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Could one truly homeschool with just a Bible, math book and a library card?


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Well, I think eventually you'd need more than one math book. But otherwise, sure. At least up through middle school, absolutely. After that, if you wanted to play the college game you'd need some traditional lab science courses. But K-8, no problem. 

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I think it depends on the mom and the kids. Would that system work for the kids? Would it work for the mom as the educator? In my case it wouldn't work, I'd probably have an anxiety attack. It'd be overwhelming, I wouldn't know where to start, forget about keeping track of what I have done, what to do next etc. I need structure. I am sure it's doable for some, but there's no way I'd be able to do it.

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I think for some it would be easy and for others impossible. For me personally it would depend on the library. Even with inter library loan my book options aren't as varied as the amazing library 45 minutes away. Of course if I had the money to be a resident in that city, buying curriculum and having a place to store it would be no big deal. I think it would be a ton of work researching though.

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I think an awful lot would depend on the library. Really. Our local one is pathetic and has very little in history or science, and zilch for art and music, for children - mostly just twaddle and not in good condition as they have almost no budget for new acquisitions so rely on donations. At a higher level such as high school biology or chemistry? Nope, and not a math book to be found. All math books are not created equal either.

 

I don't consider the Bible to be a base for an academic education in that it is one perspective on ancient history, but otherwise decidedly lacking the necessary academic information needed in modern life. I consider it a book primarily for life direction and spiritual counsel, but not as the basis for academics.

 

Now if I lived within walking distance of the New York Public Library that would be an entirely different matter!

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I have plenty of good libraries along the commute from home to hubby's workplace. My nearest library is a 10mins walk away. I don't even need a library card as I can make do with what is in the reference section. There is free wifi to use and ebooks to borrow too.

 

We are atheists-agnostic so we won't need a bible. We can do an overview of world religions with library books.

 

Labs, music and art would be what we would need to do at home because I wouldn't expect the library to have the musical instruments or the art and science supplies.

 

It wouldn't work for me because my kids want their social time in classrooms. For kids that don't have that social need to be in B&M academic classes, that would work out locally.

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You mean . . . "and wifi," right? :)

 

(The library would have internet connection, but - in this day and age, to get through high school without a computer at home & online connections would be a different kind of education altogether. Or maybe I mis-read the question, and you are assuming that a "regular home" would also include the world wide web?)

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Yes if the parent knows how to teach. Not meaning that rude, but one needs to know how to teach to read and spell and then one could easily use the Bible. One needs to know how to teach writing and cooy work and easily use the Bible then. It would be more work for sure but it could easily be taken day by day topic by topic. The bible would also easily provide means to science and history topics to search at a library.

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I think it depends on the library. I live in a small town but we have a wonderful library. If they don't have certain books in the collection they are good about getting ILL or ordering them. There are plenty of computers with Internet access and no time limit, at least during the day (don't know what printing costs). They have homeschooling books, subscribe to homeschooling magazines, and one librarian even homeschooled her child through high school. So even if you needed some guidance, it would be available for you.

 

I don't know that it would be true of any library though. There is a poster on here who has mentioned that her library isn't even open daily. That would make things pretty difficult.

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What is the point?  Why the limit on supplies?

 

Financial need?

 

What is the parent's education?

 

What is the final goal for the student?

 

What parts of the Bible do you think would make for an outstanding education in today's world?

 

If the goal is to raise a good Christian wife and you can guarantee that she won't have to work outside of the home and none of the children will go on to college, then have at it.

 

If the goal is to raise a molecular biologist, then I would say "no," and to pretend otherwise is being polite at best.

 

Financial constraints are one thing and it would take a very dedicated parent with a decent education and some imagination to accomplish  a strong educational foundation under those conditions.  

 

This reminds me of Level 8 (I think) in the Rod and Staff Grammar book that exhorts the student to begin all research in the Bible. Yep, it's a great place to go for a paper on security sector reform.  Outstanding.

 

 

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We have a beautiful library.  I've done 90% of our history/lit. all the way through high school through our library.  Not only do they have the classics and other really good books, they also have a huge selection of TC courses.  They have all the Life of Fred books so you could do a certain amount of math as well, if those books worked for you. 

