I know a lot of home educating families. Some are my e-maginary friends who live in my computer while others live and breath in the “real world”. All of them have library cards. Or maybe I should say none of them has admitted to not owning a library card.
We have library cards for all 6 of us and those cards are one of my Home School Essentials.
Both my husband and I love to read. We also both love history. Once we discovered a literature based approach to history we were set. I fell in love with Sonlight and shared the catalog and a friend’s TM (they were Teacher’s Manuals back then. They are Instructor’s Guides now) and he was hooked. We wanted to build an heirloom library for our children. We determined that we would purchase full Basic programs (now called Cores) for as long as we could.
So what does a book based curriculum that we decided to purchase have to do with a library card? And why would the library card be essential if you already owned the books? Because Sonlight introduced us to authors who had other books. The library card meant that we could check out more books by authors who were becoming our favorites!
Using Sonlight for history and science opened up a world of possibilities for exploring those subjects though books. And where did we get those books? The library. We used the library to go deeper with subjects that we tasted with Sonlight.
I began to use the library more when I realized that Supergirl needed a literature based approach but Sonlight wasn’t exactly working for her. I could pick a topic and find books from the library. A library card is essential for teaching Supergirl. She learns best in little unit chunks. A lapbook from A Journey Through Learning or Hands of a Child is perfect. I use the library to add books so that we can explore those topics in depth.
The library has been essential for my early readers who needed lots of supplemental free reading to keep them happy. If I’d have let Turtlegirl “have at it” with her Sonlight list she’d have finished all of the readers in the first month or so and lose the benefit of coordinating readers with history and read alouds. With a library card Turtlegirl could continue to read and read and read stretching out the readers to line up with the history.
The library serves another essential purpose: saving my sanity. I love those Sonlight books. I loved reading aloud daily to my children. I loved reading aloud as a family in the evenings but just as my children need to choose free reading books for themselves, I too need books to read for me. I have more time to read now than I did when the girls were little but still it was delicious to choose a “grown up” book that I was not reading aloud to the children so that I could devour it in the free moments that I had here and there.
Some families may not have access to a library and some families may not find a library card to be as essential as we have but when I think of my most favorite memories of home schooling my children, those memories usually involve a book from the library.
Come read what other Schoolhouse Crew Team Members think are essential in their homeschools. Here are a few to get you started. Click on the image below to read even more!
Marcy @ Ben and Me
Lisa @ Golden Grasses
Victoria @ Homemaking with Heart
Kayla @ The Arrowood Zoo
Joelle @ Homeschooling for His Glory
Deanna @ His Treasure Seekers
Melissa @ Grace Christian Homeschool
Beth @ Ozark Ramblings
Rebecca @ Raventhreads