Inherent in any unit study is the need for good supplementary resources.
Library – You’ll be making regular trips to the library as your student moves from topic to topic. While Beyond Five in a Row provides a tremendous amount of specific, factual content, it will not be enough to satisfy your student who wants to pursue a subject in greater depth. Find a librarian with a heart to serve rather than one who is simply good at checking out books. Explain your needs and what you are doing and then let her know how much you appreciate her support in helping you locate good resources. Bake her a pan of brownies occasionally or take her an inexpensive “cash and carry” rose from time to time, along with a nice note or card of appreciation. A good librarian is a tremendous resource to any educator!
Encyclopedia – You will also want to invest in a good set of encyclopedias. That does not mean spending a great deal of money! When we needed it, we bought our World Book Encyclopedia – Windows And Mac on CD-Rom for our computer for $20 after the mail-in $20 rebate offer from a local computer store. And of course you can locate used encyclopedias at bargain basement prices through classified ads, flea markets and used book stores. For 99% of your student’s needs a 1997 encyclopedia works just as well as a 2007 edition. Expect to pay between $25 and $150 for a set. A good encyclopedia, dictionary and atlas are the links between your curriculum guide and the library. These resources do not by any means replace the need for regular trips to the library, but they will substantially reduce the frequency and urgency of those trips. Your student can immediately begin to branch out and enrich their studies using resources at hand. Later in the day, or later in the week when your schedule permits, you can go to the library to look for specific books on the topic.
Home Library – You will also want to look for opportunities to continue building a personal resource library as time, finances and space permit. Don’t rush out and try to fill your library in one week. Get to know the used bookstores in your area and watch the sale tables at major bookseller chain stores. You can often find wonderful resource books for 25 cents to a few dollars. If it’s a quality resource, buy it whether you need it now or not. You will eventually appreciate having a book on trees, another on our solar system, etc.
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