Free Books I Found While Planning for Next School Year!

This is not my typical kind of post, but if you could have seen me the other night hooping and hollering every time I snagged a freebie from next year’s book list, you would get why I just had to share with all of you!

In my post on affording the large family homeschool, I talked about using free stuff to homeschool.  One of the free things I mentioned was public domain works.  Now that I have an iPad these are a little more enticing to me.  I never wanted to use these before because I didn’t want to lug my 17″ laptop all over the house with me.  But having a much smaller and more portable device and the ability to use the Kindle app (works for PC too!) to store the books on Kindle until I am ready for them gave me the idea that I ought to search through my list of books for next year and see what I could find that was public domain.

By the way, we have decided to use Tapestry of Grace Year 2 for next school year, so the book list I was searching was from there and primarily for my junior high and high school aged children.  And yes, I promise to write a post about our choice to go back to Tapestry of Grace after all these years. :)

Please remember these books must be previewed by you, the parent.  Also be aware that you do not see HOW I use these materials in our homeschool.  I may be skipping sections, giving an overview of the work, or reading the entire book aloud.

So, here’s what I found!


I went with this version of Arabian Nights because one review called it the “sanitized children’s version”.

For those of you unfamiliar with the real “unsanitized” version of Canterbury Tales, this is not a book you read straight through. ;)

Beowulf is not an easy read and I didn’t read it until I was in college, so I plan to skim sections with my children. There is a children’s version available, but not for free.

Not a light read I am sure!

This book, set in the middle ages, is one that I am very excited to be putting in the hands of my oldest son!

Frankly, I’m looking forward to reading this! I’ve heard it is a good read.

If you buy this in the complete version it is $.99, but if you get the two volumes separate, it is free. Go figure.

My oldest son will be earning a Government credit next year. This is part of that credit.

We own a hardcover version of this book as well (picked up from a used book sale!), but I wanted the opportunity for two children to read the book at the same time without needing to share the book.

In order to get Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, I had to get this selection rather than just the sermon itself which costs $.99.

The reviews on this particular book won me over as this being the sort of thing I was looking for.

Again, we own this in hard copy, but I wanted to give both my older children the chance to read this at the same time and not have to share a book.

As for the other books on my list, I am saving up Amazon gift cards from being an affiliate and as Swagbucks prizes. I’m starting to list what I need on PaperBackSwap as well with the hopes I can find some there for cheap too. I also plan to utilize my library as much as possible!

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39 thoughts on “Free Books I Found While Planning for Next School Year!

      • Check out the Lamplighter authors, EDEN Southworth, Hesba Stratton, A.L.O.E., are just a few. I have found, at least on the Nook, that they can be a little difficult to read for the kids, but I haven’t really had a problem…Also Elizabeth Prentiss’ books as well. We’ve got tons of Ballantyne and Henty books downloaded that you won’t find in the VF catalog…also Elsie Dinsmore.

  1. There is so much available free! I know the longer I have my kindle, the more I like it. I thought I would never want to give up my bound books, and for some things I don’t. But the availability and readability on with the e-ink is amazing. For the dyslexic child, or one is who struggling for some reason, the classic version has text to voice. Sometimes it’s helpful to buy a version of a kindle book. I try to read the responses, and if the free one is difficult to navigate to the right chapter or page, I usually pay a dollar or two to avoid frustration.
    Another great resource, also put together by a TOG mom, is http://www.myaudioschool.com. About 1/3 of it is free, the rest is around $15 a year, which I wonder if it even covers her costs! She has history and literature resources organized into time-periods. Yes, some are in the public domain, but she has done all the searching!
    Thank you for the informative and encouraging post. We do not need to skimp on great literature of give up on home education because of the costs!

    • I was going to recommend myaudioschool.com We listen to a lot of the free selections. We found the children’s Beowulf by H E Marshall either there or Librivox. We love listening at lunch to some of these great stories. I have mostly younger learners/readers so do most of our lit as read-alouds. This helps us to hear more and save my voice (occasionally I eat, too! ;) )

    • I didn’t think I would ever be able to read on an electronic device either, but it has been so helpful for school! I have hear of My Audio School and checked it out years ago…I’ll have to take a look again.

  2. Are you doing year 2? We’ve gotten through the first half of year 2. I’m looking forward to studying the colonies with the kids. I know you went to the MPE conference last month. Are you close enough to go to their booksale next month in Johnson County, KS? It’s always huge and I can usually find a lot of books there that I need.

  3. Thank you for this resource! I also wanted to mention that I use Dover books. You need to be really cautious because there is a good sprinkling of stuff I know I don’t want my kids to read but they have a huge variety of subjects. They also have a bargain section where you can get paperback copies of some of the classics and a lot of famous speeches and historical works, etc. for $1-$5 or so. This is great if you want your kids to each have a copy. They can underline and notate all they want to at that price!

