We have been listening to audiobooks for three years and we are still loving them. Homeschooling with audiobooks is a great way to have fun while building your children’s literary library. Audiobooks have been a great addition to our homeschool, I know that we will continue to utilize them.
We listen to audiobooks while driving, my kids often ask me to drive around the block ‘one more time’ before pulling into our driveway so they can continue to listen to the story. Audiobooks are great at occupying everyone and help to pass the time as well. Listening to stories on road trips is a great way to make time fly as well!
Benefits of Audiobooks
Is listening to audiobooks considered reading?
I suppose the answer to that question is a very individual answer. If you consider reading to be understanding the content of the story or the theme, then audiobooks fit that definition for sure. I am in no way saying that the actual skill of reading isn’t important but I think that understanding the message is equally important.
Listening to audiobooks has been such an enriching experience for my children. Audiobooks have helped them to think critically about the content, they use their imagination like crazy, and I KNOW that it has fueled their love of reading…they want more which makes them love all books not just audiobooks.
- Introduce students to books above their reading level
- Model good interpretive reading
- Teach critical listening
- Highlight the humor in books
- Introduce new genres that students might not otherwise consider
- Introduce new vocabulary or difficult proper names or locales
- Sidestep unfamiliar dialects or accents, Old English, and old-fashioned literary styles
- Provide a read-aloud model
- Provide a bridge to important topics of discussion for parents and children who can listen together while commuting to sporting events, music lessons, or on vacations
- Recapture “the essence and the delights of hearing stories beautifully told by extraordinarily talented storytellers”
Homeschooling with Audiobooks
I am homeschooling three children of very different learning levels. Audiobooks allow us ALL to enjoy and share the same stories together. Listening to audiobooks allows us to expand our literature library much faster than it would if I had to read the books out loud myself.
Please don’t get me wrong, I still read out loud (a lot!) but we spend a lot of time in the van driving from place to place or event to event so I feel that listening to audiobooks is an extremely productive homeschooling activity. I also include the books that we listen to on our state required homeschool book list.
There are many subjects that you can cover with audiobooks. History, science, literature, honestly the options are endless. Audiobooks, like books, can take you anywhere and teach you everything.
Our Audiobook Library
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The Lion Boy was the first series that we listened to, it certainly got us hooked! This trilogy was a perfect fit for us.
The world in the books mostly resembles the modern day world, with a few key differences. These differences are hinted at rather than explained outright. Firstly, most of the world’s oil has been used up, and petrol cars are now only used by the very rich, elite and powerful. Aeroplanes are not flown at all – sea travel is once again the dominant form of overseas travel. The world (at least, the parts seen in Charlie’s journey) now seems to run efficiently on solar and wind power.
Charlie is a young child who is able to speak to cats (and all felines) due to an incident involving a leopard cub’s blood when he was a baby. He lives in London with his parents, Dr. Aneba Ashanti and Professor Magdalen Start, both of whom are scientists working on a cure for asthma and other allergies caused by contact with felidae family, or referred in the books as allergenies.
The Little House series followed. All three kids fell in love with this series. There were many ‘pause the story / teachable moments’ along the way but we really enjoyed these books. We completed lapbooks for each book as well. Using lapbooks with literature help to chronicle our learning journey and are a great addition to our homeschool portfolio.
Currently, we are on book 4 of the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series.
Development for both The Lightning Thief and the Percy Jackson series commenced when Rick Riordan began making stories for his son Haley Riordan, who had at the time been diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia. His son, Haley, had been studying Greek mythology in second grade and requested that his father tell him bedtime stories based on Greek myths. When Riordan ran out of myths, his son suggested that he make up new stories using existing mythological characters and new ones. This led Riordan to create the fictional character of Percy Jackson and create the story of how he travels across the United Statesto recover Zeus’s lightning-bolt. Haley suggested that he should turn that story into a book, and Riordan wrote the book over the next year despite being busy at that time
We all really enjoy audiobooks by Beverly Cleary, I think Superfudge is their favorite by her so far. Fables, fairy tales, and world tales by Rabbit Ears are simply wonderful as well.
Currently we are studying the ancient time period in history. I am reading many books aloud to my kids but we are able to listen to Story of the World over and over and over…they really enjoy history!
I read our living science book out loud but you could easily listen to the adventures of the Sassafrass twins on an audiobook.
I am so grateful that we discovered audiobooks. Listening to stories has allowed us to go on adventures together and share so many amazing experiences with one another, I know that these stories will make an imprint on my children’s memory. They will be happy memories full of learning and love.
To read more about our homeschool experience please click here.