Homeschooling is a legal educational option in all 50 states, and the number of families embarking on the homeschooling journey has been increasing steadily for the past two decades.

Between 1999 and 2016, the number of children being homeschooled increased from 850,000 to over 1.5 million. Further, for better or worse, the pandemic had a significant impact on homeschooling, and the percentage of students being educated at home increased from less than 3.5 percent pre-pandemic to nearly 5 percent during and after.

I homeschooled my children from 2003 to 2021. In the early days of my homeschooling adventure, there were few resources, especially for teens. The one place where we knew we could find what we needed was the public library, and when my children were old enough to (finally!) get their own library cards, it was like we’d given them the key to the Magic Kingdom. We made stopping at the library a weekly outing.

But it wasn’t just about borrowing materials. There was so much more that we found at our library. We were fortunate that the library staff (here at Libby Library) was incredibly supportive of our journey in just about every way we could imagine, from sourcing books and CDs for our foreign language studies to organizing and teaching a 10 week course on the Dewey Decimal system (and we should note here that Library Studies is one of Maine’s annually required academic subjects for homeschoolers).

The library was also a great place to meet our friends for playdates, meet new homeschoolers, and to hold classes and workshops with and for, other homeschoolers.

With the number of families who are choosing to homeschool on the rise, we, here at Libby Library, would like to invite our homeschooling friends to share with us how we can best serve them. To that end, we are developing a survey for the homeschool community and would like to invite all homeschoolers to participate.


For those who are homeschool-curious, but haven’t committed yet, due to a lack of information about what homeschooling is, Libby Library will be presenting a workshop on Homeschooling 101: Everything You Need to Know to Get Started Homeschooling. We will be answering questions like: Is it Legal? What is required? Who can homeschool? What about grades? Will I ruin my kid?

Keep an eye on our website, Facebook page, and Instagram for a copy of the survey and an announcement of when that workshop will take place.

Speaking of schooling, don’t forget our Summer Reading Program. We have activities — and prizes! — for all ages. Don’t forget to stop by the Library and sign-up.

And, if you’re looking for something to do, the library has free passes to the Portland Museum Art and to the Southworth Plantarium. We also have half-off the admission for the Maine Wildlife Park in Gray and the Children’s Museum in Portland. Stop by and pick up a pass.

There are so many exciting events happening here at the Libby Library. And as your favorite Aardvark, Arthur Read, always says, “Having fun isn’t hard, when you’ve got a library card!”

Wendy Brown is a veteran homeschooler and Maine certified teacher. When she isn’t issuing new library cards, she enjoys watching movies on Kanopy – our very own free streaming service here at Libby Library.

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