A couple of months ago our local library updated their computer system, and when they did it, opened up a whole new world of homeschooling possibilities. Curriculum I never thought would be possible for our family is now available FOR FREE! Magazines I used to enjoy but chose to discontinue to help us save money is now available FOR FREE! Supplemental resources that I thought would be a luxury is now available for FREE! And they are all e ONLINE. I don’t even have to go to the library to check them out.
So what gems did I find? While they have a lot more resources than than those listed below, these are the ones I plan on checking out for us this next year. I get premium access to each just for having a library card. So fun!
Free Online Library Resources
- A to Z Maps–with this resource you don’t really need those atlases at all
- A to Z the USA–think online US almanac
- Ben’s Guide to US GOVERNMENT for Kids
- Britannica Library Children–elementary encyclopedia
- Computer and Internet BASICS course
- idsSearch–online database search including New World Encyclopedia
- Lands and People–for k-12, contains encyclopedia and atlases for all current countries
- Little Pim
- Mango Languages
- National Geographic Kids–online magazine for kids 6-12
- Primary search–a database intended for elementary students
- Science online–comprehensive science curriculum
- Searchasaurus–another elementary database
- Signing Savvy–signing dictionary
- World Almanac for Kids
- WorldCat for an inter library loan request
- Freegal–download 5 free songs every week
Besides that, the library now offers magazines online for FREE with the help of Zinio. While there were 100s of options available, here are a few magazines that I thought may be homeschool helpful.
Free Online Magazines
- Consumer Reports
- Chickadee (kids)
- Chirp (kids)
- Family Circle
- Family Fun
- iPad for Parents
- National Geographic
- Parents Magazine
- Scholastic Parent and Child
- Today’s Parent
And don’t forget those library resources you can find in the brick and mortar building either. They are great not only for read alouds and student readers but also curriculum. Just recently we discovered our library had the Life of Fred books, Phonics Pathways, Signing Time videos, How to Teach Your Child in 100 Easy Lessons and more. If nothing else, you could check out next year’s curriculum for a few weeks to see if they are a good fit for your child before ordering.
So check out your local library! Who knows–maybe it has a similar setup to our Metropolitan Library System. Ask them if they have any online resources available to its members. You never know, if you don’t ask, and the answer could save you thousands.