History Audiobooks: Middle Ages for Kids


Like most families, we’re gearing up for school at our house.  And like many other classical schoolers, we’re using Susan Wise Bauer’s The Story of the World as our guide for history this year.  Last year, we met the Ancients, and this year (as soon as our books come in from Rainbow Resource Center!) we’ll start our trip through the Middle Ages.  By combining this resource with field trips, library finds (where I try to get engaging books they’ll read on their own) and audiobooks (my preferred method of making them read more boring or advanced books), we’ll have a pretty powerful history curriculum.

So, for my post today, I thought I’d share a link to our history spine, as well as the audiobooks I’ll use to complement it this semester:

story of the worldOUR HISTORY SPINE

1) The Story of the World, Volume 2 Audiobook: The Middle Ages by Susan Wise Bauer.  This is the backbone of our history studies, but it’s engaging and simple enough that even kids who aren’t homeschooling might enjoy a listen.  I love to start our homeschool day with this.  I plop the kids down in the living room with a snack, and they listen to a chapter while I do a few chores around the house.  Then they usually have ideas or questions about what they’ve heard, and I love how it sparks both their curiosity and imagination before we settle down to more “boring” subjects like handwriting and math.


marshall_beowulf_cover_200_2662) Stories of Beowulf Told to the Children by H. E. Marshall.  This is of course the same author who wrote Our Island Story, and I’m looking forward to sharing her stories of Beowulf with the kids.  Here’s a bio from Amazon.com: “A widely read author of history books for children a century ago, Henrietta Elizabeth Marshall is now enjoying a resurgence in popularity. Her most famous work, Our Island Story, A History of England for Boys and Girls, was first published in 1905, followed quickly by Scotland’s Story in 1906 and Our Empire Story in 1908. She also authored A History of France, A History of Germany, This Country of Ours, and English Literature for Boys and Girls. In addition, she penned The Story of Napoleon and The Story of Cromwell for the “Children’s Heroes” series and contributed several volumes to the highly acclaimed “Told to the Children” series.”  (Please note this link is to myaudioschool.com.  The site is a great resource run by a homeschool mom who wanted her kids to be able to listen to books that were substantive, relatively well produced, and free.  By all means, hop over to her site if you’d like more Middle Age audiobooks, as well as all sorts of classic Christian and classical audiobooks for kids!)

3) Robin Hood.  There are a ton of free Robin Hood audiobooks out there for kids which may be found at Librivox, Booksshouldbefree.com, and others.  The site I’ve linked to here, artsreformation.com/records, has been a treasure trove of mp3 recordings of old kids’ records.   Other stories related to the Middle Ages books from this site include A Child’s Introduction to Shakespeare, Aladdin, Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves, and many more.

4) Grimm’s Fairy Tales.  Like the link above, this site contains many free recordings of old kids’ records, but it uses a format that I’ve had trouble with on one of my computers.  Still, the quality is very good if you can get it to work.  And unlike a lot of free Grimm’s Fairy Tales (which were originally drawn from the fairy tales of the Middle Ages), all of the records here are for adapted for children.  That’s not to say they are suitable for every child!  I haven’t listened to them yet, so please use your judgement and let me know if you find any moral or technical issues you’d like to warn us about.  But especially since these are free, I’m eager to give them a try.



My plan is to take the free resources here (excluding The Story of the World, which isn’t free!), convert them to .wav files which will play in a CD player, and listen to them on our long car trips as well as our weekly commute to homeschool co-op.  Since I’m already doing the work for myself, I’d be happy to share a few copies with you all.  Tell us your favorite history audiobooks or middle ages resources, and the three comments I find most helpful will get a CD in the mail!

If you’re looking for more posts along this line, try our Growing Up Shakespearean list of resources, as well as our Winter Audiobooks post.



