Yesterday I managed to get into the library for the first time since my bed rest and Benjamin's birth. I took 8 of our 9 kids with me. (The oldest one works there and had just returned home when we were leaving, so she wasn't interested in going back with us.) This is a big step in returning to "normal" for our family because the library is a very important part of our life as a homeschool family. We prefer to use "living books" as much as possible as we educate our children, especially the younger ones. So when I plan 3 weeks of school, I usually have 20-30 books checked out ... some more engaging and alive than others. Baby B's early arrival halted school earlier than I'd planned, so we picked back up with the books I already had checked out. We're finishing those up this week, though, so it's time to collect books for the next few weeks!
Monday I put 16 books on hold, requesting them from libraries around our region. Yesterday I added more to my holds list. My 13 yo daughter walked up behind me at the computer and asked me, "Do you seriously have 21 books on hold?" "Yes, I really do." Then I went to the library that evening and filed 3 Inter-Library-Loan requests for books I can't find in our library system, and checked out 6 more books to add to the 6 still at home. At the moment, my collection of library books (and books on the way)
includes school books for the kids, as well as health and diet-related
books I'm using for my own personal study. I can only have 30 books (ILL excluded) checked out at a time, so I'm going to have to return a few before the requests all come in. Of course, if the kids finish their history and literature assignments for the week, that won't be a problem.
While we were there, 5 of my children also checked out books and movies for themselves. They've learned to utilize the library system, and often request books from other libraries. We picked up three items they had on hold while we were there yesterday. Their books and movies are usually a mix of entertainment and self-education as they study topics that interest them. All the reading children have their own library card, because I can't hold their items and mine on one card. The youngest three (okay Baby B isn't really doing this yet) put their items on a sibling's card most of the time. I'm glad they've learned to love the library and to use it regularly.
The library has saved our family a lot of money, enriched our education, and enhanced our lives. I've missed being able to go in over the past 7 weeks. I've been sending others to return items for me or pick up requested items as they arrived. But somehow that's just not the same as walking in myself, looking around, talking to the librarians (we have great librarians!), and letting the kids pick out their own items. I'm usually in there once a week, though not always with all the kids. Even our 1 and 2 year old children love going to the library, as we let them pick out a DVD, a book or two, and they get to play in the library's play area while they wait on us.
After taking almost all the kids to the library and requesting books for the next 3 weeks of Tapestry of Grace, I feel like I'm back in the swing of things with our homeschool. We're rolling smoothly and counting down the weeks until the end of the year. Since Baby B is now 5 weeks old, I guess that's a good thing.
Now if I can just get the laundry under control ...