Before I start this post I want to give you a little laugh for the day by telling you my son's suggestion for my last blog post title. Here is his idea: "Spastic Homeschool Moms, Audio Books Are the Answer!" However, I don't think "spastic" and "homeschool mom" should be in the same sentence together. I certainly don't know anyone who deserves that adjective.
The actual post, How Audio Books Can Save Your Homeschool, sparked some discussion, and one reader asked where she could find free audio books for kids. I have a few secrets, so I decided to write this bean-spilling post.
Find Secret Audio Books at Your Public Library
I know. The library. Duh, right? Well, here's the thing. The library is an awesome source for audio books. The main library I use has multiple shelves of audio books for children.
But wait. There's more. My library card is special, and I can access any library in the state. Some of the libraries have different books in the eLibrary, even though it offers the same digital service. If you have access to more than one library system, be sure to check them all for various audio books.
Buy from Audible the Smart Way
Okay. So maybe you think you don't want to spend any money. I know. I get it. Audible can swallow your homeschool budget in one bite. However, I discovered a trick about four years ago. I determined to get the most bang for my buck at Audible. Here's how I did it: Some of the collections of books at Audible count as ONE credit. Seriously.
The Ramona Quimby Collection
For one credit you can download these eight books:
Beezus and Ramona
Ramona the Pest
Ramona the Brave
Ramona and Her Father
Ramona and Her Mother
Ramona Quimby, Age 8
The Henry Huggins Audio Collection
Again, for one credit you can download these six books:
Henry and Beezus
Henry and Ribsy
Henry and the Paper Route
Henry and the Clubhouse
The Ralph S. Mouse Audio Collection
Mouse and the Motorcycle
Ralph S. Mouse
The Beverly Cleary Audio Collection
This collection of six books is one of Simon's favorite collections.
Emily's Runaway Imagination
Mitch and Amy
The Adventure Collection
The Jungle Book
The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood
The Roald Dahl Audio Collection
Some of these tales are abridged; make sure you do a little homework and preview the books if you aren't familiar with Dahl. Not all parents will appreciate his humor.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
James and the Giant Peach
Fantastic Mr. Fox
The Enormous Crocodile
The Magic Finger
I've also used Audible credits to buy expensive audio books such as The Mysterious Benedict Society series. Buying through Audible allowed me to get these audio books for less than half price.
Scour Websites with Free Audio Books
I say scour because you will need to take a few minutes of your time and listen to make sure these are good recordings. Often the free recordings are amazing, and we have been super blessed in our own homeschool to use gobs of these audio books. However, sometimes the reader is mediocre; sometimes the quality isn't great. Because of the mighty benefits of listening to audio books, I want my kids listening to great. Scouring and vetting is worth the time and effort–especially if you don't have money in the budget for Audible.
Here are some sites offering free audio books for kids:
Storynory offers free audio downloads for fairy tales, classic books, and more. My boys spent a lot of time listening to Storynory while building with LEGO.
Lit2Go is an amazing resource with suggested downloads for each grade level. Simply click on the grade you want to peruse.
Loyal Books has a ton of free audio downloads for great, classic literature. The quality of the reader may vary as these are done by volunteers, but we have listened to some that are fantastic. Pick and choose as you like.
Kids Learn Out Loud is a new to me site. It looks like they have a large variety of books for older students.
- Light Up Your Brain has short, classic stories from authors such as Beatrix Potter, Rudyard Kipling, and Andrew Lang; the site also has a few longer tales from George MacDonald and Hans Christian Andersen.
Surely I don't have all the tips and tricks. If you have more secrets for securing audio books for kids, please share in the comments. My readers will thank you!