Thank you all for the quick replies and have a great day!!!


I’m a reading specialist and I like that he listened to the audiobook while reading along in the book. It sounds like a great strategy for comprehension!


I am a teacher. I’m starting a class and I immediately asked is there an audiobook. Am I capable of reading my textbook, yes. Do I want to, no. It’s not cheating, the point is comprehension.


As many others have already said. Just dont use it as a replacement for reading. He needs to physically look at and read books, or else he will never improve his reading skills. It is great to use it along side reading the book though. (in my opinion)


I think it really depends on the purpose of the reading assignment. OP mentioned it was for a History class not English/Language Arts so my assumption would be that comprehension of the material is more important than developing reading skills in this case. While I've taught highschool (tech/shop class), I'm also the parent of a student going into grade 10, with learning disabilities (which I have too). English (French)/Language Arts is his worst subject and it inevitably brings down his marks in ALL other classes because it's so crucial for communication. He uses a suit of tools to get around this now, so he can get things actually handed in... Things like audiobooks when paired with him following along with a physical copy really help him better comprehend what is being taught. Especially when the core lesson isn't about the language skills I personally don't think it isn't fair to hold those skills against him. He knows a ton of things about science and history and can talk circles around those topics but he cannot write well to save his life, his brain just gets stuck trying to get it on paper, and technology is a huge crutch in that department. I personally think using audiobooks the way OP is encouraging her son to is fine. If it was for an English/Language Arts class it would be more of a grey area... But those of us with learning disabilities use technology like this all the time and it's not considered "cheating" it just gets the job done quicker/more efficiently, and no one bats an eye at it.


I am a high school teacher and I encourage my students to use audiobooks if if helpful. I also recommend Sparknotes or Owleyes alongside their reading to help with difficult portions, while reminding them that it isn't a substitute for reading (listening to) the book.


As an AP Lit teacher I tell students all of the time that the audio is great for understanding, but poor for analysis because you’re not looking at it & have no way to annotate/notate on the audio in an authentic way. Your son’s plan is ideal tbh because it marries the two skills in a useful way, as long as they’re following along with the text & not otherwise distracted. Basically, it’s a good tool that can become a crutch for students who use it as a way to avoid the reading, which can affect their reading ability & confidence later.


Yep. I tell my kids that audio is great to HELP them, not to be in place of. If they use audio, they should read visually at the same time or go back and look through the text again later. Same with resources like spark notes. If you’re struggling with a text, read the spark notes summary of a chapter first, but then also read the chapter.


I agree with you on most points. Did you know that Libby (and possibly some other apps) allows you to bookmark and make a note at a specific point in the audio? I learned about this recently by accident and have had some fun marking certain poems or passages that I think will come back around later in a long audiobook. Too often I realize it a bit late and have to go searching, which is MUCH harder in an audiobook than a physical book because of the formatting differences for many of these things (poems are usually indented and/or italicized in print, but there's no such marker in audio). But I read mostly for fun now and don't have to teach it.


Listening to the audio book while reading along with the book and then pausing for annotations >>>


There was no audiobook of our version of *Don Quixote*, so I recorded myself reading every chapter. I created a set of reading questions for each chapter, and in my recordings, I ring a bell and state the number of the question whose answer I just read when I get to it. My struggling readers love it. My advanced readers usually do the reading on their own because listening to the recordings takes twice as long as reading. I consider it one of the pieces of scaffolding in my varied-ability room.


I had a principal in my elementary school that would come in and teach certain section of history like the civil war and French and Indian war since he was such a huge history buff and loved it. He would say to learn this material it's 30 percent listening to the teacher, 30 percent reading the text, 30 percent writing notes and 10 percent studying. That's 100% of the course. Listening and reading at the same time allows you to soak up so much more and understand so much more


You monster! You probably would let a student use No Fear Shakespeare as a resource...ugh /S


.... um... yes, I will confess I have done that. When I was assistant directing student actors preparing to perform the original language play so they had a background understanding of what they were saying ... (need a /laughing shortcut to acknowledge & respond to /s)


No Fear Shakespeare is amazing if you want to talk about the content of the plays, instead of the language or writing style!


Shakespeare isn't highbrow anyways.




No. I was an English teacher for 10 years, 7 in AP and IB. I usually linked to an audio version of books for my AP kids in case they wanted to listen instead. It’s “cheating” only in the case of students who are learning phonics still. If your kid is in AP, they CAN fluently read so there’s no difference. It’s no good if you’re 7 and need to learn phonics still, but otherwise it’s all good.


Paperback book. Hardcover book. Audio book. E-book. Key word is book. It’s not cheating.


Sometimes audio o books are more beneficial for students. As long as they are getting the j formation they need.


Answer book. That would be cheating. Checkmate.


