Homeschool Resources

If you are homeschooling your child or supplementing e-learning this year, these resources can help you navigate homeschool requirements and provide information on curriculum, buying co-ops and support groups. Start your child off by getting a library card so you can access all the resources the library has to offer.


Library Resources

  • Sign up for an independent reading program
    • Tag-Along (Grades K-2)
    • Rockin’ Readers (Grades 3-5)
  • Explore hands-on science at home by checking out a STEAM Discovery Kit for ages 6 and older. Each kit includes books, educational toys and equipment on a variety of topics. (currently unavailable)
  • Check out an Adventure Pack, ages 3 and older, containing books, CDs and interactive materials designed to boost literacy skills. (currently unavailable)

Access from home with an ITPLD card

Homeschooling in Illinois

  • Mandatory from 6th birthday through age 17 (or graduates from his/her high school program)
  • Daily instruction in English for 176 days
  • Required subjects to be taught
  • No standardized testing required
  • No state accreditation required
  • No home visits required
  • No record of attendance, although advisable to do so
  • No state requirement for parents to initiate any contact

  

Reading Resources

Early Reader Collection
Books labeled levels 1-4.

  • Level 1: Getting Ready to Read
    10 words or less on a page
  • Level 2: On My Way
    10-20 words on a page
  • Level 3: Almost There
    More difficult story lines
  • Level 4: Reading On My Own
    Longer stories, often broken up into short chapters

Beginning Chapter Book Collection

  • Have less than 100 pages
  • Short chapters
  • Illustrations on many pages
  • Large, clear text
  • Simple plot line-often the plot may be repeated across books in series

Beginning Nonfiction Book Collection
Nonfiction books for pre-readers and early readers

  • Less than about 40 pages
  • Illustrations on many pages

Other

Graphic Novels
Youth graphic novels in all genres are intended for kids up to grade 5 and can be a successful visual reading experience.

Nonfiction
Through grade 8


Other Resources

Curriculum Reviews 
How to choose a curriculum

Homeschool.com
Popular homeschooling community resource, includes information, articles and message boards.

Homeschool Buyers Co-op
Links to curriculum, testing, coupons and other resources

Homeschool Legal Defense Association
Nonprofit advocacy organization established to defend and advance the constitutional right of parents to direct the education of their children and to protect family freedoms.

Homeschool World
Practical homeschool information; offers a directory or homeschool groups in Illinois

K12 Homeschool Online
Online homeschooling options

 

Library of Congress

  • National Book Festival is virtual this year
  • Participants can interact with authors
  • Teaching and historical resources
  • Exhibitions – create an exhibit and post on website
  • Music, books and map resources
  • Today in History – Day by day tour in history
  • Jump Back in Time – site for kids
  • Ask a librarian – Staffed with librarians to answer questions

The Smithsonian

  • Learning Lab free resource
  • Designing mini exhibits
  • Resources by grade level and subject
  • Events and activities
  • Free activity downloads for families 
  • How to talk to children about COVID
 

Miscellaneous

  • Reading is Fundamental helps evaluate your children’s progress through six stages of reading development.
  • Family Time Machine offers activities for a variety of age and skill levels. Instructions in Spanish also available.
  • Colorin Colorado: (español) Un sitio bilingüe para familias y maestros para ayudar a los niños leer.
  • Dogo Books are book reviews by kids for kids.  
  • Great Websites for Kids Carefully selected works by the Association for Library Service to Children.
  • Reading Rockets for Parents provides articles and suggestions for great books and helpful tips for your struggling reader.
  • Read Write Think provides resources for parents from the International Literacy Association.
  • Family Reading Night promotes literacy across the state of Illinois.
  • Raz Kids provides a searchable Reading Level Correlation Chart with multiple reading level choices.