Tuesday Tip: Read Alouds and Legos are like Peanut Butter and Jelly

Read Alouds and Legos are like peanut butter and jelly; they just go together. (Full disclosure: I dislike peanut butter, but my kids love PB&J).

*Links contained in this post may be affiliate links, see disclosure below*

One of the questions or concerns that I often hear from the parents of young children is that their children have a hard time being still and focusing when they read aloud. Too often, the solution is to stop reading or spend the whole time stressed out about getting the little one to sit still.

Instead of being a fun learning experience, it becomes a stressful chore for both the mom and the child.

My Own Experience and Background

I had a habit, some might say a bad habit, of doodling in my notebooks when I was listening to a lecture in a class. Later in graduate school, I would eat dry Lucky Charms while listening to the professors.

I knew that I could eat and listen or doodle and listen, though I sometimes tried to break the habit. It was not until I was talking about it to one of my graduate professors that I realized it helped me focus. The professor said it did not bother her because she knew that it was keeping my hands busy so my mind could focus on what she was saying.

This concept really helped me better understand how my brain worked and has been super beneficial in allowing me to help both my public school students and now my own homeschooled children find ways to help them listen.

Why Legos?

Legos are great for working with while listening because they can be done quietly and without a lot of movement, and this keeps them from being distracting to the other children in the room.

We particularly like free building instead of kits for read-aloud time because it allows their brains to still focus on what they are hearing. Younger children can work with Duplo blocks.

As a bonus, Legos are great for helping with fine motor skills and creativity.

Are Legos the Only Option?

Legos are a great tool but just one of many great options for read-aloud time. My daughter often worked on her hat loom or colored pictures while I read aloud. Other students enjoy snack time as you read.

Any quiet activity that does not take too much mental focus can be great for read-aloud time.

Do All Students Need an Activity?

Some students can sit and listen to a read-aloud for long periods without any activity and may prefer to sit and listen.

Activities are particularly helpful for those like me and my son who have ADHD but can benefit many children who do not struggle with ADHD. It is all about what works best for the individual child.

Conclusions

If read-aloud time is going great in your home, do not feel the need to make changes. However, if you are disappointed with your read-aloud time and feel your children struggle to focus, do not be afraid to try Legos or another quiet activity.

These activities can also work well with audiobooks to get in even more great literature. Nothing fully replaces the example and bonding of having a parent read aloud, but audiobooks are an excellent way to supplement that and fit in all of the great books you want your children to enjoy.

Blog Posts with More Read-Aloud and Audio Book Resources

Remarkable Read Alouds

Tip Tuesday: Our Homeschool Secret Weapon-Audiobooks

Reading With Your Ears

Read-Aloud Family Book Study: Chapter 1

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library 

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Deals and Freebies

If you have not tried SchoolhouseTeachers.com, you don’t want to miss this sale!

Tip Tuesday: Our Homeschool Secret Weapon-Audiobooks

Our family uses a wide variety of resources in our homeschool. We enjoy different curriculum choices, books, science experiments, math manipulatives, and more. I appreciate all of them, but one of my absolute favorite homeschool resources is audiobooks.
Audiobooks are my secret weapons for making everything happen!

Benefits of Audiobooks in Your Homeschool


While an audiobook does not replace sitting together on the couch and enjoying a good story, it is a great way to increase the amount of time your children hear quality reading. They get all of the benefits of hearing rich vocabulary and engaging stories, and you get to accomplish needed tasks like cooking dinner or working one-on-one with another child.


We love to redeem travel time with audiobooks. When my children listen to the book, there are fewer complaints about being bored and even fewer requests to stop for a snack or bathroom break. The books we listen to turn ride time into educational time through good literature, exciting biographies, and even great history books.


When we listen together, we create a shared family experience and memories. My children are often quoting our favorite books to each other.

For example, you might hear them saying, “Oh Children” in their deep Aslan voice or “My place beside you. My blood for yours. Till the Green Ember rises, or the end of the world!” from the Green Ember.

Finally, audiobooks often help give me a few minutes of quiet in the afternoon and help my younger children get some still quiet time. Once my children are old enough to no longer nap, audiobooks are a great way to keep them calm and quiet for a bit each afternoon. They can lay in bed or hang out on the couch and listen to an audiobook.

Where Do You Get Audiobooks For Your Homeschool?

Audiobooks Homeschool Secret Weapon


You might think that this sounds great, but you do not know how to get started or find good audiobooks.
When we started listening to audiobooks, we were buying books on CD, and we would listen using the CD players in the car or the children’s rooms.

This is still an option if you use CD players, but we have found that as technology has progressed, it has become easier to use digital audiobooks.
Digital audiobooks are easy to find, do not take up space, and they don’t’ get scratched like our books on CD.
Our family primarily uses Audible and Overdrive for audiobooks. We have a subscription to audible that gives us a credit every other month for a new audiobook and a discount on any additional books that we purchase.

These books are great for road trips because we can download them onto our phones or Kindle and listen in the car without using data. We also own these once we purchase them so the children can listen to favorites repeatedly.


Another benefit to audible is that Amazon has made it very easy for me to give them access to the audiobooks on the Kindles and allow unlimited listening time while still limiting other apps and programs.
Overdrive is fantastic because it is free with our library cards.

There are a variety of audiobooks (and e-books) available, and you can borrow them for a set amount of time, and then they automatically return. The selection varies from library to library, but we have found many great choices. My son is fond of listening to the Boxcar Children series using Overdrive.


Other Audiobooks Resources

Heirloom Audio: For The Temple (Review)

Read Aloud Family

Reading With Your Ears

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library 

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Deals and Freebies

If you have not tried SchoolhouseTeachers.com, you don’t want to miss this sale!