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My library is so super-fantastic.

In addition to an exhaustive book supply, video supply, audio supply, etc.. and a cybershelf offering books, music, movies and more online...

There's a Homeschool Science Lab *in* the library. They have regular labs and great equipment. They have classes for kids of all ages on all sorts of topics - foreign language, tech, teen writers clubs, lego clubs, etc.

There's 3D printers and go pro cameras and more techy stuff available in another branch.

 

I could probably make that work.

 

Edited by theelfqueen
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You mean . . . "and wifi," right? :)

 

(The library would have internet connection, but - in this day and age, to get through high school without a computer at home & online connections would be a different kind of education altogether. Or maybe I mis-read the question, and you are assuming that a "regular home" would also include the world wide web?)

I'd go so far as to say that the Internet is not neccessary for a thorough education, even through high school. The Internet can add depth to our studies and make it easier, but I'd be hard pressed to find an essential educational need that can't be met without online access.

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I'd go so far as to say that the Internet is not neccessary for a thorough education, even through high school. The Internet can add depth to our studies and make it easier, but I'd be hard pressed to find an essential educational need that can't be met without online access.

 

You don't think that learning to use the internet before leaving for college is part of a thorough education now?

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We have a beautiful library. I've done 90% of our history/lit. all the way through high school through our library. Not only do they have the classics and other really good books, they also have a huge selection of TC courses. They have all the Life of Fred books so you could do a certain amount of math as well, if those books worked for you.

Yes, but we are totally spoiled by the libraries here, with access to 2 local systems which are each exceedingly well regarded and fairly highly ranked. With that and the alumni association access to the university library, I'm set for life in book access.

 

The libraries here also offer a wide array of online subscriptions, online educational programs like Mango, in person classes and art events plus free tutoring. And if that's not enough, you can get free museum passes with your library card number. My son has taken everything from 3D design to coding to math club at the libraries, all for free. We also access free plays, puppet shows, science presentations, children's concerts at the various branches.

 

Something like four out of five library systems in the US serve communities with less than 25,000 people and most have commensurately smaller collections and funding.

Edited by LucyStoner
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I'd go so far as to say that the Internet is not neccessary for a thorough education, even through high school. The Internet can add depth to our studies and make it easier, but I'd be hard pressed to find an essential educational need that can't be met without online access.

Not one? How about applying to college? Or applying for most jobs? Or accessing the library catalog?

 

The internet is essential for a complete and relevant 21st century education.

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Yes, but we are totally spoiled by the libraries here, with access to 2 local systems which are each exceedingly well regarded and fairly highly ranked. With that and the alumni association access to the university library, I'm set for life in book access.

 

Probably too nosy, but may I ask in which state you reside?  

 

I would love library systems like that!

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We have a beautiful library.  I've done 90% of our history/lit. all the way through high school through our library.  Not only do they have the classics and other really good books, they also have a huge selection of TC courses.  They have all the Life of Fred books so you could do a certain amount of math as well, if those books worked for you. 

 

what are TC courses?

 

and I would always have to put holds on books well in advance in hopes of getting them when I wanted them.  though they do have materials to support wtm reasonably well.

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Yes, but we are totally spoiled by the libraries here, with access to 2 local systems which are each exceedingly well regarded and fairly highly ranked. With that and the alumni association access to the university library, I'm set for life in book access.

 

The libraries here also offer a wide array of online subscriptions, online educational programs like Mango, in person classes and art events plus free tutoring. And if that's not enough, you can get free museum passes with your library card number. My son has taken everything from 3D design to coding to math club at the libraries, all for free. We also access free plays, puppet shows, science presentations, children's concerts at the various branches.

 

Something like four out of five library systems in the US serve communities with less than 25,000 people and most have commensurately smaller collections and funding.

 

Ok - I have to go pay more attention to see what's up.  they've changed the website. a.g.a.i.n. . . .

 

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what are TC courses?

 

and I would always have to put holds on books well in advance in hopes of getting them when I wanted them. though they do have materials to support wtm reasonably well.

