We love to listen to audio stories in our family. I wanted to share why we listen to audio, how we make the time, and some of our favorites.
Why do we listen?
To learn: We have learned a ton of history and science through audio resources. It’s amazing all that we can learn when we take the time to listen.
To use our imaginations: I love how audio stories force the kids to use their imaginations. Instead of using a dvd player in our van to watch something, our children are “watching” in their heads with whatever images they create.
To experience books together: Our family can all talk about a story together when we listen together. The joy and wonder of a new story or new learning is so fun to do together.
When do we listen?
On road trips: Any time we are traveling more than an hour away, I try to have some audio stories to listen to in the van. On our big road trip last summer, we listened to more than 20 hours of audio. Traveling to relatives’ homes or even just a day field trip are great times to add in additional learning and use our imaginations.
While doing tedious tasks at home: Seth has spent many hours this winter doing Elijah’s hair. We’ve listened to over 15 hours of audio while doing hair since Christmas alone. We also like to listen to audio during a meal or while working on laundry. We used to mainly just listen in the van, but listening at home means that I can see the excitement on my children’s faces as they meet Reepicheep or hear about Aslan for the first time.
While they play: The kids also listen to audio while playing with legos or even coloring. I do have to say that some of the kids get so caught up in the story that they don’t get much playing done.
To what do we listen?
There are tons of options if you want to listen to audio. Any quality audio book is good, but these are some of our favorites. (Some of these were already mentioned in our Educational Gift-Giving Guide.)
The Chronicles of Narnia Radio Theatre has been lots of fun this winter. I love listening to these stories with my children.. Since Christmas we have listened to 5 of them. There actually are other stories available from Focus on the Family Radio Theatre such as Ben Hur and The Secret Garden. I was actually surprised at how large the collection is now. I listened to Ben Hur before having children. I remember enjoying it but can’t speak to how much my children will enjoy it yet. The sound effects can be intense in these. (In the photo, we have an older edition of the Chronicles of Narnia cds. If you buy them now, they come as a complete set.)
Jim Weiss has a large about of amazing audio stories. We love his history CDs especially George Washington. I am hoping to get a number of his fictional stories at our homeschool convention this year.
Jonathan Park Volume 1: The Adventure Begins is the first Jonathan Park CD collection we own. We love it, and I am sure will buy more in the coming years. They are fun science adventure stories that teach a number of Christian concepts. These CDs come from a young-earth creation perspective. In the first volume, we have heard topics addressing dinosaur graveyards, aliens, Fibonacci numbers, cave formations, and archaeological evidence as well as moral lessons with each story. The sound effects can be intense in this series as well so young listeners might be scared.
Hero Tales are a set of audio cds that actually are reading the old book Hero Tales from American History, which was written by Theodore Roosevelt. These have a higher vocabulary level than other cds we have, but we enjoyed them.
Your Story Hour History cds are yet another way to listen to history. These were originally a radio show so there are sound effects in them. We don’t love them as much as Jim Weiss, but there were different stories in the collection we had than our Jim Weiss history cds. The kids enjoy listening to these on their own.
Adventures in Odyssey Bible stories and For God and Country are our favorite Adventures in Odyssey. Sometimes the regular Adventures in Odyssey stories have too many whining children or concepts we don’t want to cover. The Bible stories CDs and the history in For God and Country are definitely our favorites. We have listened to these in the van, and the kids listen to them on their own.
Little House on the Prairie Series narrated by Cherry Jones is our favorite collection of audio books from the library. The narrator grows on you as you listen. Our family really enjoyed these almost three years ago. We are going to get them from the library again soon to listen to them again.
Do you like using audio resources in your family? Do you have any favorites not mentioned here?
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