You CAN Read a Bedtime Story from a Distance

Posted on: March 9th, 2011 by Kay Swatkowski

“Reading at bedtime, reading at dinnertime, reading on the porch on a summer evening–reading ought to be part of a family’s heritage.  Experiencing books ties us together.” Nancy Wilson, Praise Her In The Gates

So many of us would love to read stories to our grand children at bedtime, or dinnertime or on the porch, lounging in a swing, on a lazy summer evening.

We remember our own children and  certain precious  books that fostered closeness and affection or stirred up laughter or tears.

It seems the one way we can stay connected with our grandkids who live at  a distance, can still be with books.

1.  We can mail them their favorites.

2.  We can mail them new books that will help move them to new levels of literacy and interest.

3  We can record ourelves reading books to them.

4.  They can record themselves reading to us.

But, I think I found the most efficient, least expensive, most effective way to stay lovingly connected to our grandchildren through books.

Have you heard of readeo?  No, not radio—readeo.

Readeo is an internet company that has dozens of brightly illustrated, well written children’s books available to you on the internet.

First you sign up.  Then you send an email invitation to family members with whom you would like a book chat.

When you are ready to read, you choose one of your book friends  and in minutes, your grandchild appears in a video window at the bottom left of the page and you are in a window right next to him.  The book you are going to read is at the top of the page.  And, before long you are engrossed in an enertaining story.

Skype is a wonderful thing for staying connected.  But, it can be so difficult to maintain the interest of younger children and generally conversations don’t last very long.

However, when reading a book, (especially one  of their favorites) your grandchild interacts with you by making comments or even through laughter,  and you get a momentary window into who they are and where they are developmentally- at that precise moment.

It is a great way to keep up with the changes in their world. It is an effective  way to reinforce the importance of love for books.

After signing up today, my grandson, Kevin, graciously agreed to try it with me.  Most of the books were well under his 11 year old age–but we had a great time reading some of his old favorites and will be reading again tomorrow at 2:00 PM.  He really enjoyed it and I did sense closeness to him as we participated in  this activity together.

We read for about 20 minutes and were both satisfied with the experience.  Grandpa even got in on the act and read, “That’s What Grandpas Are For.”

This was our first experience with readeo, and you will want to check out all the features for yourself.  It may not be exactly what you need, but you will find it a good starting place for thinking creatively about the use of literature in your family.

Readeo has a 14 day free trial period you might want to check out.

Great idea for military families, families out of state, families out of the country for business or compassionate ministries.  Or, for grandmas and grandpas who don’t get by the grandkids house to read as often as they would like. Maybe, even to become a part of a nighttime routine.

A great way to stay in touch and bring smiles to your grandkids faces.

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8 Responses

  1. Kathy says:

    Although I am not a grandma yet, this sounds like a great website! What a unique way to stay in touch with grandchildren from a distance!

  2. Margaret says:

    Kay, I am going to forward this to Holly and Shari in hopes of getting this started…thank you. me

  3. Kay says:

    Margaret, I thought immediately of your situation. I pray that this will be another way for you to stay in touch with Celia and DAvid. They need their grandma.

  4. Kay says:

    And Theodore!!!

  5. I’ve been doing Skype and Oovoo with my grandson. I hold up the book to the camera and we read books and chatter through video conferencing. It’s so much fun!

  6. Barbara Dega says:

    Dear Kay,
    I listened to you on the radio this morning and couldn’t wait to get home to check out your website. We have 7 grandchildren living in Lake County, IL, which is so close to where we live in WI, but we have one, and in June, two grandchildren in Minneapolis. What a wonderful suggestion to stay connected. When we visit, he loves to be read to.
    Love your website and the content. I will be a frequent visitor!

    • Barbara,
      Thank you so much for your comments and for visiting our website. Your family sounds wonderful and you must be a very busy lady. I am thinking you don’t live far from me. I am in Antioch, Illinois. Any ideas or suggestions for content would be great.
      God bless.

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