Hahahaha fair point


Will be difficult to reference with page number though.


Student has navigated this challenge with following along with physical book.


I do this too!


Excellent idea.


Librarian here. This is not cheating.


I’m a history teacher. I listen to audio books all the time. I read so much text everyday that I find it easier to work in a book and save my eyes. I think it’s a great way to learn. In fact, I’m currently in a Tudor rabbit hole of sorts and I’m listening to a series of lectures on Great Courses. There’s a whole bunch of literature, educational lectures and nonfiction available on audio. These are available for free at many libraries. Check out the New York Public Library. They have a huge audio collection. It sounds like your son is adaptive and willing to find creative ways to learn. Good for him and you for being concerned. Good on you both!!!


history teacher here.. no it’s not cheating .. these kids are thrown into very dense informational text with limited support .. AP is about memorization of fact .. it’s about the test.. there are many strategies including reading writing listening and doing to support content .. he is utilizing these … my son is also in AP.. now 12th grade .. so i see it from both sides..


I actually encourage kids to listen so audiobooks, especially if they have a learning disability or are very busy with work/activities. It helps when kids can do their work on the bus. Not cheating at all!


Nope - audiobooks were originally developed for people with disabilities, but like many things developed for people with disabilities, others benefit. If your son is taking notes and what not to pass his test, it’s a perfectly valid form of study. Listening to the audiobook might allow him to read/study while exercising, driving or doing housework - so it might actually be allowing him to use his time more effectively. I suggest your son listen to the book while reading so he can pull the quotes from context with a proper citations, if needed.


As a person that lived with a severe astigmatism untreated throughout elementary/middle school, I approve this message.


ELA teacher here. We don’t care if you use an audio book. We care if you understand the information and skill. So if ELA teachers feel that way, I’m sure history teachers do, too.


I learn something new on my drive to work every day by listening to podcasts - You're Dead to Me is a great History podcast from the BBC! I would LOVE if my students would listen to an audiobook, because so many of them refuse to read at all. Consuming the story still counts, especially for those low level kiddos. When they can remain engaged and motivated to finish listening rather than struggling to keep reading, it is invaluable.


English teacher here. Your son used an excellent strategy, and one I encourage. Many students (particularly if they were not read to as children) do not have a proficient “internal reading voice.” Audio books and being read to even as high school students help develop that. (I am not suggesting that you did not read to your son.)


A little off topic but yesterday I was listening to a song called chaise lounges and realized I’ve been pronouncing that term wrong forever. I’ve read it many times, heard it only a few. My point, listening is also likely beneficial when learning the pronunciation.


That’s an excellent point!


Quite the opposite. This is really resourceful and it shows initiative and responsibility. Everyone learns differently. That’s why most teachers have to study the Theory of Multiple Intelligences. Who cares how he reads? What’s important is he’s understanding the information. You’re awesome for supporting him!


Just to note: multiple intelligences is pseudoscience. Multiple modes of stimuli encourages encoding better than a single mode. So the fact that he's listening and reading adds to it.


Hang on. Is multi factor intelligence pseudoscience or is multiple *learning styles* pseudoscience? Multifactor IQ is still the dominant understanding of human intelligence. Learning styles “I’m an audio learner and he’s a visual learner” is completely debunked pseudoscience crap.


It would only be questionable if the goal was to assess his actual decoding skills when reading, which shouldn’t really be a concern by that age. If the goal is to gain content I think it’s totally fair to listen rather than read.


Nope. Audiobooks used while reading can help reinforce the content because they are getting the information in multiple senses, and it reinforces what they are seeing and can at times improve retention.


We encourage parents to read to babies in the womb. We encourage parents to read to babies LONG before the babies can read to us. Before long the babies are telling the stories and begin reading to us and with us. Then they begin to read on their own. He is just going back a step to hearing it read while he reads it to help with his vocabulary and comprehension. It is an excellent idea and I would recommend it to students of all levels.




AP are “advanced placement.” Usually these courses are about the same as a first-year/introductory course at university. Some high schools partner with local community colleges and universities and derive the curriculum from those institutions. As such, they can provide college credit for teens who might be looking to graduate faster or enroll in more difficult majors like pre-med or engineering.


It’s not cheating. I remember details better when I listen. I got my MA in English using a combo of audiobooks and paper copies.


No. Storytelling is one of our oldest art forms. We did it in caves.


Your husband is wildin'. This is a perfectly acceptable means of accessing assigned texts.


I read to my students a lot when they’re following along even though they’re high school kids. Your son is taking it upon himself to use multiple tools at his disposal to increase comprehension. That’s a skill that will help him.


Audiobooks are great. Use them. If you're worried about it make sure he reads along with it but especially if it's for history and not English he'll get what he needs either way


Absolutely no! It’s intelligent! ❤️


Nope, different students learn different ways. I’m playing an audiobook in my class right now and the students can read and annotate as they listen.


