The girls were six and eight when the light bulb flicked in my mind about the power of listening to stories via audio books. Before then we listened to audio books sporadically. Mostly the ones that accompanied a picture book. Our listening sessions weren't the least bit consistent. I would say this was due to the fact that I placed a bit of pressure on myself to be the voice behind all of the stories the girls were to hear. When that light bulb flicked, I was given freedom to use audio books as a resource to enrich learning in our home and car.
It's been nearly four years since we delved into using audio books regularly in homeschool, and now that we have become accustomed we are broadening our listening pleasures by including audio dramas too. An audio drama is different than an audio book because it is more like theatre. Audio dramas have actors for each of the characters along with sounds that bring the story to life. For instance, if a horse is mentioned then you will hear the sounds of its hooves against the dirt in the background.
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Three Reasons We Enjoy Audio Theater
It opens the mind's eye. Listening to others read allows for listening comprehension to deepen. Some of us aren't naturally inept to picturing the movement and actions within a story therefore a traditionally audio book might leave a child or person wondering what is happening. Audio theatre encourages imagination because it helps those who may struggle with producing scenes in their minds. The sounds and voice changes helps with the scene progression.
It enriches content subjects such as history. I have shared before that history just isn't my thing. I enjoy learning about events and people of the past, but I tend lean towards those topics that I am most familiar. Audio dramas from Heirloom Audio Productions help me to learn about topics in history which I am not familiar. I am grateful for resources such as these because my girls would be really limited in knowledge if they were only subject to what I know and what I am comfortable with teaching. Listening to In Virginia with Lee gave us more context of the Civil War. For the longest, I didn’t know which side the generals fought, but hearing the story helped those details cement themselves in my mind.
It allows for an adventure on a regular day. Homeschooling can become very routine if we allow it just like most things in life that requires diligence and effort. One of my desires for our home education journey is that it will not become boring, but instead it will often be enjoyable even when we are doing the hard work or pushing through the least favorite subjects. Listening to audio dramas especially those that tell an adventurous story will help keep some spark in our homeschool. The girls become engrossed in the characters. We are able to have discussions about topics that may not have come up otherwise. We are able to "visit" lands that we might not have chosen to visit on our own. In Freedom's Cause took us to Scotland, and we are learning about a part of history that neither of us knew prior to listening to the story.
What are some of your favorite stories to share with your children? Have you listened to them on audio?