|We act as though comfort and luxury
were the chief requirements in life,
when all we need
to make us really happy
is something to be enthusiastic about.
-- Charles Kingsley
|Copyright 2005 Julie Shepherd Knapp
The Homeschool Diner's Guide to
Finding Community Resources
by Julie Shepherd Knapp, copyright 2006
Where to find educational opportunities in science, the arts, math, PE, and many other subjects.
Science, Technology, and Nature:
Begin by visiting your local science and technology museums - many also offer homeschool classes
and most offer Saturday and summer programs. Zoo trips are, by nature, educational, and many offer
summer programs, too. Also look for historic villages, state parks, and local farms and factories that
allow school visits. How about homeschool meeting at theme parks, like this group that meets at
Homeschool co-ops may offer (or be willing to organize) hands-on technical workshops and classes or
even science fairs. Some school districts will allow homeschoolers to take lab science classes at the
high school -- check with your local school. Some Community colleges allow homeschoolers to audit or
enroll in science classes. Check the "Homeschooling by Subject" section for more science resources.
Begin by attending your local arts museum, orchestra, ballet, and children's theater -- many of them
also offer Saturday and Summer programs for children. Private schools for the arts may offer
homeschool classes, Saturday programs, and/or summer camps.
Homeschool co-ops usually offer (or are willing to organize) art, music, dance, and drama classes.
Many metropolitan areas have homeschool band/orchestra/ensemble organizations. Some city Parks
and Recreation departments offer summer programs in the arts, as do community centers and the
Math tutors can be found by asking around -- check for older students in your homeschool group, and
ask at your local high school, community college, or university. Retired teachers are a possible
resource, and professional tutoring services, such as Sylvan Learning center can provide tutors at an
hourly rate. There are also math enrichment programs for children at some of the major universities.
Many homeschoolers participate in "Homeschool Gym and Swim" offered by YMCA facilities. City and
county Parks and Recreation departments, community centers, and aquatic centers offer organized
team sports, including swim teams, and karate. Homeschool learning co-ops may offer (or be willing to
organize) team sports or PE classes. Some metropolitan areas have homeschool/private school sports
organizations for middle school, junior varsity, and varsity team sports. There are also a few PE
curricula available for purchase - search online to find your options -- you may find several families who
wish to join you in using such a program.
Other Subject Areas:
Larger public libraries often offer book clubs and story times, and many have educational summer
programs. Librarians are also willing to organize small group classes on various topics, including using
library resources and using the Internet.
Don't overlook the opportunity to learn about foreign cultures and languages by eating in ethnic
restaurants! Go at "off" times when the waiters and owners will be free to chat. Your children will
probably be the only ones there, and that is a great conversation starter in itself.
For younger children grocery store trips can be very educational. You can compare prices and keep a
running tally of your total. You can compare labels and discuss nutrition. If you go to a large store with
a lot of imported produce you can even take along a map or small globe and have fun locating where
the different foods came from.
Internships, Summer Jobs, and Shadowing:
Some local businesses may offer internships and part-time jobs to older homeschoolers who are truly
interested in career building. I have heard of vets allowing students to shadow them for a day, a design
shop who let a student follow the progress of a few jobs, and a chef who helped a student develop a
recipe, then tried it out in his restaurant. The possibilities are endless. You may meet a lot of
resistance before you find a business that is willing to take on a young teen, but keep at it! Every
connection you make may lead to an opportunity for hands-on learning.
|The Homeschool Diner logo and all pages of this website
are protected by copyright law.
Copyright 2005-2012 by Julie Shepherd Knapp,
unless otherwise noted.
To request permission to republish, reprint, make multiple
copies of, distribute, or post a particular article of julie's --
please contact :
julie at HomeschoolDiner dot com
(simply replace "at" with @ and "dot" with . )