My family loves to use living books instead of textbooks for the main part of our curriculum. Currently our entire history and literature program is comprised of a huge list of chapter and picture books. Sometimes this momma needs some help getting through the stack of read-alouds and readers. That’s where audio books can help. One wonderful resource for history audio books is Jim Hodges Audio Books.
Why Use Audio Books?
While there are many reasons to use audio books at home, here are some reasons we find audio books a helpful resource:
1. There are some books I just stink at reading aloud. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has started reading a book but it just does not flow. Sometimes it is due to vocabulary and other times it is due to the subject matter. Either way, when this happens I don’t feel like reading the book and the kids don’t get excited about hearing me read the book. That’s when I turn to an audio- version.
2. My 10yr. old with dyslexia can concentrate on the content and the storyline without struggling with reading. Audio books are a wonderful resource for struggling readers or students who are auditory learners. I have recently started to add more audio books to our collection specifically for my 10yr. old. My daughter is able to listen to books above her reading level. It has helped her develop a “like” (can’t say she loves them yet) for books, which is translating into her wanting to read some books on her own that she normally would have resisted. There is a wonderful article called “Reading with Your Ears” that discusses the benefits of using audiobooks with students whether they struggle with reading or not.
3. I can drive a car and listen along. I love to use audiobooks as a way to multi-task. If we are driving around town, I can throw an audiobook in the cd/mp3 player and continue schooling. If I need to be preparing a meal, I can have the children listen to an audiobook to keep them focused and learning.
4. My pre-readers can listen to stories on their own. Sometimes I just don’t have time to read aloud. Audio books are a wonderful way to allow non-readers the opportunity to listen to a story.
Jim Hodges Audio Books
Jim Hodges has a vast collection of historical audio books available. One of his main sources are unabridged books by G.A. Henty. Over the past couple of years I have heard of G.A. Henty on various homeschool message boards, but had no clue who he was or read any of his books. Since we are finishing up ancient history this year, I wanted to add a couple of additional resources. One highly recommended book mentioned as a supplement for studying Ancient Egypt was The Cat of Bubastes. I was thrilled to see that Jim Hodges had it in audio book format! I picked that book plus Beric The Briton to fit in the time period we are currently studying. In addition to the audio books, Jim also has vocabulary guides for many of the books available.
There are a range of historical books available, and they come on a .mp3 CD or as a direct download. The cd’s cost $25 and the direct downloads are $18. Note that these are .mp3 CD’s. Older cd players might not have .mp3 capabilities. We were able to listen to our CD’s on our t.v., iPod, and computer. I love all the playing options we have!
One helpful resource is the scope and sequence of the historical audio books. You can easily see which time period the book belongs in and the age level the book is geared for. If you are looking for historical books for school or just pure enjoyment, I recommend you check out the audio books Mr. Hodges offers. I have several on my wish-list for this year and for next year’s history studies. The quality was nice and it was easy to listen to Mr. Hodges tell the story.
Our family is being challenged (in a good way) by the stories of G.A. Henty. The rich vocabulary and historical settings of his books have been a fantastic addition to our school year. There is no way I would have read these aloud on my own. I am thankful for the option of listening to these books and thrilled that Jim Hodges Audio Books has so many available.
“I like to listen to audio books because I don’t have to read any pages. I can imagine what is happening in the story when I hear Mr. Hodges read the story.” ~10 yr. old dd.
Disclosure: I received the two audio books for free, and was compensated for the time invested to do the review. All opinions are my own and I was not required to do a positive review. This review was coordinated by the iHomeschool Network. Please read my disclosure policy for more information.