Fangirl Friday: Kindle Fire and Immersion Reading!

One of the things I've learned in raising a child is that you can learn more about yourself helping them than you ever knew you were missing before they were there. In raising my son, I've learned that he is, in fact, dyslexic. At the same time, though, I recognized his struggles as my own. Words that dance on pages, letters that bounce around in words... It's a giant mess is what it is.

It wasn't long before I realized that while I'm capable of compensating for this quite well, and often don't really notice any problems while I'm reading, this might be tied up in why I can read the same book multiple times, and find something new in it each time. And I can do that up to four and five times per book, so it's not like it's just one or two little things on the reread - it's a lot of things!

Anyway. I'm working on helping my son, essentially, learn to compensate. So, I went on a research bender, and found that often for dyslexic children, audiobooks and what's called "Immersion Reading" are spectacular. So, I rabbit trail off to Immersion Reading and find that this is a feature available from Amazon. Now, in general, I have a lot of issues with Amazon, not the least of which being proprietary software that doesn't play nicely, but really, that's par for the course anymore. So, I bite the bullet and get a pair of Kindle Fires.

Immersion Reading, it turns out, is the best thing ever. It's wonderful for my son, sure, but it's also been spectacular for me! I track through books better, I don't lose my place as often, and when I do, it's a lot easier to find it! See, Immersion Reading is what you get when you combine ebooks with Audiobooks. The Fire tablet links the ebook with the appropriate audio narration, and then highlights the text as the narration plays. Seems a simple thing, but apparently, it really is one of the best things to be done, particularly for people who, for whatever reason, aren't reading functionally at the level at which they feel they should.

I've mostly been reading children's books this way so far. I've been waiting to see if it works for my son (pro tip, it does!) before I sign up for a full year membership to Audible and start buying e- and audio- books for both of us. It's made a large difference. I'm hearing things I wouldn't have otherwise caught in the story (even in Harry Potter, which I've read a half-dozen times, easily!), I'm able to move more smoothly through books. I'm a lot slower this way, as before I could make it through a 300 page book in about 5 hours, and listening to it takes 13, but you know what? I'm getting all of the book now. I'm not skipping around, I'm not losing my place, I'm not missing random words that will change the entire tone of a sentence. I think, despite my brain's insistence that I need to HURRY UP!!! Immersion Reading may well be the best thing I could have ever hoped to unintentionally find for myself!


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