Friday, February 25, 2011

Why I'm Obsessed with Audio Books

I am obsessed with audio books and so are my kids.  So much to the point now that they won’t even listen to music and I’m considering an audio book ban for a week. But, they are one of the best things I have introduced to my children.

Audio books open up literature in a way that is completely different than print. While pictures from a well-illustrated book can make a story come alive for one child, a well-read audio book can do the same for another.  We all know that children love to be read to by their parents, but it is not always possible for me to read as much as I would like.  Audio books are a great way to fill in the gaps.
Audio books can be a lifesaver for a reluctant or struggling reader, allowing them to enjoy the book without the pressure of having to read every word. They can still participate in classroom discussions and not feel left out. As the audio book is reading they can read along in their own book, which will help them to learn vocabulary and pronunciation.  After listening to an audio book the reader can go back and enjoy the print book with less stress. S has listened to me read aloud every Harry Potter book, listened to them all on CD, and he’s now reading them on his own -- and he’s enjoyed them every time!

Audio books allow for wonderful family discussions since we are all “reading” the same thing. Every time we get into the car we review what happened the last time we listened to the story.  I love to hear what my kids remember and what they are getting out of the story.  We easily listen to two or three books a week since we are in our car so much. Some of the books we listen to are advanced for my four year old or may be too easy for my eight year old, but the second I turn on that book there is silence in my car!

Today most libraries provide audio book downloads right from their web pages and you can also check them out on CD.

Audio books all my kids have loved: the Ramona series by Beverly Cleary; the Geronimo Stilton series; the A to Z mystery series by Rob Roy; the Mercy Watson series by Kate DiCamillo; and the Bunnicula series by James and Deborah Howe.

Do you have a favorite audio book?

1 comment:

  1. Audio books are so much more enjoyable on a long car ride than some of the awful children's music out there. I rediscovered how wonderful Ramona was on our road trip across the country! And I think it was at least the second time the kids had heard them all....