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Jan 20, 2014

Homeschool Essentials: Library

This week, The Schoolhouse Review Crew is sharing what we believe are five of our most essential homeschool needs.  I hope you'll join us all week and check in with some of the other mama bloggers.
5 Days of Homeschooling Essentials

There is a bit of a love/hate relationship with the library.  Our small, local libraries (we may have cards at three of them) aren't online and getting things in there can be problematic.  The bigger library is 30 minutes away.  And don't let the word "free" in the name fool you.  It's only free for residents of that particular town.  We pay $15 each year for a card there, but it does offer more than the two local places.

Despite that feeling, they are invaluable to our studies.

For one thing, the larger library is conveniently located on the internet.  That's great for reserving and renewing.  (Provided you *remember* your password and get on in time to renew the DVDs which carry a ridiculously high daily fine and can only be kept for one week as opposed to the three weeks everything else can be borrowed for.  Ask me how I know.  ahem)

Though we can't take advantage of all the events I'd like to (who wants to drive over an hour for an hour event?), there are often things going on the days we will be in town anyway.  They hold movies and popcorn nights, explorations in the resource room, story hours, open houses, reading groups, etc. there.

As a fan of unit studies, I love the theme bags that are available.  I mentioned them HERE before.  Friday we picked up the art bag.  Malachi mentioned that he'd like to get the transportation bag again next time.  The only thing I don't care for is all the VHS tapes in the bags.

The resource room in the Children's Library is fantastic.  Merrick got his first taste (literally) of do-a-dot markers there.  We find games, picture books on CD, a fun assortment of toys that rotates regularly, graphing projects, and other things I would not be too quick to pull out at home (like the shaving cream and cornstarch goop they had last week).  I need to take a page from their book (puns may be intended), and start rotating toys at home.  They really do seem to enjoy the surprise of finding out what will be available at each visit.

Additionally, we do attend the smaller libraries' events.  Our local science dude holds events at most of them, instructing on anything from the science of milk and eggs to nature hikes.  He's very hands-on science and is great with all the littles.

Be sure to go see what these Crew friends have found to be essential in their homeschools.  Pssst... Jennifer has some giveaways on her blog this week.

Lisa @ A Rup Life
Jordyn @ Almost Supermom
Jenn @ Teaching Two Stinkers
Crystal @ Crystal Starr Blog
Jennifer @ Chestnut Grove Academy
Brandi @ Brandi Raae
Wendy @ Simplicity Breeds Happiness
Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break
Lynn @ Ladybug Chronicles


Wendy ~ said...

Your library has a lot of the same aspects/tools as ours: rotating toys, theme kits, etc. And I just had to say, I have a Merrick too!! But mine spells his name Marek. Have a great day!

Lisa Rupertus said...

I love our local library. They have several branch locations and you can easily go online to do things. I can't imagine living so far from a good library.

Kym T said...

The library is definitely an essential for our homeschool as well. I wish everyone had access to a library system as awesome as ours - it makes homeschooling a lot easier!

Lynn P said...

The library is definitely a huge essential to homeschoolers on a budget. I miss the library system we had when living in Western WA. Now here in MT it's good but we only have a handful of libraries to retrieve items and they cost us to pull from others outside of town.. But like you said, it's really great to have this awesome resource