In certain homeschool groups, audiobooks have a bad reputation. Listening to a book is considered compared to the child "actually" doing silent reading.
I think that is nonsensical idea. Audiobooks provide numerous benefits to all listeners and can be especially beneficial to those who struggle to read.
How can using audiobooks benefit your homeschool and family?
It Supports Skills Of Emerging Readers
How can it help reading skills if they aren’t reading?
Listening to an audiobook allows them to hear fluent reading. This will help when they read aloud.
It allows them to notice how punctuation affects the meaning of a passage and how we hear written conversation.
They notice whether someone reads too fast or too slow. As a result, they can become better at controlling their own pace.
Hearing someone read correctly ensures when your child begins reading independently they have a great foundation to build from. All of these things will help them to become better readers.
Helps Fluent Readers With Longer Stories
The sheer length of Pride and Prejudice or The Odyssey can deter even the best readers from picking them up. I’ve yet to finish The Game of Thrones series after numerous attempts.
Maybe I should try using an audiobook?
Audiobooks can help your child who might be overwhelmed by the sheer length of some books. For some children, reading unfamiliar dialects can impede their enjoyment and understanding of the work.
In addition, an audiobook an expose a child to another genre or style of writing that they wouldn’t otherwise experience.
Benefits Dyslexic Children
The use of audiobooks separates the ability to decode from content and comprehension. This is a benefit for the dyslexic reader.
By using an audiobook, a dyslexic reader is not left to wallow in content woefully behind their comprehension capabilities. Listening to books strengthens comprehension. It also expands vocabulary and background knowledge. And it removes the frustration of decoding. It evens the playing field for kids who need support to access the curriculum. In the long run, this can only help a dyslexic reader.
Helpful for Homeschool Moms
Audiobooks are a great way to lighten the homeschool mom load. When you are homeschooling multiple children and they don't share any subjects an audiobook can be a lifesaver.
It eases my mind knowing that while I help one of my children with their math, the other can complete their History, Science or English and not miss content due to poor decoding of difficult words.
While both of my kids can read independently sometimes certain subjects can be a little difficult. I have two kids that need me, but I can't split myself in half.
Audiobooks bridge the divide. They allow my children to listen to the books and keep us on schedule so we can complete our homeschool day quickly.
They Can Go Anywhere
The older my children get the more time we spend in the car. Between competitive dance and therapy appointments we are in the car several hours a week. Audiobooks can make this otherwise wasted time more beneficial.
On road trips we love to listen to literature stories to keep the boredom and screen time at bay. We always look forward to this time together.
We often listen to chapters from their history books while driving to our different commitments. They can’t jump up and head to the kitchen for a snack or run to the bathroom while we’re driving down the road. This makes it the perfect opportunity to use the time to your advantage. Go ahead and play that classic you’ve already intended on reading.
Don’t allow homeschool bias keep you from using and enjoying audiobooks in your homeschool. My children love listening to books.
It has helped their vocabulary, imagination, and ability to recall information. It has even inspired them to read aloud to each other when the book was not available on audio.
It's a win for sibling relationships.
We have so many tools at our disposal as home educators, don't be afraid to use them all.
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