Welcome to Homeschool Hub! Whether you’ve been homeschooling awhile or are just jumping in, PPLD has the tools and resources to support your at-home education!
Sign up for our monthly Homeschool Newsletter so you don't miss out on any of the great programs PPLD offers!
Homeschooling: PPLD Resources
Dive into the many free online resources that PPLD offers homeschoolers, including a curated guide presenting basic homeschool information and local organizations, online homework help, curriculum-supporting databases, and the eLibrary. Discover an array of valuable resources appropriate for students in Pre-K - high school (and beyond).
Homeschooling: Where to Begin
Are you considering homeschooling your students? Have you decided to homeschool and need some tips for getting started? Join Theresa Klinitski, Homeschool Consultant, to find out about the basics and learn from a panel of current homeschool parents about different styles of homeschooling. In addition, find out about the numerous tools and resources PPLD has to offer.
Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated from Thu., Sept. 15 - Sat., Oct. 15, recognizing the contributions and influence of Hispanic Americans to the history, culture, and achievements of the United States. PPLD hosts several opportunities to learn and celebrate.
Hispanic Heritage Month for Children – Criss Cross Mangosauce
Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month! Don’t be afraid, here comes the wolf! ~ No tengas miedo, aquí llegó el lobo! Enjoy bilingual songs and stories, practice colors, and do finger plays with Criss, Cross Mangosauce. For ages 1 – 5.
Hispanic Heritage Month Recipe Cards
Learn about favorite foods and make recipes from some of the cultures celebrated during Hispanic Heritage Month. Available at all locations starting Wed., Sept. 14.
- Freegal playlists
- Kanopy films
- Colorado Experience Justicia Y Libertad (27 min., NR) 1968 was a pivotal year in American history: the Vietnam War hit its peak, Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated and riots shook the Democratic National Convention in Chicago. At home in Colorado, it marked the birth of the Chicano Movement. These pivotal times brought political activist Corky Gonzalez to the forefront as an early pioneer of equal rights for Mexican Americans.
- Regional History and Genealogy
- Archival Collections
- Heidi Vazquez Guy Records (MSS 0408) The Heidi Vazquez Guy Records consist of two series: Biographical Files and VHS Tapes. Biographical information provided in each file includes: birthdate, parents names, names and number of children, education, careers, and Colorado memories. Most files also include a photograph. The VHS tapes contain oral history interviews of people in the Biographical Files conducted by Heidi Vazquez Guy.
- De Donde Eres oral histories Conducted between the years 2003 -2005, ¿De Donde Eres? was an oral history project organized by Pikes Peak Library District’s Special Collections in an effort to document and promote understanding of the region’s Hispanic community and their many contributions to Colorado Springs. The collection is comprised of 25 individual videotaped interviews which have been digitized to audio only format. A complete listing of the project interviews is available at the Special Collections reference desk and transcripts are available for a few of the oral histories.
- Young Adults:
- Families and Children:
- Enjoy some incredibly colorful costumes and dance from Ballet Folklórico México Danza to celebrate Hispanic Heritage month! The music is so energetic you might want to get up and dance with your family! Click here to view the video.
- PPLD Reading List
- Color in Colorado Children's Booklist
- PBS Children's Booklist
- Reference Books and Magazines
- Who's who among Hispanic Americans, by Gale Research Inc.
- Early Hispanic Colorado, 1678-1900, by Joseph P. Sánchez
- On the edge of purgatory: an archaeology of place in Hispanic Colorado, by Bonnie J. Clark
- Hispanics in the U.S. Civil War: a compiled list of men who fought for the Confederacy and the Union, compiled and edited by Ricardo J. Rodríguez
- Hispanic pioneers in Colorado and New Mexico, by Colorado Society of Hispanic Genealogy
- National Society of Hispanic Genealogy Newsletter, by NSHG
- Colorado Hispanic Genealogist, by Colorado Society of Hispanic Genealogy
- Colorado Hispanic Leadership Profiles: Who’s Who among Colorado’s Outstanding Leaders by Doug McNair
For more titles and information, visit Special Collections or search our catalog! Books are from the Carnegie Library - Special Collections. (Some titles are available for checkout from other library locations.)
