Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Favorite Places

I have always loved libraries. I can remember family trips to the library starting when I was about seven or eight. We lived outside the area that the library served, so there was an annual fee for us to borrow books, and my parents who had little extra cash ever, and never paid for a frivolous activity, paid the library access charge every year. We only went to the library in the fall and winter, adn I absolutely loved choosing my allowed four books a week.

Now as ana dult I still love the library. Where else can you browse and fill up your arms with fascinating possibilities, and walk out without paying anything (except of course that pesky annual fee and the occasional fine!)

Libraries are especially important to home educating families. No matter how well-chosen a curriculum is, there are gaps to fill in, or interesting side topics to pursue. No parent can buy enough books for a voracious ten year old reader, or enough easy readers for a first grader ( and many of those books are not re-readable enough to warrant owning them.)

Libraries are a wonderful way to find a favorite author, to learn about any topic uncer the sun, to flip through books of photography or art that are prohibitively expensive to buy, or to borrow a book of Peanuts cartoons and lighten up a little.

Other favorite library options: audio books. Is a classic novel just too much to read? Why not listen to it. Or for a struggling reader, reading along with the audio book can help put meaning to what is read. How-to-videos show as well as tell us how to do something. Nature videos illuminate science studies (if you haven't wtche dthe Planet Earth DVD's you should see if your library has them.)

I love my library! I hope you do too.

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