Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Free {or inexpensive} Audiobook Resources for Homeschooling

In the last year, we've been listening to a lot more audio books as part of our homeschooling.  Audio books might not be quite the same as cuddling with the kids on the couch and reading a good book together, but they are still highly beneficial.

My kids are often more fascinated by audio resources than if I was reading the book aloud anyway.  Perhaps it's because we can listen to authors read their own books the way they imagined it should sound.  Or maybe because we experience delightful foreign accents, or maybe it's the music and dramatic sound effects.  No, it's not the same as reading a real book.  It's a different experience all together, and it's such a good one.

Not to mention, we get a lot more "reading" done with audio books, because while I can't read and drive at the same time, I can pop in an audio book, the vehicle is quite for at least half an hour or more, and we get some extra music, literature or history added to our day!

There are some audio books I would continue to buy and add to our personal collection.  However, I can't buy them all.  I'd run out of space, and obviously, it's not a wise investment to buy every book you want to read.

So I compiled a list of free audio book resources for myself, so that I can keep track of our favorite place to get new stories.

The Library
Obviously.  Our library doesn't have a huge physical selection, but they do have more recent titles that aren't in the public domain and online for free.  I'm sure larger library systems will have even more selections.

OverDrive allows you to borrow digital audio books from your library, and yes, there's an app for that!

Librivox provides audio recordings of books in the public domain.  The books are read by volunteers around the world, so the quality (and the accents!) will vary greatly, but it's a very deep resource to explore.

Loyal Books
Formally known as Books Should Be Free, Loyal Books is also full of public domain books in text and audio format.  The audio I've sampled so far all appear to be from Librivox, but I think the website is more visually appealing and easier to navigate.

Amazon Whispersync
Whispersync allows you to "upgrade" your eligible Kindle books to include professional audio books at a discounted price, and many of the classics (public domain) are only $0.99 to upgrade!  Also, each month they offer one title completely free.

Kiddie Records
Kiddie Records is an online compilation of children's records from the 1940's and 1950's, and has been one of our favorites, as they are musical and entertaining.  There are picture books, adaptions of longer classics and plenty of other works to choose from.  It's different, but is definitely fun for the younger crowd.

Storynory is another great resource for kids, as they offer classics, fairy tales and their own original stories.  You can get these on podcast, which is nice.

Homeschool Freebie of the Day
Homeschool Freebie of the Day offers a variety of freebies, and they frequently feature audio resources.  It's worth it to browse through occasionally.

Storyline Online
Storyline Online offers a variety of books read on video by many famous people.  It's a neat rainy day resource.

Epic!  Books for Kids
The Epic app is full of children's eBooks, many of which have audio book versions.  If you are an educator you can get a free account, or for parent accounts, it is free for the first month, then $4.99/monthly, for thousands of books.  This is a nice way for kids to explore reading independently in a fun and interactive way.

Robert Munsch Books
If you like Robert Munsch, check him out reading his books!

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Okay, so this isn't a collection of books or stories, but you can get a great version of this classic for free!  The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

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1 comment:

  1. These are great! I love audiobooks, and they are so convenient for when you want to read out loud but can't- like in the car.