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Do your kids listen to audio books? My kids do and while we used to get CDs from the library, I’ve moved on to mp3 files for listening. Even those titles we own on CD have been imported to the computer and we access them that way. But, individual files must be loaded onto each device and that takes time especially if you have limited space and kids want to switch out titles. Enter Audible! Today’s post is all about Why We Fell in Love with Audio Books from Audible.
What is Audible?
Audible is an Amazon company which provides audio books in a membership format. The books are wirelessly downloadable to the device of your choice and each book you purchase is yours forever. If you have a Kindle or use the Kindle app, then you can even read along with your Audible selections.
Ways to Sign Up & Get Deals
- Start a free trial– which gives you 30 days to try out Audible and at least one free book to start (and sometimes two- see link at the bottom of the post)
- Gold Membership– $14.50 a month with one free credit each month
- Silver Membership– $7.95 a month with a free credit every other month
- Purchase books with only your free monthly credit
- Look for books for $5.00 or less if you go beyond your credit
- Pay attention to sales emails which allow you to get two per credit- take advantage of them when you see them!
How We Use Audible
- Rainy & snowy days indoors– we like the listening diversion that varies from the regular reading aloud
- Car Trips– Mostly longer ones, but it’s great for when you live outside of town!
- While Doing Other Tasks– Our daughter listens to them while doing her sewing projects, etc. I listen in the evenings while folding laundry.
- When You have Insomnia– Great company as you fall back to sleep
- Intense Kid Relaxer– Our youngest listens every night as he relaxes his brain for sleeping. The audio book has been a successful strategy for his gifted intensities. I have a “loaner” Kindle for this purpose with the internet blocked and audio books only (not games or apps are loaded on it). At this time, the Kindle Free parental controls do not allow access to audio books. So, we’ve found a work-around. I hope they can find a way to provide that service directly. The new 8G HD Kindle with SD card capabilities is $50 ($40 on 6-13-16) and it was worth the investment for him to have a Kindle that has normal use with apps and games and one that is a work horse.
- Enriches Your Studies– Listen together while the kids do handiwork (like sew, draw, fold paper, etc). We not only listen to fiction, we listen to lectures on various topics (from The Great Courses) and non-fiction books on topics of interest.
Why Pay for Audible When I Can do Others for Free?
I know there are other resources for free audio books like the library and Librivox. The availability and quality of Audible narrations surpasses them all- not to mention the ease and convenience of working with the technology.
- Wireless delivery– most convenient in a busy household with four devices. That means you don’t have to do move anything around manually.
- One Audible account will deliver to many devices– the Audible titles show up on every device on one Amazon account. So all my kids can easily access any book.
- New Acquisitions show on all devices– they always know when a new book is waiting
- Easily switch listening between devices– I can listen on my Kindle and if I’m in the car, I can use the Audible app on my smart phone to continue listening and since all the devices synch, I can keep going from where I left off each time.
- Use bookmarks– you can bookmark where you are so you can return. This is helpful if more than one family member is listening to the same story on another device. Those devices will still synch, but if you aren’t in the place for listening, that doesn’t work!
- Set an alarm– This is useful when a child is listening at bed time. You can set it to turn off after a period of time.
- Works seamlessly with your Kindles and Kindle apps
- Listening Channels– Audible now has short listening items from their catalog available on their mobile app. You can choose from The NY Times, The Washington Post, select lectures from The Great Courses, and favorite TED Talks. These are all listening shorts from within the category. Perfect for errands and folding laundry times. These are included with your membership!
- Whispersynch availability– we know students who get a book and an Audible book and follow along with the text as they are listening to the story.
- Monthly cost is less than the purchase of one audio book– If you are not an Audible member, audio books are costly and well beyond $14.50. If you are, all titles are much more reasonable and you get a credit each month.
- All the books you purchase are yours to keep– even after you cancel your membership even the ones you get with credits. That includes the trial! So, if you sign on for the 30 days to try it out you can purchase at the reduced rate and get one or two free books to keep forever.
- Audible add ons to Kindle books are nominal– Once you own the Kindle copy of a title, the Audible file is only a few dollars extra.
- A lovely investment– of story and information for your family that everyone can take advantage of. It’s like Netflix for book lovers and the bonus is you get to own the titles for your monthly fee.
Our Favorite Audible Titles
Of course we want to share our favorites with you! You can access Audible titles from your Amazon book searches. It’s one of the formats shown to purchase books in if there is an audio available. If you are a member, you can still purchase the Audible version with your credits. If you already own the Kindle version, the Audible version is super cheap as an add on. Tip: I always use credits for the more expensive titles.
- The Hobbit
- The Lord of the Rings
- Redwall books– these are a favorite!
- Watership Down
- The Green Ember
- The Black Star of Kingston
- The Great Courses- I love these for literature and history. They provide wonderful extra material for high school.
Other Ways to Use Technology from Blog, She Wrote
Technology is a big piece of our homeschooling these days whether it’s for paper writing, computer programming, online courses, mini-classes, research, projects, etc. We use both portable devices and desk tops. Here are a few how to posts on some of our favorites.
How to Homeschool with a Kindle– A fantastic way to economically enter the tablet world. Lists and posts of all the ways we employ this tool in our homeschool. Every day.
How to Make a YouTube Playlist– Hot summer days might call for some video diversions. Have you ever put together a pre-made viewing list for your kids?
How to Use Google Earth in Your Homeschool– This online atlas is another favorite tool of ours. Do you know all its features? How about learning lessons that go with it?
How to Manage the Internet in Your Home– A series of posts Dan put together to help families with access control and filtering using your network’s router. This post is a must if you have kids using the internet and portable devices (along with computers).