I have always loved the library. My love of reading began at an early age and I remember always getting books from the library. However, I didn’t really know how amazing libraries were until I became a homeschool Mom.
- It’s FREE! I know this is sort of the obvious reason but this is one of the most important features of the library. If you’re like me, you’re on a tight budget and the cost of homeschool resources can add up quickly. Having access to all that the library offers enables you to cover more material in a school year or even just supplement what you’re already doing, without spending a dime. Because of this, the library is often the first place I look for resources.
- Most libraries offer library cards to anyone, regardless of their age. When Ace was in preschool, I decided to write my own curriculum. Between the books and videos I checked out for our curriculum and the books we got for fun, I was constantly maxing out our 50 book limit. When I realized I could get Ace his own library card, we never had to worry about hitting the limit (at least most of the time, haha) ever again. Plus, Ace had such a sense of pride and independence in having his own library card. Our library has self-serve checkout machines and it really gave him a sense of ownership to be able to pick his books out and then check them out himself. I will definitely be getting Dash his own card on our next trip!
- There are more than just books! Next time you need a resource, don’t forget about the library’s selection of magazines, e-books, audio books, and DVDs (both educational and recreational.)
- They often have creative and engaging activity calendars. Libraries are usually known for having story times for young children but next time you’re at your library or browsing their website, check for an event calendar. Our library offers a number of different activities for all ages. These include weekly crafts, Lego and anime clubs, story times, a summer reading club, teen times, knitting and crochet classes, computer and software training, special celebrations of local events and much more. If you have older students, they often have homework help times and offer assistance with resume writing and job searches. These activities can really spice up your homeschool schedule. Some libraries even have special play areas, like this one near Baltimore, MD.
- They help instill a love of reading and learning in your children. Let’s be honest, reading is so important and showing our kids that learning can be fun is one of the main reasons why many of us have chosen to homeschool! Nothing delights Ace more than being able to pick out a whole new set of both fiction and non-fiction books to bring home and read. And he often wants to read all of them right away! The library makes this possible for us because we have access to more books than we could ever buy. I have considered purchasing some of his favorites but then he would lose the joy of discovering his favorite book waiting for him on the shelves. It’s seriously like Christmas morning for him!
So the next time you’re stuck in a homeschooling rut, or are simply looking for a good resource or activity for your kids, check out your local library! You might be surprised at what you find!
Here’s my handy resource quick reference to remind yourself of these 7 tips.
Print it out to post in your homeschool area or put in your planner. Feel free to take notes on it as well to customize it based on what works best for your homeschool environment.
For more fantastic ideas on using the library in your homeschool, check out this post from This Chaotic Bliss (formerly Chaotic Bliss Homeschooling.)