Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Parent Resources

"To nourish and raise children against odds is in any time, any place,
more valuable than to fix bolts in cars or design nuclear weapons."
- Marilyn French, American Author

There is nothing like being a parent.  Old Bridge Public Library has resources for parents of children of all ages. While certain resources reside inside the library, there are many that can be accessed remotely.

It is no surprise OBPL has many parenting books to teach you the latest French method to get babies to sleep through the night, or the trendiest way to communicate with your teen, but there is also a wealth of information with online classes accessible from your home computer. Universal Class is OBPL's virtual classroom. All classes are self paced, taught by real instructors and free with your library card. Basic Parenting 101, Behavior Management, Early Childhood Development, Child Psychology 101, Home Schooling, Basic Research Skills, Essay Writing and HUNDREDS more.

Another way to keep up to date with parenting trends is by checking out Zinio. Zinio is a virtual newsstand which lets you download and keep digital editions of your, or your child's, favorite magazines. Popular titles include: chickaDEE, Chirp, Discover, Family Circle, Fit Pregnancy, Owl, Gluten-Free Living, Working Mother, Seventeen, AND MANY MORE. Download your magazine to your computer, tablet or smart phone and read it during a midnight feeding or while you wait for soccer practice to end.

Homework is hard on parents, sometimes even harder than it is on the student. Old Bridge Public Library works with our school system to ensure we have the tools to help you and your student succeed. We offer research databases, reading resources, practice exams, museum passes and more.  Every Wednesday 3:30pm- 5:00pm and Saturdays 10:00am- 12:00pm we offer free math tutoring for students in middle school, high school. No appointment is necessary.

Today's students face challenges in research that did not exist 10 or 15 years ago. The internet is filled with information, but not all of it is reliable.  Our online databases have a wealth of information for homework, reports and papers. Databases draw their information from scholarly papers, magazines and peer reviewed journals.  Great places to start are Health Reference Center, American History Online, Literature Resource Center, Curriculum Resource Center, Student Research Center and Opposing Viewpoints.

When children read something that interests them, they will read more. If you are looking for read-alike books, award winners, and librarian favorites check out the Novelist and Gale's Books and Authors databases for suggestions. Both are searchable resources by title, author, subject and reading level.

A great in-house resource for classic literature is our Nook Classics.  Nooks have been pre-loaded with over 200 literature classics such as Frankenstein, Romeo and Juliet and The Scarlet Letter and many, many more. Nooks can be checked out for free, just like a book, and are renewable. Ask a librarian for a full list of titles and authors.

If your reader is not quite up to the classics and is still working on reading skills, hearing yourself read aloud can be a motivating factor in learning to read.  Book Buddies is a program which pairs children in grades 1 to 5 with a trained teen to help them improve their reading and comprehension. Generally, this program runs for about 8 weeks in the spring and fall. Our Spring Session is starting April 1st and registration is currently open for kids and teens.

In this global society, knowing a second or third language will only be an asset later in life. Old Bridge Public Library has two tools to help your child (or you) become fluent in another language.
Muzzy Language Learning System is a complete learning kit that teaches English as a Second Language as well as other languages to children. Each kit uses workbooks, DVDs, CDs and CD-ROMs. Kits can be checked out with your library card.  Mango Languages is an online database that teaches over 40 languages for adults and children grades 4 and up. By using interactive online tools to teach conversation skills and culture insight, its goal is to teach practical conversation skills while building vocabulary and grammar.

College Prep is possibly the most stressful part of the last years of high school. Requirements are always changing. Just last week the College Board and NY Times Magazine announced big changes are coming to the SAT.  Our Teen Librarian works with Kaplan Test Prep representatives to regularly schedule free SAT/ACT Practice Exams. Check out the Teen Page for an exam schedule. The best way to ace the test is to be prepared.

Finally, once the homework is finished and the exams are aced, have some fun as a family. Our Museum Pass Program is free to library card holders. Gain free entrance to The Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Battleship Intrepid Museum, Grounds for Sculpture, or the Montclair Art Museum. Passes can be reserved by calling 732-721-5600 ext 5027. But you don't have to travel to the museums to have fun.  Between Storytimes and Crafts and Special Teen Events, it is really hopping! OBPL also hosts weekly recurring clubs. The newest club is the first part of The Old Bridge Library Idea Farm- Lego Club! It meets each Saturday from Noon -1:00pm for children of all ages, 2 and up. With towers of both Legos and Duplos going up and crashing down there are lots of giggles. Additionally our Chess Club for Children, grades 1 to 6, meets Mondays 4:30pm -6:30pm. Teens and Adult Chess Club meets Wednesdays 6:15pm- 9pm.

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