Blueglass Homeschool Magazine #homeschool

Sometimes we just need a little time for Mom, a little ‘mother culture’. For a mental retreat and some thought nourishment you might want to check out Blueglass Homeschool Magazine.

It’s described as “a fresh, new iPad magazine designed to inspire and encourage Christian homeschooling parents. As a gathering place for creative non-fiction writers, artists, poets, painters, illustrators, crafters and home-educators, Blueglass celebrates the art and craft of homeschooling and homemaking. Published quarterly, each issue is full of thoughtful essays and stories, beautiful art and photography, homemade recipes and projects, all thematically woven together by a growing community of contributors, including New York Times bestselling author, Ann Voskamp.”

The first issue, Linger, includes over 100 ad-free pages filled with uplifting ideas about how to linger in your moments. 

Check it out on the iTunes store. Also available on Android at Google Play and for Kindle Fire at Amazon.

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/blueglass-homeschool-magazine/id839591067?mt=8

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Freebook Sifter – A Resource for Free eBooks

Oh, I know what I’m doing today when I catch some free time! I’m camping out at Freebook Sifter.

Freebook Sifter is a compilation site of, you guessed it, free ebooks. It has the books sifted into categories and subcategories, including breaking the Children’s eBooks category into age groups and other relevant subjects.

Another advantage is users have rated the ebooks as well. Be aware though that not all books listed are for young eyes!

Check out Freebook Sifter and see what interesting reads you can find. And don’t forget I have a list of ‘reputable ebooks sites’ too.

Freebook Sifter – A Resource for Free eBooks.

McGuffey Readers and Spelling book – free on Amazon for Kindle #homeschool

A fellow homeschooler was kind enough to post on an email list that Amazon has the Kindle versions of the McGuffey Readers and the McGuffey Spelling book for free.

Remember that you can find a Kindle reader app for your devices and computers here!

Is it worth an Audible subscription? #homeschool

Audible – Is it worth it?

As a frugal homeschooler I’m always asking myself if something is truly worth the money. One question that was recently raised was is it worth the expense of having an Audible subscription?

Personally, I did subscribe to Audible when they offered a sign-up promotion…I believe it was 2 free ‘credits’ and then the regular monthly fee.  I chose the subscription option of receiving 1 credit a month. At the time Audible was exactly what I needed. We were taking some very long road trips back and forth to family and I needed ‘non-schoolish’ audio books to occupy both myself and my children. I was motivated since they had a number of books not available on Librivox, including the Ted Bell childrens book series, Nick Of Time and also books of interest just for me. In most cases, especially factoring in the 2 free credits it was very worthwhile.

I’ve since cancelled my membership now that we’re not making the long trips as often. I also found that a number of the audio books I desired were cheaper than the monthly subscription fee. So it made more sense for me to purchase these without the credits. As an aside, when I went to unsubscribe they asked why…I selected it was the financial aspect. Audible then offered to add $20 to my account if I would remain a member, to which I did. I have since unsubscribed but I feel I did get great value for the money and I would subscribe again if and when my needs change.

That being said there are other places to get free audio books beyond Librivox.
The main source is the library.

Check out your library’s website. They may have an arrangement with Overdrive Media Console for their audiobooks and NetLibrary also offers similar. You can download these directly to your computer or your mp3 player depending on the site without ever having to step foot in the library. And of course, libraries also usually have cd audiobooks you can add to your computer and then transfer to your mp3 players.

Hope that helps and happy listening!

Long car rides ahead? Need audio books? #homeschool

Long car rides ahead? Need audio books?

Today we’re welcoming a guest post from Greta Kvinnsland!

For those long rides in the car this summer or for those who need to listen
instead of use print media, try Librivox Recordings at www.Librivox.org.

Librivox is the result of something called The Gutenberg Project where there are currently over 4000 books available in digital print or audio, for free download.

Kids today might think that older titles aren’t interesting but there are so
many classics here that really are great stories and they have titles for all ages.

You can download a zip file of the entire audio book to your computer and then to
any MP3 player, or burn to CD. The files are available in several formats (I use MP3)
or they’ve also done something quite high tech – you can subscribe to books
as daily podcasts via iTunes and they come to you a few chapters at a time
and they download via iTunes every day on podcast. Search for Librivox inside the iTunes store.

In addition, if you have an Apple product you can download a free audio
reader from the iTunes Store and then get the books – search on Librivox.
On the iPad you can go through a catalog and it downloads the books directly
to your iPad and the reader reads the audio book to you – probably the same for
other Apple products.

The readers are a mix of synthetic voices, and real people reading and I’ve
found some voices I like better than others. With 4000 titles to choose from if I don’t like it I move on. Sometimes I get a British person reading who pronounces words differently and my child doesn’t understand. Some books like Sherlock Holmes, Charles Dickens novels, Anne of Green Gables, the Bible, have multiple versions and readers to choose from.

There are language courses and books available in, I think, 17 languages
from Latvian to Latin and Hebrew.

If you have a regular computer, then you can download to your computer and use the speakers to listen, or for about $65 you can get a bluetooth headset on Amazon to be wireless or for the same $65 or less you can get any number of MP3 players. Sorry if I’m talking down to anyone but I find that a lot of us parents haven’t had the time to figure out all these options.

Thanks Greta for sharing info on Librivox. It’s a very valuable resource for us homeschooling moms.

My dirty little secret… #homeschool #charlottemason

Okay, it’s out. I have a dirty little secret. I love technology AND I’m a Charlotte Mason homeschooler.

I know, I know. Some people may think that you can’t pitch your tent in both camps. How can you be a follower of an educational philosophy from the turn of the last century that embodies the essence of delicious living books while advocating the use of, dare I say it…screens…??!?!

Well, any modern day follower of Miss Mason knows that it’s the perfect philosophy for technophiles for a number of reasons. The most obvious being the proliferation of ebooks.

If there’s one thing that stands out amongst Charlotte Mason types, it’s our love of quality books. Good, well-written, ‘living’ books where the author embraces the passion of their chosen subject and passes it along to the reader. Thankfully, an extraordinary number of quality books are now available as ebooks for free or fairly inexpensively. Check out my previous post where I list reputable free ebook sites. You can’t beat the ability to store and read thousands of books on devices as small as an iPod Touch or a Kindle or an iPad and have them accessible when you need them instead of sitting, hidden behind another book, somewhere on a shelf.

Charlotte Mason also advocated short, focused lessons. And nothing draws a child’s attention like a ‘gadget’. Technology can help a distracted child focus those precious minutes on learning while still satisfying their curiosity. I’ve found that it takes twice as long to drill math facts by ‘hand’ (flashcards) than if I had my child drill with a website. And well-designed sites and apps also chart progress and other interesting stats. Check out Math-u-See’s drill page for distraction-free practice.

Foremost, Miss Mason’s philosophy encompasses education as being an ‘environment’, a ‘discipline’, a ‘life’. I think that by providing your children with an environment that incorporates technology instead of fearing it, the precedent is set for your child’s success in the future.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary app – with voice search #homeschool #edtech

Did you ever ask your Mom how to spell something and she said “look it up in the dictionary!”. If you were like me, I was always so frustrated – “how can I look it up when I DON’T KNOW HOW TO SPELL IT?!”

Well, this free app is a blessing for all of us, including the phonetically-challenged, with it’s speech search. Give it a try, it’s FREE!

Cover Art

Merriam-Webster Dictionary HD

Merriam-Webster, Inc.

Category: Reference

Updated: May 24, 2011
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