Homeschooling on the South Shore
What type of family homeschools?
The short answer is: all types of families!
Many local homeschooling families begin their child's educational journey at home, while other families find themselves deciding to homeschool after trying other educational avenues. Because this area is generally considered to have highly desirable public and private schools, homeschooling is not as popular as it is in other parts of the country. However, there is a strong and vibrant network of homeschoolers on the South Shore and in the greater Boston area that tends to be very friendly and welcoming of new homeschoolers.
How do I get started homeschooling?
If you are researching homeschooling, we suggest that you check out the Massachusetts Home Learning Association website. It will give you all of the laws and regulations about homeschooling in Massachusetts, as well as a template letter to send to your school district. We do not recommend the HSLDA, as their primary purpose is political organizing for larger religious and political issues unrelated to homeschooling.
Although it can seem daunting to take your child's education into your own hands, it's hard to describe just how wonderful and rewarding an experience it can be. There is a wealth of opportunities for classes, co-ops (which are parent-run), and drop-off programs. In general, school districts in the area are easy to work with. Because it is up to the whims of each district to approve a family's education plan, it is a good idea to find someone in your town who homeschools. In general, homeschooling families are very happy to share their experiences, send you a copy of their education plan, and give advice about working with the town.
The Athenaeum Learning Center hosts a monthly homeschool support group during the school year, where families can meet and chat, can peruse our curriculum library, and can share resources. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org formore information.
Other homeschool resource centers
Families come from all over the South Shore, and from as far away as Foxboro and Boston, to attend the Athenaeum Learning Center. However, sometimes the drive is just a little bit too long, or our program is not quite what a family is looking for (don't worry, this doesn't hurt our feelings: our entire program is built on the idea that no educational system or program, not even ours, works for every child!). We often get asked if we know of other similar programs. We're not affiliated with any of the programs listed below, and we can't vouch for them, but here are some other secular drop-off centers for homeschooled children that we've heard about:
Encompass Center for Independent Learning, Dartmouth
Bay State Learning Center, Dedham
Macomber Center, Framingham
Parts and Crafts, Somerville
Voyagers Resource Center, Chelmsford
There are also several secular co-ops and full-day homeschooling programs in the area that are not drop-off. Some that we are aware of are:
Braintree Homeschool Coop, Braintree
Home Base, Milton
ENRICHri, Providence RI
Voyagers Coop, Chelmsford