The Rockford Public Library offers many services for families new to homeschooling as well as veteran families. Anyone with a library card is invited to use our internet computers, check out DVDs, books, magazines, audio books, and music CDs. Patrons do not need a library card to enjoy our game computers or attend any of our programs.
In addition, the library offers the following services to homeschool families.
Youth Services can arrange a tour of the Rockford Public Library for any group. The tour can include a tour of Youth Services for the younger children or a full library tour for older children. The tours can also include a story time and catalog instruction.
Meeting rooms are available for group meetings and/or classes at the Hart Interim Library downtown and all of the four branches. The charge for each facility varies but is at a discounted price for all non-profit groups. There is no charge for use of the quiet study rooms at the East Branch or conference rooms at the Hart.
The Rockford Public Library has a wonderful selection of homeschool “how to” books. Our Parent/Teacher collection includes workbooks on various themes, homeschool guides, and ideas for activities.
Illinois is one of the easiest states in which to homeschool. In Illinois, homeschools are considered private schools. Teachers do not have to be certified. Standard tests do not have to be administered. Finally, homeschoolers do not have to register with the Regional Office of Education. This is a voluntary step that you may take but not one that is required.
For more information on laws governing home schooling in Illinois please refer to the following websites.
Home School Legal Defense Association
Homeschooling in Illinois
In order to withdraw your child, you will need to notify the school in writing. If you are planning to start in the fall, the end of this school year is the perfect time to send notification. You do not need to state that you are homeschooling.
For sample withdrawal letters please refer to the following websites.
Illinois Home Education
Illinois Christian Home Educator’s Coalition
There are many ways to keep track of lessons and chart students’ progress. Once you choose a recordkeeping method, stick with it and stay on top of it. It is very difficult to play “catch up.” Some recordkeeping methods include:
This can be completed by either the teacher or the student. This is a daily log that describes what lessons and activities were completed and what the student learned.
This method uses a daily lesson planner sheet to keep track of the things you have planned for the day.
This method works well with a unit studies approach. You keep track of the books you use (a suggestion would be to make copies of the cover and the table of contents) plus any videos, field trips, and tests. These sheets would be placed in a binder for each child.
Purchased Recordkeeping Systems
There are also lesson planners, grade books, and workbooks available at a variety of local learning materials stores including The 3R’s at 320 Alpine (815-398-1600) or Let’s Learn at 6253 E. State (815-226-8899). They have wonderful workbooks, posters, and everything else you would need to set up your school. The Harris Homeschool Planner is one that is one that comes highly recommended. The “Keepers at Home” organizer is user friendly and easy to personalize.