By Jenny Brooks and Mary Elliott
A new homeschool initiative has begun at the Woodstock Public Library! Library staff work alongside North Georgia Homeschool to bring a monthly program to the library. Jenny Brooks (Youth Services Specialist), Mary Elliott (Teen Services Specialist), and Kara Rumble (Programming Manager) have been the primary staff involved. The program meets for an early morning session and an afternoon session once a month. The chosen monthly topic is presented to two groups to accommodate differentiated learning needs. Having the program twice in the same day also allows for families to choose the time that best works for them. This is a relatively new initiative that has proven to be well worth the amount of time, collaboration, and effort shown by all parties involved.
Homeschool meetup began in August 2021 and quickly became popular with patrons. A few of the topics that have been covered so far at our monthly meetups include: Robotics and Coding, Writing the Hero’s Journey, Creepy Crawlies, and Native American History. The December group tackled Christmas STEAM. In an effort to keep growing the program, the specialists seek monthly feedback from their homeschooling partner as well as the parents that attend. Follow-up emails are sent after each month’s event that include a survey and extension activities that the families can continue at home. The retention in this program has been impressive, and we attribute that to intentional planning, communication, and the partnership with North Georgia Homeschool. “The local families are able to come together each month for a fun, educational experience. It is a time of friends, learning, and books!” says Angela Pilcher, the Director of North Georgia Homeschool. Statistics have shown a steady growth across the board for kids and teens alike. Due to the community stir, the Sequoyah Regional Library System (SRLS) expanded the program to its Hickory Flat branch in January 2022. The hope is that through creating a framework and model, the program will be easy to replicate throughout the system.
The final benefit of the homeschool initiative is that it helps promote programming throughout SRLS. The homeschool families have become repeat attendees at many of our events and we love to see them keep coming back! “I am so thankful for our partnership with the Sequoyah librarians, particularly Jenny Brooks and Mary Elliott. I appreciate their desire to get to know our children and teach them on various topics. The skills and experience they bring to our monthly Homeschool Meetup really makes the program a success, and many parents in our North GA Homeschool Network have been impressed by the quality of the program. Another unique aspect of the Homeschool Meetup is that it truly caters to homeschooling families, providing learning opportunities from preschool to teenagers in one convenient location,” states Maybeline Coppock, one of the North Georgia Homeschool parents. This program started as a tiny thought and has grown into a machine where homeschoolers and librarians join together to navigate a world of learning and fun!
To learn more about the Sequoyah Regional Library System (SRLS), go to https://www.sequoyahregionallibrary.org/.