Home   Homeschooling Resource Guide

Homeschooling Resource Guide

Homeschool-3 by Julie P 

 

Homeschooling is on the rise, and whether you are a homeschooling veteran, one just starting out, or one considering homeschooling, the Kalamazoo area has an amazing array of support, classes, and other resources to help. You are certain to find something that fits your style of homeschooling and your family.

Because homeschoolers are such a diverse group, the below guide is labeled with: secular (non-religious), all-inclusive (includes all religions or lack thereof), or religious (typically Christian) to help you find what you are looking for. Also, the below guide is by no means exhaustive, for homeschooling parents can take advantage of classes and groups anywhere such as Girl Scouts or classes at The Suzuki School.

Don’t be afraid to get involved and ask questions!

MEETUP GROUPS, CO-OPS, SCHOOL PARTNERSHIPS, SUPPORT & SOCIAL NETWORKING

Preschool & Kindergarten Kzoo Homeschoolers

Meetup.com Group

Kalamazoo & Surrounding Area

Secular/All-Inclusive

This all-inclusive/secular group is designed for those in the Kalamazoo area with a preschool thru kindergarten age child who is currently or will be homeschooling. They are open to all homeschooling/unschooling styles. Field trips and playdates are weekly and there is no charge.

 

Kalamazoo HEART

Co-op

Kalamazoo/Portage

Religious/All-Inclusive

Kalamazoo HEART Family Co-Op is a Christian homeschool co-op, providing affordable, quality, fun-filled enrichment classes to families in the greater Kalamazoo area. They do not require a statement of faith to join, but they do have one. They also have a closed FaceBook group for homeschoolers interested in being a part of HEART activities but not actively in the co-op. Contact [email protected] for more information, click above for their website.

Battle Creek HEART

Co-op

Battle Creek

Religious/All-Inclusive

Battle Creek HEART (Home Educators Are Resourceful Teachers) is a Christian homeschool group organizing a support network for homeschooling families in the greater Battle Creek area. Battle Creek HEART is a branch of Kalamazoo HEART. They do not require a statement of faith, but they do have one. Their events are open to all homeschoolers regardless of program affiliation. They offer family field trips, park days, play dates & mom support.

 

TLC

Co-op

Kalamazoo

Religious/All-Inclusive

TLC is a nonprofit ministry offering academic, social, spiritual and financial support to 700 local homeschool families via their weekly email digest and to 150 families through their core and elective homeschool courses for preschoolers through adult. Leaders and teachers are Christian and they welcome all, and they do not require a statement of faith to join. Contact [email protected] for more information or click the link above for their website.



KAT – Kalamazoo Area Tutoring Association, Inc.

Co-op

Kalamazoo

Religious

Kalamazoo Area Tutoring is a well-established Christian educational resource for home schooling families for over 19 years. Currently providing more than 115 families with 45+ classes in a group setting, our 25 tutors challenge, stimulate and encourage students in their academic, spiritual and social growth.

Servants of the Immaculata Catholic Co-op

Co-op

Kalamazoo

Religious

Servants of the Immaculata Catholic Homeschool Co-Operative & Tutoring provides enrichment opportunities for homeschooling families with students Preschool through Middle School and Core classes for students in Middle School & High School.

Gull Lake Partnership

School District Partnership

Kalamazoo

Secular

Gull Lake Partnership is a collaboration between, parents, Gull Lake School District and the community. The Partnership offers unique elective classes for students, grades 1-12. The partnership is a free program paid for by your tax dollars. Students, grades 1-12, sign up as part-time students with Gull Lake Schools. Students enrolled in the partnership may not be enrolled in any other public or private school.

