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Westerly Library is open for browsing by appointment. Computers, printing, scanning, and copying are available by reservation. We are unable to accommodate walk-ins at this time. To make a reservation please call 401.596.2877 x930 for Circulation, and x311 for the Computer Lab. Library Takeout Service is still available and the book drop is open for returns. And don't forget to check out all of our virtual programs and resources!

Westerly Sun Column

Get the Low-Down on Homeschooling with the Library

The beginning of a new school year can be challenging in the best of times, and 2020 is certainly NOT the “best of times”. Many parents and guardians have been grappling with very difficult decisions regarding their children’s education (in-person, homeschool, distance learning…), and still others are in positions where they don’t have a choice. We at Westerly Library and Wilcox Park feel for you all, and while we (unfortunately) don’t have a magic wand to fix any of this, we are doing our best to provide resources that can help, regardless of your situation.

 
On September 10th from 6-8:30pm, we will host ENRICHri for a virtual “Intro to Homeschooling in Rhode Island” workshop. Whether you have committed to homeschooling, or simply considering it as an option, this informational presentation will cover the basics of homeschooling in Rhode Island, and help answer the questions you have. Topics that will be discussed include: state laws and district policies; reasons why families choose to homeschool; curriculum planning, resources, and what a typical day is like; and concerns surrounding socialization. The workshop will be held on Zoom, and advance registration is required. You can register today at https://bit.ly/2E5jSPS, or by visiting our website at www.westerlylibrary.org.
 
We have plenty of virtual programs on the horizon for kids as well. Our Homeschoolers Book Club for ages 10+ will begin on September 23rd, and will be held through Zoom this year. The club is aimed towards homeschooled children, but anyone is welcome! For older students, we hold a monthly Teen Virtual Book Club, which is an informal and open discussion about anything related to books or writing.
 
If you check out the library YouTube page, you’ll find new videos on a variety of subjects every week, from storytimes to tips for dealing with or escaping from the stress of school. And for those who are tired of staring at a computer screen (we get it), we will still be doing Take and Make craft kits throughout the year for kids and adults!
Finally, we have a new page on our website full of resources for homeschool families, distance-learners, and students of all ages. You will find links to local homeschool groups/networks, free educational websites for kids, reputable sites with curriculum materials, and more. Take a peek at www.westerlylibrary.org/learnfromhome, and please let us know if there is something missing.
 
Though not related, we would also like to invite everyone to attend a fascinating program we will hold on Zoom on September 14th: “Lessons From Apartheid: How Americans Can Join Across Racial Differences”. The presentation is given by M. J. Soni, a former eye surgeon turned author and current Mystic resident, who grew up in South Africa under the system of racial separation called Apartheid. Soni will discuss her experiences and draw parallels with America’s past and present experiences with racism. It’s a timely – and important – discussion, and one which all of us can benefit from.
 
By Cassie Skobrak, Reference Librarian