Homeschooler VS. The Library

I love the library.  Any library, I imagine.  I’ve been in tiny, basement archives, and I’ve been in enormous, breathtaking repositories.  Each library has something to offer, and for a homeschooling family, the library is a true lifeline.  For the homeschooling family, a good library can mean the difference between financial contentment and painfully stretching for each penny.  If you’ve homeschooled for any length of time, you know how easily the book budget can be reached and exceeded!  Also, the library helps reduce clutter because you send the books back and keep your shelves clear.  Perfect.


In my experience, the library is about books primarily, but it is also where we meet friends, take classes, explore rotating displays, hear stories, make crafts, pick up fliers for other events in our community, discover new music on CD and sometimes in live performances, and of course, supplement our curriculum with interesting media of all kinds.  We live in a suburb, so we can easily access three great libraries in our immediate community and in the city.  We have to look no further than our libraries to reach more activities and more materials than we could need in our whole homeschooling career.  What isn’t to love?

But here is why I often feel like I’m in a battle against our libraries.  The library is filled with wonderful literary goodness, and I want to bring those things home.  With three library choices and four kids, we can end up with many, many books!  Even just a day or two of late fees ends up being a fortune, and I feel like a library failure.  It’s a tough call.  When my children are browsing the FREE goodies, I have a very hard time saying no or setting limits.  Wouldn’t you?

So I would love to hear from our readers.  How do you organize library books in your household?  How do you avoid late fees and stay on top of those pesky due dates?  My solution to the library-induced stress is to simply consider all my late fees to be a generous donation to my favorite organizations!  But, you know, that’s probably not sustainable.  🙂

~*~ Erica



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