- HispanicHeritageMonth.gov Hosted by the Library of Congress, this site has access to curated arts exhibits and collections, audio and video collections, and resources for Hispanic Heritage Month.
- National Archives – Hispanic Heritage Month
- National Today – Hispanic Heritage Month
- History.com Provides an overview of Hispanic Heritage Month.
It’s time to get creative!
Homeschoolers, grades K - 12, can submit one artwork (drawing, painting, sculpture, needlework, etc.) for this non-juried exhibit.
Submit your art between Mon., March 21 - Tue., March 29, 2022.
Artwork will be dropped off and displayed at the East Library Children’s Department throughout the month of April.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Unexpected Gardens: Poems on Everyday Bravery
Plants look for ways to survive beyond any given odds and it takes bravery to bloom where we’re not expected. How do we create habitats in which we can blossom and grow? Looking back at the last couple of years, how do you describe survival and thriving? What does everyday bravery look like to you?
For more information, contact Christa Funke: email@example.com
Congratulations to our 2022 winners!
- Kinsley Fritzges, 5th grade, Mountain View Academy - "Bravery" - video
- Autumn Holmberg, 5th grade, The Classical Academy Central - "Wintering Wisdom" - video
- Bianca Jennings, 5th grade, James Irwin Charter Elementary - "Skin" - video
- Georgia Stricklin, 4th grade, The Classical Academy Central - "The Four Elements" - video
- Julia Tiffany, 5th grade, The Classical Academy Central - "Bravery Grows Like a Tree" - video
- Maddie Westmoreland, 5th grade, Lewis-Palmer Elementary School - An Unexpected Challenge" - video
Celebrate dinosaurs this DINOvember with PPLD! Check out a Dinosaur Storytime and be on the lookout for dinosaurs in your Library! Find the dinosaur at your Library and go to the desk for a prize!
Dinosaur Resource Center
- When: Sat., Nov. 20 from 11 a.m. - noon
- When: Sat., Nov. 20 from 1 - 2 p.m.
- Where: Library 21c Venue
Celebrate DINOvember with Pikes Peak Library District by attending the Dinosaur Resource Center program for kids ages 3 - 12! Come and learn about these amazing creatures that roamed the earth thousands of years ago.
- When: Fri., Nov. 12 from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
- Where: All Library Locations
Make a habitat for a tiny dinosaur and decorate it with all kinds of fun supplies! Name your little dino and make sure to read it your favorite stories! For ages 5 - 12, while supplies last.
- When: Mon., Nov. 1 - Thu., Dec. 30
- Where: Virtual
ROAR! Do you want to be a dinosaur? Go back in time and discover the pre-historic steps of the gentle giants, primeval predators and leaping lizards that once stalked the earth. Fascinating dino-facts are revealed as erupting volcanoes, catchy tunes, and life-like puppets make this colossal creation come to life! Presented by the Center for Puppetry Arts. Duration 45 min.
Come dance under the sea with us! Twirl, jump, and jam out with family and friends as we celebrate our underwater friends - you might even see an octopus!
Costumes and dressing up are encouraged.
- When: Wed., Sep. 8 from 9:30 - 11 a.m.
- Where: Community Room
- Click here to register.
- When: Sat., Sep. 11 from 10 - 11 a.m.
- Where: Switchback Coffee Roasters Hillside, 917 E. Moreno St., 80903
- Click here for more information.
- When: Sat., Sep. 18 from 4 - 4:45 p.m.
- Where: Venue
- Click here for information.
- When: Wed., Sep. 29 from 11 - 11:30 a.m.
- Where: Columbine Meeting Room
- Click here for more information.
- When: Sat., Oct. 2 from 11 - 11:30 a.m
- Where: Banning Lewis Ranch, 8833 Vista Del Pico Blvd, 80927
- Click here for more information.
- When: Sat., Oct. 9 from 9:30 - 10 a.m.
- Click here for more information.
- When: Tue., Oct. 19 from 9 - 9:30 a.m.
- Click here for more information.
- When: Sat., Oct 30 from 10:30 - 11 a.m.
- Click here for more information.
Come and enjoy a Math Stroll at your local library! Families will enjoy doing interactive math activities outdoors during this engaging program.
For ages 3 - 10. Available in English and Spanish!
