I am not a homeschooling mom, and yet, I find myself homeschooling.

I am a little out of my element. And I am always looking for help, inspiration, and a hack or two. This month I have discovered a keeper!

I allotted 70 lbs for books when we flew from Canada to Argentina, but many are homeschool texts, so I still find we run short of stories.

Audio books helped fill that gap when English titles were scarce in our part South Korea.

I’ve known for awhile that listening to more stories would be good. An upcoming road trip would be the perfect time for more audio books! But our 2009 van has a much older after-market stereo. AM-FM, CD, and cassette! (No USB port. Cassette, people!!)

Podcasts on the phone or iPad aren’t loud enough for everyone to hear. So, I was stuck.

Until today.

Today, we drove the 40 minutes to horse back riding in exquisite silence except for the occasional, “Shhh! I can’t hear!” and “Mom, can you turn it up?”

Our return trip was long enough to listen to My Father’s Dragon in its entirety.

My Father’s Dragon, by Ruth Stiles Gannet is a delightful tale.  I tells of the narrator’s father and his childhood expedition to Wild Island to rescue an enslaved baby dragon. He meets many colorful animals along the way and helps/ tricks each one to avoid being eaten.

The kids were enthralled! (I’ve gotta say, I like the story, too.)

I kept thinking, “Why didn’t I do this sooner?!”

And if I’m thinking that, there’s a good chance someone else could benefit from my little discovery. So, I’m sharing.

All I had to do was find Librivox, where volunteers have recorded works in the public domain and main them available for free. I downloaded the zip file. Extracted it and burned it to CD. It took a few steps and some waiting (downloading here can be s-l-o-w), but for a long blissfully quiet drive, so worth it!

The first step was where I had help. I’d never heard of Librivox until I started listening to the RAR (Read Aloud Revival) podcast. This is one great resource for homeschoolers and any parent who wants to encourage reading! Especially parents of reluctant readers.

Sarah MacKenzie’s podcast is bursting with practical suggestions to get you reading with the kids in your life. Listening inspires me to engage in classic literature and talk about the stories with my kids (both of which can be a little intimidating).

Besides introducing me to Librivox, Sarah also provides a booklist of curated best audiobooks in categories like “First Chapter Books”, “Best Board Books”, “Best Read Alouds for Big Families”, and “Best Audio Books”.

They’ve even selected the best recordings on Librivox so you can be sure to avoid starting out with a dud!

I’m off to download a Bobsey Twins adventure!

I’d love to hear what stories you find!

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