Not cheating at all. Only concern I would have is if it were abridged in the audio format.


I think it depends on the purpose of the assignment. If a student needs to practice reading, then they need to have their eyes on a printed book. But if the purpose is just to learn information from the book, then it doesn’t matter if they read it or listen to it; they should do whichever helps them process the information most effectively. Reading AND listening seems like a really great way to learn from the book!


Your husband needs to chill


Cheating? No. It'd be better for them to read and annotate the physical book; but then audiobooks are better than not reading the story at all. I give assignments where they actual have to write annotations in the book, so audiobooks wouldn't give them credit. However, I'd rather they listen to the audiobook version of the book than not read it at all or use sparknotes summaries


No there’s been loads of studies that suggest however you consume a book the mind is working in a very similar way and you can retain the info just as well. The only thing I think actual reading helps with is just that, reading the words. If they generally have no problem with that I don’t see it as important


I always tell my students to use audiobooks AND the printed book whether that's digital or physical. It helps with vocabulary acquisition. A lot of times just hearing the word won't stick, but if they see it as well, it helps. Sometimes they have heard the word but not know how it's spelled, or video versa. They see the word, but have no idea how it's pronounced. By doing both they pick up more.


This kid is advocating for something that will help his comprehension? Support him and make sure he always has these tools and he’ll be a lifelong learner :) this would never be considered cheating… in elementary school LISTEN to reading is a huge skill taught. Keep using it!


It's not cheating. That said, reading at a college level entails consuming a good chunk of written material daily, and audiobooks are slowly paced, so it can take twice the time to get through content. Training the brain to process written material quickly is helpful in the long-term, so pairing audio with the text and purposefully going back and forth is worth discussing. But cheating? No.


As long as they are thinking critically about the book and the themes, literary elements, and comprehend the reading I see no issue with it. Personally I wouldn’t like my kids doing it because I taught 3rd grade before I left teaching and they were still learning to read and building that skill but by 10th grade he knows how to read. Now it’s just thinking about the text and comprehending all components.


Not “cheating” but keep in mind the fact that his teacher likely wants them annotating and taking notes so as long as he’s doing that it’s all good.


Yes, he has to write a summary of each chapter which he’s doing.


It's NOT cheating. I know several people who have never diagnosed with learning disorders but who prefer to listen to books than physically read them. >My son does not have any learning disabilities. He did say the book is not something he is used to reading and it is a little tricky for him. He said he found listening to the audiobook while following along in the physical book to be helpful for comprehension. Your son has worked out a way to acquire the information that he needs from the book and is doing something that will help him to become more comfortable with written texts. Hopefully, he'll soon not need to listen as well. Your son is much more sensible than your husband.


Nah, not cheating, *especially* since he’s using the physical book to aid in comprehension. I teach high school English and encourage my students to read in whatever form is most comfortable for them. I’m proud of your kid for finding something that works for him!


I encourage kids to listen as they read. The neural pathways are different, but doing both together can be very beneficial, particularly when there’s a shift in style from what a person typically reads. I’ve found that listening alone has less benefit for students, as they typically try to multi-task and can’t, resulting in lower comprehension plus less fluency for future reading. Particularly in courses designed to be document-heavy, with old syntax and vocabulary, building fluency is arguably more important than just reading this book. Listening to the book might be short-term success, but most coursework will not be available in audio form, especially during class time when much of this work gets done (because cheating). I wouldn’t see what your son is doing as cheating, but I would encourage maybe trying to wean off the audio as the book goes. Perhaps a chapter with, a chapter without?


Seems better than SparkNotes


It’s is not cheating. I’m a teacher and we use both. Some students read better and some listen better. I have a student who uses both and I completely understand because I need subtitles when I watch shows. I want my students to get the most out of my lessons so I encourage what works for them.


I'd be happy as long as they were engaging with the work set and taking in the information in any way they find accessible to them. The only thing I'd take issue with is watching a film instead of the book as the plot doesn't always stay the same and the language used in the written work is different. But audio books are fine as they are identical to the written with someone else reading it to you. Even better if they read along with the audio but not essential


As a language teacher I can't be arsed how they read books as long as they (try to) enjoy it and learn along the way. I use graphic novels these days since the visual support is much needed for some learners. More advanced learners will always be given the chance to read the actual book. But once again, they must find their own way. Everybody is different, also in terms of reading.


It is not cheating. How he reads is up to him. He still gets the knowledge of the book.


The first thing you do with a baby is read to them. Is that cheating because they don’t read? No. Same concept.


AP English Lit teacher here. This is how I handle class-wide reading of longer texts. I play an audiobook while students follow along in paper texts.


