Schooling at Home

Whether you are homeschooling or supporting your student’s learning at home, these helpful databases and websites contain information about getting started and include printable activity sheets,Light gray top and bottom border with a yellow, lined paper center. There is a brown and navy blue pencil laying on top from the upper left corner. Two fonts and colors are used for the text in the center of the design. lessons, common core standards, and more. You may also find more useful links on our Homework Help page.

Supporting Your Students At Home:

LearningExpress Library  - All ages - LearningExpress offers a myriad of tutorials, practices and ebooks to help parents and students with classes from phonics to physics. Content for grades 4-12 is aligned to Illinois Common Core State Standards. All grades have English/Language Arts and Mathematics information, and social studies content is available for middle schoolers. For high schoolers, LearningExpress offers social studies, science, technology, logic and reasoning, GED, ACT and SAT prep information. Plus, all of it is free to you!

Hoopla - All ages - Hoopla is a free app that allows Chatham Area Public Library cardholders access to TV shows, music, comics, movies, audiobooks, and ebooks to stream or download without any holds or waitlists! It even has homeschooling resources. Quick Tip: When hoopla’s Kids Mode setting is active, your hoopla app will only show kid-appropriate content in your browse and search results.

Illinois Early Learning Project - Pre-K - The Illinois Early Learning Project website is a source of evidence-based, reliable information on early care and education for families, caregivers, and teachers of young children. This website has tip sheets for parents and caregivers on a variety of topics including the importance of mask wearing and social distancing.

Scholastic Teachables Database - PreK-8th grade - The Library is excited to add this new resource that grants access to a searchable database offering more than 25,000 printable resources for all grade levels from PreK-8th grade including lesson plans, activity sheets, and more covering all subjects and themes. New resources are added monthly, and all lesson plans and activities are developed by teachers and curriculum specialists and are vetted by Scholastic.

Kanopy Kids - Pre-K and up - Stream hundreds of videos for free--brought to you by the Chatham Area Public Library!  With unlimited plays, kids are free to explore enriching, educational and entertaining films and TV series. Kanopy Kids offers programming that kids love and parents trust to inspire young minds and spark creativity.

Academic Search Premier Database - 9-12th grades - A multi-disciplinary article database containing full text for more than 4,600 journals, including nearly 3,900 peer-reviewed titles. This scholarly collection offers information in nearly every area of academic study. Great resource for research papers. To access this database from home, enter your Chatham Area Public Library card number for the Patron ID. 

Illinois Community College Board - Information and explanation of high school equivalency options, including the US and Illinois Constitution tests, required for GED students.

GED Testing Service - The official site for signing up to take the GED test.  The GED is not required for homeschooled students, but it is one option for indicating completion of high school requirements. 

Homeschooling Information:

Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) - This is the first page every family considering homeschooling should check out.  It covers state regulations of homeschooling, FAQs for anyone considering homeschooling, and a two-page list of programs and resources for homeschooling families.

Coalition for Responsible Homeschool Education - The CRHE empowers homeschooled children by educating the public and advocating for child-centered, evidence-based policy and practices for families and professionals.

Illinois H.O.U.S.E. (Home Oriented Unique Schooling Experience) - H.O.U.S.E. is a statewide network of support groups for people involved in homeschooling. Formed in 1981, they provide email and phone support about issues related to Illinois homeschooling. Common questions include how to withdraw a child from public school and what the school district needs from homeschooling families. Information on special needs and driver’s education is also available through HOUSE.

Homeschool Legal Defense Association - A source for free and paid state-specific information about homeschooling along with a free e-newsletter and many helpful resources on getting started.

AP/College Board - The Advanced Placement Program® (AP) enables willing and academically prepared students to pursue college-level studies while still in high school.

Homework Help for Students and Teachers

Homework HelpOur Youth Services Librarians have curated this list of resources to support students and teachers in their learning and teaching endeavors. For further help, we also offer databases full of articles and great information on our Databases page. 

  • Ben’s Guide to US Government: Information and games about government, laws and more for ages 4 through high school
  • Biblioboard Common Core Collection: This curation covers a wide range of topics—including Literature, Philosophy, History, Geography and Science—with each collection containing corresponding middle and high school common core guides
  • BrainPop Jr.: Educational games for kids on a variety of subjects
  • Crash Course: Fun and educational videos on a variety of subjects.  Geared towards junior high-high school age
  • Crash Course Kids: Same as above but geared towards elementary kids
  • E-learning for Kids:  Activities for a variety of subjects for elementary age
  • Factmonster.com:  Designed just for kids.  Find facts on thousands of subjects, including sports, entertainment, geography, history, and more
  • Great Minds/Math Equip: Great Minds Math Equip helps teachers identify and remediate knowledge gaps so all students have a solid math foundation
  • Homework Spot: Website with links to many homework resources on a variety of subjects
  • Infoplease.com:  Reference tools-- Encyclopedias, dictionaries, almanacs and homework help on English, math, history, geography, science, and social studies
  • Khan Academy: Lessons and activities for a variety of subjects from elementary to high school, college test prep, career and college admission info
  • MYSTERYdoug: 5 minute videos where students ask anything about in science and a science expert responds
  • Purplemath: Math resources for 5th grade-college
  • Readworks: Reading comprehension instruction with free content, curriculum, and tools for teaching and learning for Kindergarten-12th grade
  • Science Buddies:  Ideas, plans, and instructions for science projects and science fair help
  • Zearn Math: Top-rated materials for in-person and virtual learning. Zearn Math helps kids love learning math
Lexile

Allows users to find book Lexile levels with a title search or to find titles with a specific Lexile level.  Lexile Find a Book

LINK: https://fab.lexile.com/

Common Sense Media

Common Sense MediaCommon Sense is the leading independent nonprofit organization dedicated to helping kids thrive in a world of media and technology. We empower parents, teachers, and policymakers by providing unbiased information, trusted advice, and innovative tools to help them harness the power of media and technology as a positive force in all kids’ lives.

