The library is by far one of the most valuable resources for homeschoolers. Filled with books, magazines, newspapers, audiobooks, dvd’s, and volumes of reference materials, this is one place you can set your pocketbook aside and truly enjoy.
Books – What you see is not all you get!
The obvious resource the library has to offer is books. Reference books, nonfiction books (new and old), historical fiction, mystery, science fiction, and so many more. If, however, in your hunt for the perfect book on the rare topic you come up empty handed, most libraries offer an InterLibrary Loan program. Once you request a specific book, the library petitions other libraries for permission to borrow the book. While sometimes the library charges a small fee (anywhere from $.25 for the cost of shipping), most will provide it free of charge (as long as you pick it up and return it on time). This is also a great way to testdrive new curriculum you’re considering purchasing.
Magazines & Newspapers
Most libraries offer a wide selection of magazines and back issues can oftentimes be checked out. Larger districts will have newspapers from the major countries in the United States which is perfect for the geography lessons. In addition to what you see at the library, most districts have a vast array of magazine and newspaper articles dating back to the 1800’s available in their Electronic Reference database. Perfect for primary sources! Typically you can access this information from your home computer with a library card number and PIN.
Computer Labs & Study Rooms
In the dead of winter when you and your kids are growing weary of staying home everyday, head over to the library. All libraries have computers available and most have study rooms. Sometimes the change of scenery is just what is needed to get that brain working again. Some libraries offer a certain number of printed pages for free each day with a library card and PIN; be sure to ask your librarian.
The library is truly the home educator’s best friend when it comes to accessing vast quantities of information for free (or very little cost). Head over to your library to find out more information or contact a local librarian to setup a tour for you and homeschool network.