This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Audible
As another busy school year winds down and we look towards pool time, vacations, camps, and unstructured time that are synonymous with summer, this is also the time of the year that we begin worry about the loss of skills that our kids can experience during the months that they’re away from the classroom. Whether you call it the summer slide or brain drain, the effects of our kids being out of school can set them back.
The National Summer Learning Foundation believes that to succeed in school and life, children and young adults need ongoing opportunities to learn and practice essential skills but when school closes for the summer, come fall, teachers find themselves reteaching important reading skills that were taught the previous year. One of the biggest reasons for summer reading loss is due to the inability to access materials. While formal reading instruction allows kids to make huge gains during the school year, there is always a setback when reading isn’t done outside school.
According to ReadingRockets.org, “time spent actually reading is the best predictor of reading achievement – the more students read, the better readers they become” but how do you engage kids in a variety of different reading activities over the summer?
The best way to keep kids learning is to find fun activities that they will enjoy and can be done during small chunks of time throughout each day to help them keep up their reading skills. Besides trips to the library to browse new titles, downloading books on an eReader before a family trip, and incentives to read offered by bookstores, audio books from Audible are a great tool to add to your summer reading arsenal.
Founded in 1995 after company founder, Don Katz spent years running around Central Park listening to books on tape, Audible’s 250,000 audio programs in digital formats is now downloaded and played on iOS, Android, and Windows Phones, Amazon devices like Kindle Touch & Keyboard, Fire Tablets, and Amazon Echo, as well as tablets and computers.
Those new to Audible can begin by downloading the free Audible app for iOS, Android, or Windows Device where helpful popups will guide you through setting up a new account. The Getting Started serves as a helpful resource while interactive guides available through the Help Center will walk you through navigational features, downloading your first book, answer frequently asked questions, and more. With a free 30 day trial and free book download, there’s no better time to start using Audible than now but if you need some additional reasons why it’s a great tool to prevent the summer reading slide, here are my 6 reasons.
6 Reasons Kids Will Love Using Audible to Prevent the Summer Reading Slide
1. Age Appropriate Categories
From within the Audible app, it’s easy to find age appropriate books among the 250,000 titles when tapping on Category, selecting Kids, and then viewing Sub Categories. Audible breaks down books suggestions into the following age bands in addition to ones by genre:
- Ages 0-4
- Ages 5-7
- Ages 8-10
Genre categories include animal stories, biographies & history, classics, fiction, mysteries, nonfiction, sci-fi & fantasy, and fables, fairy tales & myths. There’s also a Best Sellers section that is heavily populated with all of the Harry Potter titles!
If you have a long road trip planned this summer, Audible versions of Harry Potter read by narrator, James Dale, would be the perfect title to listen to on the road! This behind the scenes interview that gives you a peek at how Dale created the many voices that bring Harry Potter to life through Audible!
2. Instant Book Recommendations Lets Share Books with Friends
It’s always fun to share favorite books and Audible lets you do this in a couple of different ways. My 12 year old middle schooler, Emily, is always learning about new books from friends during the school year. She will commonly go to the school’s library to help friends find the new favorite book she’s just read but this gets a bit more difficult during the summer when she’s not seeing her peers on a regular basis.
Through the new Instant Book Recommendations, Emily can share favorite audio titles by giving any audiobook found in her My Library (these are the books users own) section of the app to her friends. She can loan favorite books to friends by using her iOS, Android, or Windows 10 device to send it to friends via email, text, Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp by tapping on the “Send this Book” icon in the library. The first time Emily’s friend receives an audio book, it’s free, making it a great way kids can share books and have a virtual discussion about favorite books during the summer through text and social media interactions.
3. Share Books with Family Members with Family Library Sharing
For families wanting to share books among devices, Family Library Sharing allows you to share your Audible audiobooks with the other members of your Amazon Household. As an Audible member, this means you will be able to share any audiobooks in your library with the other member of your Amazon Household. A how-to for setting up an Amazon Household can be found here.
4, Switch Between Spoken Word Content and Print Content with Whispersync
Sometimes it’s great to be able to listen, other times you just want to curl up and read. With Whispersync for Voice, book lovers don’t have to choose. Whispersync allows you to switch seamlessly between reading and listening without losing your place even when alternating between reading to listening within the Kindle Fire Tablet or Kindle app. You can also switch between reading on one device and listening on another.
For example, you can read on your tablet and then listen on your smartphone, and, thanks to Whispersync for Voice, you’ll never lose your place!
5. Immersion Reading Lets You Read and Listen Simultaneously
One of the best features for beginning readers is the Immersion Reading feature that allows kids to read and listen simultaneously as the text is being highlighted in real-time. Immersion Reading immerses you in a story by narrating and highlighting the text as you read when you have the identical version of the audiobook version of your Kindle book that is Whispersync for Voice Ready.
I love the Immersion Reading option because it sparks an extra connection between the written and spoken text that can increase engagement, comprehension, and retention. While you do pay for both the Audible title and the Kindle version of the book, the money is well spent for younger readers who can benefit from seeing the word written on the page as it’s being spoken and building vocabulary in context for older, more fluent readers.
6. Listening Time Reading Timer Provides Fun Competition
For kids who want to keep track of how many minutes they’re listening to books, the Audible app features a reading timer that can be found by going to Stats. There are also fun badges that tweens and older will like earning and comparing against friends who also use Audible!
With more than 250,000 audio programs, age appropriate book suggestions, the ability to stay connected to friends and share books through the Instant Book Recommendations feature, and a free 30 day trial with your first book free, Audible is the perfect service to try this summer as you look to keep kids engaged in reading. Monthly membership plans begin at $14.95/month after the trial period ends but the fees are well worth it when providing another way to immerse kids in quality reading materials throughout the summer. Get your free 30 day trial with free book download to Audible here.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Audible. The opinions and text are all mine.