Kids and Audio Books
For me it is clear that audio books are simply part of the equation when it comes to consuming literature. We have read stories to our 4-year-old since she was a few days old, but we also buy her audio books. These are often on CD (how old fashioned), but now more often tablet apps. Audio books provide an additional richness, as they often have great reading voices. Kids don’t always want Mum or Dad reading.
We buy audio books because they offer additional variety and flexibility, especially when your child cannot yet read on his/her own. To illustrate the point, we have a 1-year-old as well. Sometimes we cannot stop everything and read to our 4-year-old. 1-year-old children have their own schedule and care little about anyone else’s. Enter the audio book!
My daughter is already reading individual words, so she’ll be reading simple books soon. However, audio books provide another avenue to help her progress. If she is listening to slightly more complex books in audio format, even better. An audio book that complements a written book is brilliant, too. She will effectively begin to teach herself, which allows her to progress at her own pace and attempt more complex and interesting titles.
My daughter will read and be a reader; I have no doubts about that. She loves books, in whatever format. She has all the CS Lewis, Roald Dahl, Tolkien and Pullman books, as well as various classics like Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Mary Poppins and Watership Down–for when she is ready. Her pre-school titles are too long to list. I am currently reading to her The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe … her choice, not mine!
Additionally, video is perfectly fine when combined with traditional, audio books, and all other book formats. It just adds another dimension. I remember covering character studies in English literature, and distinctly recall watching “Kes”, but not reading “A Kestrel for a Knave”. Surely the point is to allow any learner the chance to enjoy the richness of multiple formats delivering the same, similar, or unique content. Let’s not forget, the printed page was ground breaking once, too.
About the author: Iain Home is a UK father, student of education trends, and an international marketing strategist for Promethean.