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  1. Marijo Taverne on August 12, 2013 at 11:28 am

    My favorite history is Olive Beaupre Miller’s A Picturesque Tale of History. A couple cautions are in order. She does not take a biblically faithful view of prehistory, Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice Isaac, or Christ’s deity. She only brings her history up to the 16th century. But, her style is utterly charming.

  2. Megan on August 12, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    Great compilation–thanks! We’re doing Story of the World, Vol. 2 as well. I also picked up Men of Iron narrated by Jim Weiss (reader of SotW) since it is from the same period. We haven’t heard it yet, but he does a great job.

  3. Cathy on August 12, 2013 at 7:24 pm

    We love the middle ages and SOTW!
    We have many, many, many favorites, but a few notable ones are:

    1.Beowulf! We loved Ian Serailliers’s (in verse, not long) for read aloud and James Rumford’s picture book for just reading.

    2. Adam of the Road by Elizabeth Janet Gray
    Hands-down our favorite RA for the year. Though we have The Shakespeare Stealer still to go.

    3. A movie, Errol Flynn’s Robin Hood. Not real history, but so fun!

    P.S. My kids were 5 and 7 when we did the middle Ages in our homeschool.

  4. Sharon on August 13, 2013 at 5:58 am

    We are currently studying the Ancients. However, I have three books I’m looking forward to going through when we get to the Middle Ages in the next school year: Picture the Middle Ages by Golden Owl Publishing/Higgins Armory Museum, The Story of the Middle Ages by Christine Miller and Take a Stand/Medieval Civilizations by John DeGree. These books will be my spine.

  5. Jim Hodges on August 13, 2013 at 9:14 am

    Story of the World is a fantastic program that comes highly recommended. They often will suggest additional reading, and I’d like to propose the G. A. Henty historical novels. I’ve recorded 18 of them that are available for immediate download if you are interested. There’s a sale on till the end of August you might be interested in. Single CDs are $18, 3-4 CDs at $16 each, etc., or download all 18 Henty’s (no CD delivered!) for only $154. The link to the sale page for this limited time offer is https://jimhodgesaudiobooks.com/august_2013_sale.html

    Hope this is allowed. Please delete if inappropriate. I just saw your post and felt I had to respond and let your readers know how to save a bunch of money.

    With Hope in Him, Jim Hodges

    • emily on August 13, 2013 at 11:01 am

      Thanks, Jim! We definitely allow saving money around here! Thanks for the tip. Hope you’ll come back again soon!

  6. Amie on August 13, 2013 at 8:04 pm

    We are on our second go round of SOTW 2 this year, repeating what we did about six years ago with a set of older children who are now middle schoolers, this time focusing on the six and four year olds. Today I set down from the shelves a variety of books from the Veritas Press collection that goes along with their middle ages computer curriculum. The boys immediately demanded I read St George and the Dragon by Hodges and the story drew them in. I also love Aliki’s Medieval Feast and an out of print collection of stories called Favorite Medieval Tales by Mary Pope Osbourne that has renderings of a variety of classics like Beowulf and the Song of Roland. Don’t forget the Dover coloring books of Knights and Armor and reusable sticker castle that can be a creative outlet while listening!

  7. Pat on August 14, 2013 at 9:03 am

    I think I would like to be plopped on your living room floor, Emily:-)

    We have never used audiobooks – I love reading aloud too much I think. We do have a few treasures from the Middle Ages tho! Good Times Travel Agency stories are always a hit with my youngers, and there is a Vikings edition as well as a Middle Ages. The Door in the Wall brings back good memories. Otto of the Silver Hand. Adam of the Road, Men of Iron, and others that have already been suggested are awesome too!

  8. Kristen @ Celebrate Every Day With Me on August 20, 2013 at 5:23 am

    Thanks for the great list of resources, Emily!

  9. emily on August 24, 2013 at 6:34 pm

    Thanks, guys, for all these awesome suggestions! I’ve chosen Pat, Sharon, and Amie as our winners of the CDs, but I really appreciate all of your ideas! SO many great resources, so little time!

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