The Mid-Michigan Moms Guide to Homeschooling: A Comprehensive Guide to Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Homeschool

Whether it be a preference, necessity, or perhaps curiosity that prompted you to learn more about homeschooling, know that I am delighted you’ve stumbled upon this resource and hope that you leave here knowing a bit more about homeschooling.

Merriam Webster defines homeschooling as teaching one’s children at home. Sounds simple, right? Right! Every aspect of homeschooling can be tailored to fit the needs and interests of your family – the curriculum, teaching and learning styles, and schedule – and delivered in as simple or complex of a manner as you choose.

With that said, we are honored to share a peek into the homeschool world by answering some frequently asked questions and the many resources available to Mid-Michigan homeschool families. Our community is bursting with groups, classes, resources, experiences, and events for these families, that cover everything from academics and athletics to extracurriculars, music education, and even engineering! So, read on and happy homeschooling!

A special thank you to our Presenting Sponsor, Homeschool Connections!

homeschool

Homeschool Connections

Homeschool Connections is an independent homeschool program created by homeschoolers for homeschoolers.

Homeschool Connections proudly offers innovative, high-quality, hands-on classes in several locations across southeastern Michigan. Each campus meets one day a week to complement your homeschooling journey!

Classes are taught by highly qualified instructors that bring enthusiasm and experience to their lessons. From history to art to science, math, writing, literature, robotics, and even P.E., you’re sure to find a class that will delight and engage your child.

Homeschool Information and Frequently Asked Questions

Homeschooling is the education of children at home or a variety of places other than a traditional school where the child’s parent(s) or guardian(s) are their primary educators and soley responsible for their child’s education.

Flexibility!

Flexibility is hands down the number one reason we homeschool. Nearly every aspect of homeschooling is flexible, including:

  • Schedule – we can travel in off seasons and take advantage of travel opportunities during the traditional school year we may not have if attending a traditional school. We can also mix-up the time of day we school. If our morning is not off to a great start or someone has a doctor’s appointment, we can delay school or do our school work later in the day or after dinner time.
  • Teaching/Learning Style – we can adjust our learning environment, approach, and styles to fit each child’s interests and needs. For example, if we are having an off day, we can mix up our routine and schedule at the drop of a hat. My son is obsessed with fish and sea creatures, so we are often doing fish ‘math’, fish ‘science’, fish ‘grammar’, fish everything!
  • Curriculum – we can choose what topics we cover and for how much time we spend on them. If during a unit, we get interested and want to go on a spontaneous field trip or dig deeper into a specific topic longer than we had intended. This also applies to topics that our family may or may not feel are appropriate for our children to be exposed to or choose to begin or delay topics, as we feel, are best.
  • Learning Environment – we can school outside, while traveling if we like, at the kitchen table, on the couch, or around the coffee table. 

Homeschooling is not only legal in the state of Michigan, but Michigan has relatively ‘relaxed’ homeschool laws. Briefly, these are the laws related to homeschooling in Michigan:

“Michigan parents or guardians may homeschool their children ages 6-18 {or graduation} in an organized program of study to include reading, spelling, mathematics, science, history, civics, literature, writing, and English grammar.” – Michigan State Department of Education, Homeschooling in Michigan

Homeschool families in Michigan do not have to register with the state, report attendance/curriculum/grades. Parents/guardians are not required to hold a degree or license in teaching, and you are not required to use a specific curriculum.

Read more below from the Michigan Department of Education regarding homeschooling

I am a list person, so here is a brief list on how to start homeschooling, these steps do not necessarily have to be completed in this order, except with the obvious exceptions below.

  1. Read up and familiarize yourself with your state’s Department of Education Homeschool Laws – You can read Michigan’s Homeschool Laws here.
  2. If your child is currently in a traditional school, inform the school administrator you are withdrawing your child. This can be done in person or by mail/e-mail. Traditional schools may ask to speak with you in person or request that you complete paperwork – those are voluntary options. You may also request copies of your child’s records, grades, immunizations, etc. at this time.
  3. Speak with your child and pose the questions – what are you hoping to accomplish by homeschooling? How do you best want to accomplish that? Answer these questions for yourself as well.
  4. Research and identify your child{ren}’s learning style and what teaching method may be best for your family.
  5. Research and select a curriculum that will meet your child’s needs and requirements.
  6. Determine what grade/level your child is at and purchase/download/prepare the curriculum.
  7. Plan out a rough daily/weekly/yearly plan and schedule. This can be done with the child as well!
  8. Gather school supplies, materials, books, curriculum, and create a learning environment {if you choose to have a designated space}.
  9. Jump in and start your homeschooling adventure.
  10. Continuously evaluate your homeschool techniques, progress, methods, and weaknesses. Never stop learning, growing, and have fun!

