Here at Grayslake Area Public Library, we believe that getting ready to read starts early and often! We are here to help you find opportunities to read, sing, and play with your children, whether they’re in swaddled in a blanket or learning to write their own name.
If you are a teacher or homeschooler, you may also be interested in these resources.
We offer storytimes for ages 0-6, including an all-ages family storytime. If you’re a kid, they’re fun and entertaining. If you’re a parent or caregiver, you come away with new songs and books to have fun with later. Everybody wins! See our storytime schedule here.
Browse our collection of books targeted specifically at parents and teachers. Topics include teaching materials, child development, picture books dealing with difficult topics, and more.
1000 Books Before Kindergarten
1000 Books Before Kindergarten is a self-directed program that encourages reading from an early age. Did you know that reading to your child is the best way to prepare them to read on their own? With this program, we provide you with a booklet to track the amount of books you are reading to your child, and they earn prizes along the way.
Museum Adventure Pass
Did you know you can use your library card to check out free passes to area museums and organizations like the Brookfield Zoo, Chicago Botanic Garden, Legoland and more? Visit Museum Adventure Pass to see the list of participating organizations and what each pass offers.
- To check out a pass, you must visit the Youth desk in person. You can call us at 847-223-5313 to see if there is currently a pass available for your preferred museum.
- We can offer only one pass per household at a time.
- Passes are good for one week from the checkout date.
- We can only offer passes to Grayslake cardholders. If you have a library card from a different library, please check to see if you library participates in the program.
The Youth Services Department assembles theme bags, which are backpacks filled with books, music and activities to support any given theme. These kits are designed for use with kids age 2 to 5 . Each bag checks out for three weeks. View our theme bag topics here.
Family Play Area
Enjoy our Family Play Area, where you can play with a variety of puzzles, games, and Legos. We also regularly rotate in larger toys, such as our train table or puppet theater.
TumbleBooks and BookFlix
Have a favorite book read to you by one of these great resources. TumbleBooks offers both picture books and chapter books; BookFlix pairs popular picture books with a nonfiction book on the same theme. Both sites offer read-along options, which are great for beginning readers. Bonus tip: TumbleBooks can be used in English, Spanish, and French, a very valuable tool for language learners.
101 Kids Classics
101 Kids Classics was designed as the next step after 1000 Books Before Kindergarten. It is also a self-directed program and focuses on traditional songs. We provide a booklet of lyrics and your child learns ten songs at a time, earning prizes along the way.
Grayslake Area Public Library strives to meet the educational needs of our community. It is our hope that by providing the following programs, services, and resources we will continue to support all forms of education and raise a community of readers.
Are you studying a particular subject that you could use some additional resources? With seven days advance notice, the youth services department will gather books, easy readers, DVDs, etc. that will enhance your particular area of study. These items may be checked out with a valid library card. Please complete the Teacher’s/Homeschooler’s Loan Request form to take advantage of this service.
Library Tours/Field Trips
We would be happy to host your class for a library tour, booktalks, or anything you may have in mind.
Let us know when you have a big class assignment coming up. We can prepare by ordering new books and monitor what we currently have so that materials on the topic are not depleted for your students.
The Library recognizes that providing a forum for sharing information and experiences is an important part of the educational process. The Library hosts the following programs to assist homeschooling families meet this need.
Homeschool Support Group
This group meets once a month and discusses a different topic each time. Check the events calendar for more information and to register.
Homeschool Informational Meeting
At the beginning of each academic year, the Library conducts an informational meeting to heighten awareness about library resources, to conduct tours of the library, and to share information about the services we offer homeschoolers. We invite you to join us for this special event.
Each winter we offer a topical program for educators, complete with CPDUs. Past topics have included technology, seasons, and the senses.
A selection of read-alouds and basic information about the library.
Book Discussion (3-6)
Choose from titles in our discussion book collection and we will lead the group or class in discussion.
How to Use the Library’s Online Resources (4-6)
An introduction to our online materials.
Caudill Booktalks (4-6)
Learn all about the current nominees for the Caudill Award, the children’s choice award of Illinois.
Bluestem Booktalks (3-5)
Like the Caudill Booktalks, the Bluestem Award is the children’s choice award of Illinois for grades 3-5.
Our curated resources will link you to various homeschool organizations (local, state and national), as well as a host of websites that are homeschool-friendly and educational.
Our Youth Services Department has created a unique book leveling system to best meet the needs of beginning readers. You will find many easy readers with labels on their covers proclaiming them to be Level One or Level Two, but what does that really mean? These levels vary from publisher to publisher, and many supposed “Easy Readers” are not easy at all.
We have come up with four levels of early reading and leveled all of the books in our Easy Reader collection according to those standards. If a book is marketed as an easy reader but does not meet any of the standards, it is instead housed with our picture books or chapter books.
Using a color-coded system, each book is leveled as “Just Getting Started,” “On My Way,” “Reading Alone,”or “First Chapter Books.” The level is indicated by a colored dot on the spine of each book. You can then determine which level your child is at and find the appropriate books.
There is another element of our Easy Reader collection that sets us apart. We wanted to make reading as approachable as possible for those just beginning to read and recognized the need to have more books at the emergent level on our shelves. Emergent readers need strong picture support, high interest topics, limited print on the page and a good story. We contacted independent vendors who publish leveled reading material used in the schools. These books are only available in paperback, but we have them specially bound so they look and feel like a “real book.” Not only does this help the books hold up through a great amount of use, it also heightens the sense of achievement for the child. You will find many of these books with a blue dot on the spine.
If your child is reading from our “First Chapter Books” level and feels ready to move on, we have taken care of that, too. We keep a cart stocked with books that will make the transition from Easy Readers to J Fiction much easier. You can also take a look at our Moving On Up book list.