Homeschool

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Books line the bottom of the images, the headline reads Homeschool Resources

The homeschool fair will take place again this year on Saturday, Aug. 24, from 1-4 p.m. at the Millhopper Branch. More information with a list of participating organizations is coming soon!

Get Started

If you are considering homeschooling your child, the library is your greatest resource. Whether this is your first time or you have been homeschooling for years, the library has something for everyone.

You can start homeschooling your child at any time during the school year, from kindergarten to twelfth grade.

To start homeschooling, you must:

Submit a Letter of Intent to the School District

Tips

Here are a couple quick tips.

Library Checkouts

Limits
Checkouts: 100 items
Holds: 100 items (25 for DVDs)

It can be helpful to know these checkout limits when planning ahead for your unit lessons or your semester. When placing holds, you can also change the activation date.

Planning your whole semester in August, but you don’t need those holiday books and videos until late November? You can change the activation date to when you need the items. If there is a waiting list, you will still advance in the queue, but you will not get the items until the activation date, assuming you are first on the list by that date.

Read-a-Likes
You can find similar titles and similar series to favorite books when you access the full display of books in our online catalog. If you are trying to find more books for your young readers, this feature will help with that!

Reading Levels
You can find the Lexile Measure and Accelerated Reader information when you access the full display of books in our online catalog. You can also find other titles of the same reading level.

Records

You must keep a record of your child’s learning when homeschooling. In this record, it is recommended that you keep a record of all books and materials used throughout the school year. Use those library receipts to make your list. Note that the ink on the receipts may fade over time, so either update your book lists often or keep a file in your email of all of your emailed library receipts.

Upcoming Library Programs

Check out our events calendar! Branches across the county present programs specifically targeted towards the homeschool community.
 

Resources

There are many resources provided by the library and online.

General

Florida Statute on Home Education:
Learn about the Florida laws surrounding homeschool.

School Board of Alachua County:
Information for submitting the letter of intent to start homeschooling, contact information for the Homeschool Office, and links to legal guidelines regarding homeschool.

Florida Department of Education:
The Department of Education provides technical assistance, general information, and the rules and regulations for homeschooling.

Florida Parent-Educators Association: (FPEA)
An independent organization that exists solely to serve home education families in Florida. 

Coalition for Responsible Homeschool Education: (CRHE)
A non-profit organization which works to educate the public and advocate for child-centered, evidence-based policy and practices for families and professionals.

Library Collection Resources:
Check out these books on homeschooling for Parents.

Curriculum

Online Resources

  • The Learning Network: Presented by the New York Times, resources for bringing the world into your classroom. Access this resource with your library card number.
  • PBS Learning Media: WUFT and PBS have curated FREE, standards-aligned videos, interactives, lesson plans, and more just for Florida teachers like you.
  • Learning for Justice: Formerly “Teaching Tolerance”, this website offers lesson plans focused on racial justice and human rights.
  • Open Education Resources: OER Commons is a public digital library of open educational resources. Explore, create, and collaborate with educators around the world to improve curriculum.

Library Collection

Shell Pond Homeschool Community Library
A library dedicated to the homeschool community to serve as a resource for families seeking curriculum and related materials.  Sign up for your free membership using their digital form or use a paper form during open hours. Check out materials for up to 36 weeks during open hours or by appointment. View a comprehensive list of available materials online. Contact Bercela Banda at bercela@gmail.com for more information or to set up an appointment.

At-Home Activities

Art: Check out these books on arts and crafts for kids & teens.

Creativebug: Creativebug is an all-in-one source for learning a variety of craft techniques, including sewing, yarn crafts, paper crafts, jewelry making, and culinary arts.

Exploration Backpacks: In partnership with the Florida Museum of Natural History, the library offers exploration backpacks for checkout.

Outdoor Learning: Check out these books about nature-based learning.

STEM: Check out these books on STEM related activities for kids & teens.

STEM kits: Library STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) kits encourage scientific discovery.

Library Databases

Florida Electronic Library: For all ages, with homework help and teacher resources. Sources include electronic magazines, newspapers, almanacs, encyclopedias, and books. Topics include current events, education, business, technology, and health. 

hoopla: Alachua County residents can access streaming music, TV, movies and graphic novels! Use a Bingepass to access content from partner channels such as Hellosaurus, Curiosity Stream, Great Courses, Highlights and more!

Learning Express: Prepare for SAT, ACT, GED, PERT and other standardized tests, career entrance exams, and other common assessments. Homework help and career resources are also available.

Transparent Language: Learn a second language with Transparent. Transparent also includes KidsSpeak for elementary-aged children.

Tutor.com: Get online tutoring, homework help, and test preparation with powerful diagnostic tools and self-study resources designed to meet the individual needs of all learners. Library card holders have access to live tutors daily from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.

World Book: Get every article from the 22-volume print encyclopedia, plus thousands more.

View All Library Databases

Magazines

Free Access to 100’s of titles: Alachua County Residents have access to our digital magazine collection on Libby by OverDrive. Our collection includes many educational titles such as “Highlights”, “National Geographic Kids”, and “The Week Junior”.

Giggle Magazine: Giggle Magazine is designed to inform and inspire families in the greater Alachua County community through heartwarming stories and award-winning design. Check out this link to browse the articles about homeschooling.

Growing without Schooling: Newsletter founded in 1977 by John Holt, advocate for unschooling. The link offers free access to archived issues through the platform “issuu”. Also check out the Growing without Schooling homepage for current blog posts.

Homeschooling Today: Quarterly Magazine written by real homeschool parents. Free digital access to current issue.

Homeschooling Parent: Monthly Magazine full of information and articles about homeschooling. Free digital access to the current issue. Subscribe for free to receive the new issues straight to your inbox.

Life Learning Magazine: Founded in 2002, Life Learning Magazine focuses on interest-led educational practices. View articles from past issues for free.

Local Homeschool Groups

Classical Conversations: Nation-wide Christian homeschool program with local chapter in the Gainesville Area. 

Community Christian Homeschoolers: Local homeschool support group led by volunteers that offer various events in the Gainesville area.

Florida Parent-Educators Association: (FPEA) is an independent organization that exists solely to serve home education families in Florida.