Most adult readers probably have their own opinions on whether they prefer to read on screens or on paper. How do children perceive these differences?
Today’s generations of children have been confronted with technology since the earliest days of their childhood. After all, they see their parents spending more and more screen time on smartphones, tablets, and computers. Of course, many of these parents need their devices for work, and for communication — but they might even be reading on their electronic devices! We browse encyclopedias on electronic devices, read emails, news, and even read books. But what does this mean for future generations?
Teenagers are already completely immersed in the world of electronic data. Younger generations are also slowly following them. Although parents and teachers express fear of children’s addiction to screens, children can also learn a lot when electronic devices are used in a regular and moderate way.
Let me list some of the advantages that electronic books offer young children who are on their journey to becoming readers:
E-books are excellent to teach a child how to handle and use electronic devices. We all know how much toddlers like to push buttons! So we can easily teach them to handle the devices carefully during the reading session, and so cultivate respect and care for material things from an early age.
The bright and intense colors on the screen give rise to a desire to explore and learn. Children can easily identify colors, shapes, and everyday objects that will help them learn language, read, and write later on. In addition, the increased interest in what is going on on their screen is very useful for prolonging their attention span.
One of my favorites: ebooks are indestructible! Of course, we do have to pay attention to the way a child treats devices on which they’re reading. The book itself, however, remains intact for decades, as it does not tear or fade like traditional hardcover books do. You can easily transfer ebooks from device to device and generation to generation, much like handing down hardcover books! In addition, they are usually cheaper than printed books and have not cut down any trees as a result — always a plus!
Reading to children at the earliest age will also benefit children later when they grow up. Early reading will help them get better grades at school, and most children who read seek a higher education after highschool. In addition to this, the knowledge of digital reading will help them in our modern lifestyle by teaching them to find information more quickly and more easily online.
Although there are good reasons to read ebooks to our children, we need to make sure that the child has a diverse reading material that will help them develop a love of reading. It is important that you start reading to them from an early age, and that you also shape good reading habits yourself to serve as a good example to them. But most importantly, always take the time to read to them and have that lovely time with them!