I spent a lot of our younger years reading aloud to my little posse of boys. We liked to do this after lunch on the couch or at bedtime as they drifted off to sleep with scenes of Narnian sword fights in their little heads. But it wasn’t until we realized that one of our kids had dyslexia that we started learning about the real benefits of listening to stories and that it wasn’t “cheating” to use audio books instead of “real” books.
What audio books & audio dramas do for your brain
When we first started homeschooling, I thought that reading was better for our brains than listening to a book. Especially when the kids were young and learning phonics, I had the wrong idea that those little phonics readers were better than a fabulous audio book.
Did you know that research shows that our brains react the same to reading a print book as listening to an audio book?
This is good news for those of us with dyslexic kids. Because it means that they don’t have to always struggle through reading a print book, but can still grow their vocabulary, imagination, and comprehension skills through an audio format.
How to use audio books & audio dramas in your homeschool
Audio books and audio dramas are fabulous tools for many situations and reasons:
- Multiple ages can listen together
- Family bonding
- Eating lunch
- Car trips
- Listen while mom tends to the baby or toddler
- Helpful on sick days
- Perfect for dyslexic kids
- Aligns with your language arts content goals
- Can align with your history content goals
Audio Dramas to check out
If you’ve been around the homeschool world for a few minutes, you’ve likely been introduced to some excellent audio book and audio drama recommendations.
There are many available for young kids, like these:
But it’s been harder to find quality audio books and dramas for teenagers. Not anymore! I’m excited to share with you about Unidentified, the first in a series of audio dramas for Christian teens in The Jake Muller Adventures Series.
The creator of this series, Darby Kern, describes The Jake Muller Adventures as a mix between Indiana Jones and the X-files. It’s filled with suspense, great background music, quality dialog and plot twists and turns, along with spiritual warfare and interesting topics. I know you’ll want to check it out if you have teenagers who grew up on audio dramas like The Adventures in Odyssey but are now too old for them.
You can find more about this new audio drama for teens here:
- Review of The Jake Muller Adventures (includes an exclusive coupon code!)
- Podcast interview with Darby Kern, the creator of The Jake Muller Adventures
So whether you’re homeschooling little ones or teenagers, or a mix of ages, I hope you’ll reconsider using audio books and audio dramas in your homeschool. They’re not inferior to print books. Even better, they just might take a load off your shoulders while still providing the needed brain workout for your kids. It’s a win-win!
Abby is a former public school teacher, now homeschooling her five children. She’s in the trenches just like you and knows it can be challenging to be home with your kids all day while you struggle to keep up with the housework and educate your kids (and maybe even work on the side!). She blogs over at www.4onemore.com and hosts the Homeschool with Moxie podcast.