Services for Homeschoolers
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 1.5 million students--about 2.9% of the K-12 students in the US--were homeschooled in 2007, a 36% increase since the last study in 2003. This small but quickly growing population has particular needs, and homeschooling families often turn to public libraries to help fill those needs.
What types of services can my library provide for homeschoolers?
These are just a few ideas:
- The best place to start is with the collection and programming you already have. Reach out to homeschooling families and groups in your community to let them know what you have to offer, and invite them to your library. You may wish to hold an open house for them. Create flyers too, such as the one Rio Rancho Public Library has on its website (listed below).
- Talk to the homeschooling families in your community (start with those that already use the library) to get their input on how else you can assist them, and how to reach those that don’t use the library.
- Offer to display projects that homeschoolers create.
- Create a special section of resources specifically for homeschoolers, such as textbooks, information, curricula, etc.
- Offer homeschoolers extended loan periods and increased limits on the number of items they can check out at a time.
- Create handouts and a webpage of the state laws and requirements pertaining to homeschooling in NM; include info on area homeschooling groups.
- Invite homeschooling groups to use the library’s meeting room for meetings and instruction (of course you may wish to set limits on the frequency and length of time!).
- Invite teen homeschoolers to volunteer in the library, as well as join the Teen Advisory Group.
- Offer trainings on using Magazines Online and other databases your library subscribes to; these are excellent research tools for students of all ages.
An NM Library Example
Homeschooler’s Guide to the Rio Rancho Public Library
Homeschooling and Parent/Teacher Hotlinks (don’t miss the Storytime Kits!)
- Helping homeschoolers in the library by Adrienne Furness, American Library Association, 2008.
- Serving homeschooled teens and their parents by Maureen T. Lerch and Janet Welch, Libraries Unlimited, 2004.
Library Services for Homeschoolers Wiki
Public Library Services for Home Schooling. ERIC Digest
NM Home Schools Bureau (NM Public Education Department)