Audio dramas and stories are a wonderful way to expose your children to adventures and heroes in a different way. They are full of soaring music, vivid sound effects, and powerful dialog that stirs the imagination. Like most learning opportunities, your children will get the most out of the experience if you give them the support they need. Let’s look at three ways you can help your children get the most out of audio drama.
1. Give Them Background Information
If the audio drama is about someone or someplace they know little to nothing about, be sure to fill your child in on the basics. Providing a framework for them to work with will help them better follow the story, characters, and locations.
This can include showing them maps, pictures, photographs – anything that can help bring to life in a visual way the people and places they are about to discover. Remind your children that they can “see” the story in their imagination while they are listening. Some children may not naturally create a movie in their mind while listening to a story. If this is a new idea to your child, you might practice doing this by reading a few stories without showing them the illustrations.
Introducing them ahead of time to new or important vocabulary words is a good idea. Even providing an explanation of a few key words can make a tremendous difference. Having concrete background information will provide them with the materials they need to process the plot and character development.
2. Listening is an Important Skill to Develop
Very few people are naturally skilled listeners. It is something we all have to practice and develop over the course many years. The same thing holds true for your children. Audio stories are a great way to develop this important life skill in yourself and in your children.
Listening to audio drama also helps them learn to appreciate different accents and dialects. Just listening to someone speak in a different way or style will require us to refocus our listening skills and become better listeners in life.
In addition to audio adventures such as Under Drake’s Flag and In Freedom’s Cause, you may want to continue adding quality listening activities into your family’s entertainment or educational time. Listening to books on tape/CD is another good way to nurture this skill in yourself and in your children.
3. Encourage Them to Interrupt
It’s always helpful to establish a “feel-free-to-interrupt” policy in your home when it comes to educational activities. Whether it is reading a chapter book aloud or listening to audio dramas, children should feel free to give you a polite signal that they need to stop and regroup. It can be as simple as tapping you on the leg or waving their hand to catch your attention.
If your child is having problems following which character is which, or what something meant, it is far better to stop and regroup rather than pushing on just because you want to get something done! Empowering your children in this way will also reinforce the idea that they are responsible for their learning while listening.
Audio adventures and dramas are a wonderful way to introduce your children to exciting stories and people from history. By following these three simple suggestions, your family can make the very most out of your listening time together.