Friday, January 24, 2014

5 Days of {my} Homeschooling Essentials: The Community

5 Days of {my} Homeschooling Essentials

Welcome to the last day of the 5 Days of Homeschooling Essentials blog hop, where I am going to talk about utilizing The Community as part of our homeschool!  I don't mean just for field trips.  Yes, those are fun and offer a dynamic learning experience, but I'm talking about finding "the other stuff" that enriches our lives and sparks interests.  We are often asked, as homeschoolers, how our children will ever be socialized, or learn to follow rules, or how we will teach unfamiliar subjects, or, or, or, or . . . you know.  Even small towns offer unique opportunities.  It's just up to parents to find those enriching opportunities.  Ask me how I know. 

Sunday School, Jr. Church, AWANA, Vacation Bible School, Christmas plays, Easter parties and a myriad of events just for children, in addition to attending major church events and dinners.  See the  many opportunities right there for learning, growing and socializing?  

The Library
The books, the media, the online classes, the story hours, the book clubs, the special holiday parties, the craft days, the book signings with local authors, the tax seminars, scrapbook and knitting clubs, and so much more.  I really think you could use the library to homeschool for free, but that is another topic for another day. 

Home Depot/Lowes
For children who enjoy hands-on projects and tools, the Kids Workshops are really fun.  (We've never been to Lowe's Build and Grow, but it looks similar.)  It's geared towards elementary students, but I imagine that mature teens might be able to attend the regular adult workshops.

Craft Stores
If your kids are particularly into art, crafts and/or handicrafts, they will likely enjoy the classes, demonstrations and events at craft stores.  Some are free, some have fees.  Check out Micheal's Store Events, AC Moore, JoAnn Fabric Classes, Hobby Lobby or your local craft stores. 

(Note--These stores offer educator discounts to homeschoolers, so be sure to have the correct documentation!)

The Lego Store
If you incorporate Lego into your homeschool, this should count as a field trip, right?  If we lived near a Lego store, I'm sure we'd be at the free monthly model builds.  There are also builds at Toys R Us, but we've never managed to make one of these.  These look appropriate for elementary and under.

Sports Leagues
Whether it's through the city or through the YMCA or Upwards or a homeschool league, there are many opportunities for organized sports.  Elliott just played a season of Instructional Basketball through the YMCA.  We learned that basketball is probably not his "thing" but he had fun!

Support Groups
These are a great way to get support, especially if you can find like-minded homeschoolers.  The veteran homeschoolers are usually more than willing to answer questions about state laws or guide them in methods or curriculum choices.  This is also how we find out about and arrange group discounts for field trips or plan special events.  Our group is on Facebook and has a website, so I can check in whenever I want.

I know co-ops aren't for everyone, but I think if you find the right one, it is worth it.  Ours is well organized, but fairly relaxed.  Some people might need more structure, but this one fits our lifestyle right now, and we love it.  We pay a minimal fee per child (excluding my nursery girl-she's free), and the kids have classes for 3 hours every other Friday. It's a nice break from our routine.

Art Museums
Our local museum of art offers a variety of children's art and nature classes and camps, and some are specifically for homeschoolers.  We just attended our first KidsArt, which is a FREE weekly art class, and includes 1 hour of art, and 1 hour of movement from the local performing arts center.  The boys liked it, and if it were closer we'd probably go more frequently, but as it is we'll probably make it a monthly activity.

5 Days of {my} Homeschooling Essentials:  Flexibility
5 Days of {my} Homeschooling Essentials:  Books
5 Days of {my} Homeschooling Essentials:  Manipulatives
5 Days of {my} Homeschooling Essentials:  Games
5 Days of {my} Homeschooling Essentials:  Community

©2011-2014 Mom’s Heart.  All rights reserved.  All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author.

1 comment: