If you’ve ever wondered if using an audiobook was a bad replacement for reading, wonder no more! There are at least six reasons to include audiobooks in your homeschool.
#1 Audiobooks grow kids’ vocabulary
Reason #1 to use audiobooks in your homeschool is because it grows your kids’ vocabulary. Vocabulary is not only the best predictor of academic success but the best predictor of life success. That is just stunning to me.
If you have a child who is dyslexic or has another reading challenge, don’t let that discourage you. When my son was a four-year-old prereader, a workman was at our house and commented on my son’s large vocabulary. He said, “He talks like an eight-year-old!” That is likely because he was exposed to high-level vocabulary in our conversation and in books read to him by me or a narrator.
Audiobooks can present high-level vocabulary to students in a way they can benefit from. There is more than just the unknown words to tell the story. What we want is lots of exposure to new words, more than workbook drills. Audiobooks are a great vehicle for vocabulary exposure.
#2 Audiobooks teach pronunciation
Reason #2 to use audiobooks in your homeschool is because they teach correct pronunciation. Even advanced students who read voraciously can benefit from listening to audiobooks. Typically, students will not look up pronunciation of new words, leading my daughter to pronounce archives as arCHIVEs.
Even we as parents may not know how to properly pronounce a word when we are reading. It took me a while to learn that facade wasn’t pronounced facade. A professionally narrated audiobook provides valuable education in pronunctiation that doesn’t take your or your student’s time to look up the words.
#3 Audiobooks improve reading fluency
Reason #3 to use audiobooks is improved reading fluency. Having your child read along in the print book while listening to the audio will improve your child’s ability to read and read quickly. Have your child read out loud with the narrator. But even if your child isn’t looking at the book, the narrator’s reading cadence will help your child learn appropriate phrasing, proper pausing, and changes in tone required when reading aloud.
And if your child can read fluently, you’ll have a more confident child who will benefit greatly from reading more.
#4 Audiobooks engage readers
Reason #4 to use audiobooks in your homeschool is to engage readers. Whether you have a reluctant reader or a child who isn’t interested in a particular genre, using professionally produced audiobooks is a way to hook your child. Unless you’re a trained reader, your child will have better attention listening to a narrator’s characters in fiction or to a narrator’s commanding voice in nonfiction than to you. Reluctant readers are often happy to listen to a book, without realizing that the benefits of audiobooks are almost as great as reading a print book.
Audiobooks are fantastic for evoking emotion in listeners–something we know aids learning. Humor in particular is enhanced in audiobooks. The librarian’s voice in Grammar Galaxy Nebula cracks me up. Because she is funny, I remember her talking about tall tales. Your kids will remember too.
#5 Audiobooks are an incentive
Reason #5 to use audiobook is as an incentive. I talk with homeschool parents about how to motivate their students. It can be confusing to determine what to use as reinforcers. We can feel good about using educational materials as rewards, and audiobooks are the perfect option.
Have your child read the book first if you have a reluctant reader. Then play the audiobook. Or use the audiobook as a reward for completing chores or less desirable work. The more we present the audio as a treat, the more willing our kids will be to use it. They’ll have no idea that you want them to listen to the audiobook as much as you want them to complete the other tasks.
#6 Audiobooks save time
Reason #6 to use audiobooks is your time. Reading aloud is so valuable, but our voice only lasts so long. In some cases, we can’t read from a book. I can’t read in the car because of motion sickness. Audiobooks make long drives or even short commutes much more pleasant. They also allow Dad to be involved in what the kids are learning if he isn’t already.
You can use an audiobook for some children while you’re working with others. You can listen to an audiobook while you eat or do chores. You can play it at bedtime to keep kids quiet or for when they don’t have the energy to read themselves, if reading is a challenge. Audiobooks expand your educational time significantly.
Grammar Galaxy Nebula, the first volume of the elementary language arts curriculum kids love is now available as an audiobook! Listen to a sample and add it to your homeschool.
Audiobooks should be a part of your homeschool because they grow vocabulary, teach pronunciation, improve reading fluency, engage readers, motivate, and save time.