The Stewart C. Meyer Library’s weekly home school program teaches library education and learning skills to local home-schooled children for no cost.
The program, held from 11 a.m. to noon every Wednesday during the school year, includes a four-week series focusing on different topics, said Jeanine Madden, children’s librarian. “We are always trying to focus on the educational side of whatever we do.”
After hearing requests from parents of home-schooled children, library employees launched the program in September.
“We’d been talking about doing it for a long time and we had a lot of families ask, so it sort of just came together,” Madden said.
Science education is covered during the first week, when children can use the library’s scientific instruments. The next is library skills week, where Madden acts as a school librarian and teaches the kids research techniques and how to use a library.
The third week offers kids a chance to participate in a games and chess club, which Madden said helps instill “strategies and math-building skills” into students.
The last Wednesday of each month promotes reading comprehension through creative and artistic expression.
The group focuses on things known to build comprehension, Madden said. “We use theater activities and arts and crafts.”
On a recent Wednesday, home-schoolers and their parents assembled for the program in the children’s section of the library. Activities began immediately, with parents as involved as their children.
Shallie Hurd and her son attend the weekly program.
“We love coming here,” she said. “You get that necessary emphasis on reading and you get to see other kids. It gives him that structured time where he actually has to sit down and concentrate on something.”
The number of student attendees ranges from 10 to 25 every week. Although there are no specific age groups, Madden said activities are geared more to elementary students.
Jenae Giles’ has two daughters, ages 5 and 9, in the program. She described the program as “a great opportunity to learn and interact.”
In June, the home-school program will become part of the library’s summer entertainment series.