I've always loved listening to talk radio and my phone is filled with podcasts. There is something about listening for news/entertainment/etc. that has always stuck with me. I still read and watch things, but listening allows me to really immerse myself in the information. It also allows me to make dinner or walk the dog at the same time. We use audiobooks often in our homeschool and on car trips. With the right narration, the kiddos can get really caught up in a story and often ask to continue listening throughout the day.
There are two types of audiobooks we use:
- Short Books on CD - These are generally ones we get from the library or second hand. They are short children's stories that the kiddos can listen to independently while following along with the book. It's great for my early reader who can't quite read all the words by herself to start, but after listenining to the CD a few times she can easily read the book back to me without assistance. We often do crafts or activities that go along with these books.
- Longer Audiobooks by Download - We started using Audible.com for longer books like Stuart Little or Charlotte's Web. We love E.B. White books! Audible.com is awesome because we can listen on my phone in the car or on the computer at home. We will listen to the audiobook over several days depending on the length and then we will often read the book again ourselves. I have the kiddos do a short "book report" on what they've heard. It usually involves drawing pictures of the characters or the feelings they felt while listening. My oldest sounds out all the character names and includes a list in her report.
Audible also offers short children's books and you can easily find titles appropriate by age or subject. I'm looking forward to them being a little older and we can check out Roald Dahl and C.S. Lewis stories. I download a lot of good grown-up books through Audible and I love that I can go back and listen again if I'm distracted (which of course never happens.) Right now Audible.com is offering a 30-day free trial. Too cool!
I hope you'll check out an audiobook or two. It really is a fantastic way to hear a story and you'd be amazed at what the kiddos absorb.
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