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Do you use audible books for your reluctant readers?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
My son is a voracious reader with no problem at any level or size of book.

My daughter on the other hand is a reluctant reader. She reads well, but loses her enthusiasm if the book goes on too long. So she does fine with textbook chapters, non-fiction focused topic books, and shorter books. I tried graphic novels with her, but she finds them too visually confusing. I've also noticed that she does better with larger text, so the Kindle reader and iBook readers have been a lifesaver for homeschool reading.

Just this week she had to start reading The Witch of Blackbird Pond for her Oak Meadow 5th grade curriculum. I had her reading it out of an old paper copy of the book (b/c it was cheap). I should have known better. It's a long book with small type on old yellowed paper. She just hated it. I finally caved in and got the Audible version and let her listen to it on her Kindle. Now she loves it and listens to 2 chapters a day.

A part of me wants to enforce the idea of visual reading and get her used to reading long books. Another part of me is glad that any form of audible book, digital or CD, is available for her to listen to so that she can learn to simply enjoy the story, even when it's a long story.

I just wish our local public library had books on CD available so I wouldn't have to pay for digital listening versions.
post #2 of 6
Thread Starter 
p.s. I've had her vision checked and it's perfect, so there aren't any obvious eye issues making her dislike the smaller text.
post #3 of 6

I don't have reluctant readers, but we do audiobooks as well as readalouds and independent reading. It's all good. I would think there's a balance to be struck with reluctant readers: you want them to progress with their reading skills and confidence, but on the other hand you don't want to hold their enjoyment and appreciation of literature hostage to their resistance to decoding. If using the audio version allows your dd to enjoy literature in a way she wouldn't have otherwise, use the audio version.


I noticed that Audible is partnering with Amazon for Whispersync. I think the way it works is that you can have your audio version of a book synchronize with your Kindle, so if you listen to the last half of Chapter 12 and the first four minutes of Chapter 13, your Kindle, next time it opens that book, will open to the second page of Chapter 13. That would enable your dd to, for instance, easily alternate back and forth between the audio and print version of The Witch of Blackbird Pond,chapter by chapter. 



post #4 of 6

I don't have a reluctant reader, very much the opposite, however DS loves books on CD and E-books as well.  Our library is pretty good about ordering things they don't have in stock.  Some kids are just really overwhelmed by the visual of a huge book, all those words etc.  Some kids process info better verbally instead of visually.  I don't care how DS 'reads', I'm actually quite happy he enjoys a variety of media types.

Also your library should be able to get you e-books as well.  You may need to have a meeting of sorts with a librarian but I've found the library to get a wonderful resource over the past 12 years.  I really needed to make them aware of what 'we' needed and they were more than happy to let me know how to get XYZ effectively.

post #5 of 6

My nine year old isn't reluctant, he actually has clear dyslexia -esq issues with reading. I've always actually really encouraged him to listen to audiobooks and I've always prioritised reading to him. My experience was that once his reading proficiency caught up with the books he wanted to read, he was away (though he still loves a good audiobook!). I didn't want him to be limited only to books he could read all those years he was struggling, when he very clearly had no problems understanding books for much older kids.

post #6 of 6

My ds never really took to audible books, mostly because he would also want the tv on and he'd want to use the computer as well. Having one more thing going on kinda drives me nuts so I never really encouraged them. They are nice on car rides but otherwise he didn't want to take time out for them. I do read to him every night at bedtime for a good long while. He reads fine but is overwhelmed by tracking a whole page of text as in a typical book. I figure he practices reading with what he does on the computer quite a bit. So far, the result is that he enjoys books and he recently confided in me that he can comfortably track along a half a page while I read. So I know he is occasionally following along and "practicing" reading books as I read to him. I think he may get more out of my reading to him for that reason. If he were a more independent type of kid, he might enjoy audible books more. 

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