One of the questions I get asked fairly often is whether audiobooks are a good option for struggling readers. The answer is a resounding “YES” and here are five reasons why.
Listening to Audiobooks Will Support the Process of Teaching Your Child to Read - Some parents view the use of audiobooks as providing a crutch to struggling readers when in fact, audiobooks can actually support and strengthen the development of decoding skills. Especially when paired with actual written text, audiobooks can make the learning process more fun and effective. Listening while reading offers a multi-sensory experience that supports both reading skill development and overall enjoyment.
Audiobooks Offer Children Who Struggle to Read Much Needed Inspiration to Love Literature – When a child is a struggling reader, decoding can be an unpleasant and undesirable experience. Most children who struggle to read, avoid reading at all costs. While it is more than understandable that a child who struggles to read would prefer to avoid reading as much as possible, the downside is that they may never develop a love of literature at all. Audiobooks allow struggling readers to access literature that is above their reading level so they can learn to love it and can access books they are unable to do on their own. The hope is that while their decoding skills improve, so will their motivation to attempt more challenging books as they become ready and able to do so.
Audiobooks Offer a Struggling Reader a Feeling of Independence – While you should never replace reading with your child with audiobooks, the use of them does offer your child the opportunity to develop self-confidence and self-reliance skills. Children need to feel like they don’t have to depend on you (or anyone else, for that matter) to function in life. Feeling independent when it comes to reading is no different.
Audiobooks Can Provide a Child with High Verbal Comprehension Skills the Ability to Learn the Way He Learns Best – When children with high verbal comprehension skills are given the opportunity to listen to books while reading along with their eyes, their comprehension is positively impacted. They typically comprehend better and retain more information. Audiobooks also make reading more fun for the learner who learns best by listening!
Time Spent Doing Homework Can be Dramatically Reduced with Audiobooks – Your child may qualify for a LearningAlly.org or BookShare.org account. Both not only provide access to popular reads but also massive textbooks. If incorporating audiobooks allows your child the ability to participate in extracurricular activities simply because the use of them cuts down on the total amount of time spent doing homework, that should be reason enough to take advantage of them. However, they will also benefit from increased comprehension and engagement during homework sessions. Some great audiobook provider is Audible.com... but I might also suggest taking a trip down to your local library for some off-the-shelf selections.
If you have a struggling reader and have been reluctant to incorporate audiobooks, you could be missing out on an opportunity for your child to benefit from increased comprehension, enjoyment and more time for other activities.