In our community, we have a homeschool library. It has shelves of math curriculum at every grade level and almost every science curriculum. There are shelves of science equipment and even a sewing machine. You can find educational videos and SAT study guides. There are reading books and history guide books. Yes, there are even pencils and paper available. When you are homeschooling one child, you will buy curriculum one time for each grade. While this is great to have new books every year, it is also very expensive. Some years we do not have the luxury to buy new books. That is where our homeschool library has been a saving grace.
Recently, I was lamenting about buying my daughters curriculum. It was going to be more expensive than I liked. I had the budget, but we also needed a low cost computer for our homeschool, however the money would have to go to the curriculum first. I walked into the homeschool library after a used book sale at a local homeschooling conference. There sitting on a shelf were the brand new student books for history, science, and algebra 1 for next year. I was able to check out the books from the library, praising God for the blessing! The homeschool library is a huge blessing, but I like to use it for a couple reasons.
- Finding curriculum for the next year or even for the current year.
- Comparing various curriculum for purchase.
- Glancing at curriculum that I didn’t even know existed
- Finding older curriculum or reading books
- Borrowing science equipment for that one time experiment
You may be thinking, this is great, but you don’t have a homeschool library! Start One! Here are a few key ideas that I have noticed about ours.
- They have a good location, that is accessible to homeschoolers. Ours is in the church where our homeschool group has a co-op. Therefore, there is easy access to most of the homeschoolers in our community.
- Our community has a homeschool conference with a used book sale. After the used book sale, many people will donate the materials that do not sell. Plus, people donate curriculum.
- They have lots of shelves. Our library is pretty full, so have a lot more shelves than you think you need.
- They sort the books by the type of curriculum such as; math, science, language, etc. Then, sort the books according to type. For example: Language arts maybe broken down into; spelling, vocabulary, grammar, literature, etc. Finally, sort books by grade starting with youngest to oldest.
- Our homeschool library, has a honor system. We write down on a piece of paper attached to a clip board what we are checking out. When we return it, we cross it out. This is pretty low tech, but it works.
- Volunteers maintain our library. This is a great service project for a teens!
- Homeschoolers give back to the library. Donate your curriculum in good condition.
I have to admit. I am very thankful for our homeschool library, for the wonderful and generous donations, and for the giving hands that take care of the library. The homeschool library is one of the great ideas that has blessed many families in our community. Visit your local homeschool library!