With technology being at the forefront of many of our lives, including our children, it can be difficult to pry the little ones away from watching animals on Netflix or silly YouTube videos of other kids opening toys.
Reading is an integral part of your child’s development and education, but it can be difficult to encourage them to do extra reading outside the classroom to develop their vocabulary and also their curiosity.
Not only this but sometimes when you buy physical books for your children to read, they get left on the bookshelf to create dust as they’d much rather play games or watch shows on the iPad, so you end up just wasting your money.
One way of incorporating your child’s new found love - the iPad with the necessity of improving their reading is an app called Epic! which has changed the game for children’s reading and has got younger people excited about reading once again.
Keep on reading to find out more information about Epic! as well as the positives and the negatives of the children’s app.
What Age Is It Suitable For?
Epic!’s library is suitable for ages 12 and under, however, older students who have lower reading levels may still find Epic! beneficial.
Epic’s whole range of books will be suitable for children to read independently to expand their curious minds, or even alongside a teacher or parent to gain confidence in their reading and pronunciation skills.
Children don’t just learn to read from reading books themselves, but they can also learn how certain words and phonetics by listening to their parents read.
That’s why many people recommend this app for parents to read to their children who are not yet able to read, as not only will it encourage them to read in the future but it’ll also give them the chance to learn new words.
Types Of Books
Epic! has a library of over 35,000 books from leading publishers suitable for ages up to 12 years of age, so there should be something for every reader.
More titles are added every week as well, so the library is only increasing, so unless you've got a child genius on your hands, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding a new book to read each time.
The library contains everything from easy picture books to non-fiction titles like National Geographic to your kids’ favorite fictions like Peter Rabbit and Goodnight Moon.
There are also education books that will be helpful resources for your child’s additional studies and there are also some nifty quiz books that will come in handy during dull rainy Sundays when you’ve run out of things to do.
Despite there being such a broad range of books, sorting and filtering through them to find a specific genre or age appropriateness is very easy and helps you navigate through all the titles without scrolling endlessly.
You can even set your child’s age/topics they are interested in so you’ll receive some notifications for recommendations of what books they would like.
For example, if your child is particularly interested in dinosaur books, then you’ll be able to specify this and it may hopefully make them more inclined to read more.
Books are also available in languages like French, Spanish and Chinese, so if your child is bilingual and you’d like them to keep up their other language then you’ll be able to help them do so through their reading.
This feature is also good for older students who are beginning to learn additional languages as there will be plenty of books suitable for language beginners to learn from.
The collection of books is free from dodgy material and is completely child-friendly so you won’t have to worry about adding a filter to keep everything PG.
The app doesn’t just feature books, but it also has videos and audiobooks available for your child to use. So if your child doesn’t feel like reading to themself, then they can also choose to listen along to a book, which is still as beneficial as reading.
Ease Of Use
The user interface is easy to navigate and most children over the age of 5 may be able to set up and work through their app without additional supervision from a parent.
The app can be used offline by downloading some of the books to your device, so you’ll always be able to read wherever you are whether that’s on long car journeys or even on a flight across the world.
This is so beneficial as it saves parents from having to bring physical copies of books when traveling or on day trips to keep their kids occupied.
Having access to thousands of books on just one device is incredibly handy for parents, as it means they don’t have to buy physical books for them only to be read once and then never read again.
Epic! also offers the ability to have up to 4 profiles per account, which is great if you have multiple children as all the books can be on one account and you can also track their reading progress to make sure they’re on track.
However, there is no control setting that prevents one user from accessing another user's profile, therefore if you have one younger child and one older, nothing is stopping the younger one from accessing the books or content that may be unsuitable for them (e.g scary books).
This can easily be prevented with some supervision and an adult setting up the app with the required profile each time.
The multiple profiles feature may also be useful in a classroom environment and help teachers to keep tabs on how their students are getting along with their reading skills.
Epic! Is a great education tool for children and is used in elementary schools across the US as it allows children to have access to thousands of books at just a click of a button. Many children love to use technology like iPads and smartphones, so integrating traditional reading with a new form of technology will hopefully encourage a child to read more.
Parents and teachers will be able to create a collection of books for a user, which is great for assigning children reading for the summer or throughout the school year.
Certain books come with quizzes at the end to test your child’s knowledge of what happened in the book and will also give your child a deeper understanding of the plot and characters within the story.
As we previously mentioned, some of the books are available in additional languages, which is great if your child is currently learning a second language and they need some reading material to practice and become more generalized with the language.
Sometimes a well done from a parent or teacher is not enough for a child to be encouraged to read more, but luckily Epic! Has a reward system for its readers that will reward them each time they finish a book and when they reach milestones for the certain amount of books they have read so far.
For example, the app will reward someone for reading an hour every day, which is ideal if you’ve set your child reading targets to help them improve.
There is also a zone for parents to track their child’s progress by seeing how many books they’ve run, how long it’s taken them, the reading level of the books, and also if they’ve taken the quizzes at the end of the book.
You can also set up a weekly progress email to be sent to your email so you can track your child’s reading progress without having to access the app.
The app is compatible with iOS or Android devices, Google devices, as well as some laptops, and Smart TVs.
Subscription or Free?
The app offers a 30-day free trial which will allow you to try everything out to see if you like it before committing to a subscription membership.
After the 30-day free trial has expired, the designated card will be billed $7.99 a month until you decide to cancel. So if you are just going to use the free trial, then remember to cancel before you get billed.
You can also buy an annual plan at a discounted price of $71.99
Value For Money
If your child is a big reader or you have multiple children, then Epic! Will be a great and cost-effective resource for you.
Most physical books will cost a minimum of $5 and if your child was to read a book a week, that would cost $20 a month and then over $100 a week. Whereas for only $7.99 a month, your child could read as many books as they want every week.
Is The Epic! App Really Worth It?
Yes, for parents or teachers who want to encourage children to read more and also easily track their progress then Epic! would be a great tool.
The vast library of books will be suitable for a wide level of readers which makes it an ideal option for families who have more than one child and don’t want to be continuously buying new books all the time.