Good news for homeschool families! Whether you’re looking for field trips, educational programs, a support network or a place for your kids to socialize in groups, St. Louis has plenty to offer. The even better news: a lot of local resources are free or very affordable.
St. Louis Homeschool Network
www.stlouishomeschoolnetwork.orgThe St. Louis Homeschool Network brings homeschooling parents together. The group offers twice-weekly meetings and an educational co-op for dues of just $18 per family (prorated to $9 if you join late in the year). The group represents a diverse collection of religious, political and educational ideologies and focuses solely on homeschooling. Check out the organization’s website (includes links to other local networking opportunities) or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Missouri History Museum’s Homeschool Days
5700 Lindell Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63112
www.mohistory.orgThe Missouri History Museum’s exhibits and events are a terrific resource for homeschool families. Even better, the Museum offers Homeschool Days with free admission and activities for home educators. The Homeschool Days programs are held monthly, usually on Mondays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Registration is required. Click here for a list of upcoming programs.
COCA (Center of Creative Arts)
524 Trinity Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63130
www.cocastl.orgCOCA offers a number of resources that homeschool parents will appreciate. The Family Series at COCA offers the highest quality and most imaginative theater experiences for kids of all ages, including dance, drama and sometimes puppetry or theatrical spectacle. COCA also offers dance, drama, voice and visual arts classes homeschoolers might use for enrichment. Programs are offered as weekly classes, workshops and camps so you’re sure to find the level of commitment that suits your family.
Missouri Botanical Garden
4344 Shaw Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63110
www.mobot.orgEvents like the Japanese Festival and the Gardenland Express Holiday Flower and Train Show attract a lot of families. St. Louis boasts the largest Japanese garden in North America and the children’s garden is extensive. But did you know MOBOT also offers educational programs for families through the Garden, the Butterfly House and the Shaw Nature Reserve? There are backyard adventures, Family Sunday programs and lots more offered all year round. Prices are very affordable (often free for members and $3 for nonmembers, or free with admission). A family membership, priced at $150, might be a good value for homeschoolers.
St. Louis Zoo
1 Government Drive
St. Louis, MO 63110
The St. Louis Zoo is another local treasure. Not only is general admission free (although there are charges now for many of the newer features), but the Zoo offers a myriad of homeschool programs for Kindergarten through 8th grade levels. Most of the programs are priced at $18 per student. Class sizes are limited and each class explores a topic using live animals and scientific methods. Last year’s programs ranged from “Super Hero Adaptations” for youngsters to “Introduction to Zoo Veterinary Care” for junior high students. Click here for a list of upcoming educational programs, including the homeschool series.
Lauren Haas is a writer who specializes in finding the fun! Lauren was the publisher of the St. Louis Area Family Gazette for eight years, and now writes freelance articles on St. Louis events and attractions, budget travel, arts and entertainment and fitness topics. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.