Wednesday, January 22, 2014

5 Essential Homeschooling Tools Day 3: An e Reader

I am a self-confessed bibliophile. I’m hated by moving men, who have to tote boxes and boxes labeled “Books".  I believe I may have found a way to insulate my home by lining the walls with shelves (what do you suppose the R factor is for paperbacks?).  I love to curl up and spend hours turning pages, finally inserting a bookmark so I can find my spot the next time.

I thought I would hate  e Readers, but two years after getting a Kindle keyboard for Christmas I’ve found a place for both formats in my life.  This past Christmas the family gift was a Kindle Fire HD!  Now I can look at illustrated books too.

What makes an e Reader a Homeschooling Essential?  A little thing called the public domain.  There’s a great collection of books that have fallen out of copyright  --  Henty and Ballantine novels, the mysteries of Sherlock Holmes, the Anne of Green Gables stories.  And you can find them all on the internet for FREE.  Of course sitting in front of a computer screen reminds me of my days as an accountant, not conducive to a cozy afternoon of reading.  But I can download those books to my Kindle and then grab my tea and blanket (it is winter after all) and head to the easy chair.

In my reading, I’ve discovered a few advantages to the Kindle over a physical book. It can automatically keep track of the last page I read in every book—even between my original Kindle and new Kindle Fire. Since I often reading more than one book at a time, it's very easy to switch from one to another without having to tear off scraps of paper to mark my place in each. Another great feature is the built in dictionary.  I consider myself to have a fairly large vocabulary, but I often run across archaic terms in my choice of books. Now I can just move the cursor next to the word and up pops a definition. I can keep my reading flow rather than put the book down, get the Webster's, look up the word, and return to my text (or more likely just guess at the meaning and end up missing some of the subtleties of the author's word choice).

Great Places to find eBooks:

  • Project Gutenberg  Over 42,000 books.  You can browse by author, title, language or looks at Book Categories for some arraigned by subject.
  • Free Popular Classics  over 500 titles, try the search box at the top to find specific titles or authors.  These are the classic books in the public domain not just the list of free Kindle titles—I find that to be dominated by trashy romance novels.  You don’t need to own a Kindle—you can download the Kindle App on a variety of tablets.
  •  Planet eBook  download PDF versions of over 80 classics by authors like Charles Dickens, Robert Louis Stevenson, and the Brontë sisters.
  • Open Library  This is like a cooperative effort of over 1000 brick & mortar libraries where you may borrow up to 5 titles for two weeks each once you have an account.
  • Internet Archive  Millions of texts.  Be sure to try the links in the introductions for Children’s Classics or even Cookbooks.  The Archive also has a great audio section with audiobooks and old radio programs like the You Are There series.
  • Barnes & Noble Free Nook Books  Over a million titles.  A free Nook App is available for other tablets.  Like free Amazon books, you may want to use parental guidance as a lot of books fall into erotic romance category.
  • Your local library.  Library systems are started to carry eBooks.  You still check them out for a limited time and they disappear from your reader at the end of the borrowing period. 

I’ll never get rid of my collection of physical books (in fact I’ve started a 52 week series of books I’ve rescued from the landfill), but I’ve come to appreciate what e Readers have to offer too. 

You can click the button below to see what all the others on the Review Crew found to be Homeschooling Essentials but here are a few posts to get you started.

1. Marcy @ Ben and Me

2. Lisa @ Golden Grasses

3. Tess @ Circling Through This Life

4. Victoria @ Homemaking with Heart

5. Kayla @ The Arrowood Zoo

6. Joelle @ Homeschooling for His Glory

7. Deanna @ His Treasure Seekers

8. Melissa @ Grace Christian Homeschool

9. Rebecca @ Raventhreads


5 Days of Homeschooling Essentials

1 comment:

Kim Mills said...

Using books as insulation. LOL Love it! I'll have to use that next time hubby mentions purging books. :P I love my Kindle to, but it's not the same as a "real" book.

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