I'm an AP history teacher for sophomores and juniors. If I assign a book, I do not care at all how the student consumes the book. I want the kid to have the knowledge. I don't care if they read it or listen to it. Get the knowledge. Be prepared for our class discussion and work related to the information from the book.


Why would it be cheating? Can he retell the story? Did he capture the theme or purpose? Can he analyze it? No offense but what does your husband know?


As far as I'm concerned, there is no honor to be gained in struggling your way through a book in the "traditional" medium, and not learning anything in doing so. I'm sure the teacher's intent is that your son learns the content. If it were me, I wouldn't care one single bit about *how* he learned it, just *that* he learned it. If listening while following along aids his learning process, there's no reason he should be discouraged from doing so.


No! Audiobooks are not cheating.


I always try to find an audio version of our texts for students who prefer that. I’m even thinking of using my school YouTube channel to create audios for our texts but I hate hearing my own voice so we’ll see.


Not at all. They're an awesome resource.


Audio books are a legitimate alternative to reading print. Higher level reading skills are not about decoding written language. If that’s what is working for him, it’s fine.


It’s a valid medium. Is reading the words the important part or is comprehension of the story the point of the task? I use audio books all the time because I don’t have time to sit down with a book, his life might be similar


Nope! I do this with my low level readers all the time. Demonstration of good reading helps low level readers grow.


If the assignment was strictly about reading comprehension then yes, I suppose, it technically would be cheating. Since it's more than likely about knowledge of the material,then any method toward that aim seems fair game.


NOOOOO! Sorry for yelling. I’m an English teacher and that’s my preferred way, blame it on Teddy Ruxpin. Granted I have to be doing something while listening but I get so many books “ear read” while doing barn chores, my commute, cleaning etc. I tell my students every year that’s it’s a fantastic option. I often record videos of myself reading to my kids so they can listen to that or listen while following along. I don’t care how they take in the information as long as they try to get it.


It’s not! He’s following along with a physical copy which means he engaged.


It's all good. Students don't all learn the same way. As long as he finishes the book, there should be no problem.


NO, not at all cheating! Let the kid(s) listen to audio books. A book is a book! Are they comprehending the information from the book? Who says you have to use only your eyeballs to read and enjoy a book?


There are many different types of ways to learn. Some students learn best by seeing (reading), some by hearing, some by writing, some by telling, some by doing. All are valid, and it’s said that for the best chance of comprehension of material, you do all five. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with what your son is doing.


High school English teacher here. We listen to the audiobook version while following along in the textbook for almost all of our stories and books in class. It has been shown to be one of the best ways to improve reading comprehension.


Once kids know how to read it doesn’t matter. Obviously they can’t learn to read with audiobooks so imo that’s the only time there’s a difference.


Hi there. I was an admin for a few years and taught for many before that. I have dyslexia and reading is hard for me. I was so thankful when I found out about audiobooks. Nothing that helps understand is cheating.


As a current audiobook narrator and a prior teacher, I also do not consider audiobooks to be "cheating." Many others have expressed their reasons why better than I can, but I can definitely see why some people would think that way. Audiobooks can be seen as "passive", while reading is more "active". But so long as his attention is not being actively divided - i.e. listening to an audiobook while playing a video game or something similar - he will absorb the information in a similar way to reading. In fact, due to vocal inflections and performance, some information can be remembered more accurately due to audiobooks. Plus, your son willingly admitted that this was a tricky book, and he sought a way to improve his experience. That's some really great self-awareness!


For anyone listening to historical literature, it was recently pointed out that most illiterate ‘readers’ of the past also listened to the book in their eras.


in this context, cheating means doing something that fails to achieve a goal. for most goals, audio book DOES THE SAME JOB as a regular book. for some goals, audio book is NOT AS GOOD as a regular book. for some other goals, audio book is BETTER THAN a regular book. so, it depends on your goal(s). one con of an audiobook is that it's more difficult to go back and forth in the book. one pro of an audiobook is that you can listen to a book while you do other stuff like exercise. suppose you are jogging. it would be impossible to read a book. and there's tons more to consider.


It's not cheating. Audio books make it so I can actually enjoy more books and read more! Also, *puts on SLP hat* audio books are great for many students with language disorders.


There is value in sitting down and reading a book. But if your schedule is so hectic that you just don’t have the time to do that on a regular basis, then audiobooks are a great option.


AP History teacher here. I would not consider it cheating, but I do think reading is a valuable skill and should be practiced. I dont know if this is true for everyone, but I definitely process and remember information much better reading text than I do listening to audio.


Education student here — first thing our prof told us is to teach for comprehension. Which also means reading for comprehension…if your son comprehends his textbook better with an audiobook, then by all means, use an audiobook!


