A company called Story Time for Me has created a wonderful interactive medium that allows the transition from passive listener to active reader. Their library of online interactive stories are written and illustrated with the toddler or young reader in mind. Professional narrators read every story and will read individual words should you or your child choose.
Their Story Reader allows you or your child to -
- Play the story and have it read to them
- Turn the pages to read at their own pace
- Highlight words as they are being read
- Highlight phrases as they are being read
- Play without highlighting words
- Click on individual words to hear the proper pronunciation
- Click on underlined words to increase their vocabulary
At the end of each story there are related activities that can be done with the child. Some questions are intended to increase understanding and encourage discussion. Other questions are for your child to express their opinion and learn what it is like to participate in a group. For children just beginning to read the questions and multiple choice answers are also narrated to make it easier for them to answer.
There is nothing to download. When you sign up your account becomes your child's personal online interactive library. At first I was a little put off by this, but then I realized that without having to download anything you and your child can access this information from anywhere you have an internet connection. Your child can read the stories in your library in a cafe, in the grocery store (with a smartphone ;-)), at grandma's house, on the road or practically anywhere.
As a parent considering home schooling my children I feel that this can be an excellent teaching tool. It helps to increase your child's understanding of the computer and how to use a keyboard and mouse thus making them more comfortable with it (an essential this day and age). This encourages interaction with the child beyond just reading the story.
I sat down with Cookie and Bonbon today and played a couple of stories for them. They were riveted. Both of them wanted to hear all of them on the site; they couldn't decide which ones to choose.
If you'd like to learn more about this company and view a couple of their sample stories AND claim 2 FREE interactive children's books please click here.