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Homeschool Resource Guide

This information is designed to give you an overview of the resources that the St. Louis County Library (SLCL) provides, as well as some of the rich homeschool resources you can find in the area. 

The St. Louis County Library has countless tools that can help homeschoolers, from our physical and emedia collections to programs to free digital courses. Since students operate at a variety of skill levels, this guide is only meant to give a rough idea of what resources are good for which educational level. It is recommended that the educator looks at the resources before letting their student explore them on their own. 

Please keep in mind that the resources listed in the Local Resources section are not connected to the St. Louis County Library. If you have questions about their mission or services, please contact them.

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SLCL Resources

 

Virtual Programs

The Library is offering a range of virtual programming that you can enjoy from anywhere you have a device and internet connection.  Browse the Events and Classes page on our website for a list of upcoming virtual programs.

 

Access a wide variety of digital books, audiobooks, magazines, movies, music, and more using the library’s eMedia offerings. The following emedia platforms can be accessed using an internet browser or by downloading the platform’s app. 

Please note that Hoopla and Kanopy (marked with a *) are available to residents of the St. Louis County Library district only. If you are outside our district, you may be able to access Hoopla or Kanopy through your local library district (St. Charles, St. Louis Public, Municipal Consortium).
 

Flipster
Check out a variety of popular magazines, including Allrecipes, The Atlantic, Do It Yourself, and Travel & Leisure. The magazines also have years of back issues available, as well.

Hoopla*
Access streaming books, audiobooks, music, movies, TV shows, and more. A variety of books on homeschooling are available, as well as many educational books, tv shows, and more that can be incorporated into students’ curriculums. Each card is limited to 10 checkouts a month. Only available to residents of the St. Louis County Library district. 

Kanopy*
Check out movies and TV shows. Each card is limited to 10 checkouts a month, with the exceptions of anything in Kanopy Kids, including many educational videos, and The Great Courses, which are college-level courses on a wide variety of subjects. Only available to residents of the St. Louis County Library district. 

Overdrive/Libby
Our largest emedia platform. Check out books, audiobooks, and some movies, including plenty of fiction and nonfiction for kids and teens and a variety of books on homeschooling. Overdrive is the desktop version and is also an app, while Libby is the newer version of the app. Each card is limited to 20 checkouts and 50 holds at one time.

RBDigital
Access audiobooks and magazines. The audiobook collection is more limited than Overdrive or Hoopla, but there are still some great titles, including many audio versions of The Great Courses. There is a larger selection of magazines than in Flipster. You can also access back issues. Audiobooks are limited to 5 checkouts at any one time. Magazine checkouts are unlimited.  

Tumblebooks
Tumblebooks is an early literacy platform. It primarily offers picture books with animations and audio. These are excellent for young students learning how to read. There is also a section on language learning which is good for elementary school students and a variety of games designed to encourage literacy.

The library provides a variety of free eCourses, many of which are helpful to students and educators. The majority of these are best for students who are in middle school or above. In particular, LearningExpress Library has great ACT and SAT prep resources for high schoolers. Gale Courses and Lynda.com both have classes targeted towards educators.

All ecourse platforms are provided through third parties and require that you create an account with a username (usually an email) and password.
 

Creativebug 
Creativebug is a video course platform. Choose from over 1000 arts and crafts classes taught by recognized artists and professionals, including classes directed towards kids and beginners. The platform has unlimited viewing. 

Driving-Tests.org
Driving-tests.org offers practice exams for the Missouri driver's licence, as well as motorcycle and commercial driver's licence tests. Read DMV manuals or view the materials in Spanish.

Gale Courses 
Gale Courses are interactive and instructor-led. Classes start on the third Wednesday of every month and run for six weeks, with two lessons published each week. You must complete the first two lessons within thirteen days of the start date or you will be dropped. Final exams require a minimum grade of 65% in order to receive a certificate. Courses cover a wide variety of topics, including business, writing, test prep, education, software instruction, and more. There is a class called Homeschool with Success that is excellent for those just starting to homeschool.

LearningExpress Library 
LearningExpress Library offers access to more than 800 tutorials, practice exams, and eBooks for academic and career advancement. Practice tests include a variety of college admissions tests and occupational exams. There is also information on the U.S. Citizenship tests and the GED.

Lynda.com 
Lynda.com offers video tutorials on software, technology, business, and more. There is no limit to how many videos you can watch. There are transcripts for the videos, and many have exercise files so you can follow along with the instructor. Please keep in mind that if you are learning how to use a software program, you will need to get access to that program yourself.

Mango Languages 
Mango Languages offers access to 60+ foreign language courses and 17 English courses taught completely in the user's native language. Watch foreign-language movies in Movie Mode if you just want to sit back and enjoy or in Engage Mode if you want to learn about dialogue, culture, and grammar. Due to the simple flashcard style and focus on basic dialogue, this is an excellent ecourse option for elementary school students. 

