Because caregivers and youth are spending even more time together these days, Roseburg Public Library has added books to the collection that focus on homeschooling, crafting and parenting.

Several new books engage children in hands-on activities, and my favorite is “The Pocket Book of Backyard Experiments: Discover the Laboratory in Your Garden” by Dr. Helen Pilcher. There are 80 activities, many of which involve going outdoors and experiencing nature.

For example, there are instructions for creating compost jars, and the author provides questions that guide young scientists to think critically about what happens over time when items are added to soil.

To find similar books in the library collection, use the search phrase “backyard science” in the online catalog, located at

“100 Easy STEAM Activities” by Andrea Scalzo Yi includes instructions for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math projects with information about the concept behind each activity.

For example, making rainbow water with water, food coloring and sugar is a vibrant way to teach children about density. The book also has seasonal projects such as erupting pumpkins and multi-colored snow globes to engage children year round.

To find similar books in the library collection, use the search phrase “creative activities” in the online catalog.

Learning to cook is an important milestone for youth, and “The Ultimate Kids’ Cookbook: Fun One-Pot Meals Your Whole Family Will Love!” by Tiffany Dahle offers tips and recipes for beginners. Dahle’s chapter on Italian food introduces children to different types of pasta and advises which types of sauce pair best with each.

She breaks down recipes into tasks children can do, those that should be left to an adult and those that can be done together.

Parents and caregivers interested in creating a homeschool atmosphere for their children may be interested in “Home Learning Year by Year: How to Design a Creative and Comprehensive Homeschool Curriculum” by Rebecca Rupp, “The Home Education Handbook: A Comprehensive and Practical Guide to Educating Children at Home” by Gill Hines and Alison Baverstock, and “The Montessori Toddler: A Parent’s Guide to Raising a Curious and Responsible Human Being” by Simone Davies. All three books are packed with practical suggestions for creating meaningful learning environments.

The library has a wide variety of materials on these topics; use the keyword “homeschool” or “Montessori” in the online catalog.

Our current time provides a unique opportunity for adults to connect with youth and the library is here to help make your interactions entertaining and educational.

Kris Wiley is the director of the Roseburg Public Library.

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