Thursday, May 26, 2011

Audiobooks for Children

Seth and I want our boys to experience the joy of reading. We want them to know the love of books and a good story. We want them to beg for "just one more chapter," and as they get older to beg for "just five more minutes" to read in bed before lights out. To instill this quality in our boys, Seth and I read aloud to them daily, have reduced the amount of television they watch, and allow them to listen to audiobooks.

Reading Aloud
We currently read aloud to the boys because they are too young to read to themselves. Isaac can read some books to himself, but not quite chapter books. He practices reading daily and is doing a great job! No matter how old the boys are, we will continue to read aloud, with them taking turns as they get older. I like the idea of enjoying a book together as a family.

Reduction of TV Time
The boys used to watch television during the daytime while I did chores around the house. The TV was not on all of the time, but for a 30 minute movie here and there. They would sometimes play the Wii in the afternoon, not much. I realized that watching TV and playing video games by themselves aren't bad, but it was what the boys weren't doing during those minutes that were bad. Instead of playing outside, reading a book, or interacting with people, they were staring at a screen. We got rid of our TV in the living room, hoping that out of sight meant out of mind (in other words, they stopped asking to watch TV). We purchased a flat screen TV and put it in the office/den upstairs. We LOVE the new arrangement because the TV is not staring us in the face all day, but is upstairs instead. With this move, we also established a new rule: No TV during the day. The boys only watch a movie or play the Wii on the weekend during family time. This weekend, for example, we will watch a movie together on Friday evening, then no more TV after that. Seth and I usually watch something on weeknights after the boys go to bed.

Our boys LOVE audiobooks! I regularly go to the public library and get several (4-6) audiobooks at at time. I get books on CD for the car, and books on tape for their bedroom. It is a treat to listen to an audiobook before bed. After we read aloud to them, tuck them in, and turn out the lights, we turn on the audiobook. Sometimes Asher falls asleep during the audtiobook, but Isaac never does! He could listen for hours. He knows how to turn the tape over and press play, but he often knocks on our door and says, "Can I keep listening...please?" How can you resist? :) We started with the Little House Series by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I compiled a list of some of the audiobooks we have enjoyed. All of these were checked out of our public library. Do you have any other audiobook suggestions?

  • The Little House Collection by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford
  • A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond
  • Five-Minute Bible Stories by Lois Rock
  • Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
  • The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary
  • Ralph S. Mouse by Beverly Cleary
  • Runaway Ralph by Beverly Cleary
  • Henry and Ribsy by Beverly Cleary
  • Ribsy by Beverly Cleary
  • Charlotte's Web by E.B. White
  • Stuart Little by E.B. White
  • Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White
  • The Voyages of Dr. Dolittle by Hugh Lofting
  • Chitty Chitty Bang Bang by Ian Fleming
  • Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling
  • The Rescuers by Margery Sharp
  • The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
  • 101 Dalmations by Dodie Smith
  • Mary Poppins by P. L. Travers
  • Madeline by L. Bemelmans
  • Magic Treehouse by Mary Pope Osborn
  • Pippi Longstocking by A. Lindgren

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