Tutor.com
Tutor.com offers free and unlimited live one-on-one tutoring for all ages from 10:00am to 10:00pm every day of the week.  Work with tutors in over 100 subject and test prep areas including study skills coaching.  Tutor.com also offers 24/7 drop-off for review of written assignments and math questions, over 400 video lessons in math and language including AP classes, and tons of practice quizzes.  Use Princeton Review material to prepare for the ACT, SAT, GMAT, GRE, LSAT, and MCAT exams with practice tests, video lessons, and skill drills.  In addition to school, Tutor.com offers job search assistance including help creating resumes and cover letters, completing applications, and interview prep.  Create a free optional Tutor.com account to save your sessions and list your favorite tutors.  Available to anyone with a valid SLCL library card.

The library provides access to a wide variety of databases. Databases enable students to find reliable resources quickly and engage with fun educational content. We also have databases that provide resources for educators, as well. Some databases contain vast amounts of general information, such as World Book and Explora, where you can look up any topic. Others have a very specific focus, such as A to Z World Food or Opposing Viewpoints in Context.

All databases are located on our website under Research. The following list is only a small selection of the databases offered. They are grouped by educational level, but please note that these categories are very flexible. As with all library resources, parents should examine the databases first if they are concerned about the content.
 


Educator 

Novelist
Novelist is a searchable database of fiction and nonfiction titles. It contains book reviews, recommended reading lists, and book discussion guides. 

Scholastic Teachables
Scholastic Teachables is one of the best educational resources the St. Louis County Library offers. Access thousands of searchable and printable educational materials for Pre-K through 8th grade, including skills and activity sheets, mini-books, and lesson plans by topic. Download and print as many resources as possible.


Elementary School 

Explora - Elementary
Explora - Elementary enables students to find information in a variety of formats on a vast number of topics. It is better suited to older elementary students, as it is not as straightforward a database to search in as World Book is.  However, the number of resources almost guarantees that students will be able to find something on their topic.

World Book Kids
World Book Kids is our easiest database for students to use. With a colorful interface, fun activities, and simple, clear articles, this resource is a great first stop for an elementary school student just starting to research. Students who are still learning how to read will appreciate the read-aloud feature.

 


Middle School 

A to Z World Food
Can also be used for High School
This database details cuisines and food customs from around the world. Each country has dozens of recipes available, and they are typically very easy to make. You can also research ingredients and learn where they are from, how they are used, and what their flavor profile is. The reference section contains a variety of historical timelines, foreign language dictionaries, and more.

Access World News
Can also be used for High School
Access World News is great for students doing research on current events. It provides searchable full text and indexing of many U.S. and international newspapers, including print and online-only resources. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch is included. The topic centers are helpful for students, while teachers will appreciate the Daily Headlines and Lesson Plans. 

Explora - Middle School
Explora, like World Book, has a variety of levels, so students of every grade will find resources that they are comfortable with. After World Book, this is our best student resource. It is also general in scope, so any topic can be researched. It provides a wide variety of resources, from videos to ebooks to academic, magazine, and newspaper articles.

World Book Student
World Book is the library's best student resource. Each interface is designed to be engaging and easy-to-use, with lots of interesting features. Because it is an encyclopedia, research is very easy, as students can quickly find the one article that best matches their keyword. World Book Student includes some lovely features, such as Behind the Headlines and the Biography Center. Students can also create an account and save their research to folders.

Science Online
Can also be used for High School
This database contains dictionary and encyclopedia articles, timelines, videos, diagrams, experiments, and more. The experiments are particularly interesting, and there are both instructions for experiments to do in a lab and digital experiment simulations to do online. The biography center is good for students researching famous scientists.


High School 

Credo Reference
Credo Reference contains reference resources like encyclopedias, dictionaries, and biographies. The Mind Map feature, which takes the keyword and explodes it outwards into a web of related concepts, is fantastic for broadening/narrowing a topic or just for exploring. In addition to providing great resources within the database, it is also linked to a variety of other databases we subscribe to, making it a great launching pad for research.

Explora - High School
Explora, like World Book, has a variety of levels, so students of every grade will find resources that they are comfortable with. After World Book, this is our best student resource. It is also general in scope, so any topic can be researched. It provides a wide variety of resources, from videos to ebooks to academic, magazine, and newspaper articles.

Global Road Warrior
Global Road Warrior has in-depth information on each of the 170+ countries included. Profiles go into detail on history, culture, climate, geography, language, and more. Some fun features include vintage maps and postcards, recipes, and a video dictionary for 30 different languages.

