Libraries and Homeschoolers
The Department of Education estimates that there are 1.5 million homeschoolers in the United States as of 2007.1 Homeschooling is being adopted by a broader range of families than ever before. Families choose to homeschool for many different reasons: educational, political, religious, or simply because they enjoy being with their children. Each family is unique, each child is unique. (See Rebecca H. Davis, "Homeschooling a Personal Choice not a Movement." Teachers College Record,Date Published: May 16, 2005, http://www.tcrecord.org, ID Number: 11876.)
Libraries are a valued resource for homeschoolers. The National Center for Education Statistics report "Homeschooling in the United States: 2003" reports that 78% of homeschool parents use the public library as a source "of curriculum or books for their children's home education."2 Experienced librarians can help new homeschoolers to navigate the ocean of information available about homeschooling. Libraries can support active homeschoolers in many ways, including lending materials, providing free meeting space, as well as other less obvious and often mutually beneficial ways.
Our hope is that this section of our website, designed specifically with Massachusetts librarians in mind, will help librarians to better serve their patrons who are researching the basics of information about and support for homeschooling in Massachusetts, as well as illustrate some ways to enhance the valuable homeschooler-library relationship.
1 Bielick, Stacey, (2008). 1.5 Million Homeschooled Students in the United States in 2007 (NCES 2009-030). National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education, Washington, D.C.: p. 1.
2 Princiotta, D. and Bielick, S. (2006). Homeschooling in the United States: 2003, (NCES 2006-042) U.S. Department of Education. National Center for Education Statistics, Washington, DC: 2005.p. 16)