Tuesday, September 02, 2008

The Beauty of Free Audio Books

As I transition my kids from the level of work they are accustomed to at the public schools, to the level they are doing as a part of Ambleside, I am finding that audio books are the way to go.

I used to frown on the idea of using audio books for actual learning, as opposed to spare-time pleasure reading, but now my opinion has changed completely. I am finding that my children can handle reading books at a much higher level, if they can hear the audio as they read along. Not only is it entertaining to listen to someone read to you, but it helps them to stay on track and not let their minds wander. Plus, new vocabulary in the reading is assimilated naturally because difficult words are pronounced for them and their meanings are more easily discernible contextually, when spoken.

Tano is reading the unabridged Robinson Crusoe this way and Elli is reading the Burgess Animal Book for Children. They are both loving both the books and the format of listening while reading.

As an added bonus, by setting one kid up for a twenty-minute audio book session (I just plug headphones into my computer and run the mP3 files directly), I am free to talk through a different subject with the other child without being a distraction.

The best site I have found for free books online, featuring both the printed text and the audio (when available) is Project Gutenburg. I've mentioned this site before, but it bears repeating. If it exists for free online, they probably have it--and you might be surprised how many books (particularly classics) are available online.

No comments: