Learning in the Car

A year and a half ago, we moved to the opposite side of town from where we’d lived for years (the reasons are kind of pointless now). Now it takes 45 minutes to drive to my mother’s house, and at least that to drive to field trips with our old homeschool group. My kids would object to even the most fun field trips, because the drive was so boring for them.

Then a few months ago, I bought a CD set of an audiobook of the history of the United States and we started listening to that in the car. The kids started hoping it was a longer drive to go places, so they could hear the CD! “Mommy, can we listen to history, please?”

I got a subscription to Audible.com, and when we were done with the history CD, we all agreed on the new topic and I downloaded an audiobook about mythology to my Zune and we listen to that in the car.

Not only does it make the drives less boring and make that time educational, it also sparks really interesting discussions. Frequently, we’ll end up pausing the book so we can talk about what was just said. Since we’re all listening together, instead of all reading separately, it gives us the opportunity for some great conversations.

Recently, I found out that a lot of public libraries will let you “check out” audiobooks not only as CDs or tapes at the actual library building, but you can download the checked out audiobook for free over the ‘net. You can search Overdrive to find books in your area.