Pirates stormed the Harker Heights Library on a recent Wednesday for the Homeschool Program.

This lesson brought out many costumed pirates decked out in bandanas, eye patches, cutlasses, and doubloon necklaces to cast off with Captain Amanda Hairston, the program coordinator and children’s librarian, on a swashbuckling adventure.

“We call the Homeschool Program a “dabbler program” because we want the freedom and the ability to do really fun things for them,” Hairston said. “The most important things is that we give our homeschoolers their own library and to give them a space where they can also make connections with other homeschooling families.”

This is Hairston’s fourth year with leading the program on its decade-long run for homeschooling families in the community.

The event began with a reading of the hilarious tale of Jeremy Jacob in “How I Became a Pirate” by Melinda Long and David Shannon. Next, the children sang a tongue-twisting, jaunty sea tune “A Pirate Went to Sea”. They finished the lesson with the creation of their very own treasure maps and a piece of the bounty: temporary pirate tattoos.

Tonya Fisher and her daughter Cori, 7, enjoyed their first day at the Homeschool program

“I appreciate that the program is here and available for homeschooled kids,” Fisher said. “I really like that they change up the theme every week.”

Tina Fosnot enjoys the new activities her children Hannah, 10, and Jordan, 8, are able to do at the program.

“The program gives them a little break in their day and a new experience,” Fosnot said.

“There’s always new kids here and Miss Amanda is awesome with the kids.”

Hairston and Lisa Youngblood, the library’s director, collaborate together on weekly themes and activities for the Homeschool Program.

They set up larger connections within the lessons such as discovering a different culture or custom and naming the parts of a book.

Hairston particularly likes the relationships the children build with one another as they learn.

“They bond together as a group and they make a lot of friends when they are in here,” she said. “Today was a really big imagination day and they were really using the creative side of their brain so I was really impressed by the level of commitment they put into their treasure maps.”

The Homeschool Program is held at the Harker Heights Library every Wednesday at 11 a.m. and consists of different educational topics each week for children ages 6-10.

For more fall 2017 activities going on at the library, go to http://www.ci.harker-heights.tx.us/index.php/kid-space/children-programs.

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