Another way homeschooling provides flexibility to families is in the way that instruction is approached. There are many approaches to homeschooling, so I’ve narrowed down a few of the most used and briefly described them below to help you find a model that works best for you and your children.

  1. Classical – Schooling is completed by studying events as they occurred historically. The subject areas are presented in a chronological plan. Socratic dialogues are a feature of this approach and encourage discussion and debate through open-ended questions.
  2. Charlotte Mason – This method is based upon homeschooling pioneer, Charlotte Mason. This Christian homeschool style features short periods of study coupled with nature walks, journaling, history portfolios, and observation, memorization, and narration.
  3. Montessori – This method is a student-based approach utilizing free movement, large-unstructured segments of time, multi-grade classes, and interest-based learning plans. Instruction is done indirectly, using lots of hands-on activities, and by giving a range of options from which to choose.
  4. Unschooling – A free-form learning model that is student-centered, unconventional, and individualistic. Learning focuses on the student’s interests, with the learn-as-you-go approach. Unschooling will consist of some structure when it comes to basic skills, but this is often done in a non-traditional manner.
  5. School-at-Home – This is essentially the same as your local public or private school classroom, but is implemented at home. School-at-Home education is typically organized around a complete curriculum, arranged by the traditional school year, and typically the same curriculum local public or private schools use.
  6. Unit Studies – Theme-oriented learning plans where students will study the same event or theme from the perspective of each subject area. The subject areas can be addressed separately or together.
  7. Eclectic Education Method – Schooling is child-directed, resourceful, and non-curriculum based. It does not have a set model, allowing families to pull from a variety of models and resources. An eclectic schooling approach that is becoming more popular is “hybrid” homeschool, which combines homeschooling part-time and attending a more traditional setting part-time with other homeschool children.

 

Reading through descriptions of homeschool models and trialing them can help you choose what may be best for your family. If a model does not work, try a different one. Many families use a variety of models and often change models as children grow and change.

Best Schools. “Homeschooling: Which Model Is Right for You?” TheBestSchools.org, Thebestschools.org, 18 Nov. 2019, thebestschools.org/magazine/homeschool-style-right/.

Children, and adults alike, all learn differently. The way we are able to absorb information depends heavily on the style in which it is presented. By identifying the style{s} that your child best learns, you can improve their comprehension, retention, and recall.

The three main learning styles are:

  1. Visual {learns by seeing} – Learns best by seeing images, reading, and writing
  2. Auditory {learns by hearing} – Learns best with verbal instructions, discussions, and speaking out loud
  3. Kinaesthetic {learns by doing and touching}Learns best by moving their bodies, participating in tasks, and when physically engaged

 

Identifying your child’s learning style can be accomplished in few moments, by answering some simple questions. Here are a few great resources to discover your child’s learning style:

 

As everyone knows, every family and each child within a family is different. So finding a curriculum that works perfectly would be like finding a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. There are, however, a few ways to get a feel for a particular curriculum before purchasing it.

  • Grab a copy of Cathy Duffy’s, “102 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum”, and read her recommendations/opinions on many of the most common curriculum available. Duffy has been involved with many aspects of homeschooling since educating her children at home starting in 1982.
  • Visit the curriculum publisher’s website that you are curious about; many provide free pdf downloads that you can review and utilize to get a feel for the presentation of the lessons.
  • Attend a homeschool conference where many curriculum publishers will be on hand with copies of their products.
  • Read reviews of curricula on the internet. These reviews take with a grain of salt, but they can be somewhat helpful.

 

There is no such thing as a perfect curriculum, and what works for one family won’t work for another. See the above discussion of learning styles for the best way to find what kind of homeschool curriculum is best for your situation. There are some questions you can ask yourself to help you determine a good curriculum fit for your family.

This was my biggest hesitation when it came to homeschooling. How do I know what to teach in each grade for every subject? Thankfully, there are a number of resources to guide instructional requirements.

