Our area has several homeschool email loops for announcements and opportunities. As the school year begins, I’ve seen a lot of posts for classes in art, music, sports, and other extracurricular activities, as well as classes in core subject areas that might be harder to teach at home, such as upper-level math classes and science courses with labs. If you are looking for outside classes for your homeschooled students, here are some places to try:
Homeschool Co-ops can be as formal as a private school or as informal as a couple of friends getting together to share lessons. If registration has ended and you can’t join a co-op this school year, consider meeting with a couple other families to share the load. For example, one parent could teach science and another history, planning the lesson and activities to go with it.
Local Art and Craft Stores
Contact local art and craft stores for any art classes they offer. Be sure to check with your area’s local artists’ organization as well, for professional artists will often offer lessons too. A number of artists in our area have seen the need for further instruction in art and have opened up their studios to students.
Local Music Stores
Call the local music store and ask if they offer private lessons or if they know of a homeschool music organization. Sometimes you can find a homeschool band or choir your child could join. If you have a high school student who is a musician, you can also call the private and public schools in your area and see if they would allow your student to join their music program.
Sports programs are flourishing, for everything from baseball to swimming to fencing. Check with your YMCA to see what’s offered, but don’t stop there. Contact your local college and ask if there’s a youth league; churches often offer sports programs as well. The city’s recreation department will be able to inform you about Little League opportunities.
Call your area YMCA and ask if they have any classes for homeschoolers. Our YMCA offers weekly PE classes for homeschooled students early in the afternoon.
Dance Academy / Gymnastics School
Find a dance academy or gymnastics school and ask if they offer classes for homeschoolers. Many companies are recognizing that homeschoolers can attend classes earlier in the day than students in traditional schools, and they are accommodating them with morning and early afternoon classes.
Of course, the best way to find out what’s available for your child is to ask other homeschooling parents. One of my friends is teaching Marine Biology at a new resource center that just opened this year. While I don’t have a child taking Marine Biology, I discovered that the center also offers Spanish II, Writing, and SAT prep classes — and I’ve passed this information on to others.
While homeschooling is an adventure, it can also be a challenge — but there is help out there when you need it!
Photo by Bradleygee
Article by Samantha Bell