Friday, May 27, 2016

How Our Family Uses-and LOVES-Audible!

I love reading, but if I'm honest since college I haven't read nearly as much as I'd like. Life is busy. Whether it's work, kids, extracurricular activities or laundry, by the end of the day turning on Netflix seems easier and let's face it easier is appealing at the end of the day. I kept hearing about people using Audible either for themselves as they commuted to work, or for their kids, but thought, "I don't have a commute, I'm a homeschooling mom." Or "I can read to my kids" and I do, but I cannot tell you how much I love Audible. 

In December I saw a deal on Living Social or Groupon that was similar to this one and decided to give Audible a try. We had three months to see if it would really be useful to our clan. We're now 6 months in and it has decidedly changed how I spend my time. But I'm getting ahead of myself! 

Honestly what pushed me over the edge was the busyness of life. I wanted to be reading aloud to my kids more than I was and they wanted me to be reading to them more, and I saw this as a way to meet that need without having to rearrange my schedule. Since I homeschool them and we're all together nearly 24/7, we have quiet time daily from 2-3:30 pm. During this time, everyone goes to their own space-a bedroom or the basement-and plays quietly by themselves. They have often used this time to listen to Adventures in Odyssey or Jonathan Park or books on CD from the library, but now they are bringing a Kindle or iPad and listening to Audible instead. They have gotten so wrapped up in an audiobook that they will stay past 3:30 and are often found listening other times of the day. 

The first several months I used our credits on children's book collections (the Ramona collection, Henry Huggins collection, etc) but would pick up other books with our Audible membership discount like A Cricket in Times Square, The Jungle Book, Blackstart of Kingston, My Side of the Mountain and many others. I love knowing that they are listening to books that I have chosen and then hearing one child recommend one to another child. Sometimes more than one of them is listening to the same book at the same time on different devices. It's really been wonderful to see them diving more deeply into books they might not have picked up on their own. 

Personally I wasn't sure it was going to be very useful, but I was content to use Audible to be filling my children's heads with good literature. However in April I was trying to read a Jane Austen book for book club and was not finding as much time to sit with my nose in a book as I had hoped and saw that I could get the audio version for less than $2. I spent the next few days listening to Emma as I prepared dinner, washed up pots and pans, folded laundry, drove to the store, and more. I followed that with a few other Austen works and just recently finished three of the Anne of Green Gables books that way. I have always wanted to read them, but have never actually done so until now. I just started David Copperfield and plan to check off many other Bucket List books this way. My favorite thing to do at night now is to crawl into bed, click off of Facebook or email and onto Audible, stick my earbuds in (my hubby falls asleep within minutes of his head hitting the pillow), and play 10 10 while I listen to someone read to me. It's really quite delightful. 

If you've ever considered Audible and have any questions, please let me know. I am no expert, but I am thoroughly enjoying it and highly recommend it! 

For more helpful information, this blog post is very helpful: http://www.plumfieldandpaideia.com/audible-reading-with-my-ears/

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