Homeschooling Away From Home
Why the Library works!

Have you ever considered taking the home out of homeschooling? Sounds like a silly concept, but stick with me! If you’ve been stuck in a rut, are dealing with a little cabin fever, or just have kids that get antsy easily… a day of learning outside of the home might just be the perfect solution! Library learning days are fresh and exciting, definitely a top on my list of homeschool ideas and tips!

Stack of Library booksNot sure your local library is a good place for homeschooling away from home? Not a problem! Take a day to visit your local libraries and check out their specs. Look for conference rooms, quiet study tables, computer stations, and play areas. Assess your personal homeschool needs and ask questions if you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for. Libraries love homeschoolers, and you might just be surprised at the available options if you take the time to really investigate.

Our local library has study rooms that can be reserved 24 hours in advance. We typically grab one of those for a 2 hour time block on homeschool library days. However, just any room doesn’t cut it. I always pick a room in close proximity to the little kids play area, so that my 5 year old can take play breaks in between subjects. We are also blessed to have an outdoor picnic area at our library, so lunch outside is a fun plus on warmer days.

Love the idea of homeschooling at the library? Take a peak at Homeschool Tips & Kid Hacks. These homeschool ideas help make homeschooling on the go even easier!

What to Pack and Why

Ready to plan your very own homeschool library trip? Knowing what to pack is an essential part of homeschooling away from home. I know the overwhelming frustration of loading up the kids for a day trip, only do discover we don’t have everything we need when we get there. Homeschooling on the go can quickly become unsuccessful if you leave key elements of the lesson at home.

Before you even begin packing for your library trip, the first step is planning! Settle down with a warm cup of coffee, notebook and pen in hand. Now you’re officially in homeschool mom planning mode. Let’s do this!

Look over all lessons your kids will be working on during your library trip and begin list making. I’m super organized and function better with exact details, so I personally like to break down my list by assessing each child and their individual lesson needs. Typically I do this every weekend prior to a school week anyway, so this part is super easy for me. I simply mark down any extra supplies that might need to be gathered or prepped for upcoming lessons… readers, notebooks, art supplies have all found their way on my list. If it isn’t a daily used item, I jot it down.

Not good at the list making thing? No problem! Signing up for my newsletter will gain you access to my entire free printables library. Once signed up, you can simply download and print off the homeschool supplies list I use in my own home! While the list is set up for 3 children, it can easily be adapted for any amount of children. Simply print double sided if using for more than 3!

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Homeschooling Away From Home
Check List

  • Curriculum textbooks & workbooks
  • Teacher guides & answer keys
  • Supplies Needed List (a breakdown of all extra supplies needed)
  • Curriculum aides, manipulatives, and other extras on your supplies needed list
  • Notebooks, paper & everyday writing utensils
  • Snacks & drinks
  • Computer or tablet if you use them
  • Bags

The 4 Bags you Need
for Your Library Trip

  1. Mom's on the go bag and an empty bag for library booksA Bag for Mom – This is the bag you will carry teacher guides, answer keys, and any extra supplies you want to personally keep track of during your trip. I typically carry the family iPad (if there is a lesson we will be using it for), the manipulatives I use for my 5 year old, as well as additional pencils and pens. Curious about the manipulatives I use for kindergarten and preschool? Check out Homeschooling Your Preschooler & The Kindergarten Spelling Box to learn more!
  2. A Bag for Each Child – Large over sided backpacks actually work perfect for this, but any style of bag you have on hand will work fine. On our trips, each child is in charge of carrying their course textbooks, readers, personal notebooks, water bottles as well as a handful of writing utensils. I like to keep all extras in my bag, just to keep down on clutter in the kid’s individual bags. Plus, this helps ensure proper organization and less loosing of expensive tools.
  3. Kid Library Bags and a snack bagA Snack Bag – You can totally pack individual lunch boxes instead of packing a community snack bag, or let your kids keep their snack stash in their own backpacks. However, I typically opt for one single thermal for library trips. This is a super easy option and I can easily be in control of when snacks come out, which in return cuts down on mess.*Helpful Tip: don’t forget napkins and wet wipes! I forgot these items on our first trip, and let me tell you… messes always happen when you aren’t prepared.
  4. An Extra (empty) Bag – This is so important you guys! If you don’t carry an extra bag with you to the library, you will quickly find out you made a huge mistake. You will end up collecting and leaving with more things than you originally brought, no doubt about it. My kids often take “book breaks” in between lessons. Not only is it a great chance to stretch their legs and get the blood flowing, but they almost always find a new treasure to take home as well. If your kids are avid readers like mine, you might even consider taking 2 extra bags.

Like our library bag system? Check out the Organization section of the blog for more tips and products you can use to organize your homeschool life and field trips. Love the extra library bag we use? You can easily find ours here —> Retro Metro Bag or simply take some time to browse my Thirty-One Website for even more options!

Additional Outside of the Home
Homeschool Ideas

  • Do homeschool lessons at the park for the day
  • Study real life animals for science class at the zoo or nature center
  • Use nature items & chalk for math and grammar in your driveway
  • While shopping, practice math facts in the grocery store
  • Join a co-op for extra curricular activities and subjects
  • Allow your kids to take lessons to a grandparents or friends house
  • Invite other homeschoolers to your house for study groups
  • Allow your kids to participate in “bring your child to work day” with your spouse or grandparent for a live learning experience
  • Find a local farm to visit for some hands on homesteading with your kids

Need Homeschool Helps?

Love these homeschool ideas and tips, but need more homeschool helps for every day? Check out these useful articles!

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