For the second day of the 5 Days of Homeschool Essentials blog hop, I am going to talk about one of my most absolutely necessary curriculum essentials: my local library! For starters, I used to be a middle school English teacher, and I LOVE books! I love them so much, I write about them on my blog every Thursday for my Booklovers Anonymous series! When we started homeschooling I was so excited about the books I was going to get to read with my kids!
Then, as I started doing research about homeschooling, I discovered the idea of using living books for history studies and tying them into reading and language arts, ala Sonlight, Heart of Dakota, Winter Promise, and other companies. The idea of this got me really excited!
That was, until I started looking at their prices! Wow…so far out of my budget it wasn’t even funny. That’s how the library comes in! I got a chance to check out Illuminations by Bright Ideas Press through the crew, and I checked out almost every book from the library. When I wanted to try the program, I went through the book list, looked up every book, and figured out which books were and were not available. In all, I had to order about 7 books, and I think I spent around $40 on all of them!
As I’ve gotten more confident in my abilities, I have created my own short unit studies using books from the library. You can truly study just about any history, science, art, or literature topic you want if you have access to a good library or one with inter-library loan (which mine has).
The one thing about the library for me is that is does take planning! For example, my youngest son is on year two of Mystery of History right now. I have to take the time to plan a couple of units out, deciding which books I need and requesting them when appropriate. It is also important to keep tracks of those due dates so you don’t rack up pesky fines!! The Old Schoolhouse Planner has plenty of forms to help with this! I usually print out a new form for each month and keep it in my personal planner, using colored highlighters to keep track of books and due dates.
The library is definitely one homeschool essential I could NOT live without! What is your most important curriculum essential? Let me know in the comments. Join me tomorrow when I talk about one of my big essentials for helping our homeschool run smoothly! Check out what the rest of the crew had to share today here:
Visit these blogs for more Homeschool Essentials posts:
1. Day by Day in Our World
2. Nurturing Learning
3. Farm Fresh Adventures
4. For the Display of His Splendor
5. At Home: where life happens
6. Journey to Excellence
7. Homeschool Ways
8. Adventures with Jude
9. Delivering Grace