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Libraries Still Keep Homeschooling Affordable for Families

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Libraries Still Keep Homeschooling Affordable for Families

By Linda Dobson

When I was homeschooling three kiddos, we loved our library in Saranac Lake, New York. I’d keep track of the grand total of books we checked out – only by number of books, not names. When it came time to return the books, it was almost routine to gather, say, 42 books, only to look at the list and see we needed to return 43. Even today looking back on that last minute hunt for the missing book brings a smile to my face.

Many Homeschooling Rewards Came from Library Experience


The library can be an integral part of your family's learning team...all for free.

Over the years the library provided us with priceless value in terms of educational materials that contributed greatly to the kids’ education. But we received so much more than that. The director and employees provided space for our homeschooling support group meetings and workshops open to the public. They hosted guest speakers who provided introduction to a variety of topics to my kids. They invited the kiddos to be readers at storybook hours, that included staging a puppet show I will never forget. As the local homeschooling community grew, they were open-minded about purchasing books and magazines I recommended that would help the entire community. They created a place for homeschooling information in their vertical file, so new and “thinking about homeschooling” parents could find local support. They were true partners in my children’s education.

And so I was delighted to find that one of the winners of an annual Woman’s Day/American Library Association essay contest was one Karen Schmidt of Camano Island, Washington, who writes about a similarly grateful attitude in her homeschooling journey with her son, Jonathan. Karen writes, “Homeschooling has been completely doable on a single wage-earner’s income largely because we have received so much for free from our library.”

See also The Homeschooling Legacy

Given the plethora of homeschooling material for sale today, I hope everyone will read Karen’s essay for inspiration regarding local libraries. The library isn’t just about books. It is also the location of a happily anticipated learning adventure when approached with the right attitude, and an integral part of your family’s learning team…all for free.

Thank you, Karen, and thank you librarians for all you do for our communities!

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