Editor's note: This post was originally published on April 25, 2016.
Audiobooks are an often overlooked, under-appreciated support for readers of all levels.
If you’re not sure what an audiobook is, it’s simple: Audiobooks are books that you can listen to. That’s it. Audio recordings of the reading of a book.
And you can find audiobooks in your library, via digital download, and more. For a comprehensive list of places you can score some free audiobooks, check out: Free Audiobooks and Why You Should Try Them.
Why should you use audiobooks now? Like right now? Like right this very minute, even if you weren’t planning on it?
I’ll tell you why. Here are five reasons to use audiobooks NOW:
1. Audiobooks are a great support for struggling readers. Have your child listen to an audiobook while following along in the text. This is a fantastic way for readers to learn new words, to hear fluent reading, and to ‘feel’ like they’re reading when they’re really not.
2. Audiobooks are a great way to pass time on commutes. Listen to audiobooks on the bus, on the subway, or in the car on your daily commute. Instead of jamming to the Top 40 Hits, audiobooks allow you to listen to books when reading isn’t an option. Take turns picking books, and remember that listening to chapter books may actually make kids excited to jump back into the car after driving siblings around town in the evenings.
3. Audiobooks provide a distraction from arguing or bickering for kids. When kids are listening intently to an audiobook, they won’t have time to worry about who’s taking up too much space in the car or who has the bigger snack.
4. Audiobooks make your workouts go so much more quickly. Listen to audiobooks as you do a workout DVD in the morning or while you walk in the evening. If your family is up for a reading workout, have everyone do jumping jacks, sit-ups, or planks while listening!
5. Audiobooks allow you to keep up with your child’s reading. If you have a voracious reader on your hands, and you just want to be able to chat together about the books on his or her nightstand, then listen to audiobooks as you clean, cook, walk, fold wash, or commute! Anyway possible, use those fringe hours for listening to books! Maybe you can even get ahead of your child and recommend some books to him or her!
Are you a fan of audiobooks? When do you listen to them, and why do you think others should do the same?
Let us know!
Share your ideas on the Scholastic Parents Facebook page, or find Amy on Twitter @teachmama, and let’s continue the conversation!
Read all posts by Amy Mascott.
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Check out bloggers Amy Mascott and Allie McDonald's book, Raising a Rock-Star Reader: 75 Quick Tips for Helping Your Child Develop a Lifelong Love for Reading. Get expert advice and learn new strategies for your young readers.