The Family

The Family

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Discovering Audiobooks

When I was in graduate school I had to drive to a conference a few hours away. The weekend before the drive I came across an audiobook by mystery author Mary Higgins Clark and purchased it right there in the Cracker Barrel giftshop.

You remember those audiobooks, right? The ones that required four to six CDs in order to listen to the entire recording.

That's still the thought that came to mind anytime I heard the phrase "audiobook." Sure, I knew technology had advanced and streaming was now the way to go, but I never made the connection between my desire to read aloud to my children and audiobooks.

Then, a year-and-a-half ago, I came across this wonderful podcast called "The Read Aloud Revival" and heard mention, on several episodes, of an app known as Audible. It was all over after that.

In the time since, we have become Audible aficionados. True, a lot of libraries offer recordings of many of the classics and some modern tales for free to their members, but what I found is that our library often didn't have all in a series I wanted. I also like when I purchase an audio recording of the book through Audible, it downloads and is stored forever on multiple devices and tablets we have.

Listening to books through Audible has in no way decreased the amount of read aloud time we have as a family. I still read novels, picture books and poems on a daily basis. The trick with Audible is that it's allowed us to get in even more great story time. We listen to a chapter or two of a downloaded book each morning before and during breakfast. We sometimes go longer if one of the children wants to keep going. 

Here's a list of all we've enjoyed through Audible so far:
1. The entire "Lemony Snicket, A Series of Unfortunate Events" series
2. Several classic "Hardy Boys" tales
3. All of the "Goosebumps" stories available on Audible (the entire series isn't available, and that's actually a relief because there are SO many Goosebumps titles.)
4. "The Railway Children"
5. The first three "Boxcar Children" books
6. Several "Winnie the Pooh" stories
7. 1-10 of "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" (I wasn't big on this series at first, but Jack thought it was hilarious and begged for me to keep going with these titles. Slowly, they grew on me. I'd go as far as saying I actually liked books 7-10.)
8. Mary Poppins (We are currently on Book 1 by P.L. Travers)

Our current want to "listen to" audio recording list:
1. "Mr. Poppers Penguins"
2. "The Trumpet of the Swan"
3. "The Ramona Quimby" series (Rumor has it that the recordings done by Stockard Channing are MUSTS. I haven't checked yet to see if Audible actually has these versions. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.)

Sunday, September 11, 2016

When You Turn 9

It seems Minecraft, Legos and anything related to technology are all the rage these days for 9-year-old boys. At least, for my newly turned 9-year-old boy they are.

We celebrated his 9th birthday about two weeks ago and here are a few of his favorite things:

I think we are on Round 3 of DVD players. They come in handy on all our travels.

He still loves dinosaurs and never passes up a chance to let others know what dinosaur toys he does not have!

I can't even begin to fathom how many Lego pieces we have in our bonus room. This, and the 4 other Legos he got, only add to it.

The book that contains EVERYTHING Minecraft.

This cool toy/robot/coding-device was something I read about months ago and thought he'd get a kick out of.