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Audio books? Audible?

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We have an off-and-on membership with Audible, but we get most of our audiobooks from our library's Overdrive program. Overdrive is easy - you sign in with your library card #, and download the audiobooks through the Overdrive app/download manager. I move the files to a new folder on my computer, import into iTunes, transfer to my phone, and plug that into the car. You can also put books on hold and make a wishlist. You can also buy some audiobooks straight from the publisher; Well Trained Mind Press has audiobooks for The Story of the World and a ton of Jim Weiss albums.


I prefer to listen to audiobooks together rather than read aloud. When he was younger I would stop and explain historical/literary references and figures of speech, but as he's gotten older and gained a huge vocabulary, I don't need to do that much anymore. We listen together in the car and while we do jigsaw puzzles. He listens on his own for at least a couple hours a day as well. It's how he likes to spend his non-computer free time.


Your son might like:


Tales from the Odyssey (Greek Myths) by Mary Pope Osborne


Pippi Longstocking

The Chronicles of Narnia

The Story of Classical Music

The Water Horse

Henry Huggins

The Boxcar Children

The Cricket in Times Square

Fairy Tales Every Child Should Know

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We've been Audible members for 10 or 11 years now. It's our #1 place to go. If you are a member you get discounted prices, private sales, & special offers all the time. I very rarely pay full price for our audio book collection with is huge.

You can easily download the books to your phone & then play them through your car radio. We have an older car so our model doesn't provide for our phones to synch, but we can still play them through the radio with the the help of a $40 device from the local shop. ;) Or, you can just download your book to the computer & put it on cd if you prefer. Both ways work.


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We really like audible and also librivox. The Ambleside Online forum has a thread for good readers on librivox so we regularly run through there and choose classics, either from the AO list or just similar. I also use the Whispersync deal with Amazon/Audible -- if you get the kindle book, even if it is a free classic, you can buy the Audible book for a reduced rate without being a member. Some are as low as 50 cents, up to about $4 for classics. 


Highly recommend the Story of the World audio books too. My kids love them. Also the Chronicles of Narnia dramatized version from Focus on the family.  Those are the only two we have on physical CDs that we really love and re-listen to often. 


For "How does it compare to being read to".. It IS being read to. I do think children should also hear you, their parent, read. However, there is no negative to audio books. For "How does it compare to reading" .. I just saw a scientific study of language acquisition that said that the difference between listening and reading decreased as reading skills increased. Adult brain activity was virtually the same for listening to an audio book as reading it. Younger children who had not fully acquired phonics and fluent reading had a greater disparity. I am not sure that is really relevant though since we know that reading books to children which they cannot read yet improves future reading fluency :) 

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Thank you so much for the great info, everyone! I will look into my local library first. I know that we have some sort of audiobook option. I was under the impression that it may not have many book titles to choose from, but I can be really flexible on this, so that might not end up being an issue anyway. 


Story of the world is very tempting. I have it in my mind that we will do US history next year, but maybe I'll re-think that in order to make better use of our time. 

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Our library has Hoopla. Download the app, register your library card, browse books, hit the Borrow button and listen! Fabulous and free. I will buy an Audible book ONLY if I can't get it for free somewhere (we have cards at two diff libraries), plus use Librivox for old books that are out of Copyright.

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