Each state’s Department of Education publishes Academic Standards for children in grades K-12. These standards are free to view, download, and print off for reference. Michigan’s Academic Standards can be found here. These standards include a breakdown for each grade K-12 and are broken down by subject. “In the state of Michigan, instruction must include mathematics, reading, English, science, and social studies in all grades; and the Constitution of the United States, the Constitution of Michigan, and the history and present form of the civil government of the United States, the State of Michigan, and the political subdivisions and municipalities of the State of Michigan in grades 10, 11, and 12. Additionally, homeschool students may enroll in nonessential elective classes at the resident public school subject to the district’s enrollment policy.” – Michigan State Department of Education, Homeschooling in Michigan

Many homeschool curricula will also have a Scope and Sequence that lays out what is taught in each grade, for each subject to ease long-term planning.

I have found the book, ‘Home Learning Year by Year’, by Rebecca Rupp, to be very helpful as it details comprehensive plans from preschool through high school that includes layouts of topics commonly presented in each grade/level.

homeschooling
photo courtesy of Amazon

 

Currently, we spend about 2 hours a day of hands-on homeschooling. Many people are surprised to learn that homeschooling occurs in a shorter period of time when compared to traditional schools. Primarily because it is less time consuming to teach and support a handful of children, rather than a class.

The 2 hours mentioned above do not include other activities that we do at home, just the same as children in school – including breaks, free play and reading time, recess/physical education {playing outside, etc.}, lunchtime, etc..

Here is a typical homeschool day for us:

Homeschooling costs depend on many variables, including the homeschooling method you use, where you purchase your materials and supplies, and what extras you choose to purchase {computers, microscopes, etc.}

Homeschooling can be done absolutely free if one has a computer and internet access, utilizing one of the many free curriculums available. Local libraries or public domain libraries can be used to acquired additional required texts.

“There are no public funds available for homeschool families.” – Michigan State Department of Education, Homeschooling in Michigan

However, there are also many opportunities to homeschool on a budget and be thrifty. For example, purchase pre-owned curriculum from second-hand shops, on Facebook Marketplace and online retailers, and from co-op groups or other homeschool families. When available, purchase the pdf format of curricula once and print off copies for each child as needed.

 

No.

Studies show that homeschooled children succeed regardless of the education level of their parents. Don’t let your education (or lack of it) stop your desire to homeschool your children.

Also, nearly every curriculum or educational path you choose will have a teacher’s guide or a resource that is much like a lesson plan. The teacher’s guides will generally give you planning and progress tools to help you plan your day and school year to ensure you stay on track.

The internet also has many reputable resources that can be used to guide your understanding of a topic. And if you are still a little rusty on your Trigonometry – you can learn right along with your children.

Lastly, as children progress into higher grades/levels many curricula become self-guided and self-taught processes, where you {the teacher} become less hands-on and assist children only as needed. 

Yes.

But, as my family has progressed through our homeschooling journey, I’ve gained confidence in my choices by reading from the experiences of others, keeping myself educated on updates and trends, staying abreast to state education standards, and monitoring my children’s academic progress.

No.

In all honesty, many homeschool families do not have a dedicated homeschool room, nor individual desks, supplies, or computers. Many homeschoolers will ‘school’ at the kitchen table, on the couch, or even outside. Supplies and computers can be shared and rotated to children throughout each day and school years.

With that said, other families may have a dedicated homeschool room or space. Some children have their own desks, learning areas, supplies, and computers. Utilizing an approach that works best for your family is one of pros of homeschooling.

We follow a traditional school calendar, where we school four days a week from September through the end of May. The fifth day of the week is used for field trips, co-ops, outings, etc..

We also school a few days during the week throughout summer, if we are not traveling, to keep everyone used to our school routine {i.e. not complaining about it come fall}, and to keep on top of what they had previously learned. 

No.

In the state of Michigan, you can begin homeschooling your children at any time.

Do not assume that because your child is at a specific grade/level, that they will fit into that same grade/level using a homeschool curriculum. Many homeschool curricula are not comparable to traditional school curricula.

Many homeschool curricula will provide assessments, on a variety of subjects, free of charge. Your child’s results on these assessments will assist you in choosing the best grade/level curriculum.

It is not uncommon to have children in a variety of grades/levels when homeschooling as they may progress through different subjects at different speeds. For example, you may have a child in level 2 Language Arts and Handwriting, but in Level 1 Math and this is completely normal and expected!

Yes and No.

For my family, I teach science, social studies, health, art, and physical education together, because these topics do not rely as heavily on a specific grade level or ability. I teach Language {which includes Grammar, Phonics, Reading, and Handwriting} and Math to each child individually. Dividing up time and organizing a schedule can be challenging, but we make it work – some days better than others.

