Balancing business, home, and kids takes some strategy. One of my tried and tested methods when it comes to balancing our home life is audiobooks. There’s nothing more relaxing in our home than turning on a much-anticipated chapter of our current listen. The books we’ve listened to become part of our daily rituals and seasonal traditions. Listening together is quality time.
The benefits of listening to audiobooks
Reading aloud is obviously beneficial, so much so that listening to audiobooks may seem like cheating. The good news is that it’s not.
For instance, BookRiot dives into 4 of the big benefits which include:
1. A more sensory reading experience
2. Enhanced literary skills for kids and teens
3. Mental and physical self-care
4. Quality time with friends and family
In addition, these 8 mental and physical benefits of audiobooks from Libro.FM supports the idea that you should be listening to audiobooks!
Unquestionably, the benefits we’ve experienced are enriched family discussions, shared memories, choosing together what to listen to next, an added dimension to our road trips, nostalgia as we relisten to favorites, and exposure to literature we may not sit down to read. All in all, we’re closer due to the shared experience of listening together. Every member of our family will recommend audiobooks for their own reasons, and they’re worth considering.
Where to find audiobooks to listen to
Dig out your library card and download the Libby app to borrow audiobooks from your local library system. Libby is fun because you put books on hold exactly like going to the library for a physical book. You can also borrow ebooks and magazines this way.
Looking for free, public-domain literature? Librivox is what you need. You’re also free to burn these onto CD and listen to them like we used to…
There is no shortage of options to get your hands on audiobooks. We happily subscribe to Audible and pay for 1 book credit a month for our homeschool.
What audiobooks to listen to
We are a family of 4. Mostly, we listen at home but a couple of times a year we go on long road trips. Here are our 7 top audiobook picks for you to listen to whether you’re on the road, at home, or exploring if audiobooks are right for you.
1. The Adventures of A Girl Called Bicycle by Christina Uss
“Introverted Bicycle has lived most of her life at the Mostly Silent Monastery in Washington, D.C. When her guardian, Sister Wanda, announces that Bicycle is going to attend a camp where she will learn to make friends, Bicycle says no way and sets off on her bike for San Francisco to meet her idol, a famous cyclist, certain he will be her first true friend. Who knew that a ghost would haunt her handlebars and that she would have to contend with bike-hating dogs, a bike-loving horse, bike-crushing pigs, and a mysterious lady dressed in black.
Over the uphills and downhills of her journey, Bicycle discovers that friends are not such a bad thing to have after all, and that a dozen cookies really can solve most problems.”
2. My Side of The Mountain by Jean Craighead George
“Sam Gribley is terribly unhappy living in New York City with his family, so he runs away to the Catskill Mountains to live in the woods – all by himself. With only a penknife, a ball of cord, 40 dollars, and some flint and steel, he intends to survive on his own. Sam learns about courage, danger, and independence during his year in the wilderness, a year that changes his life forever.”
3. Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool
“Abilene Tucker feels abandoned. Her father has put her on a train, sending her off to live with an old friend for the summer while he works a railroad job. Armed only with a few possessions and her list of universals, Abilene jumps off the train in Manifest, Kansas, aiming to learn about the boy her father once was.
Having heard stories about Manifest, Abilene is disappointed to find that it’s just a dried-up, worn-out old town. But her disappointment quickly turns to excitement when she discovers a hidden cigar box full of mementos, including some old letters that mention a spy known as the Rattler. These mysterious letters send Abilene and her new friends, Lettie and Ruthanne, on an honest-to-goodness spy hunt, even though they are warned to “Leave Well Enough Alone”…”
4. Holes by Louis Sachar
“Stanley Yelnats isn’t so surprised when a miscarriage of justice sends him to a juvenile detention center. After all, his family has been ridden with bad luck ever since a one-legged gypsy put a curse on his great-great grandfather. He is told that the hard labor he must perform, digging five-foot holes in the dried up soil where Green Lake once sat, is meant to build character. But it soon becomes clear to Stanley that the warden is really using the boys to search for something very valuable. The story of the hidden treasure, along with the warden, Stanley’s friend Zero, and the curse on the Yelnats family are all part of a compelling puzzle that has taken generations to unravel.”
5. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
“Hailed as “a classic…humorous, full of warmth and real invention” (The New Yorker), this beloved story – first published more than 50 years ago – introduces readers to Milo and his adventures in the Lands Beyond.
For Milo, everything’s a bore. When a tollbooth mysteriously appears in his room, he drives through only because he’s got nothing better to do. But on the other side, things seem different. Milo visits the Island of Conclusions (you get there by jumping), learns about time from a ticking watchdog named Tock, and even embarks on a quest to rescue Rhyme and Reason!
Somewhere along the way, Milo realizes something astonishing. Life is far from dull. In fact, it’s exciting beyond his wildest dreams….”
6. Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli
“He wasn’t born with the name Maniac Magee. He came into this world named Jeffrey Lionel Magee, but when his parents died and his life changed, so did his name. And Maniac Magee became a legend. Even today kids talk about how fast he could run; about how he hit an inside-the-park “frog” homer; about how no knot, no matter how snarled, would stay that way once he began to untie it. But the thing Maniac Magee is best known for is what he did for the kids from the East Side and those from the West Side.”
7. Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
“One summer’s day, 10-year-old India Opal Buloni goes down to the local supermarket for some groceries – and comes home with a dog. But Winn-Dixie is no ordinary dog. It’s because of Winn-Dixie that Opal begins to make friends. And it’s because of Winn-Dixie that she finally dares to ask her father about her mother, who left when Opal was three. In fact, as Opal admits, just about everything that happens that summer is because of Winn-Dixie. “
There you have it! Our 7 favorite audiobooks to listen to as a family! I’d love to know if you’ve listened to or read any of these. And if you have any recommendations too, leave them in the comments!