Homeschooling would be a little more chaotic if I didn’t have access to our public library system. Now that school is getting back into the swing of things, it’s time to revisit all of the free resources provided throughout many library systems.
Libraries are goldmines for homeschoolers…and the best part is that their offerings are usually free! Not only can you check out bags full of books, but many libraries have additional programs to offer the public.
- Electronic Books – Many libraries are enhancing their technology with the chance for you to check out eBooks or for use with your iPads, Kindles, or other devices. Some libraries offer access to online book web sites as well. The technology keeps advancing, so see what technologies your library offers at both the children and adult levels.
- Online Book Reservation – From the comfort of your own home, you may be able to search your library system and put books on hold. Just remember to pick them up in a timely fashion!
- Inter-library Loans – Don’t see a book available in your library? Check with your librarians and see if they can find the book at another library that can be sent to you to check out!
- Computers with Internet Access – Are you without internet access? Your library may have computers free for public use. Be sure to check with your librarian and learn if a reservation is necessary.
- Children’s Programs – From pajama story time to Lego clubs, your library might have a program that interests your child. Pick up a calendar of events to see what’s offered for preschool and school-aged kids.
- Tutoring Services – Not quite sure of how to attack a math problem or having troubles with reading? Your library might offer services or be able to direct you to someone who can help you out.
- Volunteer Opportunities – If you’re looking for a service project opportunity, your library may be just the place to go. There are many tasks that need to be done throughout the day and your librarian might know of just the right project for children, young or old.
- Used Book Sales – Did you know that many libraries have a Friends of the Library program and may collect used books (that’s a tax write-off!) and resell them as a fundraiser? Book sales tend to have lots of low-priced books–what more can a homeschooler want? Well, free books! Some library systems have book giveaways of old or discontinued books, held near their main county branches once a year. Contact your local library to see your offerings.
- Museum Discounts – If your library works in conjunction with museums in the area, you might have the chance to reserve free tickets. Sometimes these are offered through the library web sites and sometimes you need to walk in to claim the passes. Ask to see if you are able to visit any museums for free or discounted prices and it will make field trip planning easy!
What other services does your library provide that I didn’t mention above?
Andrea lives in Northern California with her husband and two young girls. She left 11 years of public school teaching to homeschool and hasn’t looked back. Andrea loves reading, writing, and spending time outdoors so naturally she fell in love with Charlotte Mason’s methods with her own eclectic twist. Outside of homeschooling, Andrea owns her own tutoring and educational consulting business. Connect with her on at her blog No Doubt Learning, Facebook, G+, Twitter, or Pinterest.