CLARKS SUMMIT — After witnessing many families who home-school their children utilizing different services at the Abington Community Library, Laura Gardoski, Head of Youth Services, felt an obligation to start a program to improve their experience.
“I know we have a large home-school population that utilizes the resources at the library and we wanted to do something special to enrich their learning experiences,” Gardoski said.
The third installment of the “Homeschoolers at the Library” program, available to students in grades kindergarten through sixth, was held on Wednesday, Jan. 13 and focused on fire safety. The students watched an educational video with tips to remain safe if they see a fire. They also made a craft pertaining to fire safety.
The previous programs included camouflage in nature and Thanksgiving traditions.
“We try to find different topics that will appeal to a wide range of ages,” Gardoski said. “We’ve been really pleased with the results. We’ve had good attendance each month, averaging about 15 kids. We’re excited because the homeschool community seems to be enjoying it and wants to keep coming back. It’s also easy for the kids to learn when they are already engaged in the subject matter.”
South Abington Township resident Angelina Drollinger began home-schooling her five children: Selah, 6; Isabella, 9; Wes, 11; Alayna, 14; and Maria, 16, two years ago and has been pleased with the results.
“I highly recommend it for many reasons,” she said. “The time is so fleeting with your kids and you can make the most of it with them, and give them individual attention. You can also see what their weaknesses are and customize their education.
“It’s gone really well. I love spending the time with them and just being together with them.”
Wes Drollinger feels one of the biggest advantages of home schooling is the ability to spend more time on individual assignments.
“Math is a little bit easier now because I have a CD-ROM and I can rewind it if I miss something during the lesson,” he said.
Maria Drollinger enjoys being able to adapt her schedule to fit her academic needs.
“It’s really nice to be able to learn at my own pace,” she said. “I can go back and look up something faster than if I had to wait through the whole class. You can also get more in-depth into specific topics than you could at a regular school and there is more time to read and do extra activities.”
Gardoski, who was home-schooled throughout her youth, believes there are several benefits to that type of learning.
“The flexibility is huge,” she said. “You are able to tailor the studies to each individual child and spend extra time on areas that need to be worked on the most.”
Angelina Drollinger is thankful the library offers programs specific to home-schooled children and feels the events help the children develop social skills.
“Because we home school, our children don’t have a lot of other authority figures influencing them so it good to have other influences in their lives,” she said. “Hopefully, they will also meet other people and make friendships.”
Reach Robert Tomkavage at 570-704-3941 or on Twitter @rtomkavage.