I cannot recommend audio books enough. We use audio books in our home (and car) regularly! Our homeschool curriculum is literature-based, which means we have many read-alouds, so we try to find as many of them as we can on audio book to save my voice. I also appreciate them as they allow me to multi-task while we all listen together or they make it easy to continue our schooling in the car on our way to various field trips.
When at home, I often use Bluetooth to play the audio book on an external speaker so that it is loud enough for all to hear. I’ve found that even if the book is intended for my younger daughters that my 13yo cannot help but listen in, too, even if it is a story she’s heard before. Many audio books, at all levels, are read by great narrators who can keep it entertaining and a good story is a good story no matter the age of the intended audience!
When looking for an audio book for your family, I recommend checking your local library first. They usually have a aisle full of available options on CD. In addition to CDs, many libraries now work with various apps on your phone that allow you to download a digital copy from the comfort of your home (or from the road!) with your library card number. And as an extra bonus, you won’t risk losing the CDs on your trip AND you won’t have to pay overdue fines because it will check itself back in to the library after the loan time has expired. Some apps we use are Overdrive, Axis 360, and Hoopla Digital.
There may be times where your library may not carry a certain title or there is a waitlist. In those instances, I often turn to Audible. You can purchase an audiobook to download and listen on the Audible app or you can sign up for a monthly subscription where you pay a monthly fee but get 1 credit (for 1 book) per month. We listen to enough audio books throughout the year that we do the monthly subscription. (Any books purchased are yours to keep forever, even if you cancel your subscription down the road.) Right now Audible is running a promotion where you can Try Audible for 30 days and get 2 FREE Audiobooks!
To follow are some of the books we’ve enjoyed as a family over the years. I will continue to update this list as we discover more titles we like. (And I’m open to suggestions, too!)
- Charlotte’s Web by EB White, narrated by EB White
- My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett (you may want the hard copy of the book to follow along, because the illustrations are adorable.)
- Little House in the Big Woods, Little House on the Prairie, etc. by Laura Ingalls Wilder (you may want the hard copy of the book to follow along, because the illustrations are wonderful.)
- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
- How to Train Your Dragon series by Cressida Cowell
- The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe series by CS Lewis
- Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo
- A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
- Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery
- City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau
- Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
- Harry Potter series by JK Rowling, narrated by Jim Dale. Hands down, these are a favorite of my 13yo, my husband, and I. We did the first three with the entire family and had the illustrated versions of books 1 and 2 for our littler girls to follow along with. (We will save books 4+ for when they are a little older.)
- Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
- Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket, narrated by Tim Curry
- Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert O’Brien
- The Shakespeare Stealer by Gary Blackwood
- Cheaper by the Dozen by Frank Gilbreth and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey
- The Hidden Treasure of Glaston by Eleanore M Jewett
- The Hobbit by JRR Tolkein (also the Lord of the Rings Series to follow!)
Most of these books also have been made into movies. We love to read a good book and follow it up with the movie version. (Although for some of these, I would say the books far surpass the movies!)
I will be composing a post on some audio books for adults that I have listened to and enjoyed soon (both fiction and non-fiction.)
What are some audio books that your family has enjoyed? We are always on the lookout for good literature to listen to and we have a road trip coming up where we will need some new listening material. 😉