“What are your favorite homeschool extracurricular activities?”
Ask any homeschooling family this, and you’re sure to get a million different answers!
We’ve compiled a helpful list of local field trips for anyone who just wants to dive in there cold turkey and start gathering ideas.
But we also wanted to take a more nuanced approach, asking area families for places where they typically go to get ideas for extracurricular activities.
1. Check out area venues.
Many people think of these first: museums, zoos, theaters, etc.
The Kansas City Zoo and the Union Station are popular area favorites among our homeschool families. Union Station membership provides free access throughout the year to Science City and Planetarium shows, as well as discounts on other museums, plays and exhibits.
The Crown Center district also made the list of top places for homeschool extracurricular activities, with Sea Life and Legoland enjoying a lot of mentions.
2. Explore physical education and fitness classes.
Gymnastics, swimming, running … the opportunities for homeschool physical education credits abound!
Several homeschool families frequent martial arts academies in the area. Others make use of parks and rec departments for affordable classes that keep kids active and moving at all times of the year.
3. See local libraries.
Many area libraries feature storytimes for toddlers, which area homeschoolers certainly appreciate!
The Johnson County Library system also has a number of virtual events that older children may appreciate. They also have an “Educator Outreach Card” that applies to homeschoolers, with several benefits:
- Extended 5-week check out of materials used in a classroom (or childcare setting).
- Renewal of materials up to 5 times, except for items with hold requests. (We know how important this is in managing borrowed materials!)
- No overdue fees – however, lost or damaged items still require replacement fees.
Go to this Johnson County Library page for more information and apply for a card.
4. Check out activities your children are passionate about.
Do your boys love Trail Life USA? Many area homeschoolers enjoy taking their sons to participate in this program. A similar equivalent that homeschoolers recommend for daughters is American Heritage Girls.
If your children have a natural acting bent, Greenleaf Music & Arts Academy offers acting classes each semester. First Act KC also offers field trips for groups.
4-H programs also provide great complements to homeschooling.
As one homeschooler writes, “My girls have participated in acting, speeches, leadership, cooking, sewing, crochet, nutrition, archery, BB gun shooting … and there is photography, rocketry, animal care, woodworking and so much more. I also love the way they involve the whole family as much as possible.”
5. Tap into the expertise of local support groups.
Maybe your schedule doesn’t allow you to participate in a plethora of homeschool extracurricular activities. In that case, many families have found area enrichment programs, co-ops and sports programs helpful for occasional field trips and long-term friendships.
“We love getting together with other families from church or our homeschool support group,” one homeschool parent wrote. “It costs less, builds life-long relationships, and everyone in the family can have fun at the same time.”
This blog post was originally published in February 2015. It has been updated for timeliness and detail.