We frequently spend an entire day of learning at our local libraries. We are very fortunate to have a large, well-funded, well-stocked library that is only a short driving distance from us. We also have a smaller but much loved library within walking distance. The library is an important resource for any homeschool.
Get to Know Your Library
Libraries offer so much more than just books these days. Many libraries have much more besides books to check out. These might include:
Computer Game CDs
Books on CDs
Books on MP3 Players
Our library also has many programs for the kids and adults throughout the year.
Seasonal Reading Incentive Programs
Kids Classes – Crafts, Science/STEM, etc.
Adult Classes – Genealogy, Computer, Job Search Related, etc.
Kids Clubs – Lego, Book, Makers, Science, etc.
Adult Clubs – Book, Crochet & Knitting, Writing, etc.
Performances & Events – Musicians, Puppets, Animals, etc.
There are also computers to use, study rooms and different equipment that can be signed out. The best way to learn about your library is to ask the librarians. They can not only help you select books but also let you know about all the programs and other things going on at the library.
Make a List
If you are spending the day at the library, be sure to make a “to-take” list and/or a “to-do” list before you go. We usually take our Homeschool On-the-Go Tote that I have mentioned before. It is fully stocked and ready to put the kids’ books in and other items we need for the day. Our lists include the following:
Subjects to Research
Books to Look-up / Check out
Items to Return
Items to Turn In or Bring (for programs or classes)
Each child has a list of subjects that they are interested in doing research on or need to research for a particular lesson. They are responsible for doing the research themselves, with help from Mom or a librarian if needed. We also have a list of books or subjects to look for and check out. Many of these books are for history lessons. We look through the books thoroughly before checking them out to keep the pile going home with us from getting out of hand. This does not always work though. Luckily the librarians know us well and print out a list for each library card so we can track what we’ve checked out.
We are usually turning in a reading list for one program or another. I put these on my list or I will forget them. Since some of the programs have time limits or specific dates that forms need to be turned in, having it on my list helps me to remember them. If a class or club is meeting there may be items to take for that also. I usually have to put “camera” on the list so that I will remember that I want to take photos of a class, club, author, speaker or event too.
Using Your Library
Be sure to check out your local library. There are so many opportunities available for children and adults that would be out of reach if not for these wonderful places. Make friends with those librarians, they are treasure troves of information and help. We have found them to be honestly interested in what the kids are studying and helpful in finding more than just books to help with a subject. The librarians are willing to listen to the kids give presentations, ask questions and even make suggestions. My kids love our libraries and librarians. The library is an amazing resource and tool for life-long learning that your children will always remember.