My Secret as a Homeschool Mom . . . I Don’t Entertain My Kids

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I don't entertain my kids - boy building model carAs a homeschooling mom, there’s one thing I hear a lot. I could never be home with my kids all day. With summer approaching, I thought it would be a good time to share my secret (and it does not involve screen time) for being home with my kids and not losing my mind. 

My husband (DH) and I have always read to our kids A LOT. Like, at a bookstore when I was pregnant, DH said we should pick out some books for the baby. Then after picking out a few, he made sure I packed them in my hospital suitcase. Yes, crazy, I know. I thought the same thing as I packed them. They never made it out of the suitcase in the hospital, but we have many photos of our first son in his bouncy seat with one of us next to him reading a story. 

Eight plus years later, we still read aloud to our sons. This past school year we discovered the Box Car Children series. We would finish one book and the boys would want to check out another from the library immediately. Don’t get me wrong. I love reading to them. But my voice needed at break, and there are other things that need to be done. You know, like paying bills and cooking. 

I remembered reading a blog post somewhere about how audio books were a game changer. So at the library, a few days before a 15-hour car trip, I grabbed a Winnie the Pooh audio book on a whim. I thought it might come in useful on the upcoming trip, but I had no idea the impact it would have on our family.

A couple of hours into the trip, the boys were getting restless. DH suggested switching the show they were watching on the I-Pad. I remembered the audio book and stuck it in the player instead. The result amazed us. The boys stopped bickering and focused on the story. The car was silent except for the reading of the Pooh story. We listened to all three discs, and the boys continued to be engaged.

Later, while visiting my Dad, the boys asked to listen to the stories during the downtime of our visit. My Dad’s wife made a trip to their library to check out more audio books for the boys. Before the drive home, DH got online and bought some digital audio books for the ride.  

I thought the novelty would wear off, but eight months later my boys still LOVE listening to audio books. As I write this post, my boys are in their rooms playing Legos and listening to The Box Car Children. During this time, I have showered, drunk a cup of coffee, and worked on this post, with no interruption. 

I definitely still read to my boys every day. However, audio books have allowed me time to myself, while being home with my boys. As a person who has a great appreciation for silence, I would go so far as to say that without them, this homeschooling life I feel called to might not be possible. 

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Amy, originally from Maryland, met her husband shortly after moving to Auburn for graduate school in 2000. The two have been together since first meeting, getting married in 2004, and now live in Chelsea with their two boys, ages 8 & 6. Amy's step-daughter, 19, is studying at Vanderbilt. Pre-kids, Amy worked in Property Management but quickly turned SAHM after the birth of her first child. The family manages multiple food allergies and Celiac Disease. Seeing a need for connection and support for local families living with food allergies, she started the local support group, The No Nuts Moms Group of Birmingham, a chapter of the national, No Nuts Moms Group. Amy also home-schools her sons, and is on a quest for organization and minimalism. She enjoys being in nature and camping trips with the family as well as reading and writing about all things motherhood.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Download overdrive you can check out audio books on your phone or tablet for freee using your library card

  2. This is the second mention of audio books for kids I’ve heard in a week. I’ll need to try it out! My kids are still a bit young so I never thought an audio book would engage them if there aren’t pictures to keep them interested but they love books so it’s worth a try!

    • Beth, Mine are 6 & 8 listening to chapter books. A lot of the local libraries have a section of picture books with an audio recording. Won’t get you the hour a chapter book would, but a good 10 or 15 minutes, and it’s a good way to intro it 🙂

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