“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:8-9 (NLT)
“We owe it to every child to put him in communication with the great minds that he may get at the great thoughts; with the minds, that is, of those who have left us great works; and the only vital method of education appears to be that children should read worthy books, many worthy books.” Charlotte Mason
- Find a warm spot near a sunny window.
- Meditate on Philippians 4:8-9. Let God’s Word go deep into your heart and write down how He wants to you to apply them.
Enriching Your New Year with Audio
The most important words we will ever read is God’s Word. No book can compete. When we spend time in the Word of God, we are actually spending time with Jesus himself. In it, we will find everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). In addition to the Bible, God has used many “living” books and other resources to bring increasing beauty and interest to our daily routine. These books encourage us to “fix our eyes” and follow the principles laid out in Philippians 4:8.
Many of our homeschool days become so full of good and necessary things that my dream of reading daily for hours does not always become reality. Cuddling up with my children and a book is still my favorite, but audio is also so much fun!
Audiobooks, audio dramas, and podcasts have become a wonderful way to add more reading into our day. We have found listening to audiobooks helpful on car trips, during mealtimes, while preparing meals, doing certain schoolwork or crafting, during our daily “room time,” while cleaning, and before bed. Over the years, I have discovered some helpful audio resources.
Our favorite audiobooks come from several different apps. It is so simple to connect my phone wirelessly through Bluetooth, or into my car speakers, and have our books ready to go. My favorite websites/apps for audiobooks are:
Audible.com is a subscription based website and app with a myriad of great books. You can also purchase books through Amazon without being a member. Audible will give you a one-month free trial. Membership gives you a monthly book credit and the ability to get books at a discount. If you decide to join, make sure you only use your credits for the more expensive books and order the less expensive books in addition to your credit. Whatever I buy on my account will also go onto all of my children’s Kindle devices for them to listen to. Our only rule is the first listen must be done together! Then they are free to listen to the books as they wish. Some of our favorite books that we have listened to on Audible are: The Little House on the Prairie series, Winnie the Pooh, James Harriet’s books including the Treasury for Children, American Girl historical books, Hurlburt’s Story of the Bible, and Henry Huggins to name a few.
I absolutely love this app. It is completely free. All the audiobooks are read by volunteers, and they are all books that are out of copyright. When using this app, keep in mind you might enjoy some of the narrators more than others. Some of the narrated books we have enjoyed are: The Secret Garden, The Great Big Treasury of Beatrix Potter, Anne of Green Gables, Five Little Peppers, any Thorton W. Burgess books, The Storybook of Science. The list of classics is endless!
If you are interested in Charlotte Mason education, this is an amazing compilation of the best books on LibriVox in audio form. These come from the Ambleside online list. The list is organized by school year and is very extensive.
https://www.overdrive.com/ is an app you can download in order to check out e-books and audiobooks through your library’s digital collection. All you need is your local library card number. I have found many wonderful audiobooks for my children and some for myself. Check it out; there are too many to list!
http://christianaudio.com/ is a website and app. It is very similar to Audible but with faith-based content. They offer one free book download each month even if you are not a member. We have enjoyed some great audiobooks here, many of them free.
There are many excellent audio-dramas we have enjoyed. They are full of wisdom and are thoroughly entertaining. All of these below are faith-based and many are historical.
Adventures in Odyssey by Focus on the Family
The characters from Odyssey have pretty much become my children’s friends. There are many exciting episodes including Bible stories and some wonderful American history. You can find them on CD, on podcast, and over your local radio station.
Your Story Hour
Many of these stories come from Biblical events or other stories from history. They instill faith and courage in a fun, dramatized story. You will find many heroes of the faith in these episodes. Your story hour is available on CD, and is downloadable from Christianaudio.com. Episodes of this series are also available to stream for free along with Adventures in Odyssey at Oneplace.com.
Focus on the Family Radio Theater
These stories are top-notch productions. They have had me in tears more than once! Our favorites were The Chronicles of Narnia, Anne of Green Gables and The Secret Garden. I have introduced some of these stories through radio theater before listening to the full, unabridged version. Once my children were invested in the characters, it was easier for them to follow along. These are available to purchase as CDs or to stream as episodes on Oneplace.com.
Keys for Kids
https://radio.keysforkids.org/ is a streaming website where you will find a variety of different free audio-dramas for children. We love their daily devotional read by Zac and the Red Rock Mysteries program. They also have Paws and Tails, The Pond and several other streaming options.
Classics for Kids
http://www.classicsforkids.com/ is a website with many different composers and their life stories. These stories are concise and entertaining. Although these stories are not audio-dramas, they are narrated very well. They are available for streaming or as downloadable podcasts.
Just as our children need to learn and grow, so do we. I like to listen to teachings when I am in the shower, cleaning the house, going on walks, having my afternoon tea, or driving by myself. I love how God uses the community of believers to teach and encourage in so many different ways.
A few podcasts suggestions for mom and dad:
• Focus on the Family Daily Broadcast
• Carter Conlon at Times Square Church New York City
• New Life Church in Colorado Springs
• Marriage Today with Jimmy Evans
• Life Today with James Robison
• Sally Clarkson of Whole Heart Ministries
• Mission Minded Families
• Spirit Connection with Doug Addison
• Todd White with Lifestyle Christianity
• God Centered Mom
• The Inspired to Action Podcast
Homeschool focused but helpful for every mom:
• Read Aloud Revival
• Cultivating the Lovely
• The Homeschool Snapshots
• Schole Sisters
• Your Morning Basket
• A Delectable Education Charlotte Mason
Keep in mind all of these lovely resources are designed to enrich your days and encourage your walk with the Lord. Enjoy them and allow the Holy Spirit to guide you to what is necessary for your family in the season you are currently walking through.
Blessings and Love,
Questions to Ponder
- Are you feeding your children a steady diet of God’s Word? How about yourself?
- Is there anything in your life that does not comply with Philippians 4:8? Is God asking you to get rid of it?
Find a new audiobook or audio-drama that you would like to try with your family. Make popcorn or a special treat. Get out some fun art supplies or coloring pages to use while you listen or just cuddle up on the couch with a blanket and enjoy this special time!