The Tech Homeschooler
Fortunately, many of the great books we often want our children to read and
hear are available for free if you know where to go.
Literature is one of the pillars of any educational system, and of course the key to literature is reading a lot of books. Fortunately, many of the great books we often
want our children to read and hear are
available for free if you know where to go.
There is certainly value in traditional paper books, but it’s also possible to supplement traditional materials with E-Books
and other online resources. You do not
need a specialized E-Book reader to read
literature online. Most of the resources I
describe in this article can be read on a
computer, a tablet, or even a phone.
U.S. copyright law allows books to be
released into the public domain some
time after the author has died. (The exact
time span has changed through the years
but is now seventy years after the author’s
death, in most cases.) This means that a
book that was written before the 1930s
may be available for free if you know how
Note that not every book that is in an
electronic format is available for free.
However, there are many resources for
purchasing E-Books online legally, in-
cluding Amazon.com, the iTunes store,
and more. For this article, I will focus on
the free resources you might not already
Any discussion of literature on the web
must begin with Project Gutenberg. The
basic idea of this project is to gather all
the literature that is in the common domain and make it available to anyone.
The result is an excellent online library
consisting of thousands of books in
many languages. Check out the site to get
a feel for the various offerings on this incredible site.
Most of the books on this site can be
downloaded in a number of formats that
can be read on a normal computer or
any E-Reader. Since the site focuses on
books in the public domain, these tend
to be older books. Many of the classic
books you may want to assign for a lit-
erature class will be available on this site.
Note that the site offers a wide variety of
books, and not all topics are suitable for
children. You will definitely want to be
with children as they look for materials
on the site. (There are no objectionable
images or words on the site itself, but
there are some works with prurient con-
tent in the archive.)
Online Books Page
The Online Books Page is a project of
the University of Pennsylvania library.
It includes more than a million titles
available to read freely on the Internet.
While it has some of the same content
found within the Gutenberg Project, it
also has materials from other sources. I
have found this to be an especially good
resource for nonfiction materials and
books that have more recently entered
the public domain.
Baldwin Online Children’s
This wonderful resource contains hundreds of children’s books (mostly from
the 1930s and earlier). Although most of
the titles will not be not familiar to modern readers, you are likely to find interesting books to read together. The history
section is especially interesting.