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10 Tips for Educating Your Children Using Your Local Library

I’ve found our local libraries to be perhaps the best one-stop free resource to educating our children. We’re very fortunate to have many libraries. Here are 10 tips for using your local library to educate your child. Many of these tips come from a hand-out I picked up at our local library; however, I have added some my thoughts as well.

1.    Let your child get a library card and teach them responsibility when using it. You might only want to allow them to take out one or two books at a time in the beginning. My boys were around five and seven (or a little younger) when we allowed them to get cards.

2.   Be an example! Let your child see you read.

3.   Read  to your child aloud. You can help expand their vocabulary this way because they hear you pronouncing new words.

4.   Go online and locate all of  your local libraries and schedule regular times to visit them. Our county library system has a website where we can search for what we want, find which library its at and place a “hold” on it reserving it for us to pick up later.

5.   Create or designate a reading place for your child in your home. Make it fun by giving them their own chair, floor mat, or maybe a bean bag to sit in. Designate a small bookshelf to keep their own books on nearby. With a little imagination (and some paint or posters), you could even paint a tree on the wall behind their chair or hang up pictures or posters to personalize the space even more!

6.   Ask your local librarian for suggestions. They know the library and can help you find what you’re looking for. Our library has “kindergarten readiness packs”  you can borrow to help your preschooler prepare for kindergarten. If you’re homeschooling, you might be interested in  my 3 easy tips  for creating a unit study.

7.   Attend programs offered at your library. We are very fortunate to have so many programs or activities available to us. One of our favorites has been the Little Explorers programs. You can expand on these opportunities by borrowing relevant videos or books on the subject to take home for continual learning.

8.  Show your child how to use the computer. Our library has kid-friendly games and you might not be too surprised to see how quickly a young child learns to use a “mouse.”

9.  Does your library sell used books and magazines? Ours does and there are great deals to be had. You can cheaply build your own at-home library this way. (See tip #5.)

10. Be sure to look for ways to give encouragement and praise to your child as they learn how to read. Even the smallest of efforts and accomplishments may seem burdensome to a child, so help them along.

In addition to homeschooling her boys, Tracy owns and writes from her blog Hall of Fame Moms sharing not only reviews on family-friendly products and places but also posts about homeschooling resources, frugal living, her faith and more. Like her boys', she enjoys wild things in nature. Catterpillars, bugs and tadpoles are welcomed guests in their home. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

2 Comments

  1. Brandy aka Lil Momma

    March 10, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    One more thing we use to help encourage reading in our home is to look for books that are written or about homeschoolers. My son thinks it is neat to read a book that has homeschoolers in it. Makes him feel less different. Most books are about schools or have school scenes in them. That is something my son has never had before so homeschool themed books are great for him. Then to know that a homeschooler can accomplish writing a book. That is even more inspiration for him.

    Lil Momma
    A mom who loves to introduce books by homeschoolers to her emerging reader.

    • Tracy @ Hall of Fame Moms

      March 14, 2012 at 2:38 pm

      Brandy, offhand I can’t think of any books written by and for homeschoolers the way we see books written for regular-schoolers. But what a great idea that is if some homeschooling parents were to write such books. I’d love to see some. I guess I’d have to do a search online or with my library for such books. Thanks for the idea!