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Hi, my name is Jen & I’m a book junkie. Seriously, I read hundreds of books a year and took an extra year to get my bachelors because it wasn’t until my junior year that I narrowed down whether I was going to get an accounting, business, or computer degree. I contemplated getting about 12 associates just because I was interested in so many things.

life long learning for busy moms

I really love the Thomas Jefferson Education ideas and since I’m a voracious learner it works really well with how the hubs and I think. One of the things they emphasize is that the parents need to be learning themselves. I’m a firm believer that they catch a love of books & learning. All 3 of my children will spend 20 minutes or more listening to me read. I have 7 & 4 year old girls and a 20 month old boy. He won’t nurse without a book.

Be still my heart.

So how do you fit education into your busy homeschool mom day? Here are 3 of my favorite ways to incorporate learning into my busy life as a working homeschool mom.

Listen Up!

While I am not an personally an auditory learner, I still love to listen to audio seminars. It’s a perfect thing to do when I’m doing things like folding laundry or scrubbing toilets.

Learning for the Ears

Hoopla. Your public library probably offers audiobooks or online access to audiobooks, movies and books via Hoopla or another program.

Audible. With Audible’s membership program, you can get a book a month. The BEST part of Audible’s membership is access to the audio files of The Great Courses. I’ve been learning about Greek history in depth while my second grader studies ancient history.

Amazon & WhisperSync. Some Kindle books from Amazon are enabled with Whispersync. For a low rate (usually $3 or less) Kindle books enabled with Whispersoft allow to to switch seamlessly between your Kindle and audiobook and back again. It will detect your place in the book on your Kindle device and start the audiobook there. When you go back to your Kindle book, it will pick up right where you left off. How cool is that!

Historical Audio Dramas. While most of these are for children, I have learned a ton as well. We won a copy of Your Story Hour and we’ve loved those historical audio dramas. I’ve also reviewed Brinkman Adventures, a Christian missionary series, and In Freedoms Cause, the story of Wallace & Bruce. If you subscribe to Homeschool Freebie of the Day’s newsletter, they also periodically offer collections of books & audio dramas.

Reading in Stolen Moments

As an addictive reader, I keep books everywhere. There are books near every couch, by my bed, the bathrooms and even the kitchen. I have books for all areas of my life — Catholicism, marriage, parenting, homemaking/work, health and even some fiction for fun.

Physical books. Libraries are great sources for books, but I find I can’t get good Catholic books that way. I know finding religious books in general can be difficult. Look into alternate “libraries” like your church or mom’s group. I also find a lot of books used on Amazon.

Kindle Books. I love having a library of books wherever I am and look for awesome deals on Kindle books. A lot of times you can get popular Christian titles for $3 or less if you are willing to wait a few years and get lucky. They are usually only discounted for a few days or hours.

Your favorite deal or book blog is a great source for finding those deals. I also check kindle versus new versus used pricing to find the best deal. I always go with print if the price is close because I can resell the book :).

Book Clubs. This has been a God-send for me. I have been hosting a local group of the Well-Read Mom book club and have had my reading choices stretched. In a good way. Plus, fellowship with other Catholic moms. And chocolate. Duh. Online book clubs are great, too. Various bloggers will have book clubs and the last several book club selections at CatholicMom.com have been great books!

Educational Television

While books are my favorite way to learn, sometimes I just don’t feel like reading.  Especially in the evening after I have spent an entire winter day reading aloud to my kiddos!  When that is the case, I aim for a little learning from my favorite visual sources!

The Great Courses. These are my favorites! Twice a year (or maybe more often), these Ivy League quality DVD/Audio courses are available for 60-80% off. I just purchased three more Great Courses a few months ago. They also have an app and any program you purchase includes download access!

Amazon Prime. Because not having to take 3 kids to the store when you are almost out of diapers and toilet paper when sick isn’t awesome enough, you can also stream a ton of TV for free. Discovery and the History Channel are my favorites, but you can find educational TV on almost any subject.

Netflix. I have been watching The Inexplicable Universe–a series of lectures on quantum physics by Neil Degrass Tyson, an astrophysicist I was introduced to in my first ever course from The Great Courses. The Hubs & I have also been watching The Men Who Made America which has been fascinating. We also saw a show about the Midians getting their copper from the UP. What?!?!? Obviously, all documentaries are not created equal, but it’s an interesting way to learn and exercise critical thinking skills :).



It’s so important to not only learn, but share about what you are learning with your kids, especially when they may not see you doing it. How do they know the difference between your novel, playing FreeFall or reading a history text on your phone? Or know that you are learning about physics when they are in bed? Share what you are learning or study with them. When you are excited about learning, they will be, too!


Interested in using books for learning in your home or homeschool? Check out my newest post at the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog — Book-Based Learning.

What do you love to study in your free time?

Jen S.

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