- Cheyenne Mountain Library
- High Prairie Library
- Fountain Library
- Library 21c
- Penrose Library
- Rockrimmon Library
Discovery Kits are a collection of interactive items that patrons can check out to explore new topics, hobbies, and interests at home. There are Discovery Kits for all ages, from toddlers to adults. Learn more about the different kits here.
Discovery Kits are temporarily unavailable while we work to move them into new packaging and make them accessible to patrons across the Pikes Peak Library District. Thank you for your patience as we complete this transition process!
- Round Looms
- Electronic Playground
- Lego Mindstorms EV3
- Bee Bots
- Survive the Quake Engineering Kit
- Remote Control Gear Bot
- Ultimate Fort Builder
- Cubelets Discovery Set
- Code & Go Robot Mouse Activity Set
- MAGNA-TILES Building Set
Interested in seeing some amazing experiments from up-and-coming scientists? Visit our annual Homeschool Science Fair to browse and chat with project creators. Kids can fill out a "What I learned" and receive a prize! Come and discover something new, or be inspired for next year!
- When: Fri., Feb. 18 from 10 - 11:30 a.m
- Where: The Venue at Library 21c
- REGISTRATION: Tue., Jan. 11 at midnight to Mon., Feb. 14 at 10 p.m.
Our annual Homeschool Science Fair is open to grades K-12! Homeschool students are invited to demonstrate a science project for other families. There are no rules or guidelines for this non-competitive event, and planning is left up to individual families.
Registration required. Students will arrive by 9:15 a.m., and the event will be open to the public from 10 - 11:30 a.m.
Need help planning your project? Download our Science Fair How-Tos Document!
What do subway graffiti, city as canvas, and an energetic dance party all have in common? Join us to explore colorful action figures inspired by pop artist Keith Haring and discover ways to create your unique masterpiece that will POP! Download the attached PDF templates and provide the additional supplies from home to get started. For ages 7 - 12.
Explore some spooky science activities and surprisingly strange science facts for ages 5 - 12.
Download the attached document for activity instructions.
Submit a recipe to Pikes Peak Library District's A Harvest of Recipes digital cookbook! Use this link to upload your recipe: https://ppld.librariesshare.com/ppldrecipes/
Some Fun Facts about Grilled Cheese
❖ Though similar recipes were mentioned in ancient Roman texts, the grilled cheese sandwich was technically invented in France in 1910, known as the Croque Monsieur.
❖ However, most experts agree that the first grilled cheese sandwiches were made in the United States in the 1920s when Otto Frederick Rohwedder invented a bread slicer that made distributing white bread easy and affordable.
❖ Shortly before that, processed cheese has been patented by James L. Kraft, whose pasteurizing process ensured that cheese would not spoil, even when transported great distances (the first Kraft plant opened in Illinois in 1914).
❖ During WWII, Navy Cooks prepared open faced grilled cheese sandwiches on Navy ships as instructed by government issued cookbooks. These sandwiches were called “American Cheese Filling Sandwiches.”
❖ In 1949, people finally began to add the second slice of bread to the top of this sandwich to make it more filling, and the sandwich we all know and love was born.
❖ The name “grilled cheese” wasn’t used until the 1960s; before then it was called “toasted cheese” or “melted cheese” sandwiches.
❖ Approximately 3/4 of people who buy sliced cheese make at least one grilled cheese sandwich per month.
❖ National Grilled Cheese Day is celebrated on April 12th!
Please use adult help with slicing or heating!
- Allison’s Grilled Cheese Sandwich Ingredients: Bread Butter Cheese slices (thin) Optional (onion, apple, kale) Stone ground mustard --experiment with your own ingredients— Instructions: Butter bread slices on one side, flip slices over and add mustard to insides of bread. Stack up ingredients between bread slices. Place in heated frying pan (low to medium heat); cover with lid. Cook on low to med. heat until bread is toasty and golden on one side; flip over until done. Cheese should be melted.
- Betty’s Gluten and Dairy Free Grilled Cheese Sandwich Ingredients: Gluten-free bread Vegan butter spread Sliced vegan “cheese” Avocado (optional) Mustard Instructions: Butter bread slices on one side, flip slices over and add sliced cheese. Scoop out avocado and spread (if desired); add mustard to top slice. Place in heated frying pan (low to medium heat); cover with lid. Cook on low to med. heat until bread is toasty and golden on one side; flip over until done. Adjust heat as needed. Cheese should be melted.
