Record Read Alouds

This year I am S.T.R.E.T.C.H.E.D.

My eldest daughter is completing her Matric (South Africa’s final school year) with Impak (a fully recognized accredited correspondence course) in October/ November.  She has asked me to tutor her in 2 of her 7 subjects and to support her as my primary focus.

My 13-year-old started her high school career, also with Impak, and wants to work as independently as she can, but needs help transitioning in new subjects & methods.  This is a textbook-type education, with an emphasis on graded assignments, tests and exams.  Until this year, we have followed a strong Charlotte Mason approach with living books and we used narrations as our assessments.  She needs upgrades in her summarizing. study methods and exam techniques.  Also, Maths is very intense, with little or no examples and guidance, so I have to tutor her too.

Leaving Miss.L waiting her turn in her school work.  At times, she works on Spelling City on her own and does some maths unassisted, but most our homeschooling is one-on-one, and almost all our core is based on read alouds and living books.

I just couldn’t help everyone at the same time!

I found a solution ~ record her read alouds!

With excellent step-by-step instructions from I was able to record 3 chapters of our current book. Using my Windows 7 sound recorder on my laptop, I could record my chapters without any apparatus or sound equipment.

I simply created an Audio Book Folder for the specific book in my homeschool files and saved each chapter as I went along.  If interrupted, simply stop, and start a new file, continuing with the same chapter, making a new page reference.

I need to set some time aside and record the rest of the book, but I found that it went fairly quickly.

To listen, I simply loaded the chapters on a flash stick and Miss.L inserted this into her CD player’s USB port, and listened quietly in her room to the chapter while I spent time with my other daughters. I could also burn the story on a CD or MP3 disk, or drop the files into our Dropbox so she can listen on the desktop computer.  We all use headphones to listen quietly in the same room.

She simply narrated what she heard when I joined her a little later.

My youngest absolutely LOVES audio books!  My purchase of a & subscription has been the best deal e.v.e.r.  She loves to listen to stories while she plays with her dolls or draws or creates.

So, recording her core read alouds is a real investment – she can listen to them again, and again!

And I can multi-task.

A great practical idea!

(I want to add ~ reading aloud is our homeschool ‘glue’, and the most intimate part of our day.  We read, snuggled together, and enjoy the journey as a family.  This is not replaced by an audio recording.  I still read the other books scheduled for the day with my child.)

Have you any good tips for teaching multiple ages?  Have you any multi-tasking ideas? Please share in the comments.


4 thoughts on “Record Read Alouds

  1. I love this idea! Homeschooling 2 children, one of which is special needs and requires extra assistance, I have times when our older child has to wait until I am done working with her younger brother. Many of her lessons include my having to read passages to her. This is just the idea I needed to make our homeschool day run more smoothly. Thanks for sharing!


    • @ourprairiehome, I’m glad this may help in your homeschool situation! I thought that this tip might also help moms who have auditory learners and who learn best when they hear their lessons or instructions.


  2. Hi Nadene, We have been homeschooling for 3+ years and my 5 children are now ages 11 years to 4 months prenatal. We homeschool using a variety of styles but mostly love Classical Christian and Charlotte Mason. And we have so appreciated your blog, hints and ideas. They have given me motivation and revived our schooling many times when we seem to hit ruts. I have not used narration consistently but do love using as many living books as I can. And I recently discovered a homeschool site, My Audio School, that has really helped us to be more consistent in reading/enjoying living books. A homeschool mom has thoroughly researched available living book audiobooks, mostly from LibroVox, and has categorized them based on historical period and a few other categories. We absolutely love listening to this daily – during our copywork and lunch. And the list of living books on My Audio School are for a wide range of children/young adults. Just a little discovery that has added so much value to our homeschool days and thought you may appreciate it. ~ Lisa


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