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Looking for the best homeschool resources? Here are two words for you: Local Library.
(Stop rolling your eyes. I know you already know about the local library.)
Seriously, we are homeschoolers.
But, do you know about everything your local library has to offer?
Have you participated in that cool program your kids have been asking about all year? Did you double check to see if they offer online book request and pickup yet? Do you know about the Lego meet-up?
Our family takes full advantage of our local library during the school year for scholastic purposes. But, we hardly ever go to the library anymore to just hang out, meet friends, and explore.
We rarely grab one of those super convenient calendars at the check-out desk full of fun (and free) activities.
I don’t even know about many of the resources and programs designed specifically for homeschoolers. I’m usually homeschooling too hard to slow down enough to pay attention.
All that changes during the summer months or any other time you have a slower schedule.
Now is the time to discover all your local library has to offer. Summer or other downtimes are perfect times to explore new-to-you resources and activities.
Here are a few non-traditional suggestions to experiment with at your local library starting NOW.
6 Things You’re Doing Wrong At Your Local Library
Local Library Tip #1 : Check out something other than books.
I know. It’s a radical idea. But, it’s totally okay to borrow movies, music, and games.
There are so many more things you can check out besides just books at the library!
Local Library Tip #2 : Let your child attend a class without you.
Sign them up for something and let them go alone.
Someone else can teach them typing. Or sign language. Or whatever else is being offered.
That’s right – you won’t know if they are struggling or succeeding until it’s all over. You won’t be able to insert one bit of correction or encouragement. You just have to let them experience an educational opportunity without you.
It’s pretty cray-cray.
Local Library Tip #3 : Drive across county lines and visit a different library.
Whaaa?! Go to a different library that is not on the way to homeschool co-op?
Yes, I’m for real.
Every library is different, and every library offers different resources and activities. The new environment will be stimulating and peaceful, exciting and relaxing, boring and adventurous.
And then, make it a regular occurrence to visit new libraries.
Just try it.
READ THIS NEXT : DEAR LIBRARY: I MISS YOU
Local Library Tip #4 : Use it as one-on-one bonding time.
For us, this means devoting some library time to our poor, pitiful, neglected preschooler.
I use it to take her to story time while the older siblings play quietly at the Lego table. We check out the preschool-specific (and fun) programs. We go to the preschool meet-ups.
Or, maybe it’s your older child that gets less “you time.” Either way, have a one-on-one library date with him or her and explore it together. You will be so glad you did (and so will he/she).
Local Library Tip #5 : Reserve one of those private study rooms and cram your crew in there for a bit.
This is the perfect place to “practice” being quiet while Mommy sends an email, reads a magazine, or researches something important – like cookie recipes.
If your children are like my children, they don’t know when (or how) to be quiet. Our homeschool is a free-for-all led by a maniac.
Not so at the library.
We can practice self-control and patience in those little secret rooms.
Local Library Tip #6 : Use the library as a weather respite.
Too cold? What about too hot? Is it too rainy? The local library is there for you.
Of course, you can go to the library whenever you want, but I usually play the library card when the sun is blazing so hot we can’t go outside.
(Get it? Library card. Play the library card?! Nevermind.)
Seriously, there are some days in the summer when the heat index is dangerously high in our area. Our family uses that super-hot time between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. to stay away from the rays.
It doesn’t really matter when you go, just be sure to get out to your local library . . . and check out something in addition to the books.
Angelene Woodard is a wife, mother, writer, and reluctant homeschooler who blogs about her frustrations and victories at www.unqualifiedmom.com where she encourages fellow Christians to embrace their weakness and accept His strength.