Loving the Library

or alternately called ” The Number One Greatest Homeschool Resource You Have Probably Already Heard of”. Don’t you just love those catchy titles they give articles to suck you into reading them?

My family has had a love-hate relationship with libraries over the years. When I was a kid my family moved a lot-our average was a move every year and a half. It wasn’t always to a different area, but it was still a lot of work. The running joke in our family was that we moved to escape the library fines. I think there were several libraries where our fines reached $20+. I still worry that someday a group of angry librarians will show up at my door demanding payment with interest. Thankfully, my current library has a maximum overdue fine of $10. I also have sweet librarians who have erased fines due because they were in a good mood. Now I just need to be careful not to lose or destroy books…or rather prevent anyone else in my house from destroying and losing them.

In spite of being on several libraries’ ” Most Wanted” lists, I still use it as a great tool in my homeschool. This year I felt my kids were getting old enough for a little more structured history lessons rather than the random ones we have been doing at timely moments. Feeling a little more ambitious I put together my own history curriculum using books from the library. Some books were ones I found while searching my library system website and some were suggestions from Guest Hollow. She put together a nice list of history books she was using to teach her son for the year. ¬†I highly recommend you check it out if you would like to find some great books for kids on history.

Our topic for this year has been Early American American History. We started with the Native Americans. A series I really enjoyed along with the kids was the “If You Lived With…” books. We read about the Hopi, Sioux, Northwestern tribes, and Cherokee people. It was fascinating to read about the different foods, traditions, homes, and religions of the First Peoples. Each society was very structured. Men and women had pretty distinct roles in their society, and religion played a huge part in their lives. After the First Peoples we moved on to early explorers, Roanoke, Pilgrims, Jamestown, and are now on to Fur traders.

At the beginning of our school year I picked out the topics I wanted to cover and made a list. We are working through the list in order of when the events happened. The library website allows users to make lists. I put the books that looked interesting on the list, and I request them about a week before we need them. It was a big job when putting the list together, but now it is easy peasy. The goal for this year is to get through the American Revolution and hopefully cover some early American government. Next year I would like to go over the Westward  Expansion through recent history if all goes well.


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