One of the exercises we did in today’s Service to Homeschooling Families workshop here in San Francisco involved breaking into groups to design programs. I wanted to post the program plans to the blog so people didn’t have to take notes while we were talking, but also so they’d be a resource for those who weren’t in the program. It’s a great group of ideas. Thanks so much to everyone who participated in today’s workshop!
Program #1: Homeschool Open House
The library would run two programs concurrently: the informational session for parents in a meeting room adjacent to the library and a story program for the children in another area. The informational session would include information about obtaining a “teacher” card, a bibliography/presentation on available materials, information on searching databases, and information about other library offerings (computers, library skills training, outreach). There would be a short survey for participants to fill out. Refreshments would be available, and the program would conclude with time for parents to mingle.
Program #2: Homeschoolers Acting Out!
This monthly program would combine book discussion and reader’s theatre. The library would take advantage of having a meeting room with a movable divider. To start, the divider would be in place. In one half of the room, children who are not yet reading independently will have activities with their parents. In the other half of the room, children who are reading independently would discuss a book and practice a reader’s theatre script based on that book. After the discussion/practice, they’d open up the divider and perform the reader’s theatre piece for the younger kids and parents. Participants would get a book and script for the next month at the end of the program.
Program #3: Family Book Group
This would be open to all children–whether they’re listening to the books or reading them themselves. They’d pick “meaty” middle grade novels, books that are longer but don’t have material that would be inappropriate for younger children. (The group gave The Chocolate Touch by Patrick Skene Catling as an example.) They’d make sure the books were available on audio, so families could listen to it on car rides or at other times, and they’d also buy extra copies of the books they’re discussing. This would be a monthly, registered program. They’d obtain families’ email addresses so they could email reminders. They’d set up tables in a square with chairs around, so people are facing each other. The session itself would include discussion, a craft or activity, and refreshments.
Program #4: Homeschool Open House
At 1:00 in the afternoon, families would gather together in the meeting room where they’d get nametags, have a brief introduction, and take a short survey. After that, they’d go out to different stations around the library where they’d learn about various resources and where they’d also learn about upcoming programs related to various sections. (So, for example, when you’re showing the library catalog, you would point out that there will be a class on how to use the library catalog on Friday, December 4 at 1:00.) They’d also promote volunteer opportunities and other library services (holds, returning books at other system libraries). They also view this program as a way to raise the rest of the staff’s awareness of homeschoolers. They’d get the group back into the meeting room at the end of the program with prize drawings (prizes would be books culled from donations to the library), and that’s when they’d hand out a packet with information participants can take home and use/peruse.