Category Archives: Downloadable Resources

Free Classical Literature Downloads

Online libraries allow visitors to download books for free.  There’s no reason to spend money homeschooling, newer material is dumbed down anyway.

Learn how to download classics from a digital library. Find classic literature online and supplement your homeschool curriculum with digital library resources.

Publications whose copyrights have expired are referred to as “in the public domain” and considered public property. There are several digital library websites that allow visitors to download books for free or for the cost of an annual or monthly membership. There are also resources that offer the opportunity to download audio books through an online library.

Homeschooling with Classic Literature

Searching for classic literature through an online library can be time consuming. Begin with a book list that includes titles, author and original publisher or publication date. Try checking with your homeschool curriculum publisher for a recommended book list or a required reading list.

If your homeschooling curriculum doesn’t specify a book list, there are several book lists available online. Try visiting The Great Books, sponsored by the Access Foundation. Their goal is to keep a comprehensive classic book list with links to online library sites that allow visitors to download classics.

Before you visit an online library to download classics, designate a file folder in your computer for each book. Often, the book will be available in several formats; .pdf, .html and .txt are the most popular. Sometimes one book might require more than one file to be downloaded. This folder is also a good place to keep study notes, or a reading journal. Separating each book into its own folder helps keep lesson plans organized, too.

Download Audio Books for Free

Listening to audio books as a family is a great way to enjoy classic literature. In The Well Trained Mind [Peace Hill Press 1999], Susan Wise Bauer suggests that students listen to a chapter from an audio book each day during a restful time. She means this to be a time when a homeschooling mother can take a break and children can enjoy classic literature without distractions. There’s no reason an adult can’t enjoy books this way, too.

Technical help for Free Downloadable Materials

To download audio books, first decide how you’ll be listening to them. If you plan to use an iPod, you can save them to iTunes in .mp3 or .mp4 format. If you’re using any other player, .mp3 is most likely to work the best. Windows media player will play .wmv files, but you can’t always download audio books in that format. Create a folder for your playlist and keep all of the “tracks” together. Sometimes one chapter will consist of several tracks. Consider whether you’d like to keep each chapter separated by folders for a chapter-by-chapter replay.  Don’t worry, converting them is easy and the newer iPods and iTunes will play both, but the windows player will not plan an mp4.  So when in doubt, use mp3.  Read more…

Partially reprinted from Downloading Classic Literature, originally published on June 15, 2008, with permission from Lisa Russell, the Homeschooling featured writer at Suite

Free Classics Online – Reading List for Kids

If you’re looking to build up your home library or to review books before you buy, or if you want to print the classics yourself (perhaps in a large double-spaced font for note-taking and easy focusing) then you’ll want to check out these links:
Free Books Online; Classics
Classics Online

And here are reading lists to help determine which books are appropriate for which age groups

The NEH has divided their list from kindergarten through high school. The College-bound reading list is specifically for high schoolers headed for college. The Kids Reads list begins at birth and goes through high school, too.

Secular History text to download

History Odyssey Middle Ages Levels One and Two. Why do I buy these anymore? We never stick to anyone else’s schedule. Maybe that’s not the point. We do love using their list of what supplementary activities we should be using. Last year (this year still) I got the History Odyssey Ancients Levels 1 and 3 I don’t know why I didn’t get Level 2 because I have a daughter who is at level 2- I just figured that it would be easy to find a middle between the materials in level 1 and 3 but it wasn’t at all, so I’m inventing things for her to do at level 2. Why didn’t I just order level 2 this time? I ordered for next year, so I got next year’s level 2. That just doesn’t help us this year, though. Anyways, I didn’t order level 3 for nest year this time because it wasn’t listed in the catalog or on their website, but I know the publisher is making it. We’re just barely into the 1st level three book we’ve got and it’s really really difficult. My oldest hates it. It’s a great program, but it’s just a wee bit too hard for her and we end up doing it together. I know she relishes the time we’re spending together with it, but I end up only “doing” history with her once a week or so because of it, and we skip so much of each lesson. I remember why I’m buying these, because History Odyssey rearranges the chapters in Story of the World so that you’re studying a specific region for a little longer, instead of bouncing around the globe every week and History Odyssey also recommends awesome supplementary activity books. So maybe I’m buying these for the lists of supplementary ideas, and black-lined maps, and the order that they put the SOTW chapters into.