The public library is an amazing tool for homeschooling families. Homeschooling is becoming so popular that many libraries have programs and resources for them. I spend a lot of time there and my kids love going there too. Here are the top 5 ways I utilize my public library for homeschooling.
1. Books, Videos and Curriculum
It could cost a fortune to buy all of the books that you will use for homeschooling. You can get anything you need at the library. If you live in a large area, all the libraries are connected and you can request books and they will be shipped from other libraries in your area to your local library. Most libraries have an impressive video collection as well. You can find great documentaries and educational videos. You can even check out many digital items from the library’s website, such as audiobooks and ebooks. Many libraries are now offering homeschooling curriculum as well. So, before you buy any curriculum, check your local libraries website and see if they carry it.
2. Teacher Library Card
As a homeschooling parent you can apply for a teacher library card, no teaching license required. This enables you to check out as many books as you want and keep them for up to 6 weeks. At my library, I had to fill out a form that states that I homeschool and they issued me a new card that day. With the card you can check out anything from the children’s section, teen section and children/educational videos. This has been so helpful for me. I can easily check out 50 or more books at a time and being able to keep them for 6 weeks is awesome! The next time you go to your library, ask for a teacher card.
3. Book Box
My local library offers a service where the employees will gather books and videos for you and you can simply pick them up at an agreed upon date. For instance, if we are learning about butterflies, I can fill out a form and ask for books about butterflies. I write down how many books I need, whether I want fiction, nonfiction or a combination of both. I used this service many times when we were doing unit studies each week on a different animal. It was really nice to be able to go in and pick up the box full of books. It was also exciting to see what books they chose for us. It was a nice surprise! Check and see if your library has a program like this.
4. Homeschool Groups/Meetups
Many local libraries have homeschool groups and meetups for homeschoolers. The library in my area has a homeschool program that meets once a month. It is a nicely run program with a different topic/activity each month. Some of the meetups we went to had art activities, food tasting from other countries, and science experiments. Another local library in the area have the kids present book reports each month. This is also a great opportunity to meet other homeschool families and create relationships with other parents and for the kids to meet new friends. I have met several moms at the homeschool meetup at my local library that I still stay in contact with.
During the year most libraries have many different programs for children of all ages. Some of these programs include, preschool story time, lego club, puppet shows, movies, and crafts. My favorite program that the library does in the summer is the reading program. Each child receives a form and they color in a chart for every hour they read. Then they take the form back to library and earn prizes for hours they read books. This program is very motivating for my kids. They really want to read enough to earn all of the prizes. Go to your local library and ask what programs they have for children, you may be surprised to hear what they have to offer!
I love the public library! The library in my area is very friendly toward homeschoolers. My kids and I like to go there just to get out of the house. There is a play area and coloring pages that my kids enjoy. The children’s librarians know my children by name and are very knowledgeable and friendly and are always there to help me find anything that I need. Go to your library and see what it has to offer!
What about you? What is your favorite thing about the library? What do your children enjoy the most? Let me know in the comment section.