Hamilton School District Partnership

School District Partnership

Marcellus

Secular

The Hamilton Homeschool Partnership offers many classes for children from grades K-12. The classes are taught by certified teachers and are held at Hamilton Middle School during our Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday home school sessions primarily between 11:15-4:30. This program helps individualize learning for home school and blended instruction students living in Allegan County, or the counties contiguous to Allegan County (Ottawa, Kent, Barry, Kalamazoo, or Van Buren). Students enroll part-time with Hamilton Community Schools and are able to take weekly lab classes at Hamilton Middle School, online and college dual enrollment courses, or participate in established community partnerships. As part-time Hamilton students, those enrolled will have course work partially or wholly paid for by state of Michigan education dollars.

Think Big. Homeschool Group at Allegan District Library

Support Group

Allegan

Secular

The Think Big program provides homeschooling families of Allegan with fun and creative ways to explore and discover the library’s resources. Each month features arts & crafts, hands-on activities or science experiments for K-5th, and volunteer opportunities for middle and high school ages. Registration is required; for more information or to register, please call the library. Thursdays from 4:00-5:00pm, check the library calendar for exact dates.

 

Kalamazoo Unschoolers

Facebook Group

Kalamazoo & Surrounding Area

All-Inclusive

This is a closed group for Kalamazoo and surrounding area parents who are already unschooling their families as well as those who want more information about the unschooled lifestyle.

 Homeschool-2

Out And About Homeschoolers – Kalamazoo

Facebook Group

Kalamazoo & Surrounding Area

All-Inclusive

Out and About Homeschoolers is a place for homeschool families to check-in and see where other homeschoolers are hanging out. Whether it’s a park, nature center, museum, zoo, apple orchard, or other public place, this is meant to be a fun, laid-back, and safe way to meet other homeschool families without having to sign up for anything, attend regular meetings, or bring a dish to pass.

Kalamazoo Secular Homeschoolers

Facebook Group

Kalamazoo & Surrounding Area

Secular

This is a closed group for secular homeschoolers in the Kalamazoo area to connect and organize group activities.

 

Kalamazoo Area Home School Association (KAHSA)

Association

Kalamazoo & Surrounding Area

Religious

A community for Christian homeschoolers in the Kalamazoo area, including listings for support groups and co-ops, classes and extra-curricular activities, and other resources.

JMJ Catholic Homeschool Group

Support Group

Portage

Religious

A Catholic homeschool support group that provides mutual support, prayer and encouragement, sharing information about home schooling, and offering educational and spiritual opportunities. They include field trips, book clubs, park days and more.

 

East Side Support Group (ESSG)

Support Group

Kalamazoo – East Side

Religious

A Christ-centered support group meeting for homeschooling parents. Originally designed for parents on the east side of Kalamazoo, they welcome any homeschooling parent. They currently meet at Northeastern Baptist Church and have no membership requirement. For more information on meeting times and locations, contact Lydia McGrew at [email protected]

H.O.P.E.

Support Group

Plainwell

Religious

HOPE is a Christian support group for parents and guardians teaching their children at home; part time, or full time. Meets at Biggby’s in Plainwell on the 4th Monday of the month, year round from 7:00-9:00 pm.

Classical Conversations

Support Group/Community

Kalamazoo & Surrounding Area

Religious

Classical Conversations supports homeschooling parents by cultivating the love of learning through a Christian worldview in fellowship with other families. We believe there are three keys to a great education: classical, Christian, and Community. There are several communities in the Kalamazoo area to join. Click the link for a list, and to find out more.

Homeschool-1

CLASSES & EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES

Design Street (Art)

Art Classes

Plainwell

Secular

Their mission is to provide programs and experiences that inspire, encourage, and engage the community creativity and cultural understanding. Their program provides instruction from experienced professionals who will emphasize critical thinking skills – Analysis, Description, and Interpretation. A combination of conceptual problem solving, experimenting with techniques, and application of Design Principles will be utilized in each session. Classes are arranged into two age groups, 3-8 and 9-18. Check their website for exact times and dates and to register.

