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!

My Personal 2021 Summer Reading

I normally like to sit down and plan out some fun summer reading for myself towards the end of May. Somehow, it is already almost the end of June, but I am finally making a good list and getting excited about my summer reading.

In years past, I spend most of my reading time during the year on non-fiction books. Several years ago, I decided that I wanted to get back to reading a few more books for fun and decided to try and read some fun fiction each summer.

When I took up my summer reading for 2020 the world felt really stressful and crazy and the light fiction was a great stress reliever. I was enjoying it so much that I have continued reading quite a bit of fiction over the last year.

Fun Fiction

I have enjoyed reading some of Robin Jones Gunn’s books with my daughter, escaped to Pleasant Creek, Indiana with the Amish Inn Mysteries, and enjoyed the Amish community in Pinecraft, Florida with the Pinecraft Pie Shop Series.

I normally prefer real paper books, however, I also discovered the convince of kindle books on my phone this year. Most of my reading time happens after my children are in bed for the evening, and sometimes my lap was keeping my husband awake. However, the dimmer light from the phone did not bother him.

This also meant that I almost always had a book ready to read wherever I went. This was great for times when I had five or ten minutes of waiting. I normally would have filled those with scrolling social media, but now I can get in a few extra minutes of reading.

Digital Options

I did a free trial of Kindle Unlimited and enjoyed it so much that we have been purchasing it ever since. I have been mostly reading fun Christian fiction though they have a wide variety of books. My daughter is also enjoying the subscription and has been reading some of my old favorite Janet Oke books. We find it to be a great value for the number of books we are reading each month.

I have not read the Janet Oke books in many years, so I am hoping to spend some time this summer re-reading some of those books so that I can have better discussions with my daughter. She really enjoys reading the books I have read and then discussing the characters.

In addition to continuing the habit of reading fun fiction (and showing my children that reading for fun is good even as an adult), I have several books that I want to read over the summer.

Non-Fiction Reading

I have been working on Women of the Word (Jen Wilkin) and look forward to finishing it. It is a great book that is discussing what good Bible study should look like and gives some pros and cons to various methods of study. While I have not agreed with 100% of her opinions, it has been very good content and theologically sound thus far.

Next, I am grateful to have the opportunity to review Help Your Kids Learn and Love the Bible (Danika Cooley). I am looking forward to reading more about how we can help our children learn more about the Bible. So far it has been an easy read with great information, but I am only a couple chapters into the book. I will be sharing a full review on the blog in a few weeks.

I found out about Women at War (Jan Greenwood) through a new ministry that we are starting at our church. I have seen women all to often battle against one another and even be cruel. I would like to say this is all with-in the outside world, but it happens more often than it should even inside the church. I am looking forward to reading this book about healing those relationships to see how I might be able to help others heal their relationships.

Audio Option

Finally, I am listening to Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World. The first bit of it was a bit heavy on the academia but once you get through that it seems to be going more into ideas and strategies to help with focus and blocking time. Once I am finished, I may have my teenagers listen to the books as well. I think sometimes we all struggle with trying to do too many things at once and not doing any of them well.

I would love to hear more about what you are reading this summer or if you have read any of these books. Share your thoughts in the comments!

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 busy bee sale! A great price for summer enrichment or for next year!

Happening NOW! Check out these wonderful FREE summer courses from one of our favorites: Journey Homeschool Academy! We loved their biology course this year and are excited about the free summer courses. Summer Stargazing and Backyard Bugs

This Saturday! FREE Writing Conference, June 26th from IEW! They are a great writing program and have a lot to offer. This conference is completely free

“Learn With Homer” Review and Deep Discount!

Have you met Homer yet? Learn With Homer was born (well, it became public) in August of 2013. In the short time that has elapsed since then, this adorable pigeon and all of his buddies have gained quite a following…over 1 million children now learn with him! So what has all these prominent media, news, and educational sites buzzing? Stick with me, and find out!

What is Learn with Homer? Here is an infographic to help you understand the method:

homermethod

Learn With Homer accomplishes these four steps through beautiful, colorful graphics, gorgeous photography, engaging stories (a variety of history, myths, fables, folk tales, nursery rhymes), songs (from all around the world…and the vocabulary is linked to the lessons!), art, poetry, and games. There is so much to love about this site/app! This is not merely a reading program. It has such a wide scope of learning, including history, science, poetry, music and so much more (and they add new updates frequently)! Here is a screen shot to give you a sampling of the compelling beauty of the lessons:

homercolor

Just seeing images like these made ME want to play! Our art-loving daughter has totally fallen in love with this site. Even though the site gives suggested ages as 3-8, our 9-year-old has enjoyed it SO much! I logged her in and gave her the freedom to poke around on her own. She played for over 2 hours (there is no fluff…it is all lovely education presented in such a way that children love to learn), took a break, and went back for another hour. I wanted to see if it would really draw her in, or if I would have to “sell” its virtues to her. In no time at all, I heard her singing along with songs. She repeatedly came to me to share something she learned, or to tell me the plot of a new story. I didn’t even get a chance to try out my sales pitch! First thing this morning, she wanted to get back on.

katiehomer
She loves the drawing and art options, and the fact that she can get new “thinking caps” for her little kitty avatar.

Currently, Learn With Homer is offered for pc (web version) and iPad. The iPad version got a spectacular facelift just today! The new version includes little adorable Wickles who play in Pickle Wickle Park. Guess what they like to snack on? Now there are even more fun features to enjoy!

picklewicklepark

The web version is slated for update very soon, and there is an Android version in the works as well. If that’s not enough, an iPhone version will come out after the first of the year!

Need stats? Here you go! There are 22 levels for learning with Homer currently…including over 1,000 lessons and activities! The program is proven to boost reading scores by over 74%!

In a recent study conducted by the former US Assistant Secretary of Education, students who used Homer for 15 minutes a day over a 6-week period nearly doubled their scores on the TOPEL (Test of Preschool Early Literacy), a leading predictor of future reading and academic success.

homerstates

Are you dying to try it? No wonder!  Click here to sign up for a free 30-day trial! You can also get 50% off an annual subscription to Homer! Click here! The special discount code is already plugged in for you! Can it get any easier?

Disclaimer: I was given a year’s free subscription for Learn With Homer in exchange for an honest and objective review.