Saturday, July 28, 2007

Online Books

This year I made the decision to add in a more Charlotte Mason flavor to our schooling. Several factors went into making this decision; I think the shorter lesson times will help Mary, Katie isn't ready for any real intense 'school work' this year but can still participate in the readings/history/literature, and most of the materials are available for free from the internet.

Even if you are not doing CM, I think that Ambleside Online is an amazing resource. Every book in their reading list that is available online is linked. If you have never looked at "An Island Story" by H.E. Marshall or "Fifty Famous Stories" by James Baldwin, do so. The short stories are wonderful to add into any study of history. We are reading these in addition to still trying to finish SOTW I. It just worked out that we are heading into a study of the Romans for the Fall, and this is where a lot of these stories begin.

Another highly useful link I found through Ambleside is Librivox. Here you can find FREE public domain audio books. Download the audio books and use with your MP3 player, or if you don't have all those fancy gadgets, burn it to CD using an audio player and then use it in whatever CD player you own. The readings are made by volunteers, no computer readings as I have found on other sites.

How am I using the public domain books? I am copying them from their sites and pasting into Word. In Word I can then manipulate the font, font size and line breaks. For Mary's materials I am mainly using Arial, size 14 with 1-1/2 breaks. This makes it a little larger and easier for Mary to follow. It might mean more pages per story, but I print it using the draft mode to save ink. I am using those inexpensive folders (~.10 each) with the prongs to store her readings, and eventually will have entire books printed. As someone pointed out on one of the sites when we print books she will have the white space on the back of the pages to make related drawings or to copy narrations onto.

I hope some of these links help you.



1 comment:

Melora said...

You are Brilliant! I never thought of saving them in Word. Then I can mess with them to my heart's content, and print them out to use as you suggest (and I love the idea of using the blank sides for illustrations). I have had Such trouble getting T. reading, though I think things are improving. (He wants to read weird stuff, like the Adobe Photoshop manual, but Not good literature!) I am going to go have a look at those short stories -- thank you!

A family of six living and learning. You might catch us outside in the mud or working on crafts. We always seem to be on the go, come on and join us.