Sunday, October 29, 2006

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Our family loves to listen to audiobooks. I have two children and sometimes the bickering in the car can be too much, especially on the 4 hour trip to Grandma's house. But I discovered a few years back that my children, then 4 and 6, will listen to an audio book for HOURS in the car. So, I started checking out audiobooks at the Library. We follow the free online Ambleside Online Curriculum's literature reading selections and we can get many of them from the library on audiobooks. Things such as the Laura Ingalls Wilder books, Charlotte's Web, and Winnie the Pooh were borrowed from the library, but there were many classic books I could not find on CD at my library. Then I discovered Librivox. Librivox calls itself "an acoustical liberation of books in the public domain." Basically that is a completely free site which provides mp3's of books in audio read by volunteers. I have found the readings to be of excellent quality and as a former teacher of Theatre I might have an informed opinion of such things. I'll leave that for you to decide. We have downloaded and listened to several Grimm's Fairy Tales, The Velveteen Rabbit and Heidi so far. My children loved them all. There are so many Ambleside selections here that I have to wonder if someone on the list of volunteers uses Ambleside. Next we will be listening to Peter Pan and Pinocchio. Our Island Story is another Ambleside selection available there.

But don't think this is a site solely for children's literature! There is a collection of works for adults from Aristotle to P.G. Wodehouse that includes novels, poetry, short stories and non-fiction. There is so much here my family could be listening for years. There are also volunteer opportunities for readers as well as listeners to help check recordings. So I urge you to check out Librivox. It's a most praiseworthy thing!

Free Printables

Everybody with children loves free printables right?! Well, I just found a new site, Just Print Something. In addition to lots of printables from gift tags to miniatures for dollhouses, there are articles covering things such as How to Print on Fabric to Questions on Copyrights. This stuff is ideal for scrapbookers, doll house lovers and artists of all types. There is also an area for authorized members to upload printables. All images should be safe as the user agreement states: "By registering at Just Print Something, you agree not to post anything that could be considered abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening, sexually-oriented, or any material that may violate any applicable laws. Posting these types of materials may lead to you being immediately and permanently banned, and your service provider being notified of abuse. The IP address of all posts is recorded to aid in enforcing these conditions. " Hopefully they take that seriously. So head over there and sign up for a free account!