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Benefits of Audio Books for Children Learning to Read

These days, audio books are becoming more and more available. Their increase in popularity shouldn’t come as a surprise — they provide a range of benefits that many people are only now discovering. Aside from being enjoyable, audio books are great for teaching reading and spelling.

For students who are struggling with these subjects, audio books can really make a difference in their educational experience. Keep reading to discover all the benefits that you and your children or students can enjoy by listening to audio books.

  1. Convenience

    One of the first benefits of audio books that most people think of is convenience. As great as it is to enjoy some quiet time with a book, it’s hard to find free time to set aside for reading. However, even if you don’t have extra time in your schedule to dedicate to reading, you can try to find ways to combine it with other elements of your daily routine, such as when you’re in the car. Because you don’t need to hold audio books in your hands or look at them as you listen, they can be enjoyed in situations where reading is not possible. As long as you have a phone and a set of headphones, you can listen to audio books as you walk or drive to school, do chores outside, tidy your room, or clean up around the house. These are just a few of the situations where audio books are very convenient!

  2. Immersive and Engaging

    Many people think of convenience when they think of audio books, but a lot of audio-book listeners also find them to be more immersive and engaging than reading. Nowadays, a large percentage of audio books are recorded with professional voice actors and narrators that do a lot more than simply read the words on the page. These professionals bring life to the stories they narrate, adding emotion, excitement, and tension that fits perfectly with what they’re reading. This can greatly add to our enjoyment. In fact, many people like to listen to audio books as they read along with a physical book, saying that it helps them focus and creates a more immersive experience.

    In addition to increasing our enjoyment, the ability for audio books to make reading more immersive and engaging is very important for young readers. Audio books can be a great way to build a love of reading for students who struggle to read on their own or simply have a hard time sitting still for long periods of time. It can encourage their imagination and help them picture the vivid worlds and stories that books contain.

  3. Helps Build Listening Comprehension

    Listening comprehension is a vital skill for young children. Children naturally build listening comprehension as people talk to them and around them, but when audio books are added to their learning routine, kids benefit from hearing vocabulary, accents, tones, and inflections that are not part of the way their family, friends, and teachers usually speak. This can greatly help with their confidence and comprehension as they face new challenges throughout their education.

    (Check out our blog post on other ways to build listening comprehension!)

  4. Helps Develop Fluency

    One of the most important benefits of audio books, especially for children who are learning how to read, is their ability to serve as fluency role models. When we learn to read, it is important to hear others read well. This demonstrates what is possible and provides a target level to aspire to. When children hear fluent reading, it becomes easier for them to mimic the tone, speed, and inflections that contribute to fluency. It can also make it much easier for them to remember the meaning and pronunciation of new words. This is a big part of why parents and teachers are encouraged to read aloud to their children and students.

    a girl and her mom reading together in bed

  5. Gives Your Voice a Rest

    Many children love being read to, and reading aloud to children is highly recommended. Just like listening to audio books, this cherished activity builds listening comprehension and provides children with fluency role models. However, reading aloud for long periods of time can be tiring for your voice. Adding the occasional audio book to your read-aloud time can give you a break, and it lets you and your student or child enjoy listening together. That means you can laugh together at the funny parts, react together to exciting moments, and turn reading from a solitary activity into something you enjoy together!

Resources

Ready to get your hands on some audio books yourself? Thankfully, we have some great resources and examples to get you started. Take a look at some of our favorite audio books and audio-book providers:

  • The Ramona Quimby Collection by Beverly Cleary (narrated by Stockard Channing)
  • Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White (narrated by George Plimpton)
  • Redwall by Brian Jacques (narrated by full cast)
  • KidsRead2Kids – KidsRead2Kids was founded by siblings with dyslexia and ADHD to bring joy and confidence to struggling readers. They provide free video/audio books read by kids for kids, filmed chapter by chapter for easy listening. This is a great resource for homeschooling parents and primary teachers.
  • Learning Ally is a non-profit organization committed to helping dyslexic, blind, and visually impaired students thrive. Check out our blog post for more information on how to get a membership with Learning Ally.

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Sharron

says:

I homeschool an 11 year old girl that has been diagnosed with dyscalculia, dysgraphia, and dyslexia, as well as attention deficit. We started out with AAR level 2 and are now working on Level 3 and AAS level 2. I also have her listen to books on CD and we read aloud every day. I have seen tremendous growth in reading.

Robin

says: Customer Service

Sharron,
Thank you for sharing! It’s so encouraging to hear how this girl is having such growth in reading with all the work you have been putting in!

Steph

says:

We love audiobooks for long trips in the car!

Malaika

says:

Our family listens to audiobooks every time the car door closes! We’ve listened to everything from Harry Potter to The Secret Garden to The Story of the World. The books come to life with the many amazing people telling the stories.

Robin

says: Customer Service

Malaika,
I love your in-the-car audiobook habit! A great way to enjoy so many books!

Katie D

says:

I was going to ask about suggested audiobook resources, but was happy to find some at the end of the article. We are always on the hunt for wholesome books/audiobooks. Thanks!

Robin

says: Customer Service

You’re welcome, Katie! Enjoy!

Sam Knowlton

says:

Audiobooks has become part of our nightly bedtime routines and my four year old absolutely loves it

Robin

says: Customer Service

Sounds like you are building a book-loving habit with your little one, Sam! Great work!

Stephanie

says:

My children love audio books!!

Courtney

says:

We love listening to audiobooks

Emily

says:

I love audio books while my kid is playing with legos

Cos

says:

During the pandemic, we discovered audiobooks and now we love them!

Lynda MacPherson

says:

Thanks for sharing

Mikayla

says:

We love audio books!

Megan A

says:

Thank you for sharing!

paige

says:

Such a great way to help build fluency

Heather

says:

Audio books are great learning resources!

Lisa Maynard

says:

I’m excited for these awesome resources for my littles!

Kelly G

says:

We love audiobooks!!

Alyssa Garza

says:

Thank you for all of these resources! I love putting an audiobook on when we are driving!

Tricia Kinnebrew

says:

I home school my son, he’s 8. He can read but he doesn’t like to. We use audiobooks a good portion of the time. He likes them.

Alison Sullivan

says:

My 5yr old is obsessed with audiobooks! I can tell his comprehension skills are improving from the time spent listening to them.

Rosie Lapp

says:

My kids have been enjoying Henry Huggins lately by Beverly Cleary! So nice to give my voice a break.

Brittany Hopkins

says:

Cannot wait to try this curriculum with my 3 boys this fall.

Shelby Kunkle

says:

We love audio books for homeschool and nap/bedtime! So many options and have helped with understanding accents from different readers too!

Robin

says: Customer Service

Shelby,
An audiobook reader (often called “narrator”) who can do accents is such a great resource! I read aloud well, but I cannot do decent accents.

Charity B

says:

Audio books are a wonderful way to read and enjoy books

Chrystal

says:

We LOVE all about reading! It has helped my 7 year so much!

AJ

says:

I hadn’t thought about ways audiobooks could actually be beneficial, so this was a good read!

Mandy

says:

Great resources!

Sheri Knowlton

says:

We have not tried audio books yet but this was just recommended to us by our daughters doctor to help improve her learning.

Kim McBride

says:

I enjoy the resources!

Alexandria Kueck

says:

I haven’t tried audio books yet but I think it would be great for my son with ASD.

Hannah Foley

says:

We LOVE audio book in our home! I feel that it encourages a whole new level on imagination in children.