Numerous families today live miles and miles from grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, and as families grow and there are more little ones to care for, it becomes increasingly difficult to stay in touch between visits. Sometimes I wish more than anything that 3 1/2 hours didn't separate my parents from my family here in the DC Metro area. Although I know that some families have a much greater distance between loved ones, I can't help but dream.
So when I was asked to take a look at a new literacy-related product designed to let families to "See, Hear, and Read with each other, even when you're far away" you can imagine that I jumped--leaped!--at the opportunity.
Here's the skinny on this wonder product, Readeo:
- Readeo: Combine "the best children's books" on the market and a state-of-the-art video conference call, and you have Readeo. Really. Readeo allows friends and family to connect via the computer and read a book together. It's incredible, and we love it.
Maddy, Owen, and Cora have had an absolute blast reading new books with their aunts and uncles for the last few days. Whether it was the early morning or right before bedtime, it has been a riot for them to be pajama-clad here in Maryland yet still be able to share books with their cooler-than cool uncles and aunts back in Pennsylvania. I'm really looking forward to getting my parents (who just need a little more technical support than most) set up when we see them for Mother's Day; I'm betting that reading with Nanny and Pap will take the cake as far as my kids are concerned!
Watch this quick video to see how Readeo works:CEO Coby Neuenschwander founded Readeo in 2009 in an attempt to establish a more meaningful relationship between his parents and his young son. Because the miles between them alowed for only a few visits a year, forging a strong relationship between grandparents and grandson was difficult. What better way of carving out meaningful time together, long-distance, than reading a high-quality children's book and being able to see each other as the book is read?
Although the set-up took some time and energy for both me and one of my sisters, it was well worth it. Logging in and getting her webcam to work was extremely easy for my other sister, so it really depends on the quality of your computer equipment and your familiarity with it to determine the ease with which you can get Readeo up and rolling. I used my EeePC notebook because it has a built-in webcam, and because of the size of the screen, I did have to play with my screen resolution settings in order to better view the book and videos below.
One of the great parts of this product is that even if you're not in a "BookChat" with one of your Readeo "friends", your kiddos can still "Read Solo" by choosing any one of the numerous books from Readeo's Library. And because the folks at Readeo have partnered with solid publishers like Simon & Schuster, Chronicle Books, Candlewick Press, and blue apple books, the book choices are awesome. We are a book-focused family, bibliophiles, lovers of all books, but the dozen books we read both solo and in BookChat were all new to us. Seriously, we were in heaven.
The graphics of texts are fantastic, and the pages look like they're turning naturally. All three of my children enjoyed adding books to their "bookshelves" so that we could easily return to their favorites.
Ready to try it for yourself? The kind folks at Readeo have offered ABC & 123 readers a free one-month trial of this product by entering the code "goreadeo" at checkout. Try it--I'm betting your family will totally dig it.
And because April is the "Month of the Military Child," Readeo is offering military families a free six-month trial of their product. Learn more on Readeo's website, their blog, or follow them on Twitter!
Happy Readeo-reading, and thank you, thank you to Readeo for offering a free three-month subscription of Readeo to my family in exchange for a review of their product to be shared here at ABC & 123. My opinion was in no way influenced by the kind folks at Readeo; it is mine and mine alone, influenced only by my 6, 4, and 3 year-old.
Posted by Amy, of teach mama & we teach