 

Kalamazoo Institute of Arts

Art Classes & Museum Tours

Kalamazoo

Secular

Supports homeschool group tours and has multiple tours and classes. Content is adapted for different grade levels and audiences.

 

Kalamazoo Nature Center

Science & Nature

Kalamazoo

Secular

Provides 6-week courses for students 6-14 years of age that are designed to help students gain a deeper understanding of the natural world through fun and hands-on experiences!  Syllabi and parent information are available on their website before each course. Families are asked to sign up to assist at a minimum of one session per class to provide appropriate supervision ratios for the students. Click the link above to check for syllabi, age ranges and prices. Classes are for 6-14 year olds.

Sarett Nature Center

Science & Nature

Benton Harbor

Secular

The Nature Explorer program is a series of natural science classes designed to supplement homeschooling curriculum. They also provide a Parent Page, an outline of the day’s presentation for review and/or portfolio use. Families can choose to sign up for all the classes or choose only those that best fit their needs; most of the classes are not sequential. Registration is ongoing throughout the year. Fees for each class vary depending upon the type of materials needed for that class. They request that parents of our six- to nine-year-old students stay to assist their children unless they also have younger children who require supervision (outside the classrooms, please). Parents of our older students (10 years and up) are welcome to stay and share the discoveries, but their presence is not necessary. Classes are held on Wednesday afternoons from 2:30-4:00pm from September thru April.

Pierce Cedar Creek Institute

Science & Nature

Hastings

Secular

Free nature center that offers homeschool group field trips and lesson plans that can be done at home or in conjunction with a field trip. Field trips are for preK age through elementary school. They also offer classes and events throughout the year.

 

Kalamazoo Area Math & Science Center

Math & Science

Kalamazoo

Secular

The Kalamazoo Area Mathematics and Science Center (KAMSC) delivers a challenging, accelerated education in mathematics, science and technology/computer science to selected students, grades 9 through 12, in Kalamazoo County. Students can apply the program in the eighth grade, and if accepted, spend a half-day at KAMSC in intensive mathematics, science and/or computer courses. All students, within the first three years of the core curriculum, participate in an intensive and guided research based program, developing the skills necessary to conduct scientific research.

Family Center for the Arts

Dance, Drama, Art & Music

Portage

Secular

Home School for the Arts is a year long program for home school students that will focus on Dance, Visual Arts, Music, and Drama/Theatre. These students will engage in as many as 3 art focuses per day they are here at the center. This program is geared for students entering Kindergarten thru grades 12. Students will be split according to grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and grades 9-12. See the website for current offerings and pricing.

Homeschooling Performing Arts (HPA)

Drama/Performing Arts

Kalamazoo, Lansing & Grand Rapids

Religious

HPA is a 501(c)(3) organization with the purpose of establishing a community of homeschool families in which students and parents work together to produce music, drama, and musical theatre productions.

West Michigan Homeschool Fine Arts (WMHFA)

Fine Arts

Kalamazoo & Surrounding Area

Religious

West Michigan Homeschool Fine Arts Association is a Christian non-profit organization whose purpose is to assist and support families in the musical education of their home schooled children. They offer music classes, band, ensembles and orchestra.

Branch Gymnastics/Kids Sports USA

Gymnastics

Kalamazoo & Battle Creek

Secular

KidsSports USA/Branch Gymnastics offers parents a great way to keep their home schooled children active and socialized with daytime fun and challenging gymnastics classes. These classes utilize the Olympic equipment, trampoline, tumble track, and pits, and they focus on proper skill building, fitness, and socialization in a group setting. Based on need and local families, they offer several one-hour classes divided by age and/or ability, or they may offer one class with multiple ages and levels to assist families with several children.

YMCA of Greater Kalamazoo

Sports, Swim, Arts & Dance

Kalamazoo/Portage

Secular

The YMCA has several active programs for home schoolers. To learn more, call Craig at Maple (269) 345-9622 x114 or Don at Portage (269) 324-9622 x423. In addition to the homeschool classes they already offer, they are willing to schedule additional homeschool classes for groups.

