How Our Son Read Around 2,000 Books During COVID

How did I come to that number? I’m estimating that based on the books we’ve checked out of the library (love), books we have around the home (a lot), and the Epic activity dashboard that is currently reporting, as of today, of 1,968 books finished.

Epic's activity dashboard showing books finished, hours read, and videos watched.
Epic’s Activity Dashboard

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Don’t get me wrong…obviously we heavily promote McHenry County and local, but we’re open to any tool in the parental toolbox that helps and encourages reading!

Our community is blessed with amazing libraries and we do have some terrific bookstores (you can find some great ones listed right here on McHenry Life!), which you should absolutely utilize. But not necessarily be limited to, especially if it hampers reading in any way.

I’ll confess that I hadn’t heard of Epic (also referred to as Epic Books) until COVID hit and the school provided a login with our son’s school-issued Chromebook. I saw him and his class using Epic nearly every day while he was remote and then continued through the summer.

And then frustration hit

September last year, I saw him getting frustrated.

But you’ll never guess why…he was getting locked out of Epic. He was using his “free” school account, which included additional before and after school hours, but he wanted more time.

When your child is getting upset because they can’t read more, you can’t help but take notice and want to fix the problem!

So we looked into their “Epic Unlimited” paid subscription, which would give him access to their entire library and allow him to read however much, whenever he wanted (at least within the bounds that we set for screentime, etc.).

I think they’ve added a lot more functionality now…it was a bit lacking, including more parental controls and the activity dashboard, not to mention the content library has grown. They continue to add more titles, well-known as well as their own original content; books in different languages; as well as instructional videos.

While I have some mixed feelings about video content, I also appreciate when he watches instructional LEGO videos that fuels his desire to pull out some of his gazillion LEGO’s and start building his own creations. Videos can be toggled on or off at least. Hopefully they’ll add more control to filter content or maybe set watch limits.

Epic website screenshot.

Best of all, the pricing looks the same, with a monthly billed option or the annually billed option (at a sizeable discounted rate). With the annual rate coming out to about the cost of one “fancy” coffee a month, it wasn’t a hard decision and we’ve already decided to renew again this year.

What can you expect?

We’ve read to our son from early on and encouraged him to read on his own as well. Maybe he’d enjoy reading and have read as much even without Epic.

I’m not sure how we could have supplied this quantity of books, even borrowing them from the library though. At the very least, I certainly don’t think it has hurt or hindered his reading, so it seems to be a pretty sound investment.

But this has been our experience. Yours, and your child’s, may be different.

Fortunately, Epic books is offering a 1 free month trial promotion of their Epic Unlimited, if you want to find out. No promo code is necessary, just click button below.

Epic Books Promo

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President and Founder of Identity Developments, LLC, the parent company of the McHenry Life website. My hope for McHenry Life is to create a resource and destination for the residents and businesses of McHenry County alike. A place where residents can discover new places to explore, fun events and ways to spend time, and then share those experiences with others. A place where businesses can connect with existing and potential customers, and not simply market their businesses, but share their own unique stories.

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