Homeschool – Full of Opportunities

Homeschooling is on the rise.

Whether you are a homeschooling veteran, just starting out, or contemplating homeschooling, the Kalamazoo area has an astounding array of support groups, classes, and other resources certain to fit your style of homeschooling and family dynamic.

Homeschoolers are a diverse group. The guide is labeled with: secular (non-religious), all-inclusive (includes all religions or lack thereof), or religious (typically Christian). The 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.

Homeschool

 

Groups, Extracurriculars, Book Sales, and Resources Great for Homeschoolers

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

Having a friend or tribe to go through homeschooling life with is one of the most important things most homeschoolers can do. There are many different types: Meetup groups which run on the website Meetup.com, Co-ops which involve classes and activities but require parent participation and a fee, and School Partnerships which ask your child to enroll through the school district as a part-time student and include access to classes and activities that are paid for.

Meetup Groups

All-Inclusive

Early Elementary Kzoo Homeschoolers

This diverse and inclusive group is open to all homeschoolers with early elementary aged children and focuses on homeschoolers finding friendship. Members must be active and attend at least one event in a two-month period. There are multiple playdates and field trips every week, and there is no charge. 

Kalamazoo Eclectic Homeschoolers (Mid-elementary to tween)

A group of secular/eclectic homeschoolers of kids mid-elementary to tween years. They are an inclusive group and enjoy the diversity of ideas, events, and experiences for their children. They are accepting of all homeschool styles, personal belief systems and lifestyles.

Co-ops

Religious

Kalamazoo HEART

Kalamazoo HEART Family Co-Op is a Christian homeschool co-op providing fun-filled enrichment classes. Kalamazoo HEART often hosts field trips for all homeschooling community members for a small fee, and has an online membership site.

Battle Creek HEART

Battle Creek HEART is a Christian homeschool group for homeschooling families in the greater Battle Creek area. They offer family field trips, park days, play dates & mom support. 

TLC

TLC offers core and elective homeschool courses for preschoolers through adults, and sends out a weekly digest to all homeschoolers in the community who are interested.

 

KAT – Kalamazoo Area Tutoring Association, Inc.

Kalamazoo Area Tutoring provides 45+ classes in a group setting, and tutors for all aspects of spiritual and academic growth.

Servants of the Immaculata Catholic Co-op

Servants of the Immaculata Catholic Homeschool Co-Operative & Tutoring provides enrichment opportunities for preschoolers through middle school and core classes for middle and high school.

School District Partnerships

Secular

Gull Lake Partnership

Students, grades 1-12, enroll as part-time students with Gull Lake Schools and can take elective classes, online and dual enrollment courses and participate in established community partnerships.

Hamilton School District Partnership

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.

Niles School District Partnership

This partnership provides virtual learning opportunities for Michigan homeschooled students as well as extra-curriculars.

 Facebook Groups

All-Inclusive

Kalamazoo Unschoolers

This is a closed group for area Kalamazoo 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

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 places, this is meant to be a fun, laid-back, and safe way to meet other homeschool families.

Battle Creek Young Homeschoolers

This inclusive secular group is for Battle Creek/Marshall and surrounding area homeschooling families targeted toward younger children (ages 3-9) though everyone is welcome.

Secular

Kalamazoo Secular Homeschoolers

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

Other Support Groups, Associations, and Communities

Religious

Kalamazoo Area Home School Association (KAHSA)

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

A Catholic homeschool support group that provides mutual support, prayer, and offers educational and spiritual opportunities. They include field trips, book clubs, and park days.

East Side Support Group (ESSG)

A Christ-centered support group meeting for homeschooling parents. Originally designed for parents on the east side of Kalamazoo, this group welcomes any homeschooling parent.

H*S Homeschool Support Group

An informal gathering for Christian homeschool parents to gather. Morning meetings are on the 3rd Thursday of the month at 10:00 AM in the Hermitage Room of Comstock Library.

H.O.P.E.

HOPE is a Christian support group for homeschooling parents. Meets at Biggby’s in Plainwell on the 4th Monday of the month, year-round from 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM.

Classical Conversations

Classical Conversations supports homeschooling parents by cultivating the love of learning through a Christian worldview in fellowship with other families.

 

homeschool

CLASSES & EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES

Arts

Secular

Design Street  | 115 West Bridge St, Plainwell | 269-615-0884

Offers art classes for homeschoolers ages 5-18 using multiple art techniques and media.

Kalamazoo Institute of Arts | 314 S Park St, Kalamazoo | 269-349-7775

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

Religious

Homeschooling Performing Arts (HPA) | 855-472-1472

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) | 616-540-3699

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

A-B-C Spanish Classes

A local homeschool mom and former teacher, Rocio Pacard, offers Spanish classes for kids which include not only an introduction to the Spanish language, but also an introduction to the many cultures of Spanish-speaking countries.

