Why Audiobooks Are Saving My Sanity
With the unbearable heat this summer, my kids have been inside more instead of playing outside. As a result, our tv has also been on more than usual. I turned the tv off the other day and had the idea to turn on an audiobook for my kids. We use our library card on the Libby app to get lots of free audiobooks. We also have an Audible subscription.
I actually got the idea from my husband.
Almost every night after the kids are in bed, we sit and read together in bed before going to sleep. I usually read a physical book or a digital one on my phone, also through Libby. He, on the other hand, listens to an audiobook with his headphones on.
Recently, he was out of town on a work trip, and I was tired and didn’t feel like reading. I also didn’t want to search for a tv show. So I thought I would give an audiobook a try. It was great. I laid in my bed with my eyes closed and listened to a story. When I felt I was drifting off to sleep, I stopped the book. I often don’t get the chance to listen to audiobooks unless I’m on walk, pushing my toddler in the stroller. Or maybe while I’m doing the dishes. I just feel like it’s hard to pay attention because someone always needs my attention.
My four year old was having a meltdown the other day. She was tired but didn’t want to nap. So I had her lay down in her bed and listen to an audiobook on my phone.
Not only did she stop crying, but she wanted to listen to another.
I was also able to complete a task I needed to get done at the same time. Since she can’t read independently, this is a great option for her. I found another audiobook, which we own a physical copy of. She listened to the words on my phone and flipped along in the book (her older sister did help with this part).
The next day, when the tv had been on awhile, I announced we were turning it off and putting on an audiobook. There were some grumbles, but they quickly got over it. We listened to an audiobook for awhile, and they played happily together. I have a theory that they fight less when the audiobooks are on, probably because they aren’t talking as much. But hey, I’m not complaining, whatever keeps the peace around here. I’ve been playing the audiobooks on my phone but will be purchasing a Bluetooth speaker for easy listening.
Now instead of morning screen time, the expectation at our house is to listen to an audiobook. My girls play quietly with their toys or each other while listening along. One daughter has even started cleaning, without being asked, while she listens.
Overall, I’m very pleased with how much our screen time has decreased thanks to audiobooks.
I normally read aloud at bedtime to my older three girls, after the toddler is asleep. The older three girls share a room so they lay in bed while I read. Two are usually asleep after I’m done reading a chapter, and then my oldest reads a book on her own. One of my favorite resources for finding books to read aloud to my kids is readaloudrevival.com. We’ve read and enjoyed a lot of her suggestions. There’s even recommendations for audiobooks too.
I downloaded the audiobook of the book we’re currently reading aloud, The Penderwicks: a Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy. My husband can put the audiobook on for the older girls, if I’m putting the toddler to sleep. He isn’t a fan of reading out loud so this is perfect for bedtime. Audiobooks might be a good idea for reluctant readers too and help them fall in love with stories. We even listened to an audiobook at the table while eating lunch the other day. They’re also great for road trips.
Here’s our “to be listened to” list:
Kid’s audiobook list:
The Penderwicks Series
Chronicles of Narnia Series
Harry Potter Series
The Tale of Despereaux
Magic Treehouse Series
My Father’s Dragon
The Vanderbeekers Series
Mercy Watson Series
Mama’s audiobook list:
Jane Austen’s Emma, an audible original
Anne of Green Gables, read by Rachel McAdams, only from Audible
A Most Agreeable Murder
The Secret Book of Flora Lea
Pysche and Eros
Ink Blood Sister Scribe
The Wishing Game
The Twyford Code