Meet Angie and Francisco!

by Madian R., Caviglia-Arivaca Library

It’s been almost a year and a half since the pandemic started. We can all agree that one of the many challenges families had to face was schooling. Last year, classes were online. For lower-income families it was not easy. Some legal guardians preferred to homeschool their kids. According to United States Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey, opens a new window, starting in Spring of 2020 about 5.4% of U.S. households with school-aged children reported homeschooling and by fall that number had increased to 11.1%. With homeschooling growing in popularity, one of the best places to get support from is the library.

I would like you to meet Angie and her 7-year-old son, Francisco. They live in Arivaca, located about an hour and a half south of Tucson. They frequent the Caviglia-Arivaca Library, opens a new window to get their favorite books!

When the pandemic started and schools were moving online, Angie made the decision to homeschool her son. “We have a close family member who was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder. Since Francisco was still of age to have informal school, we wanted to be extra cautious. Not sure what will happen, there were more worries and anxiety. So I thought homeschooling would be best.” Angie said.

Having to accompany her family member to many medical visits, she thought having Francisco do online schooling was a lot to juggle. She wanted him to have a regular curriculum. “I thought to myself, let me do the best that I can, at least it will be one-on-one and we have our public library here. Many rural areas don’t have that, or they have to go further out. We are very fortunate to have a library here because it has helped us out tremendously,” Angie continued.

Her favorite part of homeschooling was bonding with her son. “I think he liked being homeschooled because when he went back to school on the last month and a half of the school year, he asked me if we can still do school on the weekends.” Angie said happily. “Book bundles and Grab ‘n Go kits have helped us a lot! We liked doing the toothpick structure and the Day of the Dead Nicho kit.” Angie added.

The hardest part of homeschooling for Angie was creating a lesson plan. She had no experience with teaching at a first grade level. “I searched online, printed out some worksheets, and like I mentioned before, went to the library to get our books, from math and English to social and emotional.”

When Francisco went back to public school it was scary and difficult for him to interact with other kids. Despite the struggles, he excelled in his reading. “Try to read as much as you can with your child, it really shows later on, even when you think they are not listening.” Angie recommends.  “The staff are very helpful with having books ready for us, and it takes a load off my shoulders.” Angie and her son have checked out their favorite books more than five times! Some of their favorite picture books are, Scariest Book Ever, Happiest Book Ever, Ballet Cat and all the books by Bob Shea. Francisco also likes Elephant and Piggie and Pigeon both by Mo Willems, especially The Pigeon Needs a Bath. “I like them because they are funny!” Francisco said enthusiastically. “I also like the Dog Man books.” He added.

Francisco wants to be a DJ when he grows up. “I like holding the microphone and the sounds the keyboard makes.” His favorite type of music is techno and favorite DJ artist is Marshmello and Alan Walker. When asked what was his favorite part of the library he said, “Checking out books and doing the obstacle course!”, referring to the outdoor obstacle course set up just outside the library.

We are happy to see that the library helped Angie in some way with homeschooling Francisco. He was a bit shy at first, but it makes our heart happy when we see him come in and look through the picture books knowing exactly where to find his favorites. He will continue to go to school in person, but Angie will still try her best to have fun, learning activities for him at home. Because of homeschooling her son, she started to take classes at Pima Community College on early childhood education, and currently has her own class at the local preschool in Arivaca. As always, the library will be there for her and Francisco if they need any help with resources. We can’t wait to see what Angie and Francisco will become in the future!

The Scariest Book Ever

The Happiest Book Ever!

Ballet Cat

The Pigeon Needs A Bath!

Dog Man