Help for Homeschoolers
Posted on November 20, 2020
With the uncertainty of COVID, librarians are seeing an uptick in calls from people who are choosing to homeschool their children. As a librarian who homeschooled my two children, I have some insight into leveraging Library resources as you educate your children.
First, I want to mention that to homeschool in Ohio you need to notify your school’s superintendent at the beginning of the year and assess your children’s learning at the end of the year. The Ohio Department of Education website will guide you through the process. You’ll find that Ohio gives homeschoolers a lot of choice in what to offer and when. I found a simple scope and sequence helpful in planning what my kids would study. World Book offers a typical course of study which can be useful.
As to Library resources, a note on what we don’t offer extensively: textbooks and workbooks. Although we do have a few, there are just too many different homeschool curriculums for us to offer a good selection. Also, workbooks don’t work so well if you can’t write in them and families typically need textbooks longer than our borrowing period, so it doesn’t make sense for us to purchase them.
While we don’t offer many textbooks, the Library offers a rich assortment of resources and services that provide ample aid to homeschoolers, all free to anyone with a Library card and PIN.
To begin with, if you are a homeschooler, parent or other educator, take a look at the new tab on the Toledo Library’s home page, PreK-12 HELP where we’ve gathered a wealth of educational options.
When I homeschooled, I purchased some curriculum, particularly for Math which I was a little nervous about teaching. For other subjects, I found that informational Library books were great learning resources. Need books about bears for a 3rd grader? Ask your librarian for recommendations. They can find books at your child’s reading level. You can call or ask in person at your branch or fill out this handy form to request materials.
One thing that’s new since I was homeschooling is the selection of electronic resources that the Library offers. If you need books after the Library closes or don’t want to brave the weather (or COVID), we have a great variety of books that you can access with your computer, phone or tablet.
If you need a printable worksheet for skills practice, check out Scholastic Teachables. Use the search bar or click on “Topics” to narrow down the resources by grade level and subject.
Scholastic Teachables™ is an online database of tens of thousands of searchable and printable educational materials for Prek-6th grade! Teachables™ has 25,000 classroom resources to supplement any subject including leveled mini-books, fun clip art, plus skill and activity sheets.
Third-Party Provider: Scholastic
Overdrive offers a wide selection of books, many of which are commonly taught in schools. You can access them on your computer or download the Libby app to read them on a phone or tablet.
Overdrive (Libby App)
Features: There are thousands of ebooks and audiobooks, hand-selected by your library, available for reading or listening. Explore the collection through catalog guides, subjects, featured titles, and curated lists. It’s a delight to discover new books through Libby.
Need help? Try our online chat or check out Overdrive’s help section.
Access just for Kids
Access just for Teens
Third-Party Provider: Overdrive
Download the Libby by Overdrive app:
World Book eBooks
World Book eBooks has mainly informational books supporting educational subject matter which you can read online. It also has a collection of early readers for kids new to reading.
World Book eBooks
Supports classroom instruction and library reading initiatives with over 2,500 titles, including World Book exclusive content and classic literature. 24/7 unlimited, simultaneous access. World Book eBooks also feature a free downloadable app compatible with Apple, Windows, and Android devices.
Grade Levels: elementary school, middle school and high school
Subjects: art/music, English/language arts, health, history/government, science, social studies and technology
Third-Party Provider: World Book
Speaking of early readers, BookFlix is a great Library resource for families with preschoolers and early readers. It pairs fiction and non-fiction picture books and early readers for topics appealing to younger kids.