Free (or Inexpensive) Audio Books on Amazon

audio-books

This is how we find free (or cheap) audio books on Amazon for our homeschooling brood.

First, let me say we LOVE audio books at our house.  Let me repeat…  LOVE, LOVE, LOVE.  Our oldest boy listens to an audio book every afternoon during his rest time, and it’s a staple for our family car tips.

The only problem (of course) is that they can get a little pricey. I know that there are sites where you can get books for free, but every time I went to look at them I was overwhelmed by the density and layout.  I didn’t have enough brain space!  So I took the lazy many’s approach and signed up for an Audible.com account last year.  Overall it’s been great, but $15 a credit was adding up when we want a new book each week!

Imagine my delight when a girlfriend told me how she leverages Amazon’s Whispersync program to score her audiobooks for super cheap…  even FREE!

Here’s the trick…

Simply look for Kindle Books where you can add the Audible Narration.  In the example illustrated below, the kindle version of the book is FREE and the audible add on is only $0.99!  {click on the image if you want to enlarge it}

whispersync

Just click the box on the right to add the Audible Narration before you “buy” the kindle book and tada! you have an audio book for less than a buck!

Here is a list of the books we’ve found and leave a comment if you find others!  Of course, the prices may vary, but hopefully you’ll get a great audio book for little money!

The Adventure of Huckleberry Finn

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

Aesop’s Fables

Anne of Green Gables

Around the World in Eighty Days

Captains Courageous

A Christmas Carol

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court

Dracula

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Great Expectations

Ivanhoe

The Jungle Book

The Legends of King Arthur and His Knights

Little Women

The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes

Moby Dick

Persuasion

The Phantom of the Opera

Pride and Prejudice

The Secret Garden

A Tale of Two Cities

The Three Musketeers

Time Machine

Treasure Island

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

Wuthering Heights

By the way, you don’t need to own a Kindle device to read Amazon’s e-books.  You can download it onto your iPhone, iPad, or even your computer with their free app.

elemenopee?

Remember when you were a kid and suddenly realized that “elemenopee” wasn’t a word, but in fact five distinct letters?  (L, M, N, O, P).

No?  It was just me?  Oh, how embarrassing.  Well, then…  Just forget I said that.

I’ve been trying to find a good way to explain the Classical approach of education to people who aren’t familiar with it, and the alphabet song seems to be the best example I’ve come up with yet.  After all, most people are very comfortable teaching toddlers and preschoolers to sing the alphabet long before they understand what letters are, what letters do, or why we need them.  We’re totally okay with them learning the information now, because ONE DAY in the not so distant future, it will make sense.

Right?

This, my friends, is the same belief that drives the first stage of a classical education (Dorothy Sayers calls it the “Parrot” stage, many modern classical educators call it the Grammar stage).  During this stage, educators recognize a small window of time when kid’s minds fluidly absorb new information and then deliberately leverage that mental acuity by having them memorize lots of good, factual information.  It’s okay that our kids don’t understand it, but they learn it now so that ONE DAY it will make sense.

In my opinion, one of the best upsides to following this approach is that it also creates a framework to associate other information, what classical folks often call “Memory Pegs” to hang new information on.  I’m constantly amazed on how this happens.  For example, here are our kids singing a song they memorized about the Bill of Rights (why the boys are wearing their snow boots when it was 65 degrees, I have no idea).

A few days ago I was doing lessons with our seven year old, reading a selection from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland about the Knave of Heart’s jury trial (you know, stealing that plate of tarts and all).  He looked at me a little funny and then asked “what’s a jury?” and after I explained he said “OH!  Like in the Bill of Rights?  We all get to have jury?”

And then this afternoon we enjoyed a few episodes of Liberty’s Kids (the best $5 I’ve ever spent!) while I was doing Nora’s hair. The episode talked about the creation of the US Constitution and the Judicial Branch.  Cha Ching!  Light bulbs going off every where.  So flat out, absolutely cool.

Of course, not every educational philosophy fits every child, so this may not be the solution for you.  But at least I’ve come up with a better way to explain it to people!

 

Maybe?

Our Young Sir wakes up slowly, just like his mama.  The other two spring out of bed, eager to see Daddy and jump into the day, but, more often than not, our number two child climbs into bed with me as we cling to a few more minutes of sleep, pretending to ourselves that the day hasn’t started yet.

This morning, he staggered into the kitchen, bleary eyed and cranky.  He stood in the middle of the room for a few moments, a sleepy fog clouding his expression, with a much loved blue blanket trailing from his hand.  And then he uttered “Mom, I have a tummy ache, I need medicine.”

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I quickly glanced over, dreading the idea of another round of the tummy bug.  Thankfully, a brief inspection assured me that his “tummy ache” was more of a protest against the morning and could safely be translated into “I don’t want to be awake yet.”  So I collected a few blankets and snuggled him down on to the couch for a few more minutes to doze.

After ten minutes of quiet, I hear his voice calling me again, echoing his concerns about an achy tummy and his desire for “pink medicine” (the term our family has coined to describe the Children’s Pepto Bismal we keep on hand).

“No sweetheart, just lay down for a few more minutes until you’re ready to wake up.”

“Can I at least have some olives?”

Huh? Olives?

“Yes, I want three.  They are good for tummy aches too.”

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And would you believe it, but a dose of three kalamata olives did the trick, banishing that tummy ache to the ends of the earth.

Who knew?