Archive for the ‘Library Programs and Services’ category

Updated Edition of The Well-Trained Mind and Audiobook Versions of the Story of the World Series

September 9, 2009

One of our regular homeschooling patrons just alerted me that a new 10th anniversary edition of The Well-Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise was published in past May (ISBN: 9780393067088). This 814 page book explains the philosophy behind a Classical curriculum and provides a year-by-year outline on how to implement it. It’s a must-have for most collections. There are quite a number of homeschoolers using a Classical curriculum and even more who use some of it or are influenced by it.

This same patron also told me that there are audiobook versions of Susan Wise Bauer’s 4-volume The Story of the World series, a chronological history that takes readers (or, in this case, listeners) from ancient times through the present. If you can afford them, the books will be well-used in most collections, and I think the audiobooks will be a fine investment as well, something even some non-homeschooling families will find interesting.

For more information about Classical homeschooling, The Well-Trained Mind, and The Story of the World, visit The Well-Trained Mind website and Peace Hill Press.


Book at Powell’s

April 7, 2009

I noticed that a used copy of Helping Homeschoolers in the Library is available at Powell’s for $24.50, which is quite the value, so I thought I’d post a link.

Service to Homeschooling Families: LA and Santa Maria Pre-Workshop Assignment Part 2

March 2, 2009

Another resource I think is valuable to those who want to learn more about homeschooling (which I’ve linked to here before and that I’ll be citing several times in the workshops next week) is the National Center for Education Statistics’ report, “Homeschooling in the United States: 2003.” The stats are a bit dated at this point, but they are also the most rigorously collected and carefully analyzed stats currently available on homeschooling. It is tremendously difficult to find studies of homeschooling that focus, like this one does, on homeschoolers as a whole rather than a very select group of homeschoolers. The authors’ comments in the NCES report speak to some of the difficulties in collecting information about homeschoolers, and some of their findings might surprise you. Here are just a few interesting factoids from the study:

  • * The number one reason homeschooling parents (85.4% of respondents) gave for homeschooling their children was “concern about environment of other schools.” The number two reason (68.2% of respondents) was “dissatisfaction with academic instruction at other schools.”
  • * Homeschooled children are more likely to come from two-parent families, have more siblings, and have one parent home full-time than their institutionally-schooled peers.
  • * 77.9% of respondents reported using the public library as a primary source of learning materials. The library won out over homeschooling catalogs, bookstores, and homeschooling organizations–as well it should.

The NCES has started updating this data, and in December they published a new “In Brief” report, “1.5 Million Homeschooled Students in the United States in 2007.” It’s nothing earth-shattering, but it’s worth a quick read.

Service to Homeschooling Families: LA and Santa Maria Pre-Workshop Assignment Part 1

February 19, 2009

Welcome attendees of Infopeople’s upcoming “Service to Homeschooling Families” workshops in LA (March 9th) and Santa Maria (March 11th)! California has a vibrant homeschooling community. I’ve loved having the opportunity to learn more about it talking to library staff in past workshops, and I’m looking forward to learning more in the ones to come! In preparation for the workshop, I thought some of you might like to get a head start on exploring the world of homeschooling. One of my favorite websites for newbies is the Homeschool Diner, maintained by homeschooler Julie Shepherd Knapp. Her “Guide to Homeschooling Approaches and Curriculum (and Everything)” is designed for new homeschoolers, but it’s also an excellent resource for library staff who would like to begin learning more about homeschooling. I highly recommend reading the article and delving further into the site. If you would like to post a comment here to let me know what you think about what you’re reading, I’d be glad to hear from you.

2008 Homeschooling Releases

December 13, 2008

Here is a quartet of 2008 homeschooling releases I’m looking into reading (and perhaps reviewing), along with links to information I could find on each.

Leppert, Michael and Mary. The Homeschooling Book of Lists. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2008.

  • * One customer review and description on Amazon

Millman, Gregory and Martine. Homeschooling: A Family’s Journey. NY: Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin, 2008. (HC: 9781585426614)

  • * Reviews from PW and Library Journal on
  • * Few customer reviews on Amazon

Orr, Tamra. Asking Questions Finding Answers: A Parent’s Journey Through Homeschooling. Tonasket, WA: Home Education Magazine, 2008. (PB: 9780945097310)

Rivero, Lisa. The Homeschooling Option: How to Decide When It’s Right for Your Family. NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008. (HC: 9780230600706, PB: 9780230600683)

Service to Homeschooling Families, San Francisco: Program Plans

December 4, 2008

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.

SHOUTOUT to Abby (the) Librarian, or Creative Ways to Accommodate a Wide Range of Ages in Library Programs for Homeschoolers

November 30, 2008

A couple weeks ago, blogger Abby (the) Librarian posted about a program for homeschoolers she conducted at her library in a suburb of Chicago. What I love about her program is that they divided the kids into two groups–older kids and younger kids–and offered a separate program for each group simultaneously. They gave the participants/parents the flexibility to choose which group they’d be in. If you have a colleague that’s interested in working with you on homeschooling programs, this is an excellent way to serve a wide range of ages at once, something that helps encourage homeschoolers with more than one child (and the stats tell us that most of them do have more than one child) to set aside the time to participate.

Bravo, Abby!