I work with this spunky woman named, Jessica. Not only is she a fantastic teacher, but she’s a stupendous mother to three beautiful girl from 5th grade to 10th grade. I get lots of parenting tips and tricks from Jessica. She’s a few years ahead of my in the parenting department, and so when she goes through something with her girls, I mentally file it away in my mind to use when my own kids are bigger.
Her latest parenting hack might be my favorite, though. She was lamenting over having three girls and the amount of talking that goes on in her family. Add to that her daily regiment of teaching middle schoolers who constantly seem to be striving to hit a word quota every day, and her life is full of noise!
I don’t have 3 girls, but I can certainly relate to the noise. There are kids all day asking me for things, needing things from me, speaking SO. MANY. WORDS. And then when I get home to my own two who are also going 90 miles an hour, it can be a little much some days. But Jessica has solved my problem.
She has started listening to audio books in the car with her girls. She says that it gives her a little peace and quiet after long days, but it also gives them a shared experience to bond over. Jessica said she and her girls have had some really great conversations that have been prompted by things that have happened in their audio book.
Well, I just thought this was the most brilliant thing ever. I listen to audio books occasionally myself, but it never crossed my mind that my kids might like it.
I download my audio books from our public library through the Overdrive app. Overdrive connects to your public library system and is kind of like Kindle for public libraries. It allows me to check out a book through my library system and then download it to my Overdrive app to listen to it. Of course, if you have an actual Kindle account, you can usually download the audio book directly to that and once the due date comes, it just disappears from your Kindle.
Right now, the kids and I are about to finish our first book. We have been listening to Super Fudge together because my love for Judy Blume is deep and true. The kids have loved it, too. I tried to get Bean to read it a few months ago, but he didn’t want to (he’s at that point where if Mom says it, it probably isn’t cool… Someone hold me…). And Gracie is too young to have read it on her own. So the audio book has been great because their reading levels really don’t matter. Both of them can follow the story and that’s all they need to be able to do.
Although, I should warn you that there is an entire chapter in Super Fudge about how the main character, Peter, doesn’t believe in Santa and how he thinks it’s stupid that his mom and dad pretend for his younger brother, Fudge. He even has a conversation with his mom about it in the book! The kids eyes got really wide in the backseat, but I just very casually said, “They don’t believe in Santa?”
And Bean said, “No! Even their mom doesn’t…” and I could feel him waiting for me to make it all better.
So, I very nonchalantly said, “Well, that’s awful! I bet they didn’t get many presents!”
And then we moved on. Fingers crossed that worked out okay…
Other than that one little fiasco, the audio books have been AWESOME. I already have a list of others I want us to listen to:
Sideways Stories from Westside School by Louis Sachar
Ramona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary
Matilda by Roald Dahl
The BFG by Roald Dahl
A few Junie B. Jones books by Barbara Park
Do you have any other suggestions for us? Something that might entertain both a 6 year old girl, a 7 year old boy, and a 30-something mom???? Please share!