6/21/14

Homeschooling with Three NOOKs and a Kindle

Yes I own four devices: three of them are NOOKs and one is a Kindle.  All of them were purchased as investments in our homeschool. We didn’t purchase them all at once though.  We added them one at at time over several years starting with a NOOK 1st Edition in spring of 2011.  Most recently I got a Kindle Fire HDX 7”.  It was a Mother’s Day gift but I could only justify it if we would use it for school.

homeschooling with three Nooks and a Kindle

We can read e-books on all four devices and we could access the internet through wi-fi connection on all of them, but there is a huge difference between an e-reader and a tablet. There are advantages and disadvantages to both.

I have 3 e-ink technology Nook e-reader devices. They really do read like a regular book, just not as lovely to hold and you can't flip through the pages and you miss the new book smell. These do not have the computer like screen with the bright lights or flashing colors. There is no glare. You can read it in bright sunlight. You do need a light to read (well the NOOK Simple Touch Glow has a light but I don’t own that one.). Though you can access the internet most websites aren't going to work well and the primary purpose of the Simple Touch Nook is to read e-books.

NOOK Tablets (or NOOK Color) and Kindle Fire devices are tablets not e-readers. I also (recently) got a Kindle Fire Tablet. It really is more like using a mini computer. Unlike an e-reader, you can use apps such as Goodreads, Facebook, or game apps. Tablets have screens like computers.  It’s difficult to use my Kindle outside because of the glare. It’s bright.  It’s flashy and my eyes get tired just like when using my laptop.

Yes, you can read e-books in Kindle format (epub for NOOK) but I much prefer reading e-books on my NOOK. When you are going out and about doing errands or taking day trips or spending hours in a waiting room it’s much easier to bring your mini-library with your when it’s contained in an e-reader or tablet. I have around 200 books currently on my NOOK that are *just* from Barnes and Noble.  Most of those I picked up for free!  I have another 300 to 400 epub e-books (give or take 50 or so)  stored on my computer thanks to places like Gutenberg ProjectYesterday’s Classics and Heritage History.

So we use the NOOK to read great literature in the public domain such as Shakespeare.  Having more than one NOOK means that we when read aloud something like Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night we can all follow along and use the version.  (We’ll be reading Twelfth Night soon to do a literature study.  I am looking forward to it!)

The *main* reason we invested in the Kindlefire is because tablets can handle PDF's much much better than NOOK e-ink tech can.  So much of what is available for homeschool is now digital.  The tablet is a home school investment. I don't like the computer screen aspect of it for reading books but I have a few books that are only in the Kindle format and that I do not have in the epub format.

I like that with the full color Kindle Fire the pictures that are in color in the PDFs show up beautifully and I can *snuggle* with Samantha while reading her history assignment and share those pictures. That's not something that I can do so easily with laptop. We have this fabulous health and nutrition book that is a pain to read on the computer but is *beautiful* on the Kindle Fire. It's a mess and not worth the memory storage on the NOOK. Because the tablet can do videos, the girls have been using the Kindle Fire to watch Homeschool Piano videos (review coming soon!). 

I think having both e-readers and at least one tablet gives me the best of both worlds and allows me to give my daughters more educational opportunities.  I like that we can read books with the e-readers and snuggle and watch lesson videos and read PDF color books on the Kindle Fire.

Blogging Through the Alphabet

Check out this week’s letter!

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