How I Got a Homeschool Helper for Just Pennies Per Hour (and you can too!)

Learn how to get a homeschool helper for just pennies per hour!In almost 20 years of homeschooling, I think it has been an almost constant wish of mine that I could somehow get a clone of myself.  (ok.  Let’s face it–I’d need several clones.)  When the kids were little, it was challenging to keep all the schooling going amidst nursing the babies, potty training the toddlers, and trying to overcome my sleepiness!  When they were in the middle years, I still had some pretty rascally little guys running around, and the small matter of a tiny little business I was trying to breathe life into, in addition to nurturing a love for learning for the school-aged kids.  And now that my homeschooled kids are all teenagers, I STILL feel like I could use more help to multiply my time.  After all–I want my kids to get everything they need, but I need a few things every now and then too.  (the nerve!)

 

We have been longtime fans of audio books in our family.  With two dyslexic kids, and with a whole tribe that also loved to build with Legos while they listened, audio books have provided hours and hours of enriching entertainment and literature exposure without adding one more thing to my To Do list.  (except, of course, wrangling kiddos through the library, keeping track of all the discs, paying for the ones that got broken, and paying all the late fees…..)  I’m so happy with the solution I found.  Affiliate links have been used in this post.

 

Last year I decided to try out Audible.  Audible starts out with a free 30-day trial where you can get two audio books of your choice.  After that you can become a Gold Member (ooh la la!  Sounds so fancy!) and pay $14.95 per month and get one audio book per month.  They also have some great discounts and sales for members that have allowed me to get two books per credit, or add books to our membership for just a couple bucks.

 

Although I had heard about it before, I had never bothered to look into it too deeply.  The books I had seen in the ads didn’t look like books I would want to read, and certainly didn’t make me think Homeschool Tool.

 

But then I saw some other homeschool moms talking about all the great classic literature available on audible and how they loved using it with their kids, and I decided to check it out.

 

Jackpot!!!

 

Audible has TONS of books that coordinate with Sonlight and other literature-based curricula, as well as books that your kids will just enjoy reading.  And not only that–these books are usually read by famous actors and skilled storytellers that do a wonderful job of conveying the storyline, building suspense, adding voices and special effects, etc.  If you aren’t a gifted out-loud reader, you and your kids will LOVE having books read to you in this way!  (and if you’re like me and truly love reading books to your kids, Audible can be perfect for times when you’re not available or need to free up a few hours to do something else.)  Yeah, it might be $14.95 for a book, but when the book takes 10 or 20 hours of your life to read, sister, THAT is a bargain!  So whether you are recovering from having a baby or the flu, want to get ahead in the kitchen, or just take a nap, audible is there for you.

 

Books we have already gotten from Audible:

The Green Ember:  8 hours

The Fellowship of the Ring:  19 hours

The Hobbit:  11 hours

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn:  10 hours

(And ohmyword fellow mothers–when your kids love fantasy books and you just hate to read them, or they want to listen to the Redwall series, but you don’t want to struggle through all the accents and such, Audible is a godsend!!!)

 

Other Audible Books that Homeschool Moms will love:

    • A Little Princess
    • Homer Price
    • Harry Potter
    • Swiss Family Robinson
    • The Penderwicks
    • Mary Poppins
    • 50 Famous Stories Retold
    • The Railway Children by Edith Mesbit
    • Robin Hood
    • Parables from Nature
    • Caddie Woodlawn
    • Anne of Green Gables
    • Paddle to the Sea
    • Winnie-the-Pooh
    • Charlotte’s Web
    • The Wind in the Willows
    • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
    • The Door in the Wall
    • Aesop’s Fables
    • The Jungle Book
    • Pride and Prejudice
    • Great Expectations
    • Uncle Tom’s Cabin
    • The Count of Monte Cristo
    • The Scarlet Letter
    • To Kill a Mockingbird
    • Robinson Crusoe
    • Oliver Twist
    • The Old Man and the Sea
    • Animal Farm

 

And about a zillion more!  

 

Try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks

 

Audible has several options and benefits for you. You can start with a simple 30-day Free Trial and get 2 free audiobooks so you can see how easy it is. We mostly use the audible app on my phone for listening, but you can also listen through the computer, and share the books between devices if you have certain kids that want to listen during their afternoon rest time or whenever it works for them.

 

Monthly members get 1 new audiobook of your choice each month. And yes, if you don’t make a selection, that credit will just sit in your account til you’re ready for it. 

 

Monthly members also get 30% off other audiobooks, plus access to exclusive sales that are often BOGO or deep discounts. (I get a lot of homeschool books this way! Very economical, and I’ll always be able to find the book when I need it!)

 

If you don’t like a book, you can swap it! So, for classics that have more than one version available, this is great if you find that the one you got isn’t as enjoyable as you expected.  (however, Audible has customer reviews, which makes it really easy to choose a winner)

 

You can also purchase audible books through amazon, straight-up, with no membership. It’ll cost you a little more, but might work for those of you that aren’t interested in the member benefits.

 

Having a helper to keep my kids enjoying great literature even when I can’t personally read to them has been a huge benefit for us!  I hope it’ll be a help to you as well.

4 Comments

  1. Thanks so much for this! I’m just like the earlier-you that you described: not sure that audible sounded like a good idea. But you’ve convinced me to give it a try!! Thanks for the thorough review!!

    Reply
  2. I like Audible, but for the truly frugal, check out your local library! We are so fortunate that we have an amazing library in our area, and they offer not only great audiobooks on cd, but digital audiobooks for immediate download! Nothing to lose or break, no late fees, it just downloads to your device and you’re good to go. In addition, there is no limit to how many digital books you can utilize in a month. It has been a Godsend for us!

    Reply
  3. I have heard good things about Audible. I happen to like reading aloud, and my kids like me reading better than the idea of listening to someone else. If you’re wanting to get your feet wet with audiobooks and aren’t sure when you can get to the library, check out librivox.org . Librivox hosts audio versions of books in the public domain (so, all of your classics, including some obscure stuff) recorded by amateurs- but it’s all free. Yes, some readers are better than others, and few are going to be as good as a professional actor reading in a good sound booth, but if you want to try it out with little hassle, Librivox.org might work for you. So far, my favorite reader is Karen Savage, who read several Jane Austen works as well as The Scarlet Pimpernel back in 2007 or so. Her recordings hold up and her accents are so nice to hear. Plus, she knows how to pronounce “Chauvelin”! Librivox has an app, which is also free. I think the selection is easier to browse on the site, but the app is still nice because you can download what you want and take it with you. So, librivox.org .

    Reply
    • Thanks for the tip! I include quite a few Librivox resources in our Great American Poets collections.

      Reply

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