Link: www.commonsensemedia.org/

Reading Buddies Puppets*

The Chatham Area Library houses a collection of 30 Folkmanis puppets and companion books that are available to librarians and educators.  Folkmanis has created award-winning puppets that encourage imagination, inspire creativity, and promote interaction. 

To find out about the puppet/book kits or to check-out a kit contact one of the Youth Services Librarians at (217) 483-2713.  

*Please note that these items are available to educators and librarians only.

Lincoln Legacy Kits*

To mark the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln’s birth in 2009, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum (ALPLM) and its partners made lessons of Lincoln available to Illinois children through this educational outreach program.  The “Lincoln’s Legacy Learning Kits” include four contained units of study: Lincoln Biography, Mary Lincoln, Civil War Soldiers and Slavery in Illinois.  Each kit includes lesson plans, primary sources, reproduction artifacts, and more.  The Chatham Area Public Library is pleased to be one of forty libraries throughout Illinois to house these kits.  Through inter-library loan, educators and librarians can check out these kits and begin an inspiring exploration of Abraham Lincoln and life during his time.  Call the Chatham Area Public Library at 217-483-2713 for more information. 

*Available to educators and librarians only.

Library Rules and Policies

Per the Library's Unattended Children - Dependent Adult Policy:

The Chatham Area Public Library District welcomes children and families in using its facilities. The purpose of this policy is to encourage parents, legal guardians and caregivers to exercise reasonably responsible care, supervision, and control over their minor children in order to prevent victimization and to protect the health, safety, and welfare of children and also to make the library a safe and enjoyable environment for everyone.

An “unattended child” is a child under 18 who is unaccompanied by a parent, guardian caregiver. Children who are unable or unwilling to act appropriately or care for themselves may not be left alone in the library or on library grounds at any time and must have adequate supervision from a parent, legal guardian or caregiver.

Adults who cannot care for themselves independently without the constant attention of a parent, legal guardian or caregiver may not be left alone in the library or on library grounds at any time and must have adequate supervision from a parent, legal guardian or caregiver at all times.

Guidelines

The library acknowledges that the maturity of children at different ages varies. These guidelines are subject to the discretion of library staff who may apply them to children other than the ages stated below, if they deem it necessary.

  1. Children through the age of five (5) years must have a parent, legal guardian or responsible caregiver in the immediate vicinity (within sight or conversation distance) and remain in visual contact with the children unless the children are participating in a library-sponsored program. 
  2. Children ages six to seven (6-7) years must have a parent, legal guardian or responsible caregiver in the same service area unless the children are participating in a library sponsored-program.
  3. Children ages eight to eleven (8-11) years should have a parent, legal guardian or responsible caregiver in the building unless the children are participating in a library-sponsored program.
  4. When a child participates in a library-sponsored program, the parent, legal guardian or responsible caregiver must sign the child into the program. Parents, legal guardians and responsible caregivers of children age eight (8) and younger are required to remain in the Library for the duration of the program. Children must be picked up promptly at the end of the program.
  5. Children twelve (12) and over may use the library unattended for a period of time appropriate to their age and maturity. If a child in this age group is not able to leave the library without an adult, he/she should not be in the library alone. The library reserves the right to contact parents or proper authorities if a child is left alone in the library and presents behavior that is unacceptable.
  6. All children should carry with them the phone number of a parent, legal guardian or responsible caregiver who is to be contacted in case of emergency.
  7. Parents or legal guardians are accountable for their children's behavior while on library property. In the event that a behavior situation arises by a child left unsupervised while a parent or legal guardian uses the library (including in the computer lab), the library staff reserves the right to intervene in the situation directly to address the behavior themselves or indirectly by alerting the child’s parent or legal guardian to the behavior. If the child is or continues to be disruptive, and the parent or legal guardian does not respond, both the child and the parent or legal guardian may be asked to leave library grounds. A child who is accompanied by an adult (other than a parent or legal guardian) or by a sibling who does not comply with a staff request to discontinue inappropriate behavior and who refuses to leave the library grounds shall be referred to the Chatham Police Department for removal. Some behaviors and instances that may be cause for staff intervention include but are not limited to:
    1. Fighting/bullying
    2. Vandalism
    3. Rough play
    4. Excessive noise
    5. Running
    6. Misuse and/or disordering of library materials
    7. Inappropriate language or subject matter

Library staff is allowed to use their best judgment if they witness a child being improperly supervised and putting themselves or anyone else in an unsafe situation.

  1. If staff has reason to suspect that a child has been left at closing time, staff will ask if the child is waiting to be picked up, determine the child’s name and may call the child’s parent or legal guardian. If, after a reasonable time, there has been no response to calls and the child still has not been picked up, the Chatham Police Department will be called to handle the situation and ensure the safety and well-being of the child.
  2. In the event of serious or willful policy violations, the Chatham Police Department will be notified immediately.

According to the Library's Rules of Conduct Policy, "parents are expected to supervise their children. The Library Staff and the Board of Trustees do not presume to act “in loco parentis.”  Therefore, they do not act as “baby-sitters” nor do they censor the Library materials that children choose.  If children are left at the Library for long periods of time unsupervised, parents/guardians will be notified.  If there is no response the Chatham Police will be notified."

To view these and other Library policies, please visit https://www.chathamlib.org/about-us/policies.