I am going to say book a lot in this post, but that’s because my kids and I love books. But the library offers more than just books. There are documentaries, and often times workbooks and other curricula materials for borrowing. Homeschooling from the library could be just what your homeschool budget needs.
Pros & Cons of Homeschooling from the Library
This post contains affiliate links, see my disclosure policy for more information.
We are big fans of the library, if I can get a book from the library for myself, or for my kids, that is what I am going to do. I very rarely buy new books and just as rarely buy used books for our homeschool.
Pros of Homeschooling from the Library
Let’s start with the fact that borrowing books of any kind are going to be cheaper than buying, as long as you don’t lose or damage a book causing a fine.
You don’t have to have a lot of storage space in your home to store it all. Books for a curriculum can and do, take up a lot of space. Our books for the Level 1 BookShark curriculum we have used filled a cube on our storage shelf with books layered and piled in. I don’t have a lot of space for all the books.
If a book doesn’t live up to the hype you have heard from other homeschoolers, then you can return it, no harm no foul.
You can easily jump from topic to topic as your child’s interests change. This is a great way to school interesting and exciting for your kids too. Let them pick out books on a certain topic that interests them.
Cons of Homeschooling from the Library
The biggest problem with homeschooling strictly from the library is that the book you want, the book you need, may not be there. The library may not own it.
The books you want and may need may be checked out and may have a long long waiting list.
Due dates and loan times may not work for you. Some libraries offer longer loan times for homeschoolers which can be extremely useful.
Are you going to be able to change your plans, or topic if that happens to you? Do you have a backup plan?
Planning for Homeschooling from the Library
If you are a planner and have a backup plan for when a book you need is unavailable then you are ahead of the game. But, you need to watch out for fines. Late fines for, obviously, returning materials late. But also fine for damage caused to materials or for lost materials.
How can You Plan to Homeschool from the Library?
Plan ahead. Have a couple of different topics planned out that you can cover depending on when you are able to get books from the library.
What if a book just isn’t going to be available from the library? The question is, do you really need it? Are you able to get and use a different book instead? If not, I look for used on Amazon and Amazon’s Warehouse Deals or used books. There is also the option of looking for a Kindle version which is oftentimes cheaper, and you don’t have to store it.