According to a recent survey, 50 percent of children in the United States don't read books for fun. That's startling, especially when you consider that books are the gateway to literacy and the foundation for all learning.
As a parent, have you noticed your child consistently put off reading or being entirely turned off by it?
Maybe they're spending more time on the phone watching Netflix and YouTube. Perhaps they don't associate the act of reading with the wonders of books and stories. Or maybe they can't find a book that actually interests them.
Whatever their reasons, it's up to you as a parent or guardian to make sure your child is still connecting with books in some manner, shape, or form. And if your child is simply not interested in reading print books for whatever reason, you may have to look elsewhere for other solutions to get them reading.
And one great solution to this problem?
What are audiobooks?
Audiobooks are one of the fastest-growing segments of the publishing industry that give children access to stories in a way that speaks to them: through sound and narration. They provide an alternative to printed text and allow you to interact with stories in a different way.
Audiobooks are a wonderful resource that can be enjoyed by anyone. They can be used to help people with disabilities and learning difficulties access books, and they are also a great resource for reluctant readers.
Unlike the limiting nature of print texts, audiobooks can be fully immersive. They come with expressive voices, sound effects, and music that make for an engaging experience without requiring much effort from the listener. They are also a great alternative to traditional reading because they provide the same content with a more interactive experience.
Why children may not like reading
There are countless reasons why children may not like reading. They include:
Lack of confidence in their reading skills
Difficulty sitting still and focusing long enough to actually finish a book
They struggle with the mechanics of decoding unfamiliar words or comprehending what they've just read
They suffer from dyslexia or other learning disabilities that make reading difficult
They prefer to listen instead of reading
They get distracted easily when they read
They find reading boring or difficult
For these children, audiobooks can be a great way to get around their issues with reading, while still helping them get the benefits of reading — namely developing their vocabulary and comprehension skills, enriching their imaginations, and improving their ability to articulate themselves.
Why are audiobooks important for reluctant readers?
Because not all children like to read and it’s important for every child to develop their literacy skills and build a love of reading from an early age, it is only wise to find alternative avenues for children to enjoy reading.
Reading is an essential aspect of a child's growth. It can help kids expand their vocabulary and gain a better understanding of grammar, both of which will aid them as they grow older. It can also help with creativity and communication in general.
Reading is not just one of life’s greatest pleasures, but it’s also an essential skill they will need throughout their lives. That's why audiobooks might just be the key to getting your reluctant reader to become engaged in reading.
7 reasons why should give audiobooks to reluctant readers
1. They're great for kids struggling with literacy
Listening to audiobooks is an easy way to practice reading comprehension without having to read the words on the page. The narrator reads the book aloud so that the listener can focus on understanding the story instead of decoding words they don't recognize.
If your children are struggling with literacy at school, using audiobooks as a supplement to traditional books can help build their understanding of written language and make them more confident when they do read on their own.
2) Vocabulary development
Audiobooks introduce new vocabulary and expose listeners to new types of expressions which helps improve communication skills. By listening to an audiobook, your child can learn new words and how to properly pronounce them by hearing them spoken aloud.
They also give your child access to different language patterns which can help improve pronunciation and inflection skills. Through audiobooks, children can learn what "reading with an expression" really means!
3. Improved listening comprehension
Just as audiobooks improve children's vocabulary and language skills, they also improve their listening comprehension. It provides a chance for them to improve their attention span as they become more used to absorbing information through listening instead of just reading it.
They also have less need for visual aids when it comes time for tests at school or work presentations later in life!
4. Audiobooks help develop a love of reading
Much like reading aloud to your children helps develop a love of reading, so too do audiobooks. They allow children to experience the joys of books and stories in a different way. Hearing stories read aloud can help children understand how stories work and help them learn more about language and how words sound.
Audiobooks also allow children to enjoy books above their reading level because the listener does not need the same level of decoding skills as a reader does.
5. They can get the story at the moment
If your children are into stories about faraway places but aren't interested in reading about them, then audiobooks are a great way to get the story at the moment. Audiobooks for children come in all shapes and sizes and there's something for everyone.
From tales about wizards, dragons, and fairies to stories about animals or even adventures in outer space, children will learn more about the world around them as well as improve their listening skills.
6. You can listen together
Listening to audiobooks together is a great bonding activity as well as being educational. If you're unable to spend much time with your children because of work commitments, then listening to an audiobook together is a good alternative to reading a book on your own, because it gives you the opportunity to talk about what's going on in the book
7. Audiobooks make reading fun
The best way to get kids to read is to make reading fun. And the best way to do that is with a great audiobook. Audiobooks are the perfect solution for reluctant readers. They bring the story to life and put your child in the middle of the action. Many children prefer listening to a story rather than reading it.
Give it a try — we think you’ll be surprised at how well your reluctant reader likes listening to stories!