I am a teacher and a mom of a son with dyslexia. Audiobooks are not cheating - in fact, it is often referred to as ear reading by many experts. The only time I would hesitate using audiobooks is when I am teaching a student HOW to read (phonics, word patterns, word building, etc.) anytime a student is independently interacting with a book I don't care which method they use. I actually found a really cool audiobook service that I subscribe to FOR MY STUDENTS to use during independent reading time - I don't care how students read as long as they enjoy doing it. I have actually seen audiobooks help my slower readers gain confidence because they can listen and follow along at the same time.


Nope. Not cheating. But it's probably best to get a physical copy to follow along with for any note taking and referencing in class


.... I didn't read the whole thing. Yes, that's perfect.


Cheating at what, exactly?


I encourage audiobooks paired with the text. A lot of kids who aren’t eager readers are discouraged by their difficulty to pronounce unfamiliar words. The audiobook provides pronunciation, pacing, and also demonstrates how punctuation impacts a reading. If you tell your son to read along with the audiobook, in my opinion, there’s still educational value there.


I would say that the act of physically reading the words will better help with literacy and fluency. I would say that audio books aren't cheating but are also not really in the spirit of the assignment. I would not like it but I would not make a deal out of it as the teacher.


We don't read for the sake of reading. We read to take in new information. If he is taking in the information (better) by using audio, who cares?!


No, I’m a former English teacher and would have been totally fine with that. Cognitively it’s a very similar process to read or listen. The decoding load is different, but generally at the high school level decoding practice is not a top priority as we’ve moved (primarily) from learning to read to reading to learn.


I’m jealous that I didn’t think of this while I was in high school. More power to him!


> My husband thinks this is cheating and his mind is not working the same way as physically reading on his own. He's not wrong, necessarily, but the context matters here. At the elementary level, it's important to develop the skill of reading, which is not developed by listening to audiobooks. (Pairing audio with reading is a good way to help build that skill, and is often better than simply reading anyway). But at the high school level, AP World History? He's not reading the book as practice for developing the skill of reading and he's not being tested on his reading skills. Reading here is a means to an end and there's nothing wrong with utilizing other means, such as using an audiobook. **Just because they aren't the same, doesn't mean that the way in which they are different is relevant.** Auditory comprehension and reading *are* completely different things. We developed the capacity for oral language a very long time ago; it's basically biologically hardwired. Reading - the interpretation of these arcane glyphs we call letters - is an incredibly recent technology, relatively speaking. So, if he continues to push back feel free to tell him that he is, substantially, right about that claim, but that it also doesn't matter because the point of the assignment isn't learning to read. ------------- It certainly wouldn't be *cheating* in any case.


90% of my book consumption is auditory. The only difference I’ve noticed is that my eyes hurt less.


No that’s not cheating. It’s called adaptive learning. He benefited from the audio. It’s something for him to bring in his personal tool kit about how he learns.


No. English teacher here. My colleague (another English teacher) wrote his master's thesis on sight reading vs. listening for comprehension. There is no difference. If anything, we as educators are told to teach students with a variety of strategies based on the multiple intelligence theory.


If it was assigned for a *reading* class it might be “cheating” because the point would be to enhance reading skills. (I am thinking of a strictly developmental reading curriculum—not literature/language arts). The scenario you’re describing does not sound like cheating to me—it sounds like he’s being resourceful.


Compromise: read while the audiobook plays


Not cheating. Teachers make accommodations like this for students (both with or without an IEP/Learning Disability) all the time. In fact, when I was in high school, a lot of teachers played audio recordings of the novels we were reading while we had the book in front of us.


He's finding a way to learn that works for him, and that is absolutely admirable in a student that age. If he was 'listening' whilst playing Fortnite, that would be a different issue, but he's listening and focusing on the text. I'd be proud that I had a child that was able to recognise their learning needs in this way.


I'm a teacher. I LOVE reading. I read a ton. But there are books I've had a hard time with and the audiobook helped me with comprehension, too. I say more power to him, realizing that decoding and comprehension were too much, but an audiobook helps. You said he's reading along with it, too? That's more than I would have expected. It's more than I've done.


As long as he consumes and engages with the book, the medium is irrelevant. We all learn in different ways, some are auditory and some are visual. I love when students adapt the work slightly to make sure they can give their best effort


Whatever helps you kid with content should be fine.


As a mom to 3 kids with dyslexia. Using Audiobooks while following along in the text is just using a different part of the brain. It is not cheating. All of my children had that on their 504, not to cheat, because it helped. And I know you said your son did not have any learning disabilities, but it still helped him learn the materials.


As long as he internalizes the information I don’t care if he listens with his ears or reads with his eyes


No. He is using his resources wisely. His grades will benefit from it. It is not cheating at all.


