I received the following email a couple of days ago:
I just found your blog a couple days
ago. I have really enjoyed reading it, and I really appreciate all the
information you share about homeschooling. I am planning on homeschooling my three kids, 4 (soon to be 5), 3 and 1. I had a question about how you handle library trips.
I got the impression that you visit the library fairly often and I was just
wondering how you did it! I would really like to go every week but just one
visit knocks me out and I don’t look forward to going back. My four year old really enjoys the library now and knows her way around quite well, but my three year old has such a hard time being quiet and calm. He doesn’t usually have such a hard time, but for some reason the library bring it out of him! My youngest doesn’t seem to mind, but we’ll see how long that lasts. Do you have any tips for occupying the younger ones, or getting all the books you need while still attending to the needs of all your children? We’re hoping to add to our family in the future as well, as God so decides to bless us, so I know I need to become used to library trips with little ones. I would appreciate any insight you have!
Here are a couple of ideas. First, I rarely look for books while I am there anymore. I almost always request them online from home. They collect them all for me (even getting them from other libraries) and hold them at the front desk. I can just pick them up and walk straight to the check-out line with them.
Second, I always bring a stroller for the younger one(s). That way we can walk around if we need to or if I am going to the shelf and looking through some books. There are times when we are doing a particular unit study where I’ll figure out the call numbers ahead of time, and we’ll head to that section of the shelves to quickly pick out some books on that subject.
Third, many libraries have a separate floor (like the bottom floor) which is just the children’s section. (Our main library isn’t like that, but the other two that we go to sometimes are.) If your kids can’t be quiet yet and you are always concerned about them disturbing other library patrons, try to find a library where it’s ok for them to be louder. But, teach them not to run or pull books off the shelves!
I hope that helps. Sometimes, it’s just another training session that we have to continually go through until they finally learn!