Monday, June 16, 2008

Homeschooling No-Brainer: Use the Library

[Photo by ReefRaff.]

Now that County Fair week is over, it's time to sign up for the library's summer reading program. Princess Kitten will be reading with or without the program, of course. With the other kids, when the house was too quiet, I wondered what sort of trouble they were getting into. With her, I know she's curled up with a book.

Kitten is a girl after my own heart. Like many homeschoolers, I have collected a ton of books over the years --- 11 tall bookshelf units at latest count, not including the ones in the kids' bedrooms. And yet, as I was going through the Ambleside Online book lists (adding the titles to my Frugal Homeschooling Store), I kept thinking, "Oh, I don't have that one, and I remember loving it as a kid... Ooh, I want a copy of this book, too... Hmmm, I should get one of these for Kitten..."

So now I have a lot of new (old, classic) books for my interlibrary loan list. As much as I'd love to have my own copy of every title, my budget just can't swing it. Yes, many are available used, some as low as a penny, but the shipping costs add up. Also, books do take up space, which means more bookshelves --- where in the world would I put another unit? But the library will store the books and deliver them for "free" (reminder: pay the property tax!) whenever I ask.

After all, the only thing one really needs to plan a great homeschool program is a library card. But our local library is so small that I can't find much by browsing the shelves, and I know how faulty my memory is. What other treasures have I been missing?

Thankfully, I don't have to rely on my own memory. The Internet comes to my rescue, with a wide variety of dream lists...

Book lists by grade/age level

Lists for sf/fantasy fans
Book lists for the college-bound
"Great Books" lists
Other specialized lists
Edited to add: Two more lists I found this week, recommended by lorem ipsum:

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