- Brady’s Grilled Cheese Ingredients: Whole wheat bread (or bread of your choice) Butter Garlic clove (broken open) Mayonnaise Cheese slices (American, grated cheddar, or your choice) Instructions: Cover all sides of bread with mayonnaise. Heat non-stick electric griddle; carefully rub with butter and clove of garlic. Place one slice of bread on hot pan. Add cheese; top with other slice of bread. Cook until bread is toasty and golden on one side; flip over until done. Cheese should be melted.
- Amanda’s Easy Creamy Microwave Tomato Soup in a Mug Ingredients: 7 oz. diced tomatoes ½ tbsp. tomato paste ½ cup broth 1/8 cup light cream Optional (to taste): sweet yellow onion, basil, pesto, salt and pepper Supplies: Mug Blender Microwave Instructions: Add all ingredients together in blender. Blend until smooth. Transfer soup into a microwave safe mug. Microwave for one minute. Let cool and enjoy!
- Athena’s Cake in a Mug Recipe Ingredients: 1/4 cup flour 2 tbs. sugar 1/2 tsp. baking powder A pinch of salt 1/4 cup milk 1 tbs. oil 1/2 tsp vanilla extract Instructions: Pour the dry ingredients into your mug and mix. Add the wet ingredients, and then mix until there are no large clumps or dry flour at the bottom of the mug. Microwave for 90 seconds. (You may need to adjust this 10 seconds in either direction, based on your microwave's power.) Be careful pulling the hot mug out of the microwave! At this point, you could add some icing or a scoop of ice cream, or eat your cake plain. Enjoy!
Citations and Resources: “Kids Vs. Science: Making The Greatest Grilled Cheese;” Mental Floss video; https://youtube.com/watch?v=tAN6vC7-YeA “How chemistry creates the perfect, gooey grilled cheese sandwich;” PBS News Hour; http://pbs.org/newshour/science/grilled-cheese-chemistry-forever “What a cheesy sandwich looks like in 15 places around the world;” Insider; http://insider.com/grilled-cheese-around-the-world-2018-10 “History of the Grilled Cheese Sandwich;” Daily Dish Magazine; http://foodiefriendsfridaydailydish.com/national-grilled-cheese-month-h… “The History of the Grilled Cheese;” The Committed Pig blog; http://www.thecommittedpig.com/the-history-of-the-grilled-cheese-and-ho… “The History of the Grilled Cheese Sandwich;” http://HowStuffWorks.com; http://www.recipes.howstuffworks.com/history-of-grilled-cheese.htm
At Pikes Peak Library District, you can do anything you set your mind to. We, of course, offer books at each of our libraries. But did you know you can also get help with at-home education, do virtual yoga, learn a new language, discover your family tree, stream music, watch movies, and more? PPLD offers so many exciting things, it’s hard to capture them all! Learn more about what all you can access with your library card below. Thanks to the public’s investment and taxpayer support, Pikes Peak Library District can provide Library resources and services to all cardholders for free. You can learn more about PPLD's budget and expenditures here.
- Stop by a PPLD Library to register for a card
- OR: Print a Library Card Application (en español), fill it out, and bring it in
- OR: Apply for a library card online for limited access
- Head to your favorite Library with your photo I.D. and proof of address to activate your full privilege account
Find books, eBooks, audiobooks, music, movies, video games, board games, and more! Click here for instructions on using the Catalog.
From a study room for one, to a venue space for large events and productions, we have a space to suit your needs.
PPLD’s makerspaces offer access to tools, materials, and machines to help bring your creative vision to life. In these spaces, you’ll find equipment such as 3D printers, laser engraving & cutting machines, sewing machines, and assorted handicraft and art tools. Reservations are recommended for makerspace equipment. Find out what's available and plan your project. We also have a partnership with the Manitou Art Center allowing patrons to use their makerspace equipment. Go to the MAC page to find out more.
