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Debra Bell - Christian Homeschooling, Home Education

School In the Car: Audiotapes!

  • Debra Bell Columnist, author and conference speaker
  • 2000 6 Jun
  • COMMENTS
School In the Car: Audiotapes!
Family travel has been a favorite feature of our home school. As it is probably on most of our agendas for the summer, here are some ways we have made the most of our travel time:

Long trips are never a source of boredom for our kids if I take the time to rent several books-on-tape before we leave. Our favorite supplier is www.recordedbooks.com. This company has the largest selection of childrens titles we have found and they are all unabridged. Two other companies on the web are www.booksontape.com, a publisher of popular fiction and www.blackstoneaudio.com, a company that specializes in conservative and literary titles.

I've also purchased many books on tape from Bantam Doubleday Dell. This publisher hires professional actors as narrators and their dramatization adds far more to the story than my reading it aloud to my kids every could. Here are some of our favorites:

The Cay by Theodore Taylor, read by Levar Burton.
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, by Mildred Taylor, read by Lynn Thigpen
Shiloh Trilogy, by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, read by Peter MacNichol.
Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls, read by Richard Thomas

You can find most of these titles within your local library system.

We've also spent countless hours listening to Focus on the Family's Adventures in Odyssey series. My husband and I have even been known to listen to these without kids along. Another gifted storyteller, popular with home schoolers, is Jim Weiss of Greathall Productions (www.greathall.com). Jim has specialized in the classics and folktales.

If you are looking for audio tapes in the content areas for the younger set, then I recommend Audio Memory (www.audiomemory.com). Currently, they have combined music and drill to teach kids states & capitals, world geography, basic arithmetic facts, history, grammar and Bible.

For older students and adults, the audio courses from the Teaching Company (www.teachco.com) are hard to top. This company has produced on tape the courses developed by some of the most popular lecturers on college campuses today. While not from a Christian perspective, the courses are generally out of the classical, liberal arts tradition and we have enjoyed almost a dozen of their courses. (We've used them as a component for several high school courses.)

I've also just finished listening to the first set of tapes in Diana Waring's (www.dianawaring.com) What In the World Is Going On Here? This is Diana's introduction to World History from a Christian worldview. It is excellent, and now I am busy buying all the books she recommends on her tapes for further study.

In the next article, I'll conclude with other activities we've used to make the most of our time in the car.

In His Sovereign Grace,

Debra