We’re listening to a lot of audio books at the moment. Listening to audio books in the car isn’t controversial. It’s obviously a great use of time. It also reduces the kids fighting dramatically which is great for me, the driver! But outside the car, I feel a bit nervous that listening to all this great literature is somehow cheating – that my kids should be reading it themselves – now, in the case of my son; when she’s older, in the case of my daughter. But my son’s interest in reading has slowed down recently, to my distress. I guess I just haven’t found the right books. But he’ll listen to almost anything, apart from Greek Myths (“I know them all already!” – not true but he does know quite a few) and potted Shakespeare (can’t fathom that). So I feel it’s better that he listens to audiobooks than not ‘read’ at all, especially since he wants to be an author ‘when he grows up’ and listening to others’ writing is essential for any good author.
This article isn’t definitive but it’s comforting for me – http://www.readingrockets.org/article/64/
These are other interesting articles – http://nbclatino.com/2013/03/06/using-audiobooks-to-boost-your-childs-literacy/ where I especially liked “They are also a wonderful way to introduce young children to literature that is too difficult for them to read, like many of the Classics.”
This mother’s take on audiobooks is interesting – http://thethinkingmother.blogspot.co.uk/2007/10/thoughts-on-reading-vs-listenting-to.html “He says he prefers to listen because he can move around if he wants”.
I prefer reading books to listening to audiobooks but we’re all different and I think listening to good books is better than no books at all and I don’t want to compel reading. We’ll see how it goes.
What do you think? Is ‘reading’ with audio books cheating, especially if you’re not making your children do a certain amount of independent reading too?