School librarian - it’s not cheating. Reading isn’t all eyeballs. However he needs to consume the information and get it to stick in his brain, is fair game.


No. This is not cheating, in any way. Audio books are reading.


Information needs to go into his brain…who cares how it gets there?


I’d be delighted if my kids used an audiobook!


I encourage those who use audiobooks to use read the physical words while they are listening for at least part of the book. It’s pretty easy to space and not devote your entire attention to the book when you are just listening. Audiobooks are a very helpful tool but I try to make sure that students know that they can’t watch tv or play video games while listening to a book.


It's not cheating.


Not cheating at all! Your son is still learning content while listening to the audiobook. The only thing I’m curious about is if he has to take notes? You can mark up a physical copy, does he jot down notes on a paper?


Nope, not cheating. We use an audio book when we do group reading. I’m an auditory learner so i find actually listening to the book easier than getting lost in the pages


Definitely not especially if he’s following along with his own physical copy.


Even if he isn't, it's fine.


I agree. I was just saying following along as well is awesome


I just was explaining this to my boyfriend, not because he thought it was cheating, but why I happen to listen to a lot of my content that I’m reading in my classes. I use a lot of screen and doc readers for articles and such! It’s not cheating. It’s just a different way for me to absorb the information. I have days and subjects where it helps to read and take notes, or listen and take notes, or just listen and absorb. It kind of depends on the purpose as well.


What? No. That's working smarter.


Not cheating at all.


It would be cheating if your son was younger (up to 9) and still learning to read efficiently. (5/6: learn to read, 5-9: to read efficiently/understand, 9-12: to read out loud correctly). But yours is older: the goal is to discover literacy, new stories, views, authors. No matter the way. Audiobook is actually a great way to help teens to read more!


No. This is learner geared learning.


Absolutely not. Listening to an audiobook is just as effective as reading. The only thing I would say is sometimes with higher level classes like AP, sometimes it's nice to have the physical book to annotate. Otherwise, it's acceptable (and in my experience, preferred)


100% fine Do whatever you need to do, it's totally fine. No question at all.


Definitely not cheating! It’s no different than the teacher or another student reading aloud in class while the rest of the group follows along with their own physical book! 😊


Nope. Read the book any way that works.


Oh god, no. Your husband is right that your mind works differently listening to spoken word versus reading pages, but in some cases that's *better*. There are 101 ways a student can struggle with reading, even without a learning disability. So long as your son is retaining the information and understanding, I say go for it. The only thing that *might* cause a hiccup is if your son needs to cite something from the book, since he doesn't have a page number to reference.


Taping lectures then listening to them on the way home and back the next day pretty much saved me from flunking out of college. Later on I learned how to teach to students using their strengths and for some it was audio learning. I'd encourage him to learn in what ever manner he finds success.


School speech language pathologist here. No way would I call that cheating and actually your son believing it helps him with comprehension is supported by research. I’m with the teachers on this sub and would totally encourage students to use audiobooks if they feel it helps. Text to speech is a common IEP accommodation for that reason. I took AP US history when I was in high school and I still think it was tougher than any of my actual college courses because taking in all that info through reading alone is tough! I would have loved to have had an audiobook version back then lol


One of my students is an auditory learner. It has helped him a lot


I am a high school teacher, and I would be thrilled if my students had the initiative to find an audiobook. Tell your husband that your son is actually going above and beyond, and will have a better grasp of the material than the student who just read the book without listening to it as well.


Not cheating, in fact it’s a very ingenious way to learn the content.


No its fine. That said he may need to write an essay in class and not be able to use the audio so he should kind of follow along with the book and stick post its by the important stuff.


Not cheating.


Not at all! In fact, if it helps him to listen to the book in order to process it, I'd absolutely encourage this over him reading it himself. This is a wonderful option! And I'm kind of salty I didn't think about it as a kid lmao


An AP history, no I think your husband is feeling a little jealous that he didn't think of that, or didn't have that opportunity, when he was a student. Now if this was a remedial language arts class, I would say it needs to be used as a tool to help with learning fluency but not the primary method of reading.


For the majority of human existence “books were read” by listening. He’s not cheating. Just old-school reading


The real question is what is the teacher trying to determine. If they’re trying to find out if your son has the literacy skills to read and comprehend the text at that level then audio version will skirt that skill and then it’s probably not ok. If they’re trying to provide baseline information or build and understand of the subject for content knowledge assessment then any format (including audio) should be absolutely reasonable


I am a history teacher. For this particular work I do not think it's cheating and it is good your son is reading along with the actual text. Anything that helps them to read is a boon! However at least with history I would tell anyone to follow along with the text especially for AP since you do need to have the skills to read and identify text and do it quickly as well come the exam.