YMCA of Battle Creek

Swim

Battle Creek

Secular

The Battle Creek YMCA offers swim lessons for homeschoolers from 6 months to 12 years. Click on the link above, or call (269) 963-9622 to find out their current offerings.

Kalamazoo Cougars

Sports

Kalamazoo & Surrounding Area

Religious/All-Inclusive

A non-profit organization ran under the Kalamazoo Home School Sports (KHSS) whose goal is to provide Kalamazoo area home schoolers an athletics association with a structure for accountability, direction and communication so the athletic program for home school can grow and thrive in a balanced positive way. Sports included are baseball, basketball, cross country, soccer and volleyball.

Kingdom Sports

Soccer

Portage

Secular

A soccer class for homeschooled children ages 8 and up. Sign up through the Gull Lake or Berrien Springs Partnership or purchase a punch card from Kingdom. You do not need to be registered in a partnership to attend. Classes are Tuesdays from 11:00am-12:30pm.

Rollerworld Monthly Homeschool Skate

Skating

Kalamazoo & Surrounding Area

Secular

From October-May, Rollerworld offers homeschoolers a special skating time on the second Tuesday of the month from 2:00-4:00pm.

CURRICULUM, BOOKS & MORE

Kalamazoo Area Homeschoolers Buy, Sell & Swap

FaceBook Group

All-Inclusive

This Facebook group is a great place to buy and sell homeschooling supplies, curriculum, toys and books.

Kalamazoo Area Homeschool Curriculum Buy and Sell

Facebook Group

All-Inclusive

This Facebook group is the place to buy and sell anything related to homeschool curriculum.

TLC Annual Used Curriculum & More Sale

Booksale

Religious

Happens in May every year, watch TLC’s website for exact dates.

KAHSA Used Curriculum Sale

Booksale

Religious

Annual sale every year around early June. Watch their website for exact dates.

Barnes & Noble Homeschool Educator Appreciation Day

Secular

Use your homeschooling educator discount card on these days to receive up to 25% off their books, workbooks and other merchandise. See Other Resources for where to get an ID card. Follow Barnes & Noble’s Portage store on FaceBook to find out when these days happen.

OTHER RESOURCES

Six Flags Read to Succeed

Summer Reading Program

Online

Secular

Read to Succeed is an exciting program that encourages students in grades K through 6 to read for fun. Students who complete six hours of recreational reading earn a free ticket to Six Flags! The program is available to teachers, schools, and homeschoolers at no cost to participate, and it’s a great way to motivate kids to read.

Pizza Hot Book It Program

Reading Program

Secular

A free reading program for Kindergarten – 6th Grade and includes homeschoolers. Set the reading goal, redeem a certificate, get a Passport to Reading and a free Pizza Hut pizza.

INCH Conference

Homeschooling Conference

Religious

The largest gathering of homeschoolers in Michigan happens every third weekend of May at the Lansing Center in downtown Lansing. They have keynote messages, an exhibit hall full of vendors displaying the latest in homeschooling curriculum and materials, connections with other homeschooling families, and over 100 workshop choices designed to meet a variety of homeschooling needs. Check the website for more details.

Kalamazoo Homeschool Expo

Homeschooling Conference

Religious

KAHSA’s annual homeschooling convention which includes keynote speakers, a large vendor hall, information packed sessions, curriculum shopping and more. Check KAHSA’s website or the link above which is their FaceBook event page for details on the next conference which usually happens in early spring.

Homeschooler Discounts

Shopping & Discounts

Secular/All-inclusive

Click on the above link to view a nice list of discounts that are available for homeschoolers (such as Barnes & Noble, Michaels, JoAnn Fabrics) with a homeschool educator ID card, one option is available here. TLC Co-op also offers a free ID (see their entry above).