Long Live the Library

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A quick post to show off a picture of our children’s craft time at the library last summer, during one of the workshops for the Summer Reading Program. I cannot say enough about how much we enjoy going to the library, getting books and doing crafts throughout the year, not just during the summer.

Boy and girl working on a craft at the library

My children working on crafts at the library

This winter will be interesting, as we say good bye to our long-time children’s librarian, who is retiring. Continue reading »

5 Days of Homeschool Essentials, Day 2 – A Library Card

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When I decided I was going to homeschool, I started doing more serious research. Until then, I had read some about what homeschooling is and how it can be done. But now that it was official and we were going to homeschool for sure, it was time to make a list of lists and get to reading all those books I had heard about.

Children's librarian plays dominoes with boy and girl

Ms. Ethel playing dominoes with my kids after Story Time

I decided to look into my local library‘s resources, although I did not think I would find anything there. After all, we live in an exemplary school system and a small town. Homeschoolers are scant to non-existent. Why would the library provide homeschooling books?

I sheepishly asked the librarian if they had a homeschooling section. She said, “Sure. Let me show you where it is.” She took me there and motioned to half a shelf of books, many of which were on my list.

My list, by the way, originated from a website run by the local homeschool support organization. Their motto was, “We have combed the shelves so you don’t have to.” Their list of seven homeschooling books represented the cream of the crop. Wonder of wonders, my library had most of them.

I was so excited, I was in tears. Tears of joy. My local library had most of the books to get me started on this journey. When I walked back to my seat at Story Time, another mom saw my armful of books and their titles. She leaned over and asked, “Are you going to homeschool?” I said, “Probably,” and waited for a gasp of horror.

She beamed and said, “We will, too.” I could not believe it. Now it was really hard to blink back the tears.

Coming to the library that morning, I thought I would not find much support. Not only did I find the homeschooling books I needed, I also found a kindred spirit in this other homeschooling mom.

I got books from the library for “Before Five in A Row” or for my reading list from “Books Children Love.” We get books the kids pick out every time we go there for Story Time. Last year, we saved $1,700 by using our local library instead of purchasing the books we read.

We attend Story Time regularly. Ms. Ethel, the children’s librarian, faithfully puts programs together which include reading, then a craft or a game. Summer Reading Programs provide great opportunities for learning, as well.

Need I say more? If the library cannot help you homeschool for free, it can definitely help you homeschool for less.

Check out more homeschooling essentials from some of my crew members:

Laura @ Day by Day in Our World

Julie @ Nurturing Learning

Lisa @ Farm Fresh Adventures

DaLynn @ For the Display of His Splendor

Lori @ At Home: where life happens

Nicole @ Journey to Excellence

Brandy @ Kingdom Academy Homeschool

Meg @ Adventures with Jude

Sarah @ Delivering Grace

5 Days of Homeschooling Essentials

Help Me Be Good Books

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Besides the references to manners, virtues and character in our Bible curricula, we use Accountable Kids for a hands-on approach to character building. After all, I am dealing with concrete thinkers. DS and DD are five and three, respectively. They see their morning cards, they go accomplish the task in the picture. When finished with all the cards, they receive a ticket, which they redeem for an activity they enjoy. The same process happens in the afternoon and evening.

Last week, I was glad to find some books at the library which supplement our character training so well, I am thinking about buying them. It’s not as much a financial decision as it is a logistical one. I have been warned by veteran homeschoolers that my house will become engulfed in books. We love books, but we do not want to get suffocated by them. Hence, our great appreciation for the local library.

As a member of several Yahoo Groups, each with a specific theme under the general category of “Homeschooling,” I learn a lot from veteran homeschooling moms. I am so thankful for their generosity. Recently, on one of these groups, I read about a series of books on individual character traits, published by Scholastic and written by Joy Berry. The name sounded familiar and then I remembered she was the author of the potty training kit we bought a few years ago.

I made a mental note of the series and went on with my life, as I was not sure we needed to look into other character curricula as yet.

When I got to the library last week, I saw new books on display in the children’s section. Sure enough, it was the Scholastic series “Help Me Be Good”. Six of them, to be precise. There are a lot more in the series.

My children loved the books. They asked me to read them over and over. We even took two of them to church, for a tactile, concrete reminder about interrupting and being messy. So this last time in church, when they started talking a little louder in their pews, I put the book in their hands and asked, “Remember what we read about?” It worked to settle them down.

It was a good day at the office. Like anything though, this method might grow old and ineffective on them over time. Oh well. I will cross that bridge when I get there…