Audio Homeschooling


Audio Homeschooling!

by Heidi Forney


There are times with our typical kids that audio books come in handy. In the car, at nap time, definitely. But with our special needs children audio books can not only be a great tool for learning, but in many ways a lifesaver (or maybe a homeschool saver)? For example, some autistic children have a need to hear the same book over and over. Repetition is one way that they not only learn, but also how they soothe themselves when they are having a meltdown or an anxiety attack. As a mom (or dad), you may really NEED to be spending time working with your other children on their math, history, or science, but your special needs child is in the midst of that “crash and burn” and needs to hear a soothing voice reading The Giving Tree for the 5th, 6th, or 10th time that day. You could read it into an audio file and let it play for your child, or purchase it so it is readily available and save your homeschooling day!


Sometimes both our special needs kids and typical kids learn better by listening. There are some great audio-schooling tools available depending on what your needs are. For example, on you can find musical math CD’s so that not only are the kids learning their math facts by listening, but by learning them as a song they are using participatory learning skills as well. What a great witness to homeschooling when your kids are singing their multiplication facts as you go grocery shopping at Winco! I even found foreign language musical teaching CD’s and books; French, Korean, Hebrew anyone?


Here are some great free resources for audio books that you can listen to on your own devices at home:

  • Librivox 
  • Homeschool Freebie of the Day (This site has a great email list to subscribe to. Each week there are often free audio books and also other free resources.)
  • Project Gutenberg (This site has audio and e-books. It’s one of my favorite go to places for all kinds of material!)


And of course audio books are always free at your public library! (Unless you are like us and forget to renew or return your check outs!) The library not only has audio books that you can check out and bring home, but e-books as well. My husband typically uses those when he is reading a VERY long book to our son at night, especially good when he is traveling as he can download it on his Kindle and take it with him wherever he goes, leaving the “real” book at home so my son can continue reading it to himself.


One more suggestion: Homeschool Radio Shows. While these aren’t free, I have found them VERY worth while. I have several of the collections they have sold through the years and we have gotten hundreds, if not thousands, of hours of enjoyment from these audio books. History, science, drama… really good stuff. Old time radio is AWESOME and so much better than some of the junk on TV you see these days.


May God bless your homeschooling adventures, and help you to find good listening for your children.



Heidi has homeschooled her three boys for over 24 years in both California and Idaho. Her youngest son has complex needs, both medical and on the autistic spectrum. He recently graduated, participating in the CHOIS graduation ceremony. When she is not caring for her son, she spends her free time volunteering with medical support groups and traveling with her family. She hopes that her experiences homeschooling special needs will bless and encourage you.

Committed to helping parents fulfill their God-given right and responsibility to educate their own children.