I love the library. It's a homeschooling mother's best friend.
We take the kids once a week, and never come home empty-handed. I just checked our receipts (thank goodness for computerized card catalogs and printed receipts of check-outs -- they've saved me thousands of dollars in fines and jail time.) We currently have 49 books out. Not a huge amount, but a typical amount.
Our library basket usually looks something like this:
The books travel all over the house, but the basket is home base. When we're done with a book, we return it to the basket, making it easier to track everything down on library day.
Ramona, inspired by her sisters and their library quests ("I'm going to find everything I can about Greek mythology," or, "I'm looking for books about poisons, so I can write a report on them,") was on a quest of her own last week. She decided she wanted to learn about sea turtles, so Atticus and the girls helped her find a few books.
Ramona loves to sit down at a library computer and tap out a catalog query. She used to always come home with books about mommies and the zoo (the only two words she could spell.) Now that her spelling repetoire is expanding, so are her book choices. But, it's quite likely that her first attempt to track down turtle books looked something like this:
But, Atticus steered her in the right direction, and she came up with these:
Her "report" (pictured above) begins:
sea turtles give me an expereinse two study them so that i can larn more about them
She has since added:
I like sea turtles because thayr’r qute
(I don't correct spelling, word spacing, etc., at this age -- I'm thrilled that she's writing, and I don't want to do anything to discourage her. I think Betsy told her how to spell "because.")
This is a "detour" only in that I didn't plan it and we're simply following the route Ramona's mapping. But, like the foray into Greek mythology, it's just a fun part of the whole journey.
Ramona learns so much from her older sisters (it's education by osmosis) and right now, what she seems to be learning is that it's fun to learn.
That's a road worth traveling. And it's confirmation enough for me that when you lay the groundwork of a rich, fun and educational atmosphere (especially one that includes regular trips to the library) the learning will follow.