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    Frugal Moment: The Baldwin Project

    November 2, 2006 by Brandy Vencel

    The Baldwin Project has gotten us through a couple obstacles around here, and almost completely free of charge at that. Our first issue was a lack of traditional children’s stories out in the common market. Unless one desires their children to know the Disney versions of such beautiful tales as Jack and the Bean Stalk or Cinderella, one is hardpressed to find an alternative and more accurate telling of such stories. The commercialized versions pale in comparison to tradition, and stories such as these were near to my heart as a child. I wish them to be good friends of my childrens’ as well.

    Another issue has been finding primers and readers that contained decent tales. We love Bob Books around here, but they are a bit silly and one would never accuse them of being literature. They are great tools to teach reading from, especially when using the Distar method {which I think I am most of the time, but that is another post for another day}.

    However, I cannot bear for my children to read the primers and readers that we have received as gifts thus far. They are painful to a mother’s ears. Take, for instance, the readers, printed by Scholastic, that were inspired by the cartoon Scooby Doo. I simply will not have my child learn the long-i sound by reading the character Shaggy’s constant and inappropriate use of the word “like.”

    Even if their mother does use that word constantly and inappropriately. But I digress.

    All of this little diatribe brings me to The Baldwin Project, which proclaims itself to be “bringing yesterday’s classics to today’s children.” Music to my ears, that phrase is! If one follows the link, one will find numerous traditional children’s stories that one can print for personal use for only the cost of ink in one’s printer. So far, E. has enjoyed The Boy and His Goat, Chicken Little, and The Little Red Hen. I have also printed and prepared to teach him to read Three Billy Goats Gruff and The Cat and the Mouse. And this is actually a small sampling of what I consider to be a more than adequate selection of stories at both the primer and kindergarten reader levels.

    The Baldwin Project is definitely an affordable option for families with early readers who need a bit of depth added to their steady diet of silly but lovable Bob Books.


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