Managing Those Living Books

librarianFor many of us, it’s the little things that add up to big decisions. The struggle to keep on top of so many different kinds of details while homeschooling can defeat us! Whether you’re teaching academics to host of kids or just one or two, managing all their resources — from sharpened pencils to history resource books — can be challenging, especially when using book-rich programs like Tapestry. (And with those book lists, there’s also the question of expense.)

If these are some of the reasons you have either hesitated to buy Tapestry or have grown weary when using it (a challenge for many of us in this season of the year when spring has sprung but we are far from done) here’s some great advice from a new Tapestry user! Laura recently posted this great idea on one of our great Yahoo support email loops, and it is reprinted with her kind permission:

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This is my first year of doing Tapestry of Grace (love it), but I will say that I hesitated because it did seem overwhelming. I’m homeschooling five kids this year, and I really did need something that wouldn’t be too time-intensive or taxing on me, but the strengths of Tapestry kept drawing me. I just wanted to share what has made Tapestry doable for me, with the hopes that perhaps it can help others as well.

I knew that we could never afford all the books, and I also didn’t want to be consumed with library check-outs, inter-library-loan findings, etc. So, last summer I approached my public school children’s librarian with my laptop and showed her my Tapestry of Grace curricula. She was impressed! I knew that our library assisted public school teachers with gathering curricula for their classes, and I asked her to consider whether she would likewise help me, a homeschool mom.

After checking with her bosses and a little more convincing, the library agreed to “service me” for a small fee. That means that I gave her all my reading lists for the year (unit at a time) for all my kids, and she hunts them down and has each week’s books ready for me each Wednesday at the library for pick-up!

What a huge blessing that has been to me! It really isn’t a lot of work for her, because she sits at her database one day a week (usually three weeks prior to my pick-up date for that lesson), places holds on all my books, and the library takes care of the rest. They do it for the teachers (plus, educators here get longer check-out periods – 6 weeks!), and it has worked out well for both of us.

I have no idea if I’m in an unusual situation and just have a remarkable library system, but I’d venture to guess that a good relationship with a friendly librarian might be worth seeking out if you’re looking for someone to help you. I don’t have the privilege of owning some terrific books, but we have saved a ton of money, which for us right now has been a high priority. (And for some of the really great ones, we just bought in the end.) I still have to do the scheduling each week, but having the books at my fingertips each week has been a tremendous help in the process!! Perhaps your librarian could do the same for you?

Laura

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