More and more homeschooling families are heading to the library for books, study guides, special programs, meeting space and other valuable resources. Where else can you get unlimited educational resources and not spend a dime?
Research from the National Center of Education Statistics (NCES) reveals that of the 1.1 million children being homeschooled in the U.S., 78 percent of homeschooling parents use the public library as their primary resource for learning materials.
Here are six tips to help you utilize the library for your homeschool.
Most public libraries have resources and programs created specifically for homeschoolers. Ask your librarian about these specific programs created just for homeschoolers. Many libraries have a weekly event specific to homeschool families, from book clubs and discussion groups to craft and story time.
More than books
The library is not just for books — you can find a treasure trove of educational resources at most libraries. Some libraries support curriculum by supplementing with customized book lists, webliographies and study guides. Most libraries also offer music, computer games, movies and language lessons, as well as thousands of print resources.
Testing and exams
Homeschoolers can find resources and testing for academic or licensing tests (e.g. PSAT, GED, MCAT) at their local library.
Free museum pass
Did you know that many public libraries around the country allow library cardholders to “rent” a museum pass for a day? Ask about museum perks at your local library.
When my boys were in kindergarten, we had a weekly kindergarten club meeting at our local library for an hour of story time and play. We also used the library meeting rooms for our holiday parties and crafting classes. Library meeting rooms are the perfect place for homeschool activities and gatherings.
Library resources from home
Many libraries have joined the Education 2.0 movement, allowing cardholders access to an online catalog, downloadable audiobooks and e-books, as well as recommended reading lists for kids and teens.
If you find that your local library has yet to tap into resources for the homeschool community, you might want to suggest them or volunteer. Your library can get started with a homeschool science fair, a spelling bee or a book club. With a little help and a group of homeschoolers willing to utilize the library, your local library could become as necessary and useful to your child’s education as your boxed curriculum.
How often do you incorporate your local library into your homeschool lessons?