I don't think I've every waited very long for something that wasn't brand spanking new or very popular. For most school stuff, we get it in a week and it often is only a function of having to request that it be moved to the branch closest to me for easy pick up and not because there's a queue. If you want multiple books is a specific order that can be tricky but we are fairly flexible. Edited by LucyStoner
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Ok - I have to go pay more attention to see what's up. they've changed the website. a.g.a.i.n. . . .

 

IME, the city library shines with online subscriptions to journals and databases as well as the museum pass program and ongoing classes. The county system shines with larger collection of educational/curriculum books, shorter times on hold lists and the free one off programming. If I remember correctly one can access either system with either card if you set it up that way. I maintain two card accounts but that's because I literally still have my 25+ year old orange card from the city system signed by my 8 year old self and that makes me nerd girl happy. Edited by LucyStoner
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IME, the city library shines with online subscriptions to journals and databases as well as the museum pass program and ongoing classes. The county system shines with larger collection of educational/curriculum books, shorter times on hold lists and the free one off programming. If I remember correctly one can access either system with either card if you set it up that way. I maintain two card accounts but that's because I literally still have my 25+ year old orange card from the city system signed by my 8 year old self and that makes me nerd girl happy.

I love that you still have that card! My 4.5yo is motivated to learn more than just the first letter of his name (he only needs four letters) so that he can get his own library card.

 

I adore our library and its sweet helpful library staff. They put so much effort into having a nice, cheerful place. The only complaint I have with them is that they're not a very big library, either my favorite branch or the whole county system, so they don't always have what I want. But that's okay. There are two other county systems I can use, plus the Free Library of Philadelphia for e-books, and they have bigger selections (although stricter lending rules and fines).

 

Yeah, I could probably homeschool with just those things. But I wouldn't necessarily feel that it was an optimal education. I'd want art supplies, paper, and reference materials at home (especially atlases and maps). And at least a small whiteboard and markers.

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Yes, it would be a lot of work, but you could do it, IF the library had a great ILL system and good internet. 

 

Yes, a lot would depend on the library. I was very grateful that we had the bookmobile back in the days when we lived in the boonies and homeschooled - and a fantastic librarian who would take my online requests and fill everything AND call me to tell me if something was not available and what she would suggest for substitution.

We did have spelling workout and Saxon math as well as a science curriculum but the library helped tremendously because my ds could pick a subject about which he wanted to find out more and order any number of resources.

 

Long background - short answer: Yes, it would be a bit of work but it could be done for the elementary years at least.

 

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I could absolutely do it now, probably through a first or second year college education truthfully. Especially with my husband to assist with high level math and science structure, given his own education and specialties.

 

But I couldn't have done it as a new homeschooler. Knowing *how* to teach, extracting information from texts and transmitting it to each student in a way they actually comprehend and absorb, as well as what is developmentally appropriate for each age? That's the stuff I needed to know about homeschooling as a beginner that was shockingly hard to come by. With that skillset now I could do it no problem. And help another mom do it. But as a newbie I needed more structure and support, *myself*, to figure out how to help my kids.

 

Now the biggest homeschool challenge is my own patience and diligence in teaching. Not anything difficult about the act of educating or the materials I'm using. With a library, math program/text, and a bible? Assuming basic school supplies? We'd be set. I wouldn't want to do it that way but my favorite program and the one we structure our school off of isn't actually much different, especially beyond the earliest years where basic math and reading skills are developed.

Edited by Arctic Mama
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Nope.

Our former library had no books in foreign languages so dd would not have learned the level of languages she has now.

The language courses in the library were old fashioned so she would have learned how to buy gloves, and how to order champagne with shrimps instead of booking ones holiday through internet...

 

Our current library is much better, but dd would not have passed the required 8th grade exams, and she would have been send back to school.

 

Libraries tend to have populair authors and not the great books.

We do use the library extensively, just not for school.

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I think it entirely depends on what the mom is bringing to the table.  If she herself is well-educated in grammar, spelling, science, history, drawing, writing...  then yes, it could be done, and it would be a whole lot of work for mom.  

 

If you know grammar and sentence analysis, then you can take any book in the world and use it to teach grammar, structure, mechanics... all in a CM sort of way.  

If you know history, you can pick out appropriate library books and put them together into a coherent history study.  Same with science.  

