I have blogged previously about how much I love Scribd. It started out as a file sharing service a long time ago - a place to upload documents you wanted others to be able to access. It definitely preceded Google Docs. I know I used it way before Google Docs, anyway. In the past couple of years, though, Scribd completely reinvented itself. I found about that reinvention through a Plum District deal. I think I got 6 months of Scribd for something like $20 - I don't know; it was ridiculous. In any case, I was completely hooked. Scribd is now a book subscription service like Kindle Unlimited (which I also love and to which I also subscribe), but even better. Why? They have added audiobooks! Yes, Kindle Unlimited has Audible narration included with some of its books (and lets you purchase the narration at a heavy discount with a whole bunch of others), but Scribd has over 30,000 audiobooks completely independent of its print book selection. In fact, it has many cases of books that have audio, but no print. Given that it's subscription fee is $1 less than KU per month, I say if you have to choose, choose Scribd.
Michael (10) "reads like he owns every book in the world" (one of Scribd's catchphrases - which I love because it describes me and my book hoarding/collecting/ADHD self so perfectly) since we got Scribd. Although I always make sure that I have books checked out on Kindle Unlimited for him, he prefers Scribd. Because I can save books to my library (with a special "Kids" collection), he can browse just the books that I have set aside for him. I would definitely not recommend letting kids do an open search on Scribd. Inappropriate results are a definite possibility. In any case, Michael has read hundreds of books on Scribd in every genre. I can do a whole post on books of interest to 10 year-olds if anyone is interested (if so, please do comment).
Do you need to justify Scribd as a homeschooling expense? Let me help you. Check out Princeton University Press's offerings. Or maybe you have younger kids? How about Laurie Carlson's books:
I am one of those people who listened to podcasts years ago. That's probably not surprising, given that I am a huge fan of both talk radio and old time radio. Podcasts are like the love child of that union. After awhile I guess I burned out or missed audio books or something. Recently, though, I was with my sisters and they were talking about their newest obsession, the podcast "Serial." Well, in the course of looking up "Serial," my OCD/hoarding tendencies overcame me and my phone is once more loaded up with podcasts. I think I am currently subscribed to 100. I won't bore you with all 100 (although I would not subscribe to an inferior podcast!), but this post is the first in a weekly series of what I think are the best podcasts for homeschoolers. Each week, I'll discuss five of the best podcasts out there for homeschoolers. In the penultimate week, I'll give you the list of podcasts that aren't necessarily homeschool-related/friendly, but are really great. In the final week, I'll throw in all those podcasts that are my guilty pleasures (the ones I would never let my children listen to).
Witness is my new favorite podcast. I can't get enough of it. Each episode is 9 minutes long and covers an event in history through primary source documentation. Often it is through an interview with the person who lived through it. Sometimes it is through the compilation and reading of newspaper or journal accounts. Often it is supplemented with BBC news reports from the time. Best of all, it is a daily podcast and there are archived episodes going back to 2010 (although there are only 41 episodes in 2010). One of the neatest things about it is that it is, of course, a production of the BBC, meaning that the perspective one gets on topics is not Americentric. The best way to understand why it is so great is to give it a listen. It's just terrific.
A History of the World in 100 Objects may be familiar to some people as a book, but there is a
BackStory is a longer podcast, coming at one hour per episode. Its format is also a little different than the ones presented thus far. Headed up by two historians, each show looks at a specific topic (recent ones include "What Gives," a history of philanthropy and giving in America and "Tyrannophobia," a look at the history of the use and abuse of executive power. The "American History Guys" bring in other historians and experts and even engage callers as they explore the topic over the course of the hour. Again, it's amazing how much I find I don't know (and, I'll admit, it's edifying to find out how much I *do* know!).
I now have four children 10+. I could ruminate for hours on how that happened, but the answer is plain old time (and not the wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey stuff - the boring old linear stuff).
