Community Interest

Help for Homeschoolers

By Tiffani Stewart
St. Charles City-County Library 

Over the past two decades, there has been a steady rise in the number of homeschoolers in America. According to the Institute of Education Sciences, approximately 3.4% of U.S. students are homeschooled; this represents close to 2 million students.  

“Homeschooling allows us to tailor our children’s education to their needs,” says Joanna Lilly, mother and teacher to four children. She and many other homeschooling parents in the area rely on the St. Charles City-County Library for resources, opportunities for their kids to interact with others, and supplemental instruction.  

It’s hard for Joanna to narrow down her favorite instructional resources at the Library, but the abundance of books and online resources about every topic seems to top the list. She and her children (ages 9, 11, 12, and 15) come to the Library two or three times each week to choose books for instruction and pleasure. “Having a huge selection of materials at the Library saves us TONS of money,” Joanna says. She also explains that they simply wouldn’t have room in their home to store all of the books that the kids use throughout the course of a year if they had to purchase them all. When she selects a topic of study, they often have up to 25 library books available at home relating to that topic. “Most homeschoolers love the written word. When you show children that they can learn anything in a book, they have the freedom to explore and find the information.” 

Besides using materials from the Library, the Lilly kids attend classes and events of all kinds, where they can socialize and learn. They love technology classes (using equipment that they don’t have at home) like Lego Mindstorms and Coder Space. The older kids attend Teen Advisory Board meetings, where they work with a team of their peers to implement ideas and volunteer at special events. Several library branches offer Book Clubs for children, tweens, and teens. These allow students the opportunity to exchange ideas about literature with others. The Lilly kids also enjoy crafting classes, where they can explore new interests without committing to the cost of classes or equipment. In addition, Joanna sings the praises of Library staff, who give her kids great book recommendations and share ideas that relate to topics that they are studying.  

If you’re a homeschooling parent looking for instructional resources, opportunities for socialization and teamwork for your children and teens, or classes that supplement your homeschool curriculum, you can find them at the Library. Ask staff for recommendations on the topic you’re interested in studying, browse our online classes and events calendar, or join St. Charles City-County Library’s “Happy Homeschoolers” Facebook group for more information and ideas. Joanna’s son may have said it best: “All of the world’s ideas are here, just waiting to be opened. And it’s all free!”  

Whether you homeschool or not, Library classes can offer great learning opportunities for all ages. Try one of these events happening this month at the Augusta Branch and the Boone’s Trail Branch Libraries. 


  •  LEGO Builders (Boone’s Trail) Thurs., Feb. 6th, 5:00 p.m. 
Come create with the Library's extensive collection of LEGOs. Your finished masterpiece could be displayed at the Library.

  •  Discover Crafting: String Art (Augusta), Mon., Feb. 10th, 10:00 a.m.
Hooray for string! This household staple will help you create something unique.

  •  Let’s Create: Candy Gift Box (Boone’s Trail), Tues., Feb. 11th, drop in all day
Show your love with a gift for someone special! Decorate your own gift box and put some tasty treats inside.

  •  Game On! (Augusta), Tues., Feb. 11th, 5:30 p.m.
Isn’t it about time for a family game night? Drop in and play.

  •  Tech Time: Code & Go Robot Mouse (Augusta), Sat., Feb. 15th, drop in all day
Bring a Code and Go Robot Mouse to life! Operate its movement, lights, and sounds using the basics of computer coding.

  •  Tech Time: Osmos* (Boone’s Trail), Mon., Feb. 24th, 6:00 p.m.
Use our iPads and Osmos to play Tangrams. This fun and easy tech game uses spatial thinking to build puzzle-piece creations.



  •  Discover Crafting: Decorative Paper Gift Boxes* (Boone’s Trail), Mon., Feb. 3rd, 6:00 p.m. or Mon, Feb. 10th, 2:30 p.m.
Make special gift boxes for that special someone. They're the perfect size for treats, jewelry, or any small gift.

