Are ‘Reading’ with Audio Books Cheating?

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 –

These are other interesting articles – 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 – “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?


About homeschoolingpenny

Hi and welcome! My name is Penny and I used to live in Bahrain but In November 2012 moved to Dubai and now we live in Granada, Spain! If you want to contact me my email is I recommend you start my blog on 'Day 1' but please enjoy whatever you dip into. 23 February 2012 marked the first day of no more school FOREVER for my two kids. Edward, who is nearly 10 had attended a variety of schools since he was very little. Petra, who is now 6, has never gone to school. On this date we decided Edward was never going back to school and Petra never would go to school. We hope to successfully homeschool from this day forward, although we would consider an alternative school as an option- if there was some amazing Sudbury or other really alternative school. Actually, I prefer the term 'home learning' than 'homeschool' because I don't like to think of school coming into our home. In fact, I hope to go further and guide/learn alongside, rather than teach, my kids using the 'unschooling' philosophy to instill a lifelong love of learning in them. We lived in the Middle East and now Spain all of which are very challenging places to home educate. This is an exciting journey that I used to blog about regularly, at first it was on an almost daily basis. Please join me on our travels and I hope we might be able to help each other out along the way. I certainly hope I can be a source of support and comfort and, in time, knowledge to all potential/presently participating homeschoolers/home educators/unschoolers. Good luck to us all! If you want to read about why I started home educating, why I pulled my son out of a 'very good' private school mid-term, how I felt at the very start and how my philosophy has evolved, please start from 'Day 1' of the blog. Please do post comments at the end of any days that you read. Your opinion is valuable and it's great to start up debate amongst other people commenting too, however old the post. Thank you for visiting homeschoolingmiddleeast.
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What do you think? Please do let me know. I would love to hear your opinion!

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