Hi everyone! Welcome to another installment of our ongoing series “How to Afford Homeschooling”! If you’ve caught any of our previous topics, then you know our focus is to find ways to make homeschooling easier and more affordable. Your local library is literally one of the best places to start finding free activities for your homeschoolers. Here are just a few services that your library may offer:
- Free Inter-library Lending – We don’t live in a large county, so our local library system is pretty small. But our branch is a member of a statewide library network, which connects us with most of the other public libraries in our state. What this means is that if I’m unable to find a book that I want at our local branch, I can put in a request for it somewhere else in the state and have it delivered right to our neighborhood location. I cannot tell you how much money we’ve saved over the years, just by using this system to get a copy of a book for our regular lessons. If you have the option to do this at your library, you can plan your lessons in advance and place a hold for the specific titles you need. That way, they’ll be available in time for you to use them in your lessons.
- Reading Programs – Another way we use the library to save is by taking advantage of the many programs and events that it offers. For instance, every summer, the library hosts a Summer Reading Program that gives all the kids a chance to earn free prizes simply for reading! At our branch, kids of all ages can participate as long as parents read with them, so our preschoolers don’t have to feel left out since they’re not reading on their own yet. In previous years, the prizes have included items such as free meals at Chick-fil-A, free bowling, and stickers for the kids. There’s also has a huge party at the end of the program that features outdoor games, snacks, and entertainment for the entire family. Why not ask if your library will be holding a similar event this summer? It’s a great way to help your family develop a love for reading and earn some free perks along the way!
- Socialization – A lot of homeschooling naysayers whisper their concerns about socialization for homeschooled kids. I personally don’t feel that structured socialization is that important. I prefer that our kids naturally come into contact with people of all ages during their days. But, if you want to give your kids a chance to meet other kids their age, the local library is a great, family-friendly place to do it. During the week, our library holds regular story times and readings for babies, toddlers, preschoolers, and older kids. Depending on the month, there may even be visits from local firefighters, clowns, or puppeteers. Giving kids a chance to meet other children and adults in this setting can be a less stressful way to help them become comfortable around all kinds of people.
Do you love your local library? How have you been able to use your local library resources to enrich your homeschool experience? Let us know in the comments! And come back next week for our next installment in the series: Saving Money Around the House. Keep on learning!