Seasoned homeschoolers know how valuable their library is to their children's homeschooling experience. Books, of course, are a given, but your local library offers so much more! Today, many libraries are even targeting homeschoolers when they plan events and classes. Visiting other libraries, or viewing their events calender online, opens up even more possibilities since each library may offer something different.
More than books
Everyone knows that libraries are a great place to find books. But don't forget that libraries also carry music CDs, audio books, magazines, and DVDs. Don't let the size of your local library fool you, they may be part of an inter-library loan system. Whatever you are studying in your homeschool, adding music, DVDs, or current magazines is a great way to add depth and context to your subjects.
Cultural passes are memberships that your local library purchases to local attractions. This is a great way to visit local museums and historical places on a budget. Each cultural pass has its own specific admission information, so be clear about what it does and does not cover. Your library may require the passes be picked up or returned at certain times. Of course, as a homeschooler, you have the freedom to borrow the cultural passes during the week and avoid the weekend rush.
Story times, book groups and other offerings
If you are homeschooling younger children, story time at the local library can be a fun way to get out of the house and do something different. If your child enjoys structured craft projects, then craft time at the library, sometimes immediately following story time, can be lots of fun.
As homeschooling becomes more popular, many libraries are beginning to plan activities aimed at older children. Book groups, movie nights, or game days are just a few possibilities. If your library doesn't offer these activities yet, ask!
Special guests at the library
Puppet shows, singers, small concerts, sword demonstrations, informative talks, and even live animal shows are just a few of the special guests our local library hosted over the summer. Most of these programs are only available during the summer, and they can be crowded. However, depending on your child's interests, the special guests can be a valuable addition to your child's homeschool education.