My children talk to one another, distract each other, and bicker, but they are learning to be respectful of each other’s time and working on following directions as related to who is doing what when. Again, some days are better than others.

Socialization is one of the easier parts of homeschooling! Socialization occurs in everyday life and is valuable with people from all walks of life. Socialization occurs in obvious environments, including sports teams, boy/girl scouts, music or dance lessons, etc., but also in unexpected situations, including at the grocery store, auto repair shop, and while out on field trips.

Additionally, many groups are available to homeschool families specifically for socialization, for example, homeschool co-ops and groups.

No. This is the beauty of homeschool.

There are so many choices that can be made to make homeschool a success for your family. For example, some families school at desks, while others on couches or the floor. Some families have school time first thing in the morning, others in the afternoon, and some in the evening. One family may choose a religious-based curriculum, while another may choose not to include religion in their instruction at all. 

Accommodations that may not be possible in a traditional school can be made for children’s individual cognitive, developmental, or behavioral needs and abilities. Each child is unique and homeschooling allows their education to be custom fit to their needs.

Deschooling is the term used to describe the period of time a child goes through when transitioning from a traditional school setting to homeschooling. Homeschooling follows a different schedule, flow, and set of expectations when compared to traditional schooling, and to fully benefit from homeschooling, a child needs time to adjust to these changes. More about deschooling can be read here.

Unschooling is a style of home education that allows a student’s interests and curiosities to guide their educational path. Rather than using a structured curriculum, unschoolers gain knowledge based on choices made by the child, is dictated by interests, learning style, and personality type. More about unschooling can be read here.

No.

There are no required tests for homeschooled students in the state of Michigan. The parent is responsible for administering tests based on the curriculum they use. Although not required, homeschooled students may participate in state testing at their local public school. These tests
are managed by MDE and are administered at no cost to homeschooled students. For
further information, contact your local public school.

Absolutely, but over time just as my children learn to listen to what I have to say as a parent, they learn to listen to me as their teacher too. We’ve had the most success with school time by keeping it structured, scheduled, and taking breaks often.

Each day before we begin school work I take a minute to remind my children that it is time for school. That we need to try our best to concentrate on their work and do their best. My children get stickers for good behavior during school time and can earn small trinkets and rewards. 

In the state of Michigan, homeschoolers are not required to keep records, unless special education services are requested from a local public school or intermediate school district. 

I however keep a daily planner of what we do each day and our curriculum as a whole serves as a record of what has been accomplished each year. 

Depending on the curriculum you choose, there may be assessments and grading, while others do not. Our curriculum has worksheets built into the lessons and you could easily grade these. I do not grade my children, they are still a bit young, and probably never will. We work through a lesson together and then my children complete the associate activity, worksheet, etc.. We then review it together and go over any mistakes or incorrect answers. If more instruction is needed, we keep working on a topic until it is understood before moving on to the next lesson. 

Yes. If they complete specific requirements as defined by the state they reside in.

In order to graduate from high school in Michigan a student must complete:

  • Four credits of English language arts
  • Four credits of math including Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II. The Algebra II credit can be covered by equivalent work in a Career Technical Education (CTE) course. The fourth credit can also be covered by CTE.
  • Three credits of social science: U.S. history and geography, World history and geography, and a half-credit each of civics and economics.
  • Three credits of science including biology and chemistry, physics, anatomy, agriscience or a CTE credit equivalent of one of those courses. The third science credit can be covered by any one of the previous courses or a computer science course.
  • One credit of visual, performing or applied art.
  • One credit of physical education including a half-credit of health and a half credit of traditional P.E. The half-credit of P.E. can now be covered by “extracurricular activities involving physical activity,” things like sports or marching band.
  • Two credits of a foreign language. One credit of foreign language can now be covered at any time in K-12, the other can be waived for CTE credit or art credit.

 

If homeschooling continues through grade 12, the parent issues a high school diploma to the graduate as they are the responsibility of the homeschool family (based on internal standards). 

Further information on high school graduation in the state of Michigan can be found here.

No.

Homeschooled children, who meet application requirements, are judged and accepted to colleges and universities no differently than children that attended traditional schools. 

This is a tough one, however, much like potty training, sleep training, discipline techniques, etc. the method of education you choose for your child is ultimately your decision. If prompted, you can simply tell your friends and family that you are choosing to homeschool your child{ren} because you feel it is what is best for your family.

