I don't let my kids go to the library during the homeschool year.
But through much trial and error, I've determined that library books can be a huge distraction from all the really great books and all the really important assignments they are supposed to be reading and completing during the homeschool year.
One too many great novels didn't get read in time or research papers didn't get written until the night before our CC community day because of some Harry Potter or Artmeis Fowl book.
(Actually, I'm pretty sympathetic to Harry Potter. I once let my daughter stay up till midnight before community the next day because she had finally finished all her schoolwork for that week and she only had a few chapters of the last book to read.)
So library visits are reserved for the weeks when we have official homeschool breaks.
The library is right next to the piano studio where the girls take lessons, so after lessons and during holidays, it's a treat to go over and get some new books.
We went yesterday, since the girls are on Christmas break and it was the day of their lesson.
Right now, they are upstairs reading a book aloud and have been reading aloud like that for hours.
It's a beautiful thing.
Of course, the books they check out from the library are approved by me first.
I've lived and learned the hard way that there's a bunch of pornography and propaganda passing for popular juvenile fiction these days.
But most of that junk is still only in the YA section, so the YA section just stopped existing for my family after enough evidence showed it wasn't worth the drama, and we were all fine with that.
For now, there are still plenty compelling stories that the teens and even the adults can enjoy in the Children's Section.
So I let the girls scan those shelves and make their choices, but then they bring the books to me and I scan them and make the call whether the books will actually come home with us.
I follow discussions by likeminded moms online to know more about the most popular titles and stay informed about what's generally good.
Or I can usually make an informed call about an unknown book by simply scanning it for a few minutes right there in the isles.
If a book doesn't pass inspection, it goes back on the shelf.
And my kids don't argue about this. They literally happily move on to the thousand other choices they can make that day.
My kids know the library is a privilege and totally optional, and it's a privilege and option they won't risk by arguing with my over one book.
And please, don't feel sorry for my kids over our library protocol. Our home could compete with any small library, so when I say the library is optional, I mean it's literally optional because we basically live inside a library.
But the library is so magical, I'm happy to have found ways to make it continue working for our family.