Posted on Dec 10 2012 in General by admin
I think I can say that I am now officially an audio book fan! Ask my friends and family; I am not a big electronics person. Give me a good paperback or hardback book any day. I want to feel the pages… hear them crinkle… smell that great new book smell.
However, as any homeschooling mom will tell you, the life we lead doesn’t leave much time for kicking back with a good book. That’s why I was so excited to accept an offer recently to review three selections from Jim Hodges Audio Books in MP3 format. The selection of audio book choices is wonderful, with rich history just ready to be actively learned. Their extensive collection includes Christian selections, yesterday’s classics, WW II classic heroes brought to life, and one I cannot wait to try out—Old Time Radio! JHAB offers free download sample chapters on many of its products, so you know exactly what you’re getting.
By far, the crowning glory for JHAB is their selection of G.A. Henty historical novel audiobooks--they boast the largest selection on audio anywhere! You can see the list here—and don’t miss the link to the left for accompanying vocabulary lists ($3 extra). One of the audio books I chose this time was a Henty novel, The Cat of Bubastes. My son was scheduled to read this for his ancient literature course, and—can I tell you honestly—he was NOT at all excited about the idea. Henty, wildly popular among homeschoolers, wrote more than a century ago. The language demands attention and is conspicuously absent of words like “epic” or “dude”—and of activities like airsoft or soccer—all things that very much interest my fourteen-year-old boy!
By the time the discs arrived, my son had completed the first four or five chapters of the book. He listened to the rest on his laptop. This mid-story switch made a wonderful review opportunity for a comparison between the two venues. Hands down, he preferred the audio edition, even though he is an avid reader of all kinds of books. Studies have shown that many children absorb and retain more by listening while actively doing something such as a puzzle, Legos®, or drawing. This, for me, was a huge selling point, and I plan to find more Henty audio books for him to listen to while engaged in other ways.
The other books I reviewed were Stories of the Pilgrims from the “Yesterday’s Classics” series and God’s Mighty Hand, Providential Occurrences in World History from the “Overtly Christian” line. Both were fantastic as well. Stories of the Pilgrims suited my nine-year-old perfectly; she absolutely loved the expression Mr. Hodges uses to make the characters come alive, and she loved hearing aloud the names of those we’ve studied about. Hodges read all three of the books himself, and my daughter and I found the inflection and expression he used to be fun, exciting, and soothing all at the same time—sort of like listening to a loving parent reading to you at bedtime. (My son said he could have done without the different voices, but again, he is a teenager!)
All in all, I will definitely be ordering from Jim Hodges Audio Books again. The MP3 format will play on computer CD drives, DVD players, or any MP3-compatible CD player; it can also be downloaded to an iPod® or other mobile device. I suggest the digital download options for a somewhat better rate. (The discs average $25, and digital downloads are about $18.) They will be a great tool as well as a huge blessing to you as a homeschooling parent!
by Jennifer Covington
Jennifer Covington is a wife to wonderful man, a mom to four blessings, and a homeschooler for 10 years. She loves serving the Lord in all aspects of her life! Jennifer is HEAV’s social media manager.