As far as being met with apposing opinions on homeschooling, I keep my responses brief, but informative. Here are a few examples:

“We choose to homeschool our children because of the flexibility it affords us. We can take vacations and visit family whenever we like.”

“Homeschooling allows us to tailor learning to each child’s strengths and interests. We are able to provide instruction that is right on target to his abilities and work on areas of weakness.”

“Homeschooling gives us the freedom to pick and choose what topics we’d like to touch on and for any amount of time we like. For example, my son is very interested in marine life, so we do fish-themed math, ocean-based handwriting/grammar/spelling activities, our art is typically that of ocean animals, etc.”

“Homeschooling allows us to spend more time together as a family and we love it!”

“We feel it is the best option for our family and it’s needs/circumstances.”

homeschool virtual

Homeschool Virtual Opportunities, Groups, Resources, Experiences, and More

A great way to connect with other homeschool families is by finding a local group that can provide support, assistance, extracurricular activities, and become your ‘homeschool community’. These groups are also a great way to form friendships and provide socialization opportunities for children and parents alike.

Homeschooling does not mean children go without experiencing typical extracurricular activities, physical education, or sports. Many traditional programs are open to homeschool children – and if you aren’t sure if yours does, ask! – and there are many other options specific to homeschool children.


homeschool sports

Field trips are a favorite for children in traditional school and those that are homeschooled loved a good field trip as well! There are so many options around Michigan to get out of the house and learn, grow, experience, and have fun! Many of the locations below also offer homeschool lessons or programs. Check their websites for the most up to date options and details.

 

