by Beth Cronk, Litchfield head librarian
As we begin a new school year, there are many things to be excited about and sometimes a few things to be concerned about. Our children get older and face new challenges. Maybe they’ve had some difficulty with schoolwork or trouble with classmates. One place I’ve always looked for help is at the library. You can find books on all different kinds of parenting and educational issues. There are also online sources of help available.
One new electronic resource that is newly available to Pioneerland cardholders is Tutor.com. You can get to it by going to http://www.tutor.com/willmar and typing in your library barcode. Live, one-on-one help is available from 2 p.m. to midnight. You can even upload a paper for a tutor to work on with you. There are resources to use on the site that are available all the time, including homework resources, SAT, ACT, and GED test prep guides, and even resume and interview guidance. I took a quick look in the homework resources and found that you can choose a subject, like English, a school level, like elementary, and a more specific subject, like capitalization and punctuation. Following that path, I found capitalization rules, a lesson in contractions, and some games that help teach capitalization and punctuation. If you’re an iPhone or iPad user, you can download an app for the site. I hope you’ll try it out!
We also have some new books at the Litchfield Library that may help parents to help and guide their children. The book Red Flags or Red Herrings: Predicting Who Your Child Will Become is intriguing for parents who wonder how the traits they see in their child will affect their future. The author, Susan Engel, is a developmental psychologist, educator, and mother. She encourages parents to accept their children’s inborn traits, intervene for some issues, but to have perspective and not overreact about others.
Nolo’s IEP Guide: Learning Disabilities is a legal guide written for parents. Nolo is the premier publisher for legal books written for those of us who aren’t lawyers. This book is a guide to advocating for your child who has a learning disability, understanding your child’s legal rights, developing an individualized education program, and resolving disputes with your school district.
If you’re a homeschooler, you may be interested in Free Range Learning: How Homeschooling Changes Everything. The author, Laura Grace Weldon, advocates what she calls natural learning. Falling somewhere between structured homeschooling and unschooling, Weldon recommends following the child’s interests, using meaningful work to teach, and connecting with others as natural ways to learn. She also emphasizes the importance of play, curiosity, and slowing down.
Our new DVD Stop Bullying: Standing Up for Yourself and Others gives students concrete steps to take to respond to bullying. This video is intended for students in junior high grades and up. It shares advice from experts and stories from kids who’ve been in bullying situations.
Whatever kind of parenting or education-related topic you’re looking for, I hope you’ll take a look in our catalog or speak to someone on our staff to help you find something you can use. And remember to try Tutor.com. Have a great school year!