Resources for a Lifetime of Learning

This is an essay by Brandon Monk.

Do you remember those first few weeks of school when you came back with new supplies and endless energy and resolutions to do things right this year? Surely, I’m not alone here. I haven’t quite experienced anything like it since I became an adult. Don’t get me wrong, I do get excited about new books or a new notebook, but my level of enthusiasm just isn’t the same now as it was when I was a kid. Maybe that’s because I pay for it now. Maybe I’m just a curmudgeon.

The good news: I can see the school buses lining up. Kids are at Target buying back to school supplies. We can be young again.

As school either starts or gets ready to start it’s a good opportunity for all of us to reflect, reevaluate, and recommit to learning.

You can set an example for those watchful kid eyes, those impressionable young minds. Learning isn’t about showing up and being fed information. It’s also about curiosity, creation, and about finding something each day that lets you say you’ve grown.

Here, are some resources where you can learn anything. I can’t take credit for this list which is why I link to the source, but I would recommend you bookmark it and return frequently.

Below are a few I have personal experience with:

The Khan Academy — perfect for tutoring on math and science subjects.
LibriVox Audio Books — free access to classic works in audiobook form.
Project Gutenberg —  free access to the same books, and more, in print form.
BBC Language —  a free way to learn a foreign language.
TED Talks —  full of new ideas, sources of motivation, and new ways to look at old problems.
Justin Guitar — free guitar lessons online.


  1. Chris

    The BBC Language site is awesome! I love that you used curmudgeon. Such a fun word. The Hunger Games currently has my 12-year-old niece excited about reading. I bet she likes the Guitar reference, I’ll have her check it out.

  2. Read.Learn.Write

    You originally pointed me to it and it showed up on the list I linked to as well. Great resource.

  3. Anjali

    Ted Talks are amazing both in their depth and width of coverage. The MIT courseware allows you to learn in a non-stressful manner. There are so many ways in which we can catch “the learning bug.”

    1. Read.Learn.Write

      It is a wonderful time to be alive, isn’t it?

  4. Karen

    Thank you for the list. I am particularly excited about LibriVox Audio Books – free access to classic works in audiobook form.

    1. Read.Learn.Write

      Most of the time the readers are quite good, especially for volunteers.

  5. Jennifer

    Were you reading my mind lately?! I’ve recently decided to cobble together my own learning program using whatever free resources I could find.

    When I was younger I didn’t have the opportunity to attend college. Now I live too far from any university and online college is too expensive. To be honest the things I want to learn wouldn’t lead to any job that I’ve ever heard of. 😉

    So, thank you for this list!!

  6. Joseph

    The Yale literature lectures are great! Love listening to the TED talks too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *