As we homeschool, we morph and change. The children grow and we grow with them. I drove them to Knoxville (one hour both ways) for three years to participate in Adventure Club – a scouting program through our church.
Then, I got burned out. They were younger. No matter what we did in the car for their entertainment, they drove me crazy. My children have never traveled well. It was just too much driving for their age and it had to stop.
Nine months later, they are different people. Plus, we have discovered radio theater CDs from Focus on the Family. We have listened to almost the whole series of Adventures in Odyssey. We are working through Chronicles of Narnia now.
The children love these programs. They listen intently. They still squabble a bit, as sibling always do on the backseat, but they are a lot better behaved and easier to manage.
I can also see how listening develops their auditory learning skills. Since the actors in Narnia have a British accent, it’s a very good educational opportunity to stretch their minds and ears. We may live in East Tennessee, which is a world in itself, but I want them to know the world is big.
Since we also read through the unabridged books, it is a great way for the children to see how writers adapt certain scenes for radio theater. Many times, they take the sentences from the books word for word. Other times, they tell one chapter in one sentence or two. It’s a great lesson in narration.
Last but not least, children are children. They are impatient and want to know how the story ends. It is so hard to wait until we finish the book and its 15-17 chapters. We can almost listen to the whole radio version of a book in three hours or a trip to orchestra practice, for instance.
They don’t mind the repetition. Once they know what will happen from the radio version, they are more inclined to listen to the descriptions and details of the book version. It works for us and, as a treat, we let them watch the DVD version of Narnia as well. I am sure this whole book-audio-video experience will be on their list of fond childhood memories once they are adults.