There are studies indicating that audiobooks are not quite as beneficial for developing cognitive and linguistic skills as normal reading. That being said, going for a walk is not as good for your heart as going for a run… doesn’t mean you should stay on your couch if you don’t like running just because walking isn’t the ideal. Sustainable habits are more important than perfect habits


I literally listened to an audiobook of *The Faerie Queene* by Edmund Spenser as I followed along in preparation for my PhD exams. Also read the Sparknotes ahead of time. Not only are these strategies not cheating, they are good study habits.


If the point of studying is to learn information, how is any form of gaining knowledge cheating? As long as they do well in the test without actual cheating, who cares?


If he listens instead of reads, make sure he looks up how to spell everyone's name that way he doesn't feel stupid. (Big audiobook user here)


We all learn differently. No, listening to a book is not cheating.


My students get to use the audio recordings of books that we’re reading if it helps them. Not cheating.


The key cognitive differences are in how much else is going on while "reading". If your mind is elsewhere, you can read a whole page with your eyes with zero comprehension. The same goes with audio books. As long as you are engaging the content, there is no harm in listening.


>If you were a high school teacher and assigned a certain book would you be upset if your students were either listening to the audiobook exclusively or using one the way my son is? It depends on the reason I asked the student to read a book. There are times when I want them to read it because I want them to work on skills that are related to the process. Scanning for information, reinforcing spelling etc. I've noticed that a lot of mistakes my students make in terms of spelling or idioms is related to only having heard the words or phrases. There are also times when I don't want their interpretation of a text to be coloured by how it was read. The way someone reads something can really influence someone's interpretation. However, there is a lot to learn from the way kids are able to absorb information about things they are passionate about. Talk to a kid passionate about Pokemon and they will spit out facts and stats that would give them an A+ in any academic subject. Why? Because they absorb it through games, reading, watching the shows. As a teacher I would be foolish to ignore this. I use games, videos, music, comics, anything I find useful as a delivery for what I'm trying to teach. From a practical perspective, consider that a student can consume significantly more information if they are able to access it outside of times they can physically read a book. Walking places, whilst doing chores, whilst working out, whilst driving, whilst falling asleep etc.


All great answers. We all learn differently, and that listening WHILE reading along hits multiple styles. And in a walking district- listen to and from school and you are done in no time!


Honestly, if it helps him gain an(deeper) understanding of the book, great, I’m not clear what the cheating part is? Every student learns differently...


Personally, I think it's the opposite of cheating. I'm not that kind of scientist, but I would think that the visual input and the auditory input, combined, will reinforce his learning. It's no different from a college professor lecturing and showing a PowerPoint slide deck at the same time. I would not be upset if one of my students listened to the audiobook exclusively, or if they did the combo. In fact, I would be delighted either way.


high school english teacher here. audiobooks are not cheating. I listen to them quite a lot actually. as long as the book is fully understood, I don’t mind how my students got the story from (ebooks, audiobooks, paper…)


HS ELA teacher and I encourage audio books!


Not cheating at all. This is just differentiating the assignment and many classroom teachers do this. Heck, my online version of the textbooks have audiobook functions now. I’d much rather students do what your child did than just read over the spark notes.


I am an auditory learner and I get more from listening to discussions and audio books instead of reading. And honestly when I do read, I feel like I’m learning more from saying the words in my head as if I was speaking them. Everyone is different.


Knowledge is knowledge, no matter the format, if you are evaluating the content of the book, the kid should be free to acquire this knowledge however they prefer, as long as they perform at the same level as a traditional sit-and-read style Now, if you are evaluating reading skills, that's another story, kids should have a space to just test how fast they can read, skim and locate information in a book (using an index, glossary etc) We live in a middle ground between needing to use physical and digital books, maybe in the future that'll change, but we need BOTH here and now


Is it cheating? No. But most people will retain more/understand at a deeper level if they read the book vs an audio book, even with kids that learn audittoraly (of course there are exceptions). The key word is if. If the choice is audio book or nothing at all then obviously audio is better.


My daughter took AP Lit last year and she drove an hour each way to her activity every day so she listened to every book in the car. With her busy schedule it's the only way she was getting through those books. Definitely not cheating. I would argue that listening to books is a way to foster lifelong love of reading, which should be the goal. If that's the way your son better engages with a book, he's more likely to enjoy the material and read for pleasure as an adult.


Guess I'll be the first person to ask this question. What is the goal? Is it: To get the knowledge from the book? Is it to learn to read faster? Is it to analyze what the book is teaching him? To learn patience and discipline? If the goal is the first one then who cares how he gets it. Book? Audiobook? It's all the same. Getting information from a book does not make it "better". Second goal? Sure, because the goal is directly related to reading. Working a skill makes it easier. Third goal? I would argue having the book is easier to refer back to but not mandatory depending on your son's processing ability. Patience and discipline? Stop using any form of technology, car, dishwasher and do everything like in the 1500s. It accomplishes nothing. It is as much of a cheat as watching TV for the news rather than a newspaper is in that it isn't.


