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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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Catrina

says:

As a dyslexic parent, audio books have been a valuable part of our curriculum. The first one I got from the library for my kids was on cassette tapes, and I just recently updated to an app for that instead. I drive while listening to a book instead of the radio, and often we will play a book instead of music while coloring or building a puzzle.

Robin

says: Customer Service

Catrina,
Thank you for sharing how you incorporate audiobooks for your kids. I loved when my library switched to digital audiobooks; it’s really upped our use of them!

Emma

says:

Sharing audiobooks is my favorite part. We choose an audiobook for vacation every year and have great memories of the places we’ve been while listening. I saw my kids comprehension skills explode when we added them to our daily life as well.

Robin

says: Customer Service

Emma,
Wonderful that audiobooks have had such an impact on your kids’ comprehension! Thank you for sharing!

Tracy

says:

I am over the moon with the success we have had with level one of AAR. We are so excited to get ready to jump into level 2 for one child and the pre reading program for our other. The younger one is already learning so much from watching the older sibling enjoy their time with AAR. It is laid out so perfectly and handles any guess work I might have worried about without using this program.

Robin

says: Customer Service

Thank you, Tracy! It’s great to hear that All About Reading has helped you and your child do so well with the first level of learning to read!

Heather

says:

Such a fun program. My 5 year old has learned so much and looks forward to her reading lessons.

Stormi Miron

says:

Saving this info because I never really considered audio books because I can’t use them personally

Lindsey

says:

Audiobooks have been so huge for us!!

Larissa

says:

We listen to audio books every day! We especially love books on cd because the kids can turn them on without needed a screen.

Robin

says: Customer Service

Larissa,
I understand your desire to have your children have audiobook options without a screen. You may want to look into a Yoto player. It does audiobooks, music, even child-aimed podcasts, all without the distraction of a screen.

Dayanara

says:

Audiobooks have been a game changer for my child. We also love AAR!

Kim McMillan

says:

We love ARR! My daughter transitioned to reading multiple syllable words with ease because of AAR.

Robin

says: Customer Service

Wonderful to hear, Kim! Thank you!

Hannah

says:

Love AAR and all it’s done for my student so far!

Stephanie Henneberry

says:

Considering listening takes other skills and abilities I can see the value in developing more proficiency by listening to Audio Books. I love that you can be engaged in Audio books simultaneous to some other tasks such as driving in the car. It’s great for learning on the go, on vacation, on the way to sports or travel.

Niña

says:

I have not explored using audio books as I prefer having the physical books myself. But I guess utilizing different methods will have great benefits to my child and perhaps even myself.

Sarah C

says:

My 10 year old absolutely loves audio books. I plan to get a yoto player soon to do away with the temptation of having screen time instead.

Robin

says: Customer Service

Sarah,
I have only recently found out about Yoto players, but what such a great thing! It was exactly what I wanted when my kids were younger, and I’m already thinking of getting one for my grandchild.

Jennifer

says:

We love audio books! Thank you

Lesia Portnov

says:

The audio books at the local library are my kids favorite to check out and “read”.

Allison

says:

My kids love audio books. I’ve noticed that audio books really help them with reading comprehension and vocabulary.

Thanks for the list of recommended websites. I’ll definitely check them out!

Krystin

says:

One of my kiddos absolutely loves the WonderBooks available at our local library! They are quickly becoming our favorite way to enjoy audiobooks.

Danielle C

says:

My kids love audiobooks! Thanks for the resources.

Jenna

says:

Love audiobooks in our family! Helps with comprehension and building vocabulary that we’re not yet ready to read.

Allison t

says:

My son has been asking for audio books. Glad to see these resources

Kristine Z

says:

We try to do as many homeschool subjects as possible through audiobooks and listen while we drive to activities or eat lunch. My kids are immensely proud of our Audible listening statistics – we’re currently at 6 months, 20 days, 2 hours, and 5 minutes!

Robin

says: Customer Service

Oh, wow! That IS an impressive amount of listening, Kristine!

Lauren Christy

says:

We listen to audiobooks all the time when running errands in the car. My kids both love it!

Robin

says: Customer Service

Thank you, Lauren!

Iris

says:

My son loves listening to audiobooks!

Robin

says: Customer Service

Wonderful, Iris!

Dana

says:

We love audio books!

Zakiyah

says:

I have just learned that audio books aid in listening comprehension! I was not aware of any other benefits outside of it being useful for people who didn’t like to read physical books. This is amazing, I’m going to see if my kids would prefer this method

Robin

says: Customer Service

Zakiyah,
Audiobooks are such a great resource with many benefits! Enjoy!

Morgan Ehman

says:

We love audiobooks! we check them out with the library. Mostly we use them in the car. Unfortunately I’m not very consistent putting them on inside. I need to get better about that!

Robin

says: Customer Service

Morgan,
In the car is a great place for audiobooks, especially if you are on the road a lot for going to sports or other activities!

Jamie

says:

Thank you for this! It’s a relief to know that audio books help so much.

Robin

says: Customer Service

You’re welcome, Jamie!

Rebecca Kenyon

says:

My daughter loves audio books!!

Katelyn Evans

says:

We love audio books!!! We listen during lunch and on car rides!

Aislynn Locklear

says:

I’ll admit, I was a “printed page only” purist for a long time for myself and my kids, but within the last few years (more kids, less time), I’ve really come to appreciate audio options for many reasons – not the least of which is that it is better than no literature at all!

Robin

says: Customer Service

Aislynn,
I know what you mean! And I found, as my kids got older and my life got busier, I found audiobooks to be a great solution for myself. I don’t have time to enjoy as many printed books as I would like, but I can listen to an audiobook while folding laundry, running errands, or getting a workout in.

Christina Millner

says:

We love AAR. After trying about 5 different reading curriculums this is the only one that has helped my son!!

Robin

says: Customer Service

Christina,
It’s so great to hear that All About Reading has helped your son! Thank you!