History in Context (US and World)
US History in Context and World History in Context contain primary and secondary sources in a variety of formats. The topic centers are a great place for students to start their research. Once in one database, students can navigate between both US and World using the search bar.

Opposing Viewpoints in Context
Opposing Viewpoints in Context covers current social issues. It gives students access to a variety of viewpoints on hot button issues and includes a wide variety of media, such as radio, video, statistics, and newspaper and magazine articles.

World Book Advanced
World Book is the library's best student resource. Each interface is designed to be engaging and easy-to-use, with lots of interesting features. Because it is an encyclopedia, research is very easy, as students can quickly find the one article that best matches their keyword. World Book Student includes some lovely features, such as Behind the Headlines and Today in History. Students can also create an account and save their research to folders.

The library has many physical materials for checkout, including fiction and nonfiction titles for children and adults, audiobooks, CDs, DVDs, and more. Educators can find books on homeschooling for themselves and books to supplement their students’ curriculums. These resources can easily be found by searching the library catalog or calling 314-994-3300; materials can be picked up curbside at all 20 branches during curbside service hours.

Highlighted below are some of the specialized kits and items available for checkout.

Book Discussion Kits
The library has a number of book discussion kits ready to be checked out. You can browse the kit lists on our website under the Reader’s Corner. If we do not have a kit for the title you are looking for, our Readers’ Advisory Department can pull together a kit from our collection. 

Flip Kits 
FLIP (Family Literacy Involvement Program) kits are a fun, interactive way for young children to engage with picture books. Each kit contains a book and materials for a related activity. The library replenishes the materials upon the kit’s return. FLIP Kits are available for checkout at all St. Louis County Library branches.

Games
The library has a collection of tabletop games for checkout, from Bananagrams to Ticket to Ride. We also check out puzzles. You can find games by looking for “tabletop game” in our catalog. Puzzles vary from location to location; ask the desk staff and they can check one out for you.  

Musical Instruments
The library currently offers ukuleles, acoustic guitars, banjos, bongos, keyboards, xylophones, bass guitars, box drums, electric guitars, and djembes. Musical instruments often come with instructional books or DVDs. They check out for two weeks. Please keep in mind that you must pick them up at either Daniel Boone, Headquarters, Florissant Valley, or Grant’s View. 

Parent Packs
Parent Packs are designed to help young children and their caregivers have meaningful, age-appropriate conversations about important topics. Each Parent Pack includes books and a resource list on a specific theme, such as First Day of School, Death, Potty Training, and Friendship. The kits can be checked out for two weeks. Parent Packs are geared towards families with children in second grade or younger.

Sci-Finders Kits
Sci-Finders Kits are a fun, hands-on activity kit. They center on a variety of science and technology topics, from levers to robotics. Some particularly noteworthy kits are the programmable Ozobots, the microscope kit, and our Lego sets. All kits check out for two weeks at a time and can be picked up at any location. You can find them in our catalog by searching “sci-finders.”

Telescopes and Binoculars
Check out a telescope or a pair of binoculars. Telescopes come with a pocket guide, a book of constellations, and a headlamp. Binoculars come with several pocket guides. Both check out for seven days at a time and can be picked up at any location.

In addition to offering a variety of digital resources, the library also provides services that can be very helpful to homeschoolers. 

Book-a-Librarian
Meet virtually one-on-one with a reference librarian using Zoom. Let us know what you are researching or what databases you want to learn about and we will tailor the session to your needs. This service is available to educators and students alike.

Virtual Class Visits and Library Tours
Have a reference librarian visit your virtual classroom, co-op, meetup, or group to do a presentation on library resources. Presentations can be created around any grade or subject area.

Educator Bundles
Allow our Youth Services department to pull together a bundle of educational books related to a specific topic. They need at least two weeks’ notice to gather materials, and materials included will depend on availability. To request an Educator Bundle, please fill out the form on our website. Although the form is structured for traditional classrooms, homeschoolers are also encouraged to submit requests. 


Organizations & Resources

Arnold Region Christian Home Educators (ARCHE)
Site: https://www.homeschool-life.com/590/
Address: 12995 Tesson Ferry Rd, St. Louis, MO 63128
Represent families from Jefferson County, South County, and the surrounding areas. The purpose of ARCHE is to support Christian parents who are, or will be, educating their children at home. Membership required.

Fun 4 STL Kids
Site: https://fun4stlkids.com/Programs-Classes/Homeschool/
Find homeschool activities throughout the St. Louis area, including sports teams, educational programs, and fun events.

Homeschoolers Encouraging, Learning, and Providing Support (HELPS)
Site: https://www.helps-stl.org/
A board-run homeschool support group whose goal is to provide educational and social encouragement and support. Membership required to unlock full access.

Leftovers etc. 
Site: http://www.leftoversetc.com/about-us-2/
A recycle/reuse/repurpose nonprofit resource center that serves local educators, including homeschoolers, by providing them with resources for crafts and projects. 