  4. Amy, did you know that you can also check out ebooks from our library? We love using the freebies we find for the Kindle app on the iPad! I found a lot of free classics and children’s books too! Looks like a great list, I snagged a few of those too.

    • Yes! I just realized that! Again, it wasn’t until I got this iPad that I started really paying attention. I was one of those “I will never read a book on an electronic device” holdouts. ;)

  5. How interesting that you are going back to TOG. I have a love/hate relationship with it. I still think it’s terrific for my older kids. So full of info, but I haven’t been impressed with it for my 6th and younger crowd. I wish MOH would come out with their next book. I’d use it for the youngers and have the olders listen in. BUT we are finishing TOG Y3, so we’ve been way past the Renaissance for quite awhile. Sigh.

    Yes, the iPad has been great for free books for TOG. So many great finds! Good for you!

    • I’m only using TOG w/ my older children. I have had a love/hate relationship with them too, but all in all, what they learned through TOG has stuck and it’s been good. I am getting better and better at taking the meat and leaving the bones of everything we do. ;)

  6. Oooooh…. I’ve been having a quick browse through the Tapestry of Grace site and this might turn out to be the one for us! I’m looking forward to your post about it.

  7. When my oldest son was younger (I think he was 10) an episode of Jonathan Park was talking about Beowulf. He was so interested in finding out more, that we researched to find child-friendly versions.We found a version that had duel columns- one column was written in the original and other in modern English-at our local library.

    I also look for free books for both my son’s and my own Kindle, the free books are a great blessing, but I have to admit that I love the smell and feel of physical books,

    Jim Erskine at Homeschool Freebie of the Day also offers a lot of wonderful free e-books, and audiobooks , as well as, other helpful things for homeschoolers.

    I also like My Audio School–lots of stories to listen to, there is a free section and a subscription area, I believe the subscriptions are $15.00 a year.

  8. My oldest just finished read the Joan of Arc.book. She could hardly put it down!

    We have so loved having our Kindle for reading books – it has made our now infrequent trips to the library much easier to bear.

    A year ago, we really didn’t take advantage of it, but then a cousin bought me a Kindle for my birthday … and then my daughter saved enough money for a laptop and put Kindle for PC on that, now we all have Kindle on PC, and a few weeks ago, a friend sent us her old Kindle 2. Now we can hardly believe we ever lived without them!

    My youngest 2 (ages 6 and 2) will even pull up my Kindle for PC and sit and read the children’s books together. The 6 year old practices his reading skills and the 2 year old learns her colors, shapes, Alphabet, and whatever else he is reading. Their favorite is “My Pet Dragon” and several cat and kitten books.

    I look forward to your future posts!

  9. I found Sinners in the Hand of an Angry God on the Nook for free….You can get a nook app as well for free. I’ve been having a great time getting tons of free books from KINDLE and NOOK…I got a Nook Color for Christmas and we got three of the kids the Simple Nooks….I find more free books that I want on Kindle, so now I wish we had gotten Kindles instead. Dh has an iPad with both apps on it, but it is for his work. I may have to get one!

  10. I have the free kindle reading app for my pc (I have no kindle or ipad) but I don’t really use it regularly. I may just have to go digging on Amazon now ;) Your post caught my attn. b/c I recently wrote a similar post about planning to search garage sales for books for our next homeschool year. One of our local libraries is also giving away books too.

    • I typically keep a list of books we are needing and scour used book sales and such. I have a harder time doing that now as I’m not able to take the children by myself and really focus like I need to. I didn’t use the app on my pc either. Something about staring at a big computer screen didn’t appeal to me.

  11. We use almost nothing but public domain books in our homeschool! We’re doing AO year 1 this year, I had to sub a few books I couldn’t afford, but I spent a total of $12 on books for 2 kids! Can’t beat that!

  12. So excited that you have shared these websites today. I have already joined the book clubs :) Also, we too are doing TOG year 2 this year! I will be watching closely and hope you will blog about your TOG happenings during the school year! Thanks for offering such a great blog site!! Blessings!

  13. I also use PaperBack Swap. I post some of my books on there when we get done with them. If you’d like to have me as a friend on there let me know. I also use an iPad for flash cards for my daughter as well as a “whiteboard” app. We love it!

      • It would just give you someone you know is a homeschooler as a friend. You could check my bookshelf to see if there are any books I have posted that you’d like to have. It would be the same for me.

        • Aha! I see…I had no idea what the friend feature was for. I’m terrible about doing stuff like that, so I will try to remember. ;)

  14. I used librivox.org for free audio books, they had quite a few that we’re on the year 2 list, the other place to go and look is The Gutenberg project, I hope this helps