Homeschoolers and the Public Library

October 19, 2020 – Erin Gericke, User Services

I was homeschooled for most of my education, from second grade through high school graduation. I will admit, when we first began, I was not the happiest about it. But looking back on that experience now, as an almost college graduate, this was one of the best experiences that my parents could have ever given me. And yes, I have since apologized to my mother for being difficult in the beginning.

While the homeschooling experience varies wildly for each family, that is what can make it so unique. Of course, the core curriculum is needed for learning the basics such as Algebra and English, but there is an opportunity for customization in regards to the child’s interests. I personally had a phase in middle school where I wanted to be an astronaut, so we focused on all things outer space for much of the science that we were doing at the time. Throughout the years, there were ways that the lessons we learned were pulled from everyday life. When we needed to do dissections for Biology in high school, those were done at the neighbor’s house on their kitchen island. When a new wildflower was found blooming in the field, the identification books would be pulled out to see where it came from.

The best resource that my mother utilized in my homeschooling education was the public library. I remember making a weekly trip to the local library and the anticipation of finding new worlds and ideas between the pages. My sister and I would pick out the books we would want to read while talking to the children’s librarians, and our mother would find materials to enhance the topics that we would be learning about in the week to come. We would tote our finds out to the car, bags bursting with books on birds, space, science, and endless other topics.

The books are just the beginning of the resources you can find at the library to aid in your homeschooling journey. The Cape Girardeau Public Library boasts many resources that can be beneficial to your student’s interests. Maybe your child is fascinated with outer space like I was; we have telescopes available for checkout, perfect for the next meteor shower or stargazing adventure! Pair it with the book Astronomy for Kids: How to Explore Outer Space with Binoculars, a Telescope, or Just Your Eyes! and you will be ready to see the stars in a new light!

Not one for being out in the night time? Check out our new binoculars for your next birding excursion. Whether it’s at Trail of Tears State Park or simply checking out the birds at your feeder, don’t forget a bird identification book, such as Birds in Missouri from the Adult section or About Birds for the younger student.

For the artistic and crafty students, we provide Take and Make craft kits put together with love by our Youth Services department. These kits change out on a weekly basis, so make sure to ask at the drive-thru window for the newest one. Looking for something else to make? Check out the Juvenile craft section where you can find gems such as Paper Scissors Glue: 45 Fun and Creative Paper Craft Projects for Kids.

The greatest resource that the public library offers to the community is the people who work there. Our librarians are always happy to point you in the right direction for encouraging young readers or finding the resources for the new teacher.

With recent uncertainties in regards to the future, it seems more people are turning to this option for their child’s education. While you may be embarking on this path or simply researching, just remember that the library is always here to do what we do best: working to get information and ideas for those who seek it out.

Cape Girardeau Public Library

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