Has your child always had a love for books? Is there a large number of homeschoolers in your area (or do you know a good amount of homeschooling families)? If you can say yes to both of these, then starting a homeschool library would be a good idea for a library lesson, as well as just to create a great sharing resource for homeschoolers.
Getting Prepared to Create Your Library
First, sort through all the books and schooling equipment (microscopes, globes, overhead projectors, digital cameras, video tapes, cassette tapes, cd's, dvd's..) in your house and find the ones that are not special to anyone, meaning it would be alright to lend them out. Shelf, organize, and store those together in an area of your house that you will feel comfortable with people walking through. First floor walk-in closets or unused utility rooms are good for this or you can even just use a designated corner of any room where you feel comfortable placing the bookshelf.
Simple Ways to Collect Items for Your Homeschool Library
Next, you will need to contact everyone you know, asking them if they have any books, materials, or equipment they are not using that they could donate to the library. Then, while you are waiting for everyone to deliver their collections, visit local church sales and garage sales and buy books with low prices. You can usually find books priced at 10 cents to 50 cents at these events. Sometimes local libraries hold sales as well. Some even sell entire bags full of books for only a couple bucks. Be sure to search for educational materials as well as just regular books to read and be sure you have all ages covered.
Completing the Set-Up of Your Library
Once your collection is complete, either make or buy book pockets for checking out books and labels to place on the books that tells people the books belong to your library. Once you have all the books labeled and pocketed, you are ready to start checking out items. Be sure you also have a poster that clearly states your policies, including late fees and times allotted for material usage.
How to Share Your Library, if Desired
Let everyone know when your library is ready. You can even have a "grand-opening" check-out party with snacks outdoors and book checkout indoors. Advertising the library and grand-opening is a great way to meet other homeschooling families, as well as create more customers for your library. This can be done by printing up fliers and placing them in local churches, libraries, homeschooling bulletin boards, and other places people with children frequent. If you post them on a library bulletin board, remember to get permission. Some libraries may consider you to be competition, so be courteous. You can also open up the library to other parents, not just homeschoolers. Have fun with your ideas. The possibilities are endless.
*I originally published a version of this via Yahoo Contributor Network
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