  •  I Love Quilts (Augusta), Tues., Feb. 4th, 10:00 a.m.
You love quilts. We love quilts. Let’s get together! See demonstrations, bring your Show and Tell project, and keep working on Block of the Month.

  •  Make It Sew: Peek-A-Boo Heart Pouch* (Augusta), Thurs., Feb. 6th, 4:30 p.m.
Bring your sewing machine and supplies (list provided upon registration) to create an adorable themed pouch.

  •  Augusta Book Discussion* (Augusta), Mon., Feb. 17th, 2:00 p.m.
Pick up a copy of A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline and join us to discuss how the author imagined life for the subject of Andrew Wyeth's painting "Christina's World".

  •  English Paper Piecing* (Augusta), Tues., Feb. 18th, 4:00 p.m.
Carry a project in your purse and work on it anywhere! Learn the art of English Paper Piecing.

  •  New Melle Nonfiction Book Discussion Group* (Boone’s Trail), Thurs., Feb. 20th, 10:00 a.m.  
Read the untold story of the 13 members of the first lady astronaut training program and their dream of space flight in Mercury 13 by Martha Ackmann. Join us for an out-of-this-world discussion.

  •  Crafting Connections: Project Wrap-Up* (Augusta), Thurs., Feb. 20th, 4:00 p.m.
Finish your projects and keep your kitchen table clean. Come to the Library to work, socialize, and share the progress you’re making.

  •  Discover Crafting: Macrame Mug Rug* (Augusta), Thurs., Feb. 27th, 5:30 p.m.
Create a cute and cozy resting spot for your mug. All supplies will be provided.

  •  Let’s Play Crazy Rummy* (Boone’s Trail), Mondays at 10:30 a.m.
If you’re a “wildcard” or a “joker”, you’ll find a group of “suite” people to play with at this weekly rummy card game. Beginners welcome.

  •  Write Your Life Story* (Augusta), Tuesdays at 1:00 p.m.
Get your stories down on paper while you remember them. Come weekly for support, guest speakers, and a variety of topics to help you keep your writing interesting. 

  •  Coffee at the Library (Augusta), Thursdays at 9:00 a.m.
Find coffee, treats, and conversation every Thursday morning at the Library. We’re expecting you! 

  •  Hand and Foot Canasta* (Boone’s Trail), Thursdays at 1:00 p.m.
Have you ever tried to laugh and play cards at the same time? This group can do it! Join them for critical thinking, strategy, and lots of fun. Beginners welcome.

  •  Yarn Arts* (Augusta), Thursdays at 2:00 p.m. 
If you knit, crochet, embroider, or cross stitch, join us to finish your next Yarn Arts project.



  •  Let’s Create: Valentine Card Making (Augusta), Tues., Feb. 4th, drop in all day.
Use YOUR imagination and OUR supplies to make cards for your friends and family.

  •  Tale Waggers: Read to a Dog* (Boone’s Trail), Tues., Feb. 4th, 6:00 p.m.
Dogs love to wag their tails and listen to tales! Build confidence in reading by sharing a book (yours or ours) with a friendly attentive dog from “Love on a Leash”.



  •  Discover Crafting: Decorative Paper Gift Boxes* (Boone’s Trail), Mon., Feb. 3rd, 6:00 p.m. or Mon., Feb. 10th, 2:30 p.m.
Make special gift boxes for that special someone. They're the perfect size for treats, jewelry, or any small gift.

  •  Discover Crafting: String Art (Augusta), Mon., Feb. 10th, 10:00 a.m.
Hooray for string! This household staple will help you create something unique.


*Register at or call Boone’s Trail at 636-398-6200 or Augusta at 636-228-4855. 

The Boone’s Trail and Augusta branches are open Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday from 9:00 a.m.- 8:00 p.m. and Saturday, 9:00 a.m.- 12:00 noon.   

**Branches will be open regular hours on Monday, February 17 for President’s Day.