I recently purchased a Finding Dory book and CD for my daughter and, one day while listening to it , she mentioned how she wishes they would let them listen to stories that way in school. That comment made me think . . . hmm, are audiobooks not widely used in schools these days? Or, perhaps it is just her teacher that prefers the traditional way of reading. Maybe there is a good reason for NOT using audiobooks in a Kindergarten classroom. I have used them on several occasions in my home but, maybe I should go back to the basics. So, me being me, I hopped on Google Scholar and started doing some research. I wanted to know whether or not, I should continue to use audiobooks with my children. Here is what I discovered:
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There are LOTS of benefits of using audiobooks with children, but here are a few:
- Audiobooks help children develop their listening skills as well as their concentration- these are both two very critical developmental skills. Children that are great listeners and can focus on a set task not only make our jobs easier as parents, but they may also find greater success in school, work, adulthood, etc.
- Listening to audiobooks will assist children with learning the importance of punctuation and sentence structure. Essentially, this could also help them become better writers!
- Children can be introduced to language above their reading level while also learning to construct advanced sentences.
- Children can become familiar with different accents and dialects.
- Individuals with ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) may have a easier time following a story on audio than with traditional reading.
- Children can experience more time working on literacy due to the convenience of audiobooks. The audio can be played while cooking, cleaning, driving, etc.
- Those listening to audiobooks can really develop their imagination!
So, in a nutshell: heck yeah, you should be using audiobooks with children! These things are freakin’ awesome! Of course, you should ABSOLUTELY still encourage and exercise traditional reading from a book. You can download a free trial of the Epic! Reading app for mobile (what we have been using for a while now) to have access to tonsss of titles on audio as well as digital storybooks. During your free trial, you can give this whole audiobook thing a test drive without even reaching in your pockets!
If you have been following Major League Mommy for a while, you may remember me using Epic! for our Summer Reading Challenge as well as our Countdown to Christmas Challenge. It’s a huge hit around here so I totally recommend it.
However, there are many ways to get your hands on some good audiobooks, so give it a shot and please feel free to share your experience with us in the comments below!
What’s your children’s favorite story? Share in the comments below! 🙂
Baskin, Barbara H., and Karen Harris. “Heard any good books lately? The case for audiobooks in the secondary classroom.” Journal of Reading 38.5 (1995): 372-76.
Mediatore, Kaite. “Reading with your ears: Readers’ advisory and audio books.” Reference & User Services Quarterly 42.4 (2003): 318-323.