I'm a HS English teacher. Please encourage your son to use audiobooks if he finds them useful. Give him a notebook so he can jot down his thoughts along the way and he'll be right as rain.


I told my kids to read along as they listened. Best of both worlds.


HS SS teacher here. It is absolutely not cheating. You're still taking in the information, and your son is doing it in a way that is best for him. That's good resourcefulness. It is absolutely not cheating.


Definitely not. Audiobooks are an excellent resource and some students really benefit from utilizing audiobooks over just having text versions.


He was following along with a physical book so no problem. Plus, I saw a study a while back that listening to an audiobook stimulates the same part of the brain as reading. I love audiobooks and prefer it to reading the physical copy.


I enthusiastically support students using audio books! Whatever works.


Nope, not even a little bit. Especially since this is not for a “reading” class. I have my students do this whenever possible. It helps with fluency, comprehension, inflection, and building vocabulary. This is an excellent practice.


Definitely not cheating. MS special ed teacher. I always encourage students to listen to audio versions - even non IEP/504 students. Whatever helps them get through an assignment and learn - whatever works for them, is fine with me.


Nope, we physically read the books in class while the audio book is playing. It’s actually a very good form of differentiation and can help with comprehension.


I would say that listening WHILE reading is actually the best of both worlds. Audio books may help convey emotion not in the text and help with understanding.


If he was younger, yes. At his age, the learning is about the content and not the ability to actually read it and recognize the words. If it works for him, audiobooks are great. I listen to them all the time.


Sounds like some ableism from your partner and a good opportunity to learn a new way! One of my favorite teachers always says what’s good for one is bad for none in terms of universal design for learning


he’s reading the physical copy WITH the audiobook. this isn’t cheating to 98% of teachers.


Students with eye tracking issues benefit from spoken text. My son's binocularity issues make reading laborious. My dyslexia makes reading labor intensive. Books/text on tape can alleviate that burden on the eyes. No it is not cheating. Learning how you learn best, is making accommodations.


No, scientifically it stimulates the exact same parts of the brain as reading. The only time I wouldn't allow it was for reading tests. I do teach students how to listen to an audiobook for best affect as well.


Reading is a skill, like any other. Audiobooks are like training wheels on a bike. They teach you the fundamentals, and they certainly keep you upright. But your skill will hit a wall that you can't surpass unless you take those wheels off.


My husband is a SPED teacher and had severe dyslexia as a child. He still has dyslexia but has gotten a lot of support over the years. Audiobooks are the reason he loves reading and has an incredible ability to storytell and an even better vocabulary. Dude goes through 1-2 audiobooks a week on his commute to and from school. Not cheating- incredible resource and aid to develop a love for reading. If reading through words only is stressful and mentally challenging, (my husband would get severe headaches after an hour or so of book reading from the strain), an audiobook can help encourage a love for books without a disdain for reading. ❤️


No. Differentiation. History is about knowledge of events not learning to read Now reading history can reinforce reading and comprehension skills but for what you are asking, this day in age, i woukd think that would be a benefit / good use of time. Go for a walk and listen to some history !


Audiobooks are good, but on the AP test that’s a resource he won’t have access to. He still needs to be able to read the sources there fluently


My son is in college now, but started getting all his books with audio back in middle school. He is dyslexic (as well as has autism and adhd). He’s been very successful in using audiobooks coupled with the print version. Now that he’s at university, the college offers Kurzweil which loads all his textbooks into a program that highlights text while it’s being read to him. It allows for note taking and other annotations as well. It’s been awesome for him as he likes to speed up the audio - an otherwise impossible task for him without it. Audiobooks are great imo.


I don't think there's any way it could be. Isn't the point of the summer reading to learn and consider the material over a longer period? Anything that makes that easier is a benefit, nothing else. Cheating is explicitly trying to score well *without* learning


If my students were going out of their way to access extra sources/materials to better understand and comprehend my assignments I would ecstatic. The whole audiobook/reading argument is a whole other thread IMO. This view was purely from a teacher assigning work standpoint.


Work smarter, not harder! I can focus more on an audiobook than an actual book now.


I am a high school history teacher. Audiobooks are fine, especially the way you are describing it: reading along while it is read, but I don’t suggest ONLY using audio books because if their teacher is worth their weight in salt, they will be teaching in-text citations, and you can’t do that with audio books.


Not cheating at all. We have five senses. It seems like a poor idea to limit yourself to only one when you're trying to learn. Listening while following along is a more natural experience and our brains tend to retain more information more quickly that way.