Charlotte Mason Online for Practically Free!
I like free. I am sure you do too. Free can be good, especially when it is high quality homeschooling materials!
I have been trying to scour the net looking for stuff to help me with our read alouds and other things and have found out that so many of the books recommended by the free curriculums for Charlotte Mason, like Mater Amabilis and Ambleside Online are available for free online!
If you are lucky enough to have an iPad or eReader of some kind this is an even better deal! Especially for audio readings, all you need to do is plug in the speakers and sit and enjoy the story with your children!
Do you know how amazing Librivox is? This has to be one of the greatest resources I use. In fact we use it almost every day.
I have slowly discovered that almost every book I need or want for our studies is on Librivox!
If you are a Charlotte Mason educator you know that there are many wonderful books listed for study and some are hard to come by. I have found that almost all of them are on Librivox! My only complaint is that they don't have Ms. Mason's actual Homeschooling Series. Nothing is perfect though. Sigh.
Anyway, I thought I would share with you a few links to some of the most often seen books in the CM curriculum on Librivox.
Our Island's Story by H. E. Marshall
This Country of Ours by H.E. Marshall
50 Famous Stories Retold by James Baldwin
The Blue Fairy Book By Andrew Lang
Tales from Shakespeare by Charles and Mary Lamb
Grammarland by M. L. Nesbitt
There are so many more! Last year we listened to a reading of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens during Advent.
Our two favorite readers on Librivox are Kara Shallenburg and Karen Savage (Oh! She knits! I never saw her blog before, just loved her reading of the Anne of Green Gables series).
Another thing is if you look on the Librivox pages for these books you will find a lot of them are in Project Gutenberg! These are completely free eBooks. You can download them to your eReader or even bring them up on your computer and print certain pages off.
If you can't find what you are looking for on Project Gutenberg look through Google Books (Be careful though, there are some not so kid friendly things there, thus my lack of link). You can find treasures there as well!
Another place I found some things is the Internet Archive. I found Grammar-Land on there the other day. After we heard the chapter on Mr. Pronoun (my kids LOVE this book, btw) they had some little verses for the kids to correct. Well, when listening to it aloud it is hard to do that! So I looked it up and printed off that page from chapter 3. And all it cost me was some ink.
Oh! And while trying to find the link I found these free worksheets that go with Grammar-Land. I will have to check those out later!
I also want to recommend that you get hard copies too, if you can. This is good for both elementary age through high school. When faced with a difficult text a student can listen to it while reading a long. This will help with using more than one learning style to reenforce the reading.
One last thing I want to suggest is looking into Audible.com. This is NOT free, but would be a huge homeschool help for read alouds for all ages. I am just starting to try it out, so maybe you know more about it than me. All I know is I was able to download Winston Churchill's A History of the English-Speaking Peoples, Vol. 1 for FREE. I will have to pay $14 something a month but I will also get a free download every month. I am lucky enough to have an original version of Churchill's 4 volume set (Thank you Daddy!) from 1956, but I was worried about letting all the older kids read through them and maybe see them fall apart. I also wanted to listen along, so we could discuss. So I think it will be well worth the investment. And I am sure we can get a lot more books for school through Audible.
Happy Reading... well, or being read to!