You never really know how much you will miss something until it’s gone, or in this case, inaccessible. Living on a small island has made me miss taking my kids on our fun-filled learning trips to the local library. If you have a library near you, or even a short distance away, please take advantage of the opportunity you have to use it. Here are a few ways to get the most out of your trips to the library.
Where I live now, there is only one library. When I say “library”, I am being super generous. The “library” is a tiny room with a few shelves of books at a local technical school. U.S. Aid donated the books about ten years ago. The books are only available to borrow on Saturdays and the room is only open for a few hours (9 a.m. – 12 a.m.).
I say this to tell you just how much my kids and I miss the library in the downtown area of our community in Florida. It was beautiful. The library grounds had contemporary sculptures in the front and a whole children’s section that was decorated like a jungle in the walkway leading to it.
Excuse me while I reminisce about the small science experiments in the children’s library or the librarian story-hours once a month. It may seem like a nuisance to get out yet another day out of the month, but I tell you that it is worth it every time. It is worth every memory.
From one mom to another (or to a dad), here are some ways to get the most out of your trips to the library.
Make it a weekly or bi-weekly routine.
Sometimes staying at home can become quite mundane. Getting kids out of the house will never get old for them. It will also break up the monotony for dirt cheap or for just the price of the gas to get there.
Let your children pick their own books.
There is nothing like killing two birds with one stone. That analogy is pretty extreme, I know. However, trips to the library have fantastic benefits, but helping your child build character while doing it is a bonus.
Allow your children the independence to choose their own books. We control a lot of our child’s life (even though it may not seem like it at times). Use this library time to help build independence in your child and to encourage confidence in their choices. NOTE: Of course, develop some clear parameters around age appropriateness. Maybe, provide them with topics or provide a list of books for them to find and select from.
Participate in free library activities.
FREE events are one of the things I really miss from the library in the U.S. We went to a few science experiment days and librarian storytimes. I plainly remember choosing not to go because I was too lazy or tired on that given day.
Moms, I know we get really tired. That is understandable. You will find, though, that you won’t ever regret choosing to get up, choosing to step out, and just go. Attending these free learning experiences is an excellent opportunity for your kids. Get a list of the monthly/yearly events calendar for your library. Choose a few activities/events you would like your kids to participate in and let your kids choose a few they want to attend.
Allow your kids to borrow audiobooks and ebooks from the library’s online system. (Have them write their assignments at the library.)
Your kids will enjoy being able to go online and maneuver through the system and even borrow books to read online as well. In this day and age of technology, this is a good experience for your kids to brush up on computer skills. It is wise to get children accustomed to reading online or on a device as well. The future, I am sure, will require them to do more of it – whether it be in college, secondary training, or for personal use.
Make an appointment for your children to meet with the librarian at least once a year.
Sometimes we go through our life, and our children rarely carry conversations with adults. Have your children gather some questions, and sit down with a librarian to speak to an adult, to get real answers.
This will build up your child’s communication skills, their confidence and help them converse comfortably with a professional. You will be surprised at how few times our kids actually get to speak to an adult who takes them seriously, aside from a doctor’s visit or family member.
Sometimes you live in an area without a library. There are options for you too!
I learned about a new website recently that is going to solve my library problem; I’m pretty excited about it. I can’t wait until you take a look at it too.
Grab these FREE resources to help you get the most out of your library trips with your kids.
Resource Library Welcome Page | Staying Cool in the Library
Library No Prep Printables FREEBIE | Library No Prep Printables FREEBIE
Free Library Scavenger Hunt | 123Homeschool4Me
Taking a Trip to the Library Free Printable Pack (BONUS DOWNLOAD)
Printable Library Free Cards | Clementine Creative
Library Free Scavenger Hunt | Usbourne for Kids
FREE Printable Color Your Own Space Bookmarks and Reading Log for Kids | Real Life at Home
How to Use FREE Printable Preschool Reading Logs | Early Learning Ideas
Library Scavenger Hunt for Kids Part 2: Free Bingo Version | The Many Little Joys
Printables for the Library | Arrows, and Applesauce
Check out these adorable books to help your kids read about a trip to the library.
Use your local library, or travel a little further to a super cool library farther away. Go with your children often, and even get some books for yourself. Libraries house a wealth of knowledge, they can make learning fun, and they are a budget-friendly field trip you all can enjoy.
Jeannette is a wife, mother and homeschooling mom. She has been mightily, saved by grace and is grateful for God’s sovereignty throughout her life’s journey. She has a Bachelor in English Education and her MBA. Jeannette is bi-lingual and currently lives in the Tongan Islands of the South Pacific. She posts daily freebies for homeschoolers!
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