13 Dec - 2013

by mamaschmama

This post is part of a sporadic series I have.  In Real Life Learning posts are about how I integrate my teacher skills with parenting.  It’s In Real Life Learning because sometimes what we envision turns out vastly different when enacted with kids.  Sometimes what is photographed on Pinterest isn’t so cut and dry.  A book we loved may bomb or something we do offhand ends up being a wonderful experience.  I write about that here.

Lately, my son is attracted to the audio-books at the library.  The books are in colorful bags that hang from a rack.  They have their own little section in the library and of course, there is a CD in there which makes it uber-attractive to a three year old.

Audio-books  are a learning tool that, if used cleverly, can be super awesome.


Let’s get this one out of the way first:

“I am NOT hooking my child up to another piece of technology!”

I rarely used audio-books in the classroom because it was hard to discuss the book with my students.  Also, letting technology read to my students made it really easy to zone out or busy myself with other work.  At home, we don’t use this every day.  We play the book when he asks and he probably listens to the audio-book around three times before we return it to the library.

I had to train my son on how to listen to the audio-book.  Also?  He knows how to hold a book, turn the pages, and can recognize words (as in a group of letters make a word).  I sat with him the first few times so he knew when he heard the “ding” that he had to turn the page.  I also worked with him on recognizing how the pictures match up with the words he’s hearing.  (Is there a picture of an elephant on the page?  No?  But the reader is talking about an elephant?  Maybe I’m on the wrong page.)

Also, I think the audio-book is a nice compromise between the iPad books because the children can hear the story yet still touch and smell a real, live book.  I’m still fairly certain books will exist by the time my children are in school, so they really do need to know how to handle them.

Audio-books give my child something constructive to do while I am taking care of business.

We get the audio-books out when I am preparing a meal.  This means I can work in the kitchen without two children hanging off me like a sixty pound apron.

My son sits and turns the pages.  My 1 year old daughter tries to beat up my son so she can hold the book.

Someone else has to read Dr. Seuss to my children.

He’s selected two audio-books so far and each time, he’s chosen a Dr. Seuss book.  The brilliance of Dr. Seuss on an audio-book had eluded me until we brought one home from the library.

When my son turned two, I asked the family to start buying him Dr. Seuss books.  Most kids adore Dr. Seuss because the illustrations are bright and interesting and the word play is engaging.  Also, the books are long and for children just beginning to read, they get ample practice reading high frequency words repeatedly.  For a lot of my former students, they were Dr. Seuss devotees because they could read the books masterfully and it helped boost their confidence.

But, man, Dr. Seuss books are long and the words can tie an adult tongue in knots.

The reader on the CD never gets tired of reading Dr. Seuss because they are getting paid and probably they take a break every five pages and the editor can just put it all together.

Adults can learn a thing or two about reading with expression.

There have been many times where I have had to read a children’s book aloud to adults and then get critiqued on my delivery. (In the first video, I went a tad bit dramatic because I’m a ham and I’m trying to make you laugh.)  Most parents have not been trained to do read alouds to their kids and while it does come naturally to some, to others it most certainly does not.  Listening to actors and authors read a children’s book can actually help you be a better reader for your child.

Even with my training, I’m still learning from hearing authors read their books.  Have you ever heard Robert Munsch read one of his books?  Click here to listen to this story.  I promise.  It’s worth it.

I hope you give audio-books a try if you haven’t done so before.  If you do use audio-books, let me know what you think about them!

Also, if you would like to do a IRL Learning piece for my blog or if you would like one on a certain topic, email me about it!

Comments are closed.

Menu Title