PPLD’s studios offer access to equipment and tools to help bring your recording desires to life. In these spaces, you’ll find items such as DSLR cameras, audio mixers, isolated sound booths, microphones, musical instruments, professional-grade video cameras and lighting, and even a green screen. Learn more about the studios by selecting a location below. Explore Studio equipment that’s available for reservation and checkout.
Find help and support for your at-home learning endeavors at ppld.org/eLearning.
- Genealogy Toolkit
- Regional History Digital Collections
- Photo Archives
- Colorado Historic Newspaper Collection
- Archives and Manuscripts
- Access Ancestry.com
- English as a Second Language (ESL)
- Career Online High School (COHS)
- GED / HiSET
- Food Industry Training
- Job Search
- Career Prep
- Resume and Cover Letter Assistance
- Interview Prep
Missing Storytime at your favorite Library? Our Family and Children's Services librarians are creating Storytime at Home materials for you and you family to enjoy. Every themed Storytime includes top literary picks with easy links to our online Catalog, music, crafting, and literacy tips. Click the photos or the link for more information about each activity.
The 2020 school year will look different for all of us, regardless what learning method your family has chosen for your students. Pikes Peak Library District has tools and resources to support you in your education journey this year!
First stop: get your card.
- Either stop by a PPLD facility to sign up, or print out an application ahead of time to bring with you (located here).
- Apply for a card online!
- You must live within the PPLD service area
- You will need proof of your current address and a photo ID
- If you're 15-years-old or younger, you must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Live homework help and skills building online with expert tutors in math, science, social studies, and English, plus writing and reading assistance.
Study Guides and Practice Tests:
This database provides study guides and timed practice exams for all major college entrance exams and standardized tests, plus college planning, scholarship search, and career exploration tools.
These platforms provide high-quality educational content and are fun to explore! Access is free with a valid library card and pin number. Databases include:
- Academic Search Premier: Contains full text for more than 2,000 journals, including more than 1,550 peer-reviewed titles. This multi-disciplinary database covers virtually every area of academic study.
- Consumer Health Complete:A comprehensive full-text resource for consumer-oriented health content covering all areas of health and wellness from mainstream medicine to the many perspectives of complementary, holistic and integrated medicine.
- CultureGrams: Includes over 200 reports on countries and cultures and state reports outlining the diversity and history of each U.S. state and the District of Columbia. Designed for upper elementary-aged children
- Gale Virtual Reference Library: Searches our entire collection of Gale eBooks on a variety of subjects, including history, science, government, and more.
- CustomGuide: Interactive online training for Microsoft Office software. Includes Access, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, Windows and Word. New users will need to create an account.
- LinkedIn Learning: Formerly Lynda.com, LinkedIn Learning offers online video tutorials to help you learn software, creative, and business skills.
- Opposing Viewpoints in Context: Explore current events and controversial issues by researching multiple sides of a topic. This database aids students in writing argumentative essays and developing analytical thinking skills.
- Science Reference Center: Provides easy access to a multitude of full-text, science-oriented content. Designed to meet every student researcher's needs, Science Reference Center contains full text for 732+ science encyclopedias and reference books, 195 periodicals, 519 science videos and other sources.
Librarian-Approved Info on Tons of Topics!
Your source for research assistance, subject guides, and library resources.
- Tough topics like mental health, substance abuse, and sexuality.
- Areas of personal growth like exploring career pathways, college financial aid, and ACT, SAT, and GRE testing.
- Beginning the transitions into driving and vehicle registration, including CO DMV practice tests.
Ready to expand your horizons by learning a new language? Mango Languages features 70 language options, including 21 options for those learning English as a second language. Explore languages from Irish to Punjabi in the comfort of your own home, or download the app to learn on the go! Students can go at their own pace. The courses have been created by expert linguists and native-speaking instructors to ensure that the content is grammatically and conversationally correct, as well as culturally relevant.
Get ready to get a job or go to college! Work your way through modules focused on professionalism, communication, social skills, and goal setting to prepare yourself for the next big step in your life. Folks below age 15 should focus on the “basic” training while older youth might find the “intermediate” training more appropriate. Complete the training and pass an assessment to earn 10 hours of volunteer credit!