Science/Nature

Secular

Kalamazoo Nature Center | 7000 N Westnedge Ave. , Kalamazoo | 269-381-1574

Weekly classes on Thursday afternoons from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m in six-week session blocks, for ages 4-12. Classes focus on exploring native Michigan habitats, studying and recognizing seasonal changes in plants and animals, and becoming a scientist.

Sarett Nature Center | 2300 Benton Center Road, Benton Harbor | 269-927-4832

Offers natural science classes for homeschoolers ages 6+. Homeschoolers can sign up for a single class, or multiple sessions.

Pierce Cedar Creek Institute | 701 W. Cloverdale Road, Hastings | 269-721-4190

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. 

Air Zoo | 6151 Portage Road, Portage | 269-382-6555

Science classes for homeschoolers age 5-14 on the first Tuesday and Wednesday of the month from 1:00 – 5:00 PM.

Kalamazoo Area Math & Science Center | 600 West Vine St., Ste. 400, Kalamazoo | 269-337-0004

Homeschooled 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.

Physical Education

Secular

Branch Gymnastics/Kids Sports USA | 6712 Financial Parkway, Kalamazoo | 269-544-3000

Offers several one-hour classes divided by age and/or ability.

Kids Gym | 9027 Portage Industrial Drive, Portage | 269-323-7657

Offers homeschooled gymnastics classes for kindergarten and up.

YMCA of Greater Kalamazoo  | 2900 W. Centre Ave., Portage | 269-324-9622 and 1001 W. Maple St., Kalamazoo | 269-345-9622

The YMCA offers homeschool classes at the Portage location for gym, yoga, and swimming. The YMCA can also schedule additional homeschool classes for groups.

YMCA of Battle Creek | 182 Capital Ave. NE, Battle Creek | 269-963-9622

The Battle Creek YMCA offers swim lessons for homeschoolers from 6 months to 12 years.

Kingdom Sports | 8151 Merchant Place, Portage | 269-226-2000

A soccer class for homeschooled children ages 8+. Sign up through the Gull Lake or Berrien Springs Partnership or purchase a punch card from Kingdom.

Sky Zone Homeschool Hop | 5103 Portage Road, Kalamazoo | 269-459-9243

Every Wednesday from 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM, attend Sky Zone’s special Homeschool Hop with a discounted price for an hour of jumping.

Swiss Valley Ski & Snowboard Area | 13421 Mann Street, Jones | 269-244-5635

Swiss Valley offers a Homeschool Ski Special for Homeschool students and their families every winter.

Religious

Kalamazoo Cougars

A non-profit organization ran under the Kalamazoo Home School Sports (KHSS). Sports included are baseball, basketball, cross country, soccer and volleyball.

CURRICULUM, BOOKS & MORE

Kalamazoo Area Homeschoolers Buy, Sell & Swap

This Facebook group is a great place to buy and sell homeschooling supplies.

Kalamazoo Area Homeschool Curriculum Buy and Sell

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

TLC Annual Used Curriculum & More Sale

TLC offers an annual sale in the late spring.

KAHSA Used Curriculum Sale

Annual sale in the early summer.

Barnes & Noble Homeschool Educator Appreciation Day

Use your homeschooling educator discount card on select days to receive up to 25% off books and other merchandise. Follow Barnes & Noble’s on Facebook to find out exact dates.

OTHER RESOURCES

Six Flags Read to Succeed

Read to Succeed encourages students in grades K through 6th grade to read for fun, Students who complete six hours of recreational reading earn a FREE ticket to Six Flags!

Pizza Hut Book It Program

A reading program for K through 6th Grade, including homeschoolers. Set the reading goal and have a chance to earn a FREE Pizza Hut personal-size pizza.

INCH Conference

Every third weekend of May at the Lansing Center in downtown Lansing. They have keynote messages, vendors, and over 100 workshop choices. Registration opens in January.

Homeschooler Discounts

View a list of discounts that are available for homeschoolers with a valid homeschool educator ID card (one option is available here). TLC Co-op also offers a free ID.

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

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By |2018-08-01T06:41:42+00:00August 8th, 2018|Categories: Around Kalamazoo, Guides, Learn, Newly Published, Parent resources|Comments Off on Kalamazoo Area Homeschool Resource Guide

About the Author:

Julie is stay-at-home mom who homeschools two beautiful rainbow girls, and a self-professed geek. She enjoys playing video and board games, writing, reading, tennis, traveling, and just about everything else. She never wants to stop learning and loves sharing what she's learned with KZOOkids readers.