As a homeschooling family, we utilise the library all the time. We love our local library and are there many days a week. A couple of years ago our boys were given their own library cards and we are amazed at how much this has encouraged them to read and want to learn more.
The Gold Coast has many libraries, and many, many books that you can borrow for free. We are able to go online and put the books we want on hold and have them transported to the closest library to us for free. We receive a text when it has arrived and is ready to be picked up. This is a fantastic free service and I love that we don’t have to buy books. When the boys chose a topic they want to learn about, we go to the library website and choose the books / dvds / audio cds we want and then wait for a text to say they are in. If they don’t have what we want or if I have been told a particular book is great, we put in a request for the library to purchase it. They have purchased all the ones we have requested, though sometimes it can take about 4-6 weeks for this to happen.
The amount of money we have saved from not having to buy books it unbelievable. We do however purchase a book every now and then when the boys have really enjoyed it and are really keen to own them.
Free Wi-fi (Internet)
Our boys love watching videos and researching topics on their laptops, but this all uses Internet. Now that the boys have their own cards, they are able to sign into the libraries free wi-fi internet and watch all they want, research all they want and not use up all our home internet.
If your children don’t have their own laptop, some libraries have computers that you can book to use for free. Our local library has about 20 computers for this.
Our library also offers free activities for all ages. They are often quite educational as well. There are book clubs, craft activities, health programs and more! And there are usually more during the school holidays. These are also really good for those rainy days! They are also great for socialization and meeting other families who may homeschool too!
Encourage a Love for Reading
The more time we spend at the library, the more the boys are enjoying reading. Though they read many fiction novels, which is great, they also find other topics that want to learn more about. While perusing the aisles at the library, they find books that they haven’t read and want to borrow so they can read.
Library Book Sales
A couple of times a year our libraries have sales, selling their older books. This is great! You purchase the old books and after the kids read them, they can cut out the pictures to use on their projects or in lap books. We have purchased many books through these library book sales.
Photocopiers / printing facilities
Though you do need to think about copyright when photocopying from books, this is great for those worksheets that you purchase / download that you need multiply copies of. Also the boys are able to research their projects, write them up on their laptops and print them out all at the library. At our library, there is a very small charge to photocopy/print out.
Most libraries have meeting rooms that could be used for homeschooling co-ops and events. Maybe you could start your own homeschooling book club?
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