Do you school all by your onesies? Did you know you don't have to? Certainly, you *can* but if you'd rather not, there are so many options "out there." Right now, on a local homeschooling facebook group there are applications for new co-ops, listings for art, open gym, nature, just about anything you could want. It's pretty amazing and I'm so glad we're schooling in the here and now and not back in the "olden days" of homeschooling.
Today, I'm sharing some of the things we like to do outside of our homeschool. This is not an exhaustive list of possibilities, just what we manage to fit in.
- Co-op. This is our ninth year in our co-op, we started when Mal was four and Xav was two. Our little group has been around for over 25 years, so it's pretty established and there is a waiting list. We keep it between 20-25 families or so. Parents teach the classes that last the full year (16-18 meeting days). The off weeks, we usually have a field trip, ski lessons, or skating. Classes range from academic to fun (although, they can be both!). I guess what I really mean is core or electives. The students are aged three to seniors in high school. Babies and toddlers stay in the nursery or with Mom. I've taught such courses as Stop-Motion animation, Walk Like the Animals (where the kiddos did, literally, learn how to walk like a different animal every week, as well as lots of other fun things about the animal), and Magic School Bus classes. This year, I'll be teaching classes about native Americans, spies, and helping in a train class.
- Sports. Some schools (depending on your state or district) allow homeschoolers to participate in sports. Recreation departments, the Y, and private instructors are all options, too. Xav has attended PE classes at the local elementary school. Mal receives private instruction in Tae Kwon Do at another nearby school. They've had swimming instruction through a rec department and a private instructor. Xav and Merrick have also attended gymnastics camps. We've even gotten archery and ski lessons through our co-op.
- Libraries. We have no fewer than four library cards. I see at least one more in our near future. Libraries off so many fun opportunities and neat programs. We often attend a nature class. They have reading clubs, crafts, and story hours.
- Field trips! I love field trips. (And I'm laughing now, because I typed fiend trips.) We've been to zoos, corn mazes, cider mills, water parks, historical sites, state parks, fire departments, police departments, a castle, the Moving Wall (Vietnam Memorial), a granite quarry, a goat dairy, museums, planetariums, aquariums, science centers... Are you getting some good ideas?
ETA: We haven't done *all* of these things at once, or even on any given year! Do what fits your lifestyle and personalities. Happy Homeschooling!