Homeschooling/Schooling at Home Resources

Note: The target audience for this resource page is librarians. It is not intended as a one-stop resource to address the needs of individuals around a topic as wide as homeschooling. The Vermont Department of Libraries does not endorse any specific methodologies or companies/organizations related to these materials.

Overview

We have seen discussion on listservs recently about the need for libraries to provide more information about homeschool resources since more parents are choosing to keep their children at home this fall because of the pandemic. It’s important to delineate among: parents who choose to school their children at home and provide their own curriculum and activities; parents who choose to have their children learn at home and be enrolled in the school district’s online school option; and parents whose children will likely do school at home sporadically, dependent on whether it is deemed safe for schools to be open for on-site learning. Library support may overlap in some areas, no matter which type of home learning is taking place.

Homeschooling/Home Study: Education directed by the parent/guardian in accordance with state guidelines.

Unschooling: Dictated by the child’s interests and is typically less structured than homeschooling and not connected to a formal curriculum.

School at Home: For students currently enrolled in school including fully online option, or a hybrid online/in person option, or who will be doing school at home temporarily due to school closures.

Considerations for Supporting Learning from Home

Families will likely be searching for materials and resources to supplement online assignments and lessons. Ensure links to online resources can be located easily on your library’s website.

Technology/Internet Access:

Consider adding information to your website about technology and access available through the library to help learners navigate online learning.

  • Laptops, tablets, e-readers
  • Keyboards, headsets, cameras, power strips and extension cords, projectors
  • Library Wi-Fi accessibility (hours and restrictions)
  • Mobile hotspots, or locations to access internet (bookmobiles, neighborhood businesses, etc.)
Access to books and digital materials:

Ensure learners and families know how to access, the public library’s collection of print and electronic books, music, learning materials, nontraditional items for checkout, reference support and reader’s advisory, and everything else the library offers.

Parents may be looking for physical materials including:

  • STEM materials such as: Legos, straws and connectors, magnets, sorting games
  • Art and craft supplies
  • Learning/themed kits
  • Hobby items: cake pans, rock polishers, sports and playground equipment, binoculars or telescopes, garden equipment, musical instruments, sewing machines
  • Board and yard games
  • Work closely with schools and local homeschool groups to help communicate library services and ways to get library cards. Some families may not be familiar with what your library has to offer, and some may have stopped using the library due to fines or other reasons.
Assessing Needs:

Learning, whether at school or at home, is impeded if children are hungry, unsafe, or do not have basic supplies for self-care or for school. Libraries nationwide are partnering with schools and local agencies to not only increase access to books and learning materials, but to increase access to food, diapers, school supplies, and more.

Become familiar with information to help families access local support services for: food, shelter, safety, employment, clothing, childcare etc.

Vermont Homeschooling/Schooling from Home Support Resources

* We  recommend that parents research which methodologies are best aligned with their philosophy/values before signing up for a commercial homeschool provider.

Homeschooling Booklist

Booklist compiled from Vermont library listservs (PDF)
Good readers advisory is important when sharing homeschooling book titles to ensure parents know you are not providing a curriculum but rather a list of resources.

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