Monday, September 15, 2008

my new favorite school supply

Seriously... we use it a lot this year.

I've always loved the idea of the Ambleside Online curriculum but I was never sure how to pull it off with both kids. This year I decided that I was just going to give it serious consideration. The first step was deciding that it would be Alex's curriculum, not a shared curriculum between the two of them. The next concern was the amount of reading. There is a lot of reading. I didn't want to burn him out, nor, with it being just his curriculum, could I spend much time reading aloud to him.

Enter Most of the Ambleside Online books for year one are on Librivox as free audio downloads. I downloaded Our Island Story, Burgess Bird Book for Children, Just So Stories (there are two versions on Librivox, the one I linked to is my favorite reader) and Fifty Famous Stories Retold and then loaded them onto my iPod. Other year one books are there too... Aesop's Fables and the Blue Fairy Book... but I didn't want to overdo the iPod thing and he should do some actual reading :-)

The many of the books are found free online, so I read them on my computer when I have time so we can discuss what Alex has listened to. So far the whole thing is working quite well. It's also very portable. I can throw my iPod into my purse as we head out the door and he can listen to his stories while waiting for Clara while she's in class.

Another free audio download resourse is Kiddie Records. There are a lot of fun stories but I also downloaded a bunch of educational files as well. I haven't listened to them all yet, but here are some that I have for us to listen to...

From the 2006 list:
Peter and the Wolf - for a music appreciation study
Pan the Piper - possible music appreciation study (not sure, haven't listened to it yet)
Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book - a good story to listen to
The Twelve Dancing Princesses - because Clara loves that story
By Rocket to the Moon - astronomy
What are Stars - astronomy
The House at Pooh Corner - because Alex still loves Winnie the Pooh stories (shhh... don't tell)
The Nutcracker Suite for Children - to go with Clara's ballet study I haven't talked about yet

From the 2007 list:
Leoncavallo's Pagliacci - music appreciation, opera study
Walt Disney's Adventures in Music: Melody - music appreciation
Capitol Music Appreciation Singles:
Peer Gynt's Adventures in the Hall of the Mountain King - music appreciation
The Three Cornered Hat - music appreciation
Swan Lake - Clara's ballet study
Waltz of the Flowers from the Nutcracker Suite - Clara's ballet study
Lincoln Records Singles - just realized I missed these, should probably download the following
Gilbert and Sullivan's HMS Pinafore
Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado
Adventures Beyond the Sky - astronomy

From the Bonus list:
Fun with Instruments - music appreciation
The Barber of Seville - music apprecation - opera
Stories of the Ballets: Tyl and his Merry Pranks - Clara's ballet study
The Little Fiddle - music apprecation

I'm not sure how much we will use these as actual "school" stuff and how much will just be nice audio stories to have on hand to pass the time while waiting for a doctor's appointment or the like.

Between Alex's Ambleside books and the Kiddie Records... my iPod is my surprise favorite school supply so far this year!

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