Mom!), but I also know that it is because familiarity breeds comfort.
Of course, my husband and I are selective about what we pass down to our son: Fraggles and Legos are a definite share; overly sugared cereals and Voltron are a pass. Then there are the gray areas - the things that we enjoyed reborn into something new: Like Reading Rainbow.
If you watched Reading Rainbow as a child, then you probably have very fond memories of the books that were reviewed by other children, the field trips LeVar Burton took and of course, the catchy theme song. (I am singing it right now...you should be happy there is no audio to this post).
Naturally, I was interested to read this piece about Reading Rainbow's successful Kickstarter campaign to develop a more robust reading app. Many parents already have the existing RR app, but the one in the works now is supposed to have more books built into it.
I am all for reading - the more the better. If this app gets more children interested in literacy, then I am all for it. But the article linked above brings up a really good point: Although reading apps can get children interested in reading and help them with their skills, the one area of literacy that is extremely hard to measure is comprehension.
So that is where parents need to intervene and pick up where reading apps leave off. Helping children with comprehension is key: You may naturally do this with your child when you read stories - it's the parts where you pause the story to ask your child questions (Why did that little boy go down the tunnel? or What do you think will happen to the friends if they don't get home in time for dinner?) Those questions help children learn how to dissect a story and figure out what is going on.
Apps haven't figured out how to do that yet, so it is still up to us.
Do you let your child use any reading apps? If so, which is your favorite? Share in the comments.