5 ways Audiobooks can Help your Struggling Reader (no matter their diagnosis)

The ability to read opens up a world of possibilities for a child of any age.  

Diving into a great story offers an experience unlike any other. Your child can escape to a faraway land, become a prince or princess with a fairytale ending, or even save the world from an evil villain plotting destruction and doom. And it can all be done from the comfort of home!

Plus, once a child can read, they can learn just about anything! The world is their oyster!

The struggle is real though…

When children have difficulty learning to read, they often struggle in many areas. They tend to experience anxiety, embarrassment, and eventually apathy because they’ve just given up.

Thankfully, we live in a time where we understand the importance of literacy (and intervention from an early age!) and are equipped with the tools necessary to help when reading doesn’t come easy.

One way to help a child that is struggling with this is by simply allowing (and encouraging) them to listen to audiobooks. Audiobooks offer many benefits (at any age!) and are readily available on any device. 

Plus, they offer a screen-free alternative for spending quality time together as a family.

How can audiobooks help your struggling reader?

Here are 5 ways audiobooks can help your struggling reader, no matter their diagnosis.

1) Multi-sensory approach

When a child has the option to listen to a story while following along with the text, they don’t have to work so hard to keep up. By receiving information both visibly and audibly, children begin to experience increased word recognition and better fluency, all while building the skills necessary to eventually comprehend at a higher level. 

2) Expands vocabulary

Becoming a fluent reader is dependent on word exposure. When a child struggles, they are avoiding books at all costs. By changing your approach and allowing them to listen instead, they are exposed to words they might not hear in everyday conversation. This expands their vocabulary and familiarity with the English language.

3) Increases comprehension

When a struggling student is spending their time focused on reading books word-by-word and decoding each sound, they tend to miss the bigger picture – what the book is truly about. By taking that pressure off, they are more easily able to engage and interact with the story being told.

4) Gives educational independence

By giving a child access to the audio version of required school reading, they are able to better focus on the content and intended takeaway. When a young learner is able to dig into the lesson in this way, they are more likely to stay on track with peers. Though not the traditional approach, this method offers the benefit of allowing students to take ownership and pride in the education they are receiving.

5) Instills a love of reading

Children who struggle to read often miss the simple joy of getting lost in a good story. By giving them the opportunity to sit back and listen, they can rediscover what is often lost in the hurry and scurry that comes with working to bring reading skills up to par. 

No matter your child’s diagnosis or reason for struggling, audiobooks are a great resource to have in your arsenal as a parent or educator.

How can you get started?

It’s simple really. Audiobooks are more accessible now than ever before. You can borrow many for free through the Overdrive app by signing up with your local library. 

If you want quicker access and greater variety, you can look into subscription services such as Chirp, Audible, and Scribd. While these apps (and lots more!) offer many benefits, each is structured a bit differently. Be sure to dig in and do your research to figure out the best choice for your family and budget.

Once you choose a method for listening, you’re good to go! The great thing about audiobooks is that they fit in so well with the modern family’s busy lifestyle.

You and your child can listen on the drive to and from school, while out running errands, during chore time, and even while getting ready for bed! Really, any time works!

So what are you waiting for? Queue up a new book, grab your favorite beverage, snuggle up on the couch with your little one, and get to listenin’!

If you found this article helpful, please share on your favorite social media channels so your friends and family can benefit as well!

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