If you know what good writing looks like, and how to get there, you don't need a curriculum.  

If you know math, you can teach it with or without a book, though it's helpful to have a scope and sequence.  

 

But if mom is not bringing quite a bit of education to the table along with the library card, Bible, and math text, then no.  I think it would short the child enormously, unless the mom is also using the library book to check out massive amounts of "How to teach" type books and shoring up her own knowledge gaps in the content subjects, language arts, etc.  

 

 

 

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Yes, you could where I live. The library is quite good and free interlibrary loan , with a limit of 10 . Banks of computers and printers and tables to work on. You can check out study rooms which have a whiteboard and markers(though the markers go missing )for a few hours a day. There are bookclubs , including some homeschool ones and craft/movie afternoons for younger set at the library. It even has a Starbucks,and though I am not a fan, it does combine my two favorite things in the world: books and coffee. Ok, personally I would add coffee to required homeschool materials.

 

Edited to add: i think that math books can be obtained. Basic arthmatic could be done with manipluatives (could use anything-wouldn't need to buy anything) and later a white board or paper and pencil. Junior high/ Senior high math could be done. Free tutoring in math and physics at my library. Some of the older 1940's math books are sitting in my Amazon cart. I don't know if this college would have access to these, but probably through interlibrary loan from a college.

Edited by Silver Brook
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I find it kind of a dumb thing to say.

 

Any book, nearly, can be found in a library, including textbooks and other curricula, even the Bible!

 

Take your kids places, buy art supplies, involve them in daily life--

 

What the statement is really saying is, You can homeschool without BUYING books and materials from curriculum publishers.

 

A hearty yes from me.

 

 

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With a good library system you could do it. You would want to live near the library though.  You would be there on an almost daily basis for library programs and Internet access.  How hard it would be would depend on the Mom’s personality and outlook.  Some people are naturally more flexible and go with the flow than others. 

 

 

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I couldn't. Other people might. I would argue that, no matter how important the Bible is to you, an internet connection is more necessary to education. You can get the Bible online for free, any number of translations. :) And being online opens up access to so many other resources, you could probably do without the math book as well. ;)

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yes, we could - we have a pretty good library system.  In fact I could get Bibles and even math stuff my dh could teach the kids with there quite easily.

 

The library has far more resources on pretty much any topic than what I can afford to buy with my homeschooling funds.  That includes things like essay writing, practical science topics, whatever.  If the kids get beyond that level we have access to all the university libraries (eight I think) in the city with our public library card.

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I agree on one hand but disagree on another, some kids are harder to teach than others, especially when it comes to reading(and spelling). Some kids will learn to read on their own or with any program you use, others really need specialized programs to really get it. I could likely make it ok having taught a couple to read now, neither of which were of the easy to teach variety, although one being way worse than the other but I'm thrilled to have materials utilizing the experience and research of others instead of having to set it all up on my own. We heavily use the library for content but I'm happy to have various programs to use. 

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Yes, definitely - if the library is good. It is not much different from how many of us homeschool (except many people buy the most important books instead of getting them from the library).

Foreign language can be a problem; you want a really good library for that.

 

ETA: I assume the OP means that we are allowed to use writing materials! Without, no, cannot be done.

Edited by regentrude
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You would need a good library and have to work very hard not to end up with a narrow education. It kind of makes me worry that would be the intention though.

 

It's funny, that didn't even occur to me. 

 

We do have a good library system, and always have wherever we've lived. So maybe that colors my view. But this is how it would look in the elementary years:

 

Teach child to read (this would be the hardest part, would check out a book at library on how to do this). Then, 

 

Do math daily

Have them write something daily, me modeling correct letter formation (starting just with copying letters, moving up to sentences. Could be sentences from a story we read or from Bible). 

Read from Bible daily (as literature or religion, not as history!)

Check out each week a few non fiction books, kid chooses some, I choose some. Some on science topics, some on social studies topics. 

Check out interesting picture books. 

Get some cool documentaries  if available. 

 

Done. I don't see how choosing random non fiction would lead to a narrow education at all...if anything I think the issue would be being too broad and not deep enough, but again, in elementary and even middle school I don't think that's an issue. 

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