Thursday, September 19, 2013

Audiobooks----Does your family use these treasures?

People really think homeschoolers just sit around the kitchen table all day and complete worksheets.  They have incredibly clean homes, because hey....they never leave right?!?

Well our lives are so far from that.  I swear I live in our van.  Even weeks I think we are going to be home more often, we aren't.  I have come up with a way for Lydia to accomplish some of her schoolwork on the road.  But I still feel we have wasted drive time.  We do practice math facts, days of the week, months of the year, etc.  But that gets boring too.

But I have found a way to get a little education in my using Audiobooks.  The girls absolutely love listening to anything from Nancy Drew to Magic Tree House to American Girl audio books.

When we are traveling with Joe on a trip for extended periods, we listen to longer titles and try to make sure the boys are not bored also.  So we switch things up a bit and listen to Percy Jackson and one trip we also listened to The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.  Usually when we start on a long trip, Joey is asking before we even leave the driveway, what we will be listening too.

We'll pause as needed and even discuss topics that are being read about.  When listening to The Mixed up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, we were able to talk with the kids about the possibility of actually living in an art museum and if this was possible.  Also the fact that this is an older book, how much the cost of items have changed.

Now audiobooks can be very expensive, and we easily go through 3-4 a trip.  That could easily be $100.00 just in books for a trip.  So I visit the library and search for titles for the kids.  Our library has a 3 week check-out time, so we can easily not even need to renew when on a trip.

If the title is not available for physical checkout, I use my smartphone.  Our library also has downloadable audiobooks.  And fortunately our van allows me to run my phone through the stereo.  If your vehicle doesn't allow for this though, I wouldn't advise that option as it would be harder to the whole family to listen.  But if your kids have their own tablets, you could download to their devices.  The only trouble with this, you cannot listen as a family.  But if your kids have widely diverse book tastes, this might be a more peaceable way to drive.

Another resource we use is Audible books.  This service does cost us monthly, but Joe likes to listen to audiobooks at work.  We both also like to listen to audiobooks when we exercise.  So we try to keep justifying this expense.  If we know we are going on a long trip, we also save up our credits to get titles that the library may not have.

I am also working on using audiobooks to help Brayden tackle more chapter books.  We are going to start this project in the next couple weeks.  I am hoping this may help with his feeling that chapter books are overwhelming.  So watch future posts to see how we use audiobooks in our "classroom".

Does your family use audiobooks?  Where do you find yours?  Do you have a cheap no-cost option you use?

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