College while Cleaning: or learning on the go

If there were one household duty I would gladly resign, it would be ironing. Since entrusting a three year old with a hot iron probably isn’t such a brilliant idea, I think I’m stuck with the job [except on those mornings when my already over-worked husband wakes up to find not a single ironed shirt in his closet.]

That’s one of the reasons I love modern technology. While steadily conquering that pile of shirts, there are so many wonderful free things to listen to.

Librivox.org– Volunteers from around the world have combined forces to provide free audio versions of numerous works in the public domain. Recordings range from poetry and fiction to politics and science. Since done completely on a volunteer basis there is a wide range of recording quality, but many are simply outstanding. Wile away the hours with Homer’s Iliad, Psmith in the City by P.G. Wodehouse, Austen’s Emma or Chesterton’s Ballad of the White horse.

Plus, if you have a microphone (even the one on the computer will work) you can add to the collection…

Lectures– There is just so much wonderful information on the web! Peter Kreeft’s lectures are fascinating, even if I disagree with much of them. Nearly any area of possible interest has down-loadable lectures.

Teaching Company Lectures– This company has made some of the finest professors from the most distinguished schools available to all of us. The topics range from literature to calculus to the history of the Supreme Court.

In fact, Joshua and I both did much of our studying for college via these recorded lectures then testing out of the class. Nothing like listening to college courses while washing dishes!

My absolute favorite are by Timothy Taylor on Economics. Yeah, I know, supposedly a rather dry topic; but he made it so interesting that even my 8 and 11 year old siblings were begging to dry dishes so they could finish the lecture…that’s pretty impressive! (These are incredibly expensive but many local libraries have a huge collection.)

Pandora.com– This site is amazing: customizable radio at your fingertips. Create an account and pick the genre of music you want played. As you listen rate the songs with a “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” and voila! it generates personalized selections.

Sermons– There are several databases of compiled sermons like sermonindex and sermonaudio. Many churches have their own websites as well that allow you to download the weekly message.

And, of course, there are Podcasts on just about every imaginable topic from grammar tips to “all things baby“.

What do you do to make ironing (or other household duties) more enjoyable?

part of Frugal Friday at Life as Mom

photo by Allan Sorensen

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