A Day in the Life of a Family Homeschooling at the Library
Public libraries allow you to build a homeschooling network and access high-quality educational resources for free.
Statistics show that the number of families homeschooling has steadily increased over the years, and that trend is likely to continue. Many parents and children alike have become fed up and tired of the high-speed education system of today that seems to demand more and more of students’ attention, time, and energy with each passing year, and those families are starting to take action.
Before the establishment of standardized public education, homeschooling was more or less the only form of education available, so this trend represents a return to form and to a simpler time. Of course, the success of homeschooling relies on the quality of resources available to the families, meaning that libraries play a number of vital roles.
Use of Library Resources
Assembling a curriculum entirely from resources that are affordable to the average family is difficult and is often the greatest challenge to families making the switch to homeschooling. On the one hand, it’s simple enough to find comprehensive homeschool curriculum passages, but they can be quite expensive and may be out of the price range of many families. On the other, it’s possible to assemble a curriculum using free, openly available resources, but doing so can be time-consuming and difficult to coordinate, making it difficult for busy parents to manage.
Public libraries, however, provide an effective solution to both of these problems. Libraries aim to provide their patrons with a wide range of educational resources, and these resources often include books and websites that are useful for homeschooling. This makes it not only possible but incredibly manageable for parents of homeschooled children to put together a comprehensive curriculum that teaches necessary skills while also accommodating the individual needs of each child.
Connection with Other Homeschoolers
Another of the chief concerns parents have when making the switch to homeschooling is social isolation. After all, most kids meet their friends and get the face-to-face interaction they need by spending time at a public school. Naturally, they need something else to facilitate this social interaction if they’re going to start homeschooling in a mentally healthy way, and libraries once again offer a solution.
Libraries encourage members of the community to come together and converse, which means that many homeschooled families will form groups that meet at the library. These groups can take many forms and have many goals, from creating a more conventional classroom setting to simply giving kids and parents other people to talk to, but they all have one thing in common: They’ve been brought together by their network of public libraries to share their lives as homeschooler parents and children with one another.
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Partnership with Local Homeschooling Organizations
Many casual homeschool groups will eventually form a proper organization, and from there, they can cooperate far more directly with the local public library to ensure a superior standard of education. Libraries work to help their partnered homeschooling organizations however they can, whether providing a room for them to meet or recommending books to add to the curriculum. By working alongside a well-read librarian who can give them the help and suggestions they need, parents can become better homeschool teachers and encourage their children to become better students as well.
Kids Take an Active Role in Their Own Curriculum
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the library gives homeschooled children a chance to take a far more active role in choosing what they learn than public school likely ever will. Rather than being told to read something they may or may not enjoy, for example, kids can work together with their parents to find the books they can actually appreciate and have fun with, and foster that all-important love of reading that libraries work to inspire.
If you’re a parent of homeschooled children or are interested in becoming one and would like to know more about how your local library can help, feel free to visit our website at EveryLibrary today!
Visit www.everylibrary.org to learn more about our work on behalf of libraries.
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