St. Louis Homeschooling, Activities, Resources, and Encouragement (SHARE)
Site: https://www.homeschool-life.com/mo/share/
An organization for individuals or families interested in the concepts of educating children in the home and in providing a support group to encourage the highest standards and excellence throughout its membership. In addition, this organization furthers the appreciation of home education in the local communities through educational forums and other media communications.

St. Charles County Christian Home Educators (SCCHE)
Site: https://www.homeschool-life.com/mo/scche/
This organization provides information, support, and fellowship for homeschooling families throughout the community. Membership required to participate in activities.

St. Louis Catholic Homeschool Association
Site: http://stlouiscatholichomeschool.com/ 
This association exists to support and connect Catholic families who have made the decision to homeschool, as well as those families who may be contemplating homeschooling. The association sponsors two learning cooperatives: St. John Bosco Co-op and St. Gianna Co-op. Membership needed to get email updates.

St. Louis Homeschool Network
Site: https://stlouishomeschoolnetwork.org/wp/
A support group for homeschooling families and an information source for prospective homeschoolers. The group is diverse with many religious, political and educational philosophies.

West County Christian Home Educators (WCCHE)
Site: https://www.homeschool-life.com/370/
Email: wcchehelp@gmail.com 
A homeschool organization seeking to provide educational opportunities for our children that will support Christian principles and virtues. Provides support, wholesome family activities, information, and educational resources that will aid Christian homeschooling. Membership required.

Families for Home Education (FHE)
Site: https://fhe-mo.org/
Address: P.O. Box 3096, Independence, MO 64055
Phone: 877-696-6343
Email: 1983fhemo@gmail.com
FHE’s purpose is to protect the inalienable right of the parents of Missouri to teach their own children without state regulation or control. FHE represents and supports the rights of all home educators in the state and is not affiliated with any religious or political organization, or special interest group. There are chapters throughout Missouri. Membership required to unlock full access.

Missouri Association of Teaching Christian Homes, Inc. (MATCH)
Site: https://www.match-inc.org/
This group offers service and support to home educators and support groups within the state of Missouri.

Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Site: https://dese.mo.gov/communications/frequently-asked-questions-and-educational-topics
The department does not regulate or monitor home schooling. There is no registration required with the state. There is no program for the inspection, approval, or accreditation of home schools in Missouri.

State of Missouri: Education
Site: https://www.mo.gov/education/k-12/
Find the laws related to homeschooling in Missouri.

Time for Learning: Homeschooling in Missouri
Site: https://www.time4learning.com/homeschooling/missouri/
A good overview of homeschooling in the State of Missouri.

Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA)
Site: https://hslda.org/
Address: P.O. Box 3000 Purcellville, VA  20134
Phone: 540-338-5600
A nonprofit advocacy organization that offers legal help to the homeschool community. Membership required.

 

Classical Conversations
Site: https://www.classicalconversations.com/
A Christian organization that provides classes with a classical focus. There are several local chapters. You can find your local chapter and its contact information on the Classical Conversations website. 

DaySpring Arts and Education
Site: https://www.dayspringarts.org/
Address: 2500 Metro Blvd. Maryland Heights, MO 63043
Phone number: 314-291-8878
DaySpring offers dance, performing arts, music, and fine arts classes. They also offer classes through DaySpring Academy for all grades. While not specifically for homeschoolers, they welcome homeschoolers into their classes. 

Eagle Learning Center
Site: https://www.homeschool-life.com/mo/elc/
Address: The Rock Church, 15101 Manchester Rd, Ballwin, MO 63011
Email: eaglelearningcenterboard@gmail.com
The Eagle Learning Center is a Christian organization that offers enrichment and core classes for Grades K-12. Classes run for two 12-week semesters and cover a variety of subjects. Costs vary per class. 

The Pillar Foundation
Site: https://www.thepillar.org/
Address: 15820 Clayton Rd. Ellisville, MO 63011
Phone number: 636-386-7722
Email: pillar@thepillar.org 
An educational foundation that provides instruction, seminars, and conferences to Christian homeschool families. Semester classes are offered to the homeschooling community free of charge. Classes cover STEM, social studies, literature, and more.

FHE St. Louis Area Homeschool Resource Fair
Local businesses and organizations table at the Homeschool Resource Fair. It is a good place to find co-ops, learning centers, support groups, and activities. Dates and location can change; view the events page of the FHE website to find details. 

Missouri Homeschooling Convention
The Missouri Homeschooling Convention typically runs for three days in March at the St. Charles Convention Center. It is the largest homeschool conference in Missouri, with a large exhibit hall and multiple workshops about a variety of topics. It is not a free conference; please check the website to see up-to-date prices.