The younger group around here have discovered the joys of listening to stories on CD. This is wonderful to me for a couple of reasons. First, many of them seem to have unlimited capacity for listening to stories and I have yet to reach a point in reading picture books to them where they grow tired of listening before I grow tired of reading. It just doesn't happen. They are insatiable. With them having discovered recorded stories, it saves my voice and gives me a little more free time. Plus, they have been listening a lot while I have been working with the middles in the morning during school.
The other reason I am excited is that it is just so good for their brains. Listening to a story without having pictures to go along with it is great for developing imaginations and attention. We have read a few chapter books to G. and L., but they haven't been quite as interested in them as in picture books and I haven't pushed it. I imagine once they have some more practice with recorded stories, it will be an easy step to reading and enjoying more chapter books together.
So what have they been listening to recently?
Jim Weiss' stories have been perennial favorites around here. We have quite a few, though I just discovered a lot more that have come out since I stopped buying them a few years back. (I even got a chance to see Jim Weiss in person once when M. and B. were little and we have a couple of signed CD's from the event.) G. and L.'s current favorite is The Queen's Pirate, which baffles me a little bit since it is one of the slower stories that he has done. But they are enjoying it and learning something. When I was reading history the other day and mentioned a certain king of England, one of the piped up and said, "He was in The Queen's Pirate CD!"
The other perennial favorites are the storied from Adventures in Odyssey. We seem to go through seasons around here where our life is accompanied by constant playings of these discs. Currently, while I'm writing this, one child is listening to one disk here in the kitchen and another group of children are listening to another in the living room. I may have to pick up some new ones just because I am so familiar with the ones we have... something new would be nice.
G. and L. have yet to discover Your Story Hour, though the discs are here. (We like set 7 the best.) These are stories from American history and have been favorite stories with my older children. Sometimes it's funny, how one particular story will affect children in different ways. The story about yellow fever on one of the discs in set 7 is one of those stories. This is a story that I've discovered my children either love or hate, with the sides being pretty evenly split. There have been innumerable little spats I have broken up over the years about whether or not the yellow fever story was going to be listened to or not. I'll be curious to see who the younger group divides over it... it is often not how I expect.
One last CD which has been popular, but also has not been discovered by the younger set yet is Fire in Boomtown. This is a great story and song telling of the Chicago fire. It is well done and has some catchy songs. If you are studying Chicago or Chicago history this is an absolute must. Even if you aren't planning on studying Chicago, it is interesting to listen to.
We have quite a few more, but these are some of my children's favorites. What did I miss? Do you have any favorite audio stories that you want to share?
Oh, one more thing. The little girl, Grace, whom I shared about the other day? Well, her Reece's Rainbow account is still at $0. Can you give even $5 towards her adoption? She needs a family, and the sad fact is, the people who are most willing to adopt a child like Grace, also tend to be the people who don't have a lot of extra cash lying around. While they could manage the day-to-day expenses, the $30,000 adoption costs/travel fees are just beyond most families. A child with a large grant has a significantly better chance of getting a mother and father. You could help make a difference for a child finding her family. A child, who, if we are honest, has absolutely no future in her country once she turns 14 and ages out.