When I first heard about e-readers in the late 90s, I was eager to jump onboard, however the technology was not widely available then, and this techie had to wait a few more years. In 2007 I bought my first Kindle e-reader, and I was in awe.
I was determined to convert my then tiny library into a massive paperless database of books.
As years passed, and as I grew up, I’ve come to realize that a world without physical books you can hold and smell (yes, I smell them), is just not for me. I’ve already shared about my compulsive book hoarding tendencies.
So instead of trying to remove all print books from my life, and yours, I’m sharing 2 ways we incorporate ebooks and audio books in our homeschool. There’s absolutely no need to choose just one.
Add Tech in Your Homeschool with Audio Books
When people I casually meet learn we homeschool they always seem to assume we spend a great deal of time at home, and that’s simply not the case.
Since we spend so much time either coming or going, audio books have become an indispensable tool. We get our audio books in 3 different ways:
- Audible – This is a subscription based service where you purchase book credits once a month. The cool thing though, is that you keep any of the audiobooks you’ve downloaded. Audible, offers quality audio and thousands of titles to choose from.
- Livribox – This is a 100% free service with a pretty large book selection. Books are read by Livribox volunteers so there are multiple ‘reader’ options for most books. Two of my girls are looking into becoming Livribox volunteers, so this is also a great service opportunity. The catch though, is that since books are read by volunteers, audio quality can sometimes be an issue.
- Local Library – Your local library likely offers a good selection of books on CD. Some even have MP3 formatted books available for download. This is another fantastic free option, and an easy way to find out if audio books are for you.
Add Tech in Your Homeschool with eBooks
Some of the advantages of eBooks include:
- Portability. Since a great deal of our learning takes place on the road and outdoors, an iPad loaded with all the books we need makes transportation a breeze.
- There’s no need to buy multiples. Shakespeare is big in our homeschool. We like to read and act out plays as a group, so purchasing a single copy that can be downloaded on multiple devices, means each person has a copy of the script, and can easily follow along.
- Searchable. I forget things pretty quickly, so having a search feature that can take me back to where I read something is super convenient.
- Public Domain. Thousands of books on the Kindle database are in the public domain. You’re welcome to download them for free.
- Note taking capabilities. I’m a note taker, so this is a big deal!! There’s no need for a separate notebook, or to write cryptically in the margins. You can take all the notes you want.
My favorite place to download and purchase eBooks, is Kindle Unlimited. Kindle Unlimited, is a subscription based service, that literally puts millions of books at your fingertips. It’s the Netflix, of eBooks.
Learn with free Podcasts and iTunesU courses.
Now that you’re comfortable using audio books and ebooks in your homeschool, why not try Podcasts and iTunesU courses?
Both are free, widely available in a every subject and at you fingertips. I’ll share a little more about these in a later post.