I had such grand plans about all the books I would read to my children when they were old enough to comprehend chapter books. I'm stellar at good intentions.
Then life happened.
Did it happen to you, too? My kids are eight and nine years old and I haven't read aloud nearly as many of these novels I was going to share with them. Time is slipping through my fingers. Last spring, I took a step I had been resisting and made a compromise: Audible.
It isn't that I'm opposed to audio books. Not at all. I adore them... for myself. But *I* wanted to be the one who read these classics to my children. Not some prerecorded, cold, sterile voice without a body and facial expressions. So I resisted Audible's call for a long time.
I'd read three quarters of The Green Ember by S.D. Smith (Kindle / Paperback / Audible) on my Kindle months before and had really enjoyed it myself. It was one I had planned to read with them -- you know, all snuggled up on the couch with hot cocoa and chocolate chip cookies. Despite that, I pounced on the opportunity to get the Audible version for $2 last April, and I started playing it when we were in the van.
But here's the key: only in the mornings.
Every weekday morning on our 10-15 minute trek to school, I would start up the Audible app on my phone and play it through our van speakers. I was amazed at how much the kids loved it. My daughter would beg for me to drive home and back again so she could hear more of the story.
In the afternoons after pickup, their moods were different. My daughter usually has a million and one things to tell me. My son just needs some decompression time. It never worked for us then. Their focus was elsewhere. But in the mornings when their minds were clear and they were typically quiet anyway, we could settle in to a little bit of the story.
I had wrongly assigned audio books in the car to this category of "only long road trips"
Initially I feared what would happen if we weren't stopping and starting at chapter beginnings and ends, but we found this wasn't an issue as long as we were regularly listening. I had wrongly assigned audio books in the car to this category of "only long road trips" instead of shorter forays across town. I wasn't taking advantage of a pocket of time granted to us every week day.
This may not work for everyone in exactly the same way it works for us, but if you have spare pockets of ten or so minutes when you're all together, why not start an audio book and see how everyone likes it? It may take a few months to get through a book, but that's a book you wouldn't have read otherwise. And that is a wonderful thing.
My children just started back to school after our summer break. Here are a handful of books in contention for our next audio morning experience:
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- The Complete Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
- The Wingfeather Saga: On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness by Andrew Peterson
- My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George
- Peter Pan performed by Lily Collins
- Matilda by Roald Dahl
- The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
- Pax by Sara Pennypacker
- Outlaws of Time by N.D. Wilson
- The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo
- The Wonderful Wizard of Oz performed by Anne Hathaway
- Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers
- Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
- The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks
- A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
- Tuck Everlasting by Peter Thomas
Carey Pace is a Natural Light Documentary Photographer and blogger who believes that beauty waits to be uncovered in the ordinary moments of everyday life. She chases creative motherhood, honesty and authenticity in her writing, and images that tell stories. She has an ability to capture the essence of her subjects, showing the reckless abandon of childhood. Her images are alive with both motion and detail. She lives in Virginia but her heart is always ready for a new adventure.
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