Warning: what follows is a completely self-indulgent post. Here are a few of my *least* favorite things...
- Repetitive sounds - included among these are my dog licking himself, people eating anything remotely crunchy or squishy or...well, people eating.
- People who write "defiantly" when they mean "definitely." Start watching for it. It's everywhere.
- People who write "The Delgado's" when they mean "The Delgados." When I say that the Delgados will attend, I mean that my family will go somewhere. If I say the Delgado's will attend, I must mean that something belonging to us will go somewhere and I have left off a crucial part of the sentence (maybe our dog who won't stop licking himself will be going somewhere - that would be great).
- People who comment online about what other people can afford. It happens on Facebook, but it's *rampant* on YouTube. I watch beauty bloggers on YouTube - no secret. Well, some of them use really expensive makeup and buy expensive clothes and bags. Some of them are even my age and are married. When they talk about what they have bought, though, they are treated to thousands of comments along the lines of, "Must be nice to be so rich," or "You shouldn't assume that everyone can afford all the stuff you do," or "You risk alienating your audience when you emphasize the economic differences between us." (I lied - I made that last one up - that's what the ignoramuses are trying to say. They just have no idea how to get the words out.) Note to the commenters - what is expensive to you is chump change to someone else. When I was in high school (as most of you are!), a $16 lipstick was a luxury I could only dream about. Now it's (sadly, I admit) a luxury I indulge in. A multi-hundred dollar bag was money I couldn't even imagine wasting...until I married the world's most generous man. IT'S ALL RELATIVE. If you don't like the channel, change it. I can't (and wouldn't) buy Chanel, Tom Ford, and Burberry makeup, but I have a lot of fun watching people who do. I sure as heck wouldn't blast someone on their own channel for how they spend their own money. It's probably freedom of speech or something, right? It's all freedom of speech. People don't know the Bill of Rights (what??) from their elbow, but they sure know freedom of speech.
- People who turn every rant into something about freedom of speech like that yo-yo
I am a bad blogger. November has been the month of unexpected events. A surgery. A major (non-medical) diagnosis. I have actually picked up my computer less in November than I think I ever have since I got a laptop in graduate school (yes, I am very old).
Having said that (i.e., having made my excuses, ahem), there are many things for which I am very grateful this Thanksgiving. In many ways the only one that matters is my Catholic faith. Being a Cradle Catholic is the best gift I have ever been given. I never take it for granted. With it, I can go through anything and achieve anything. My constant struggle is remembering to pray for one thing only - that God's will be done in all things. This coming year, I am going to focus on making that prayer my primary one. Happy Thanksgiving.
I know that school just started (well, to clarify - the school year with its activities just got started. We school year-round. The addition of activities just makes it harder to get school done! That's the life of the unsocialized homeschooler!) Speech and debate take a fair amount of time. Therese and Mary-Catherine not only have dance, but Therese also assists in three classes of 3-7 year olds, so it really feels like we live at dance. The only reason we aren't there five days a week instead of four is because Debate takes the entirety of Thursday evening-night.
In any case, I'm already at the point where I want time off! The Crew year is winding down (my last two reviews for 2014 will come next week!). I have been on the Crew since 2010 and can't imagine my life without it (the weeks between the last reviews and finding out if we have been selected for the new Crew year are probably the longest of the year for Crewbies!). The girls' dance teachers are choreographing Christmas dances. It feels like vacation should be imminent! And yet the calendar says it's only early November! I don't know what it is about this time of year that makes me want to vacate. Maybe it's the cooler weather. Maybe it's the time change. Maybe it's the fact that I'm basically a sloth. I really just want to sit and knit all day.
Speaking of knitting all day, Henry has taken up beading as a hobby and he made me some beautiful stitch markers. Typically I use toddler hair elastics (the small plastic ones you can get for $1 for 500 of them) because I have never wanted to pay for the beautiful beaded ones. This morning, though, he gave me these!