1839 Courthouse Square and Museum – Berrien Springs, MI
Adventure Mining Company – Greenland, MI
Air Zoo – Kalamazoo, MI
Alden B. Dow Home Studio and Archives – Midland, MI
Alden B. Dow Museum of Science & Art – Midland, MI
Alfred P. Sloan Museum – Flint, MI
Allegan County Children’s Museum -, Fennville, MI
Amber Elk Ranch – Ludington, MI
American Museum of Magic – Marshall, MI
Amon Orchards – Acme, MI
Anderson and Girls Orchard and Gifts – Stanton, MI
Andy T’s Farm – Saint Johns, MI
Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum – Ann Arbor, MI
Arab American National Museum – Dearborn, MI
Art Center of Battle Creek – Battle Creek, MI
Art House Tours and Lectures – Detroit, MI
Artworks/MOCHA – Big Rapids, MI
Automotive Hall of Fame – Dearborn, MI
BARAGA COUNTY HISTORICAL MUSEUM – BARAGA, MI
Bay Breeze Tours – Harbor Springs, MI
Belle Isle Nature Zoo – Royal Oak, MI
Belleville Area Museum – Belleville, MI
Bernard Historical Museum – DELTON, MI
Besser Museum for Northeast Michigan – Alpena, MI
Binder Park Zoo – Battle Creek, MI
Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center – Birmingham, MI
Birmingham Historical Museum & Park – Birmingham, MI
Blandford Nature Center – Grand Rapids, MI
Boardman River Nature Center – Traverse City, MI
Buchanan Art Center -Buchanan, MI
Bug House, Michigan State University – East Lansing, MI
Call of the Wild Museum – Gaylord, MI
Carl T. Johnson Hunting and Fishing Center – Cadillac, MI
Castle Farms – Charlevoix, MI
Castle Museum of Saginaw County History – Saginaw, MI
Center Galleries – Detroit, MI
Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History – Detroit, MI
Charlton Park – Hastings, MI
Children’s Garden at Leila Arboretum – Battle Creek, MI
Children’s Museum of Detroit – Detroit, MI
Children’s Zoo at Celebration Square – Saginaw, MI
Chippewa Nature Center – Midland
Cindy Lou’s Zoo – Roscommon, MI
Civilian Conservation Corps Museum – Roscommon, MI
Cobblestone Farm, Living Farm Museum – Ann Arbor, MI
Coopersville Farm Museum – Coopersville, MI
Cornish Pump Museum – Iron Mountain, MI
Country Dairy – New Era, MI
Cranbrook Art Museum – Bloomfield Hills, MI
Cranbrook House & Gardens – Bloomfield Hills, MI
Cranbrook Institute of Science – Bloomfield Hills, MI
Crawford County Historical Museum – Grayling, MI
Creative Arts Studio – Royal Oak, MI
Crooked Tree Arts Center – Petoskey, MI
Crossroads Village – Flint, MI
Curious Kids’ Museum – St. Joseph, MI
Deer Acres Storybook Amusement Park – Pinconning, MI
Deer Forest Fun Park – Coloma, MI
Delta College Planetarium and Learning Center – Bay City, MI
Dennos Museum Center – Traverse City, MI
Detroit Historical Museum – Detroit, MI
Detroit Institute of Arts – Detroit, MI
Detroit Zoological Park – Royal Oak, MI
Devos Art Museum – Marquette, MI
Dinosaur Gardens Prehistoric Zoo – Ossineke, MI
Domino’s Petting Farm – Ann Arbor, MI
Dow Gardens – Midland, MI
Dr. Nathan Thomas House – Schoolcraft, MI
Dutch Village – Holland, MI
Eastside Historic Cemetery – Detroit, MI
Edsel & Eleanore Ford House – Grosse Pointe Shores, MI
Ella Sharp Museum – Jackson, MI
Exhibit Museum of Natural History – Ann Arbor, MI
Express Yourself Art Barn – Fennville, MI
Fallasburg Historical Village – Lowell, MI
Fernwood Botanical Garden and Nature Preserve – Niles, MI
The Flint Children’s Museum – Flint, MI
Flint Institute of Arts – Flint, MI
Flint Institute of Music – Flint, MI
Flint Youth Theatre and The Whiting – Flint, MI
Fort St. Joseph Museum – Niles, MI
FRANKENMUTH CORN MAZE – FRANKENMUTH, MI
Frankenmuth Historical Association – Frankenmuth, MI
Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park – Grand Rapids, MI
Friske Orchards – Ellsworth, MI
GarLyn Zoological Park – Naubinway, MI
Geers Farm – McBain, MI
Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum – Grand Rapids, MI
Gettin’ Picky & The Great Northern Music Hall – Howard City, MI
Gilmore Car Museum – Hickory Corners, MI
Governor Warner Mansion – Farmington, MI
Grand Rapids Art Museum – Grand Rapids, MI
Grand Rapids Ballet Company – Grand Rapids, MI
Grand Rapids Children’s Museum – Grand Rapids, MI
Grand Rapids Fish Ladder – Grand Rapids, MI
Grand Rapids Symphony – Grand Rapids, MI
Grand Traverse Heritage Center – Traverse City, MI
Grand Traverse Lighthouse Museum – Northport, MI
Grand Valley State University – Allendale, MI
Grandpa Tiny’s Farm – Frankenmuth, MI
Grayling Fish Hatchery – Grayling, MI
Great Lakes Children’s Museum – Greilickville, MI
The Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center – Alpena, MI
Great Lakes Naval Memorial & Museum – Muskegon, MI
Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum – Paradise, MI
Greenfield Village – Dearborn, MI
Greenmead Historical Park – Livonia, MI
Hackley & Hume Historic Site – Muskegon, MI
The Henry Ford Estate – Fair Lane – Dearborn, MI
Henry Ford Museum & Greenfield Village – Dearborn, MI
Heritage Park Petting Farm – Taylor, MI
Hermelin ORT Resource Center – West Bloomfield, MI
Hidden Lake Gardens – Tipton, MI
Historic White Pine Village – Ludington, MI
Holland Museum and The Cappon House Museum – Holland, MI
Homestead Acres – Ionia, MI
The Honolulu House Museum – Marshall, MI
The Houghton County Historical Museum – Lake Linden, MI
Hudson Mills Metropark Activity Center – Dexter, MI
Huron Lightship Museum – Port Huron, MI
Hurst Planetarium – Jackson, MI
IMAX – Detroit Science Center – Detroit, MI
Impression 5 Science Center – Lansing, MI
Indian Brook Farms – Jackson, MI
Indian Springs Metro Park Environmental Discovery Center – White Lake, MI
Indoor Children’s Garden and Butterfly House, Michigan State University – East Lansing, MI
Inland Seas Education Association – Suttons Bay, MI
Iron County Historical Museum Complex – Caspian, MI
Iron Mountain Iron Mine – Iron Mountain, MI
Ironwood Area Historical Museum – Ironwood, MI
Jiffy Mix – Chelsea, MI
John Ball Zoological Garden – Grand Rapids, MI
Kalamazoo Institute of Arts – Kalamazoo, MI
Kalamazoo Nature Center – Kalