Topic | Video: Choosing an E-book Reader for Your Homeschool

This topic contains 24 replies, has 18 voices, and was last updated by  missceegee 6 years, 8 months ago.

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  • Doug Smith

    There has been so much discussion on the forum lately about e-book readers that I finally got around to making a short video specifically about choosing and using them for your homeschool. I’ve attempted to explain the similarities and differences between devices in plain English, and hopefully in a way that well help you look at the features for how they line up with the ways you might use them in your family. I cover some homeschool uses and also touch on how to keep your children safe with the online features these devices offer.

    Here’s the link to it on YouTube: Choosing an E-book Reader for Your Homeschool

    (A big thanks to my son, Jordan, for shooting and editing the video.)

    Be sure to give us your feedback so we know if this kind of thing is helpful or if you have additional questions or things to add to the discussion. Thanks!


    What a wonderfully informative video!  I wasn’t considering an e-reader for anything but now my daughter and I would like an iPad!!  I am always amazed at technology and am grateful that you took the time to explain it all in ENGLISH so we can understand!!  um…how about video editing…how did your son learn how to do that?  My dd12 would like to know, I think it is something she would be good at!Smile


    Thanks so much! That was very interesting.  I think I’m getting a Kindle for Christmas (dh’s mom has been dropping hints ;0) ) and am excited to start using it.  I’m impressed with what all the iPad can do, but know that due to money that will be a ways off.  Thanks for putting this video together!


    Thanks Doug! This is a very helpful video, especially for those of us who are less knowledgable about technology. My oldest ds has been trying to convince me that we MUST have one of these – we shall see. Wink


    That was awesome!  Thank you so much.  I have a Kindle, and love it, but the interface is sometimes too slow.  Like yesterday in church I was trying to jump from Ezra to Haggai and to Isaiah and such.  It was like pulling teeth and finally I just leaned over and looked at my husband’s Bible.  I know that an iPod Touch or iPhone would have been much faster, and easier to use (several people around me were using them!).  I love the looks of the iPad for that reason.  It’s on my list of things to buy, eventually.  Is there a way though to lock it completely so that small kids can’t even “turn it on”?  My 4-yr-old knows how to unlock my iPod and use it.  Argh!  I worry that with an iPad he could do some serious damage.

    I think any sort of eReader is fantastic.  I have almost all of G.A. Henty’s works loaded for my boys.  They normally cost $20 or more per book.  I have 80+ books of his books for free!!!  




    I’d like to add my thanks.  Don’t laugh – I haven’t even seen one of these in real life!!  It has helped me greatly to understand the possible uses and benefits of an e-book reader – though I think I’ll always prefer a real book in my hand…


    Doug Smith

    I’m glad to hear this has been helpful. My goal was not to tell which one is best but help you sort out the options to find what is best for your situation. The Kindle and iPad are the top sellers of all of the readers out there and you really can’t go wrong with either one if it fits what you want to do with it.

    um…how about video editing…how did your son learn how to do that?  My dd12 would like to know, I think it is something she would be good at!

    @cherylramirez, The video work has come about through hands-on practice. He showed an interest from a young age and started by making stop-motion animations with toys and a still camera. That was followed by creating movies with friends and lots of research into techniques and such. He pretty much eats, breaths, and sleeps filmmaking now and is pursuing that as a career. We’ve done what we can over the years to provide tools, books, and experiences to help all of our children pursue their interests and develop skills. Then after a while we sometimes just have to get out the way as it happens. 🙂

    Is there a way though to lock it completely so that small kids can’t even “turn it on”?  My 4-yr-old knows how to unlock my iPod and use it.  Argh!  I worry that with an iPad he could do some serious damage.

    @crazy4boys, Sure, you can lock it just like you can your iPod. Go into the settings app and choose the Passcode Lock option. Then you have to enter a 4-digit passcode (or a more advanced password, if you prefer) after you slide to unlock your device.


    Thanks Doug!  This was VERY helpful.  My 20yo is getting a Kindle for Christmas.  I think he’ll LOVE it.  It drove me NUTS to try to read on it!!  The look of the page was great, very lightweight.  I just wanted the old-fashioned book!  Laughing  But for him, it will be perfect.  He’ll be so surprised.

    Now the iPad, on the other hand…I could do some serious damage with that thing… ,


    OK, Doug, the iPad looks awesome! Are there apps you recommend from the myriads available? I’m wondering what would be most useful with kids ages almost 10, almost 7, 3, 1.

    Do you recommend the 3G service? We will be out of the country for a month in the spring and this could prove helpful, depending upon costs.



    Thanks so much. We have a kindle, but were interested in the ipad.  We would like to buy another kindle for school or an ipad. Iwill have hubby watch this to see what he thinks. I am really torn between the two, because I see the ipad being really useful for me and for school, but price wise the kindle might be fine for the time being until the kids are more able to use some of the ipad apps.  Hmm what a choice!

    Doug Smith

    @houseofchaos, Part of the goal of the video was to help those who haven’t been exposed to these devices understand what everyone is talking about. Sounds like that worked out well.

    @missceegee, We don’t have 3G on our iPad because we mostly use it in places where we have WiFi. There have been a couple times traveling where it might have been nice, but I’m still not sure if we would have wanted to pay the data fee just for those cases. One nice thing about the 3G service is that you don’t have to be on a monthly plan. You can turn it off and on a month at at time as needed.

    Another option is to get a MiFi device and subscription with one of the cell carriers, such as Verizon or Sprint. The MiFi is a little box that uses the cellular network and creates a WiFi hotspot for up to five devices. That way you can choose your carrier and plan and have it work with the iPad or any other WiFi device.

    You can see a lot of the iPad apps we like in the video. iBooks, Google Earth, GoodReader, iBird, WunderMap (weather), Pages, Numbers 

    Thanks, that video was very helpful.  On a side note, this site is an excellent place to check for reviews of various electronic items.;txt


    Both my husband and I have iPads and love them! We travel quite a bit in our rv and the iPad makes it so easy. We have a MiFi device from Verizon so that we can both be on the web at the same time. I am always showing the kids things on the go. Great demo by the way.


    Thanks, Doug! I really enjoyed all the information on it. We just got an iPad two weeks ago and have found several free, educational apps that our children enjoy. We only have the wifi version as well. I didn’t realize there was a dictionary in iBooks! Now I’m even more excited.

    Wow, what a great, informative video! Very well done!

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