The Homeschool Hub
The PPLD Homeschool Hub has a wealth of resources and tools to support your learning at home efforts. You can also sign up for their newsletter here. Click on “Resources” to find information on getting started; Colorado homeschool law, online courses, concurrent enrollment, and enrichment programs; tutoring; extracurricular activities; support organizations; and more.
Featured Homeschool Resources Whether you are homeschooling full- or part-time, or simply looking for ways to enrich your child’s education, the online resources featured in this issue provide a variety of elucidating and engaging possibilities.
- Learning Heroes This site provides parents with a picture of their child’s learning needs along with tools to bolster their academic, social, and emotional development. A “Readiness Check” with short questions about reading or math for grades K - 8 will show you where your student stands. You’ll also find learning aids by subject and grade level, ways to identify a child’s character strengths and areas for development, an idea-packed “Anti-Racism Resources Directory,” and more. It’s also accessible in Spanish!
- GreatSchools This resource helps with developing “Emotional Smarts,” learning issues, building character, college prep, and more. A “What Your Child Should Have Learned” section outlines key academic and social benchmarks typical for grades K - 8 along with specific subject check-ins aligned with Common Core State Standards. Short “Milestones” videos clarify grade level expectations by demonstrating what success looks like in reading, writing, and math in grades K - 12. Parents can also access learning activities, vocab words, worksheets, and more by grade level. It’s also accessible in Spanish!
- Khan Academy This site provides free standards-aligned video tutorials and interactive exercises in math, science, and the humanities from kindergarten through the early years of college. The self-paced lessons are organized to build knowledge one concept at a time. Create a free account to track a student’s progress, chart subject mastery, and support their learning needs. Use Khan Academy to tackle new coursework, fill in gaps for subjects already learned, homework help, or as a fun activity. It’s accessible in numerous languages!
- Understood Understood is aimed at supporting kids with learning and thinking differences, like dyslexia and ADHD, by offering customized, accessible resources and a compassionate community. The “For Families” section organizes articles and resources into general topics: understanding and navigating learning and thinking differences; school and learning issues; socio-emotional development; community, including blogs and discussion groups; and “Through Your Child’s Eyes,” interactive simulations to help parents better understand their child’s world. It’s also accessible in Spanish!
- Wide Open School This site offers engaging, high-quality online learning experiences for kids pre-K - 12. Parents can access the content by subject, or plan a full school day by grade level. Other sections are dedicated to virtual field trips, art and music, physical activity, emotional well-being, English-language learners, learning differences, and more.
For Fun AND Learning!
This is the place to go for thousands of free digital materials. First, you'll need to create an account using your library card number and pin. Some services in the eLibrary include OverDrive (eBooks, eAudios, eVideos), Hoopla ( eMusic, eVideos, eComics, eBooks, eAudios), AudioBookCloud (eAudios), Freading (eBooks), Freegal (eMusic), Kanopy (eVideos), and more.
You can find plenty of PPLD resources here! Explore:
- Homework (search by subject to find databases, recommended websites, and more),
- Read (access booklists by grade level, genre, online resources, and more),
- Create (hands-on activities and websites),
- or Parents & Educators (curated information source for adults).
Get homework help, book recommendations, virtual programs, research resources, and more!
eBooks for Kids!
This curated database of children’s eBooks offers over 1000 titles for kids in grades K - 6. Included are animated talking picture books, read-along chapter books, National Geographic videos, non-fiction books, literacy puzzles and games, books in Spanish and French, and graphic novels (a fan favorite!). Younger kids will enjoy listening to the stories while perusing the illustrations, while older or more accomplished readers can choose from the collection of read-along books featuring narration, sentence highlighting, and automatic page-turning. Each book is accompanied by a reading level, Lexile level, and grade information, plus an optional quiz. There are no limited check-out times or wait lists, so every item is always available to everyone.
While the Pikes Peak Children's Water Festival has been cancelled for 2020, over a dozen partner organizations have provided educational water-related worksheets, activities, and interactive videos to promote the importance of this precious resource for 3rd - 5th graders. Find these materials on the Pikes Peak Children’s Water Festival website: https://coloradosprings.gov/waterfestival
Is math homework getting you down? Are finals freaking you out? Do you need to brush up before the ACT, SAT, or GED? Our experienced math tutors can help you improve your grades and take the stress out of math. Take advantage of math tutoring for all levels!