What We’re Reading {Listening To}

Favourite audiobooks

Our homeschooling has always involved a lot of driving – a side effect of having a daughter with a zillion outside interests and a son who goes to SPD therapy twice a week.

Our car time has been transformed by Audible. The huge range of audiobooks now available means it’s easy to find something that appeals to everyone.

I buy 24 credits at a time, so each audiobook costs about £4.50 ($7). As we don’t spend money on curriculum I see this as a great investment. Many of our purchases are listened to over and over.

We usually have several audiobooks on the go. What we listen to on any particular journey depends who’s in the car. Here are some we’ve enjoyed when all three of us are together:

Current listen

homeschool audiobooksRight now we’re listening to Birds, Beasts & Relatives, a second delightful collection of stories about conservationist Gerald Durrell’s childhood on the Greek Island of Corfu.

We did a mini-geography unit on  Corfu when we listened to the first in the series, My Family and Other Animals.

These books have a special place in my heart because the first overseas holiday my family took was to Corfu when I was eleven, just after I’d read My Family and Other Animals.

I can still remember my excitement at spotting the various villas the Durrells had lived in as we drove around the island. (My own family and no idea what I was doing – they were just looking for beaches!)

C(9) and J(8) enjoy looking at Google images of the people and places from the books. One day I’ll take them to Corfu to see for themselves.

Recent favourites

* The Adventures of Tom Sawyer & The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Swallowdale – second in the sailing and camping adventure series featuring the five Walker children, set in England’s Lake District in the 1930’s.

I read aloud the first adventure, Swallows & Amazons, a couple of years ago. I was mighty relieved when these long books appeared on Audible! We studied diagrams of boats and learned some nautical terminology when we first read this.

* The Inheritance Cycle  – My kids love fantasy – much more than I do. We listened to Eragon together and then they listened to the rest on their own. We often do this, so I can keep an ear on what they’re listening to. I like that Christopher Paolini wrote Eragon while he was a homeschooled teenager.

* The Percy Jackson series – Again, I listened with the children to the first in Rick Riordan’s series based on Greek mythology, and they finished the series on their own. J(8) is now working his way through the Kane Chronicles (based on the Egyptian gods) and The 39 Clues.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy –  I love sharing with my children the books I enjoyed as a child, and C(9) and J(8) love this cult sci-fi comedy as much as their geeky parents did. The third book in Douglas Adams’ “trilogy in four parts,” Life, the Universe and Everything, is next on our playlist.

* The Little House on the Prairie series  {Not on Audible. I bought the CDs from Amazon US}

These are some of the books we’ve enjoyed listening to all together. In part 2 I’ll share those we listen to and read in smaller groups and individually.  I’ll also share my thoughts on the impact of audiobooks on reading.


To see what the other Homeschool Help families are reading, visit:

Highhill Homeschool – Making Connections with Reading – Our Disorganized List of Current Reads

One Magnificent Obsession – Balancing Interest and Challenge

Barefoot Hippie Girl – What’s on our Reading List… Home School Edition

Hammock Tracks – What Are You Reading?

Every Bed of Roses – Our Current Read Aloud and To Read List


I’m appreciatively linking up here:

Entertaining and Educational – Highhill Homeschool

Collage Friday – Homegrown Learners

Weekly Wrap-Up – Weird Unsocialised Homeschoolers

Hip Homeschool Hop – 13/09/03

Homeschool Mother’s Journal – So You Call Yourself a Homeschooler?

TGIF Linky Party #93


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20 thoughts on “What We’re Reading {Listening To}

  1. Audio books are so useful for the road, and when people are reading/listening to different stories at the same time. We used to listen to audio books a lot, but have less use of them right now. They still come in handy while traveling long distances though. 🙂

    1. From what I’ve read of his reading speed, Tiger would find audiobooks even played at double speed frustratingly slow! For J(8) they’re a godsend!

  2. Great recommendations as always!
    Just this morning my hubby was talking about Hitch hikers Guide to the Galaxy with my 10yr old… Hopefully it’s in the library on Friday 😉
    Thanks for your thoughts, Claire x

    1. yay another Hitchhiker’s Guide fan! I do sometimes wonder if anyone else out there subjects their kids to the same totally eclectic book selection as I do. I’ve never seen it on the Ambleside booklist 😉

  3. Hello,

    I just wandered over from Angelicscalliwags and I love your blog! My little man D5 has high-functioning autism, SPD and low muscle tone. I am going to sit down and have a good read through all of your Special Needs posts.

    Thank you for sharing!


    1. Hi there, I’ve always enjoyed your comments on Angelicscalliwags so it’s lovely to see you here! (Isn’t Claire fab?)
      I’m not sure how much I’ve written about J(8)’s SPD… it sort of comes into every aspect of our lifestyle but I SOO don’t feel like an expert, so I don’t write much about it specifically. Maybe I should give it a go anyway …
      Thank you for stopping to say hello 🙂 x

      1. Thank you – that’s very kind! I just stand back in amazement when you and Claire have this little tete-a-tete about Math concepts… I intend hanging on your and her every word when we get to that level of Math… ;-D Which is fortunately very far off for us. Looking forward to following your blog! x

        1. LOl – I feel exactly the same when I see discussions about senior school maths and science! Luckily our children don’t become 14 – or 9 – overnight! x

          1. Hang onto your new birthday dress lovely Lula B!! They DO grow up OVERNIGHT and I guess that’s partly why I’m freakin out over here! Lol 😉 sick kids and mama meant no library last week, hopefully tomorrow. Off to the Australian Museum this morning…

          2. Hi Claire! I hear what you’re saying 😀 How was the museum? We’re just easing back into our term-time schedule – bit of a shock to the system after months at the beach! I hope you’re all well now.

  4. I always love your recommendations. I just received the classical kids CD’s you wrote about and the kids love them. I’ll have to check out the Kane Chronicles and the Percy Jackson series.

    1. Thanks Julie. I was amazed how much history my kids were quoting at me after the Rick Riordan books. Definitely a top recommendation if your kids like fantasy in any way!

  5. Thank you for sharing your audio books! We love to use the car for books. It is always nice to get new title recommendations from other homeschoolers. Looks like you guys have a lot of fun at home! Holly

  6. Funny thing, I just finished rereading the Percy Jackson series (both of them, new one is coming out in a month or so), and had before that just reread Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, I used to read it all the time in college.

  7. We ALWAYS have an audio book going; we take them out through our library and I feel like we’ve gotten to listen to so many wonderful books that we probably would not have made time to read together otherwise. There are a few on your suggested listening list that we have not yet listened to though so we’ll have to check them out.

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