The public library has sooo many resources to benefit homeschooling families.
- Educational DVDs available to rent for FREE (science, history, math, phonics, foreign languages,
and MUCH more)
- Music CDs (classical, jazz, rap, country, gospel, etc.)
- Kids InfoBits – Online resource of reference materials, magazines, newspapers, maps & flags, charts & graphs, images. (Use password = gulfcoast)
- Mango – Learn a new language for FREE – up to 14 languages available
- Inter-Library Loan (ILL) – Looking for a particular book that your branch doesn’t have? What about a book not available at ANY of the local libraries? ILL services will try to locate a copy at other libraries across the southeast and have it shipped to the local library of your choice for only $2. This is very helpful for research and our family has used the ILL services many times.
- Local History & Genealogy Services
- Storytime – geared towards children ages 2 – 6yrs.
- Books on CD with read-along books (perfect for emerging readers)
- Audio books – Taking a long ride in the car? Put a favorite book in the cd player. Everything from Magic Tree House or Beverly Cleary books to Harry Potter or the Hunger Games.
- Non-fiction books – this may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many parents only check out fiction books for their children.
- Fiction books – Don’t forget to let your child check out graphic novels. Sometimes they just need a different format to grab their interest.
- Computers to use while at the library with Magic Schoolbus and other popular learning games.
I’ve heard some parents say they don’t like to take their children to the library because their children are so loud or difficult to handle. Let me just point out that if children aren’t taken to places where they need to talk softly and not run indoors then how are they ever going to learn these things? Avoiding the problem is very rarely the solution. If you’re a parent of 5 or more children under the age of 7 then I’ll give you some slack, but try to find the time to take the older children while someone babysits the younger ones.
Another reason parents seem to have for not going to the library is they just don’t know which books to check out. The solution is actually pretty simple. Go online. Search for books based on subject. Select the book you want and put it on hold. Choose which library you want the book sent to and generally it will arrive within 48hrs. You can also renew your books online.
Lastly, PLEASE allow your children to check out the books they want. Don’t stifle their excitement over going to the library and looking at all those books by then telling them no they can’t check one out. There is a time and a place to tell your child no, but this isn’t it. If your young daughter wants an inch thick book because of the cat pictured on the cover let her get it. If your son chooses a book that you know is too difficult for him to read, let him get it anyway. Children are smarter than we give them credit for. They KNOW what they’re capable of reading. Sometimes they just want to look at the book. Yes, even if it doesn’t have any pictures other than the front cover. It’s important for children to love books. It’s not always about reading them. Sometimes it’s simply about looking at them, or holding them, or smelling them. (Yes, I said smelling them. If you read very often you know books have a smell.)
Try to schedule a trip to your local library at least once a month. Your children may turn into avid readers because of it and that’s never a bad thing.