Thinking about homeschooling, but don’t know where to start? New to the area and looking for homeschooling resources? We caught up with two local homeschooling mothers, Stacy Louis, of the group “Homeschoolers of Washtenaw” (HOW), and Bobbi Jo Sargent, of the group “Meetups for Homeschoolers in the Ann Arbor Area.” They gave us some tips and local resources and support for homeschooling families.
1. Connect with other homeschool families by joining a group
It is helpful to connect with other families when just starting out. Families homeschool for many reasons including religion, educational philosophy, health reasons, and more, so find a group that fits your family’s needs. For a directory of registered Michigan support groups visit homeeddirectory.com/homeschooling-support-groups/michigan. The following Facebook groups connect homeschooling families in Washtenaw County:
- Homeschoolers of Ann Arbor
- Homeschoolers of Washtenaw (HOW)
- Meetups for Homeschoolers in the Ann Arbor Area
- Southeast Michigan Homeschoolers 2
2. Homeschooling cooperatives
(Co-op) A co-op is a homeschooling group that offers enrichment and/or academic classes that are taught by parents. Co-ops in Washtenaw County include:
- Adventures Homeschool Association in Ypsilanti
- Homeschool Connections in Ann Arbor washtenawhsc.org/index.html
- Explorers in Ann Arbor
3. State of Michigan requirements
The State of Michigan has no formal homeschooling requirements in terms of reporting or standardized testing. Check out the Michigan Department of Education website (under the section “Homeschooling in Michigan”) for more information: michigan.gov
4. United Learning Academy in Ann Arbor
Professional teachers offer on-site innovative classes for homeschool students. Upcoming Fall 2017 classes include astronomy and botany. Visit unitedlearningacademy.com for more information on pricing and classes offered.
5. Field trip and community resources
One advantage of homeschooling is the ability to customize curriculum to the needs and interests of your individual child. Resources in the community such as public libraries, 4-H organizations, local museums, parks, and universities provide great learning opportunities. The University of Michigan offers the Museum of Natural History, Museum of Art, Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum!
Your child may be able to participate in sports when homeschooling. According to the Michigan Department of Education it is the responsibility of individual school boards to determine whether homeschooled students are eligible to play sports. The Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti public school districts adhere to the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) requirements that in order for a student to participate in school sports the student must be enrolled at least 66% of their classes in the public schools. Homeschool students can enroll in sports through the Ann Arbor Rec & Ed department. There are also alternative private sports teams through the Ann Arbor YMCA and CTK Jaguars (a multi-sport program serving the homeschool community in Ann Arbor).