STEAM Homeschool Group: Updates from “your friendly neighborhood librarian”

Hello, hello!

I hope everyone had an amazing summer! The Children’s Librarians had a splash with our theme: OCEANS OF POSSIBILITIES! But now it’s back to school. Speaking of school… today, I’m sharing some homeschool updates.

As you probably know from my previous blog entries, I host a homeschool group for the families in the community of Sumner County Tennessee, in connection with the Hendersonville Public Library of Tennessee, where I work as a Children’s Librarian.

Working as a Children’s Librarian, and having a professional history of childcare and homeschool education, I knew I wanted to create a program that would provide a safe environment for homeschool families while keeping money in their pockets. I’m other words: FREE. But, what exactly was it that these families were looking for?

I started brainstorming.

I took polls.

I asked people in our community what they needed. What they wanted.

And after some heavy research, I came to a decision. I wanted to create a Homeschool Group where families could relax, cross collaborate, talk freely, and share information and kids could connect, make friends, and learn in a fun natural way, free of forced group activities, time restrictions, or formatted rules. I wanted a hands on learning experience that was child driven. I wanted a STEAM Homeschool Group!

In December of 2021, STEAM Homeschool Group was just a bright shimmering dream. And in January 2022, it became a reality! Of course, no one showed up for that very first meeting. Starting a new program takes time to build members. And besides, January is too cold! Nobody wants to start something new in the wintertime. But, little by little we grew in number.

Fast forward a few months to August 2022.

I’m happy to announce that our monthly meet for August, 2022, we had a jaw-dropping 40 homeschool family members join us for our STEAM Homeschool Group!

The kids had a wonderful time exploring the STEAM tables and the parents were thrilled to pick up their free school books and resources. From our free resource corner, we had pre-packed leveled readers, vocabulary readers, educational honor book packs (science and social studies), and teacher handbooks with corresponding homework and lesson plans. Several appreciative families expressed their gratitude for the provisions provided by the Hendersonville Public Library of Tennessee.

All in all, it was a fantastic day! We’re looking forward to our next monthly meet. If you’d like to find out how to sign up, please visit our the Hendersonville Public Library of Sumner County page on Facebook.

Thanks for reading and happy homeschool wishes!

To stay up to date with me, your friendly neighborhood librarian, you can follow my Instagram page at: chelseasworldofbooks

Awareness & Support Expo May 8th 2021

Saturday morning, faces shined as we gathered into the Hendersonville Public Library of Sumner county for a special event: The Awareness and Support Expo “for families and friends caring for individuals with special concerns.” To mention a few among the groups that joined were The Tennessee Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Borderless Arts Tennessee, Rainbow Mosho, Mary Elizabeth Jackson, Susan Bailey Moss, and myself, Chelsea Radojcic-DiCicco.

Families and children cozied up in the warmth of this charming library while the piano played in the background. Also hosted on May 8th was a book sale. Usually this is held semi-annually, however, due to covid precautions and safety guidelines for the state and protection of patrons, the library had held off on hosting over the past year. Both events were put together by the Director of the Library, Diane Johnson, as well as the rest of the Library staff members.

ABOUT THE ATTENDEES

Borderless Arts Tennessee is a non-profit organization run by the state of Tennessee, committed to presenting programs for individuals with disabilities. Through the aids it provides, it adds to the enjoyment and empowerment of the community. For more information, visit their website here.

The Tennessee Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities has a Facebook page, hosted by the DIDD Communications Department. Their mission is to support all people statewide in “living the lives they envision for themselves.” Their page aims to promote an informative and community-focused online experience. 

Mary Elizabeth Jackson is an author and advocate for Autism TN. She co-hosted the interview conducted on Amazon Live with Bridgetti Lim Banda, May 8th 2021, on Autism and special needs.

Rainbow Mosho is a twelve-year-old artist and author with Autism, working her way towards empowering other children and families with special needs through her inspirational work. Her goal is to “give hope to all the kids in the world” with her book and words.

Chelsea Radojcic-DiCicco is a local children’s author living just outside of Nashville TN, currently seeking representation. Her memoir, ADHD and Me, was inspired by events in her own childhood and deals with the day-to-day challenges and triumphs as seen through the eyes of an eight-year-old little girl named Malory.

Throughout the story, “Malory” expresses her feelings and observations towards others around her and describes the challenges presented not only for herself, but for her parents and teachers as they strive to best care for her needs. The story lightly touches on real life topics such as trips to the Principal’s office as well as the decision whether or not to take medication. Malory identifies her support system, consisting of her family and one particularly gifted art teacher by the name of Ms. Julie. Ms. Julie, diagnosed with Autism at a young age, “understands what it’s like to do things a little bit differently,” and now uses art to help guide children like Malory to find their own inner calm. The story ends on a positive note of hope that “maybe one day” her story will be read by someone else who struggles with something and it will “help them and remind them that they too are beautiful and loved.” The closing line reads, “Your differences are precious gifts… embrace them.” ADHD and Me is a beautiful celebration of neurodiverse learning. It is currently being hosted for free download on NetGalley. For more about the author, please check out the ABOUT THE AUTHOR tab of this website.

Purchase links: paperback, hardcover, audiobook.

Purchase links: here and here. For more about Mary Jackson, press here to visit her website.

Purchase links here and here. For more information on the author/artist, press here to visit her website.

CLICK HERE to watch live interviews with the authors recorded on May 8th 2021.