The Read-Aloud Revival podcast had a lot of great how-tos on it for homeschoolers using the public library. Our children’s Librarian is the one who put the final nail in my casket when she told me I should homeschool – I was already reading all the method books on early childhood development, especially the ones that disagreed with each other. I already had 25 holds placed on the construction vehicle books and burrowing animals that Ben was obsessed with. How much more bother could it be?
My favorite parts of the podcast are when the host explains how to use the holds feature of many (Many, Many) library systems which makes all the books in your area available, the freeze hold feature so all the books don’t come in before you can possibly read them all (like produce demanding to be canned), and what to do if browsing your local collection is dismal because it’s all Disney novelizations, twaddle or worse.
The Gospel Coalition Blog did one of their 9 Things you should know posts, about Homeschooling. It’s a pretty good summary. My only bone to pick is the ninth. In comparing how much Homeschooling “saves” the community, they are referring to some apples and oranges numbers. The public schools of our community must heat the same sized buildings and pay the same salaries and pensions if our kids are there or not. So just taking their budgets and dividing by students, then multiplying that number by homeschooled students is using magic math. Especially if they aren’t counting wages lost by the (mostly) mothers tutoring at the kitchen table, and the extra electricity and heat our homes use – there is a cost, it’s not just in approximately $600 per year per student for books and field trips, and you’d better count it before you dive in.
That said, this investment has paid off beautifully for us so far.