Last year we had a DVD player installed in our Toyota Highlander. While sometimes I find the kids utilizing the player, I also find myself listening to disagreements over which movie they choose watch or the kids become bored and once again on each other’s nerves. So what do I now get before each road trip? Audiobooks!
The kids become so immersed in the book that our trips are mostly silent. The audiobook leads to discussions and sometimes projects or further immersion in a subject area at home.
Why are audiobooks so wonderful? It is access to more books! There are so many wonderful books to read for pleasure, enhance vocabulary and spark the imagination. Audiobooks unlock the door for exposure to the joy of literature when on the go. This summer we have listened to four audiobooks in the car. In addition, my daughter is almost finished with her fifth novel and it is only July! That is nine books and we have a half a summer to go! Audiobooks give my seven year old another outlet to listening to books above his reading level, which enriches his vocabulary and comprehension skills.
How do we choose the audiobooks? Sometimes I choose one if it is a book I think both my older children will like based on their interests in literature and sometimes they will choose one together at the library.
For our family , audiobooks started as an alternative choice for entertainment while on vacation. Now the kids listen to audiobooks whenever we are in the car and our DVD player, while not obsolete, has taken a back seat in terms of our trip entertainment. When one book is finished they cannot wait to dart to the library for a new one. Audiobooks have become my miracle because whether it is a 15 hour drive or a 30 minute drive, my car is peaceful. Therefore, I never travel without an audiobook!
*******For more information about the benefits of audiobooks for learning, check out this article by assistant professor of reading education Denise Johnson, Benefits of Audiobooks for All Learners
Some of our favorite audiobooks include :
Harry Potter (books 1-7)by JK Rowling
American Girl (the historical characters)*
Dear America series*
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
* Even though these books are known to be geared towards girls, my 7 year old son enjoys them due to the portrayal of historical events