Reading Aloud and Books On Tape

by | Reading Aloud | 2 comments

I would like your thoughts on children listening to books on tape as a partial substitute for mom reading aloud 1-2 hours per day. My 8 year old boy has latched onto several very good books, at least two grades above his reading level, which he has gobbled up because he can listen to the tape and follow along with the hard copy of the book. Our library has an abundant selection of these from Recorded Books, and it has been exciting to see him finish books that he otherwise would not be reading for another couple of years. Our girls, both learning English as a second language, also listen to books this way and seem to really enjoy it, and it seems to be benefiting them in the same way. They certainly don’t understand all of the story but to see them following along with advanced words is progress! Why might you stress listening to reading, as opposed to having the child see the words, and can you comment on this method of reading? Try as I might to fit it in, I’m just not getting the stretch of reading time to them that you recommend.

Thanks for your input.
June in OH

Our family has listened to books on tape quite a bit over the years. Your suggestion of having the child follow along in the book as he listens to the tape is very good. You are combining the auditory with the visual. We just finished listening to Incident at Hawk’s Hill on tape and have started The Woman in White. A good source for books on tape is Blackstone Audio — homeschooling families get large discounts. Frederick Davidson is our favorite reader, especially his Robinson Crusoe and Prester John by John Buchan.


  1. Sunniemom

    We love audiobooks. The kids will listen and read along, but also enjoy listening while doing chores and playing. They enjoy those that are straight reading as much as those that are dramatized. I find both to be fun and beneficial. The kids are not only exposed to information and ideas by listening to books they aren’t quite ready to read yet, but they hear the proper pronunciation, inflection and emotion.

    Our local library is hooked up with some online resources, and I can check out audiobooks online and download them to my computer. Convenient, and no overdue fees. Gotta love that.

  2. Barbara Smith

    Thanks for this Laurie. I am going to link this post on our website. We read Women in White a couple of years ago and enjoyed it.


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