The other day a friend was listening to me go over all the things we had planned for the next week and she commented that we were homeschoolers who were never home. I laughed and had to agree. We are oxymorons. Our lives are so busy with going on our next adventure (or just to ballet rehearsal) that we are often on the road. Because we spend so much time in the car, I started saying we were CarSchooling some days instead of homeschooling. One of the best ways I’ve found to keep from getting behind in our homeschool is to CarSchool using audiobooks.
Why We Use Audiobooks to CarSchool
We are Charlotte Mason homeschoolers — mostly — which means we spend a large part of our homeschool reading books. Some of these are family read alouds, some are individual reading, some are for a particular subject and some are just for fun.
We are also avid readers in our family. But, we discovered early on that more than one of us susceptible to car sickness. So reading in the car, which might be easy for mom, is not convenient for the rest of the family. And since I’m usually the one driving the car, it’s probably not a good idea for me to try to read our latest novel.
We started using audiobooks in the car because we spend at least 3-4 hours in the car each week traveling from all our different events like Book Club, Poetry Teatime, Ballet, Guitar, Art, Archery… you get my point. I didn’t want to waste that time and, honestly, I was kinda tired of the kids watching YouTube videos while in transit. Audiobooks (and occasionally an educational video) were easy for me to add in school and not waste school time driving.One way to keep from getting behind in our #homeschool is to #CarSchool using #audiobooks @aio_tweets Click To Tweet
How to Use Audiobooks to CarSchool
The most obvious way to listen to an audiobook is to use a CD. CD’s are by far the clearest sounding way to listen to an audiobook and they are easy to navigate while driving a vehicle. We recently just finished a new audiobook from Adventures in Odyssey by listening through the car’s stereo system.
There are several other ways to use audiobooks in the car. You can download a book onto one of these easy to use audiobook services.
- Audible – this is our go-to app. It’s easy and has a ton of books available.
- Overdrive – an easy way to download library books.
- Librivox – free public domain audiobooks.
Then, if you have Bluetooth, you can hook up your phone or tablet to the car’s audio and the whole family can listen in.
We’ve used audiobooks for our history, language arts, bible, family read alouds, and even science. There really are no limitations on what subjects you can learn while CarSchooling (except maybe experiments – dissecting in the car seems a bit much).
Adventures in Odyssey Audiobooks
Some great books available in audio are the Adventures in Odyssey series by Focus on the Family. For years we’ve enjoyed the historical audiobooks, but until recently we had never listened to the character-building series. When we received Up in The Air, I initially thought it would be great for my elementary-aged daughter. We popped it in the car one day while on our errands and here’s what I discovered:
- It entertained everyone in the car – not just the youngest. The tween was eager to listen, as well as mom. As soon as I would turn on the car, they would both ask me to press play so they could find out what happened in the story.
- The series ran the gamut of emotions. We were all laughing and, at one point, tearing up. Ok. So, I was tearing up. My kids are used to me sniffling through our family read alouds. At least this time someone else was talking so they couldn’t hear me choking up.
- This isn’t just an audiobook. It’s an audiodrama. Honestly, I couldn’t understand the audiodrama until I listened to it myself. It’s engaging and fun. Don’t believe me? Listen for yourself.
- It’s over 2 hours of audio, but it’s broken up into easy to manage clips. We were easily able to listen to one of the stories while driving around town.