[edited to compile ideas archived from other KellyBell posts]
Posted: Mon Jan 24, 2005 10:15 pm
Yikes, three books per subject! That's a bit restrictive. Here are the first knee-jerk reaction ideas I can think of.
First off, Julie's Interlibrary Loan idea is one to look into. Here are some other ideas.
WORKING WITH YOUR LIBRARY
1. If the library does NOT have the books on the lists, I found that if I just did a search (we've got a great library web site for card catalog searches and reserving books) on the country ("China") and the age ("child") and reserved a few that sounded good. I looked for cookbooks, fiction, maps, folklore, informational books, tour guides, beginning language books.
2. If the library DOES have books on the subject and you are hitting that three book limit, then can you check out your three on Brazil and have your homeschool buddy (who is certainly suffering from the same issues) check out three more on Brazil and have your mother in law get three more on Brazil. You'd have to arrange time to swap books.
3. It might be a pain, but perhaps you could get in the habit of previewing books and putting stars next to YOUR favorites. Perhaps, while you are studying USA, you could also check out three Canada books, three Mexico books, three Brazil books and seeing what you REALLY like and trying to reserve them at the right time. Maybe if you reserve a few Brazil books for this week, a few more for next week (when you return the first ones), etc.
4. A better way would be to equip your children with library cards if the "three book" limit is per card and not per family.
5. Can you approach the library for an exemption of the rule? Perhaps there would be a form you could fill out saying you homeschool and require extra books. Are there exemptions for teachers at public or private schools? Maybe if a group of you wrote a letter... Can you talk to the city council or the library board? Maybe see how the library decides on check-out limits, etc. See how they work and then work to change it (a good project to get homeschooled teens working on) to help you.
6. If the local library has any sort of budget, recommend a few books for purchase.
7. Similarly, if all the local homeschoolers would commit themselves to donating books to the library (on the condition the books would circulate) then perhaps you could grow the library.
8. What does your library mean by "one subject?" Does that mean a Brazil cookbook and a Brazil geography book and a fiction book about a little boy in the rain forest are all the same subject although they are quite different?
9. Bring it up with your local homeschool group. How do they get around the crummy library issue? They might have some great ideas for how to handle the problem. Or maybe they can approach the library together.
10. Get to know the librarians. You could even provide a schedule to your librarian so she knows that you need France books the first part of April and she could be looking for them. If your library allows reservations, use that service so that your France books will be waiting for you and not checked out by someone else when you need them.
1. Can you use a private or public elementary or middle school library? If you can't, do you know someone that can? My next door neighbor is a third grade teacher at a public school and I think if I were in this bind, I'd ask her how I could use the library at the school we'd be bused to if we attended school.
2. Is there a church library you can use? They are typically smaller libraries but usually have a great selection of books and videos. Even if your church doesn't have a library, bigger churches usually do. Never hurts to ask.
3. Does your school system sell used textbooks or used library books? Our local Christian school sells their discards in the spring (plus, the Christian schools are more likely to have books that line up with your worldview). Does your library sell used books? Is there a book swap in your area?
4. Take a look at your own shelves. Don't forget kids' Bibles, cookbooks, art books. Don't forget your MFW package books. My kids loved looking at the atlases when I stuck them in the book basket. You can tuck in whatever "package" books you can find. Ideally the book basket is centered around what you are studying in history, science, music, etc. but realistically it might not be. I'm guessing you have more than a basketful of books at home.
5. Figure out what books you most want and try to own them. I like half.com, amazon.com, and ebay. And when you are done, sell them for the same price or so. Sell them at the end of the year to someone else desperate for MFW books! We really liked the People Like Me series and bought two of them and kept them in the book basket pretty much all the time, bookmarking the pages relating to what we were studying.
6. Purchase books that can be used for more than one unit. So, instead of a book on Brazil and another one on Mexico, get an international book that covers many countries. This week, put a bookmark in Mexico, next week, move it to Canada.
7. Don't forget the internet. You can get a lot from there. I've printed articles and pictures from there and stapled them together and stuck them in the book basket. Also coloring pages and the like. Or have a friend do it for you if the printer is the issue. Email her some links and buy her a pack of paper at the beginning of the school year.
8. Look for a CD-ROM encyclopedia and challenge the kids to find articles on the current topic (CD-ROM World Books are pretty inexpensive).
9. If time permits, make regular trips to the thrift store and keep an eye out for some excellent books there (and I'm so cheap that I go there on half-price days). If you can get an encyclopedia set from there, you can always pick the volumes that have the right articles in them, stick a post-it on the articles and stick them in the book basket. Check garage sales. You only need a few books, so this would be just a few dollars.
10. Get to know the local used bookseller and let him know what you'll be needing and ask him to look out for the titles. A tray of brownies might seal this deal. Ask him if you can sell back to him when you are done. This would cost a little, but not a lot.
11. Use the MFW book lists for gift suggestions. Tell grandma and grandpa what books your dc need for their birthdays and Christmas. Or ask for Amazon, CBD, or B&N gift cards. Once you get them on board, then you can sell any books you are done with and get a little more pocket change for buying books. Have an "around the world" birthday party and suggest international books for gifts. Is that tacky though?
12. Tell everyone you know that you are looking for resources for these certain countries or certain time in history. Maybe some neighbors have some maps of France or books on India. You never know. Be willing to take all sorts of things (magazines, travel brochures, newspaper articles) in addition to books. Tell them when you anticipate needing them ("we'll be studying Kenya in February, could I pick up your photos then?")
13. Ask other local homeschoolers (regardless of if they use MFW or not) how they overcome the library issue. There might be a good book swap or lending program in your local support group. Are there any families that did ECC recently (or another around-the-world study)?
14. Try to organize a book swap with local homeschoolers (and "concerned parents" of public schoolers -- I'm guessing they are frustrated too).
15. If you know someone else doing MFW1 (or whatever year) see if you can buy some books and she can buy some books and if you stagger your school year a little (ie. she is on day 12 when you are on day 40), then perhaps you can share.
16. When traveling, check out the local library of where you are. You could go there a few times a week for "book basket" time.
17. Ask a homeschooled (and driving) teen how often she goes to the library. Would she be willing to pick up books for you?
Don't feel desperate because MFW is flexible and there's really not a "required" book on those lists. Let us know what works. We'll keep brainstorming.