Monday, January 26, 2009

Special Offer From Times Tales

I've told you in the past about how much we have loved using Times Tales to help our kids remember multiplication facts. It has been many months since first using the system and it is STILL helping us! What a great product! Well, from now until Feb. 20 they are offering a special deal where you can get $5 off when you purchase Times Tales with the Mini Flip Chart (which makes it easy for the kids to quiz themselves on the memory stories). Just use coupon code NLFREEFLIP at checkout to get your discount.


Saturday, January 17, 2009

Audio Book Resources

A friend of mine agreed to let me share this wonderful list of audio resources that she and her children have enjoyed over the years. Have fun!

I have satellite radio and I am addicted to the old time radio show channel- much to my now older children's shagrin! They have a website where you can go and order or sign up to get low cost downloads (We have SLOW dial up, so I can't do this). Its
When I googled old time radio, I got lots: - Old Time Radio Shows
Listen to hundreds of old time radio shows online for free: Superman, Groucho Marx, The Avenger, Gunsmoke, Sherlock Homes, and many others.

Free Old Time Radio Shows - Free OTR Downloads In MP3
Free Old Time Radio Shows from "The Golden Age of Radio!"
Features some of the most popular old time radio programs of the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s.

The Old Time Radio Network
Oct 23, 2008 ... Over 12000 old time radio shows you can listen to for free. We add about 100 more every week.

Free Old Time Radio Downloads | OTR | Old Radio Shows

Site for collectors to buy, sell and trade radio shows from the 60's, 70's and 80's.

Listen for free to hundreds of old time radio shows online or download them: Amos and Andy, Jack Benny, Lone Ranger, Gunsmoke, Our Miss Brooks, Whistler, ...

Homeschool Radio Shows sends links weekly (or even more often) to listen online or download and listen later. It's EXCELLENT for homeschooling.

Jim Weiss is our all-time favorite reader/storyteller and our original avenue into this audio world. His website is: He has a timeline you can use to find a story in an era of study which is very helpful. Outstanding.

Another great option is the Rabbit Ears series.

I would also highly recommend the Classics for Kids website and audio series. They have wonderful historical fiction stories about composers. We listened to Beethoven Lives Upstairs many, many times! This website also has a "sign up" feature and has lots of activities, etc.

We have gotten things, including Jim Weiss items, from an excellent catalog called Chinaberry.

Another excellent source is We've gotten their catalog in the past.

A source which has some titles with which I am familiar, but am not totally familiar with the site is:

Others I found, but don't have experience with (but sound good!): Kids audiobooks for your iPod most appear to be free!!

There's an "audio magazine" that we have enjoyed called Boomerang. Chinaberry has, in the past, offered some of them, but you can also subscribe. In Chinaberry, it had a set of cassettes that had just one feature of the Boomerang mag. that was a favorite. My youngest son listened to and loved that so much that he got his best friend hooked on them and ultimately got him his own copies for a gift!

There's much more, but, finally, I'd say that most classics/Newberry award winners that are read as audio books are great. I have found that the more recent Newberry winners tend to be less stringent on their moral standards, so be aware of this. For example, The Wolves of Willougby Chase and The Cay, both of which we checked out from the library, are a couple of our most favorite listens of all time. The Cay was read by Lavar Burton (there's another out now, which is not as good, we think, but that has an excellent interview with the author at the end!) and Wolves was read by Lynn Redgrave. Both readers are wonderful. I will look for things read by readers that we've enjoyed in the past. Oh, and we loved Call it Courage read by Lou Diamond Phillips.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Fun Poetry Class

I don't know if I've mentioned it here before, but I am quite unsatisfied with Sonlight 3's choice of the book Classic Poetry. It's everything that children expect poetry to be--dreary, boring, and difficult to understand. I have no idea why Sonlight would choose this book.

So, we've been reading Shel Silverstein poetry, which they gobble up and beg for more. Of course.

And then we found something neat and I used it to do two poetry classes this week.

Over at Great Homeschool Videos they have three YouTube videos depicting Robert Frost's poem The Road Less Traveled. (though some called it The Road Not Taken...) First I found the poem online and read it to the kids and we talked about what it meant. Then we watched each of the videos and talked about what we did and didn't like about each, and how each one did or didn't convey what we felt the poem was saying.

Another day we did the same thing with Robert Frost's poem Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening.
We did the same thing with that one.

What I really liked about this was the way we could dive into one simple poem, understand it, and then see how others saw it or told the story. It was fun for variety as well. I had never thought about You Tube as a possibility for poetry lessons, but I will be looking for more of this kind of stuff in the future. It looks like there is a lot more to choose from there.