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We follow Ambleside Online, which is a literature based curriculum. I read to the boys daily. I’ve found it’s helpful to get audiobooks to help me out at times. My throat can only do so much, and since a few of the books are classic literature, it’s pretty easy to get them from the library. Not only that, audiobooks have helped pass the time in the car, for long rides, but also just to the grocery store. When the kids start getting whiny, I press that play button as a saving grace.

Is it cheating? I don’t think so, in fact I appreciate it as a strong option in my arsenal of “how to keep them busy.” They are used to hearing and learning via being read to. Now I can join in and listen along or they can listen to someone else for a change.

Audiobooks conjure a special feeling for me, like being in the 1940’s and huddling around a radio for a beloved program or perhaps even longer ago, as someone on the prairie listening to stories around the campfire. Readers can add an extra element to the story, like an accent, that definitely enhances the experience. So, we are audiobook readers, too, and proud of it.

Here are some titles we’ve enjoyed in no specific order.

Leaving the Bellweathers by Kristin Clark Venuti, read by Michael Page

Follow a wacky family’s daily adventures through the eyes of their butler who cannot wait for his term to expire. The reader’s voice is humorously uppity.

Island of the Blue Dolphin by Scott O’Dell, read by Tantoo Cardinal

Discover an island through a native girl who when tragedy comes she must brave each day alone. The reader’s Indian accent makes this story almost sound like a biography.

Little House in the Big Woods (or any Little House title) by Laura Ingalls Wilder, read by Cherry Jones

Enjoy the not-so-mundane details of daily life in a log cabin like baking, syrup-making, and fetching water. Cherry Jone’s voice feels like she is your grandmother rocking in a chair recounting tales of old.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (or any Harry Potter) by J.K. Rowling, read by Jim Dale

Does Harry Potter need an introduction? The reader’s English accent adds life to the setting.

The Incredible Journey by Sheila Branford, read by Megan Follows

Similar to the movie, with minor details changed, this story follows mighty brave animals through the Canadian wilderness.

The 39 Clues Series by multiple authors, read by David Pittu

Amy and Dan are good old friends over here. We read every 39 Clues title. To get through the books faster, because we just had to know what was going to happen!, we’d read at night and play audio during the day.

Pie by Sarah Weeks, read by Kate Rudd

We loved this mysterious adventure of a girl trying to figure out the absurdities of the town while the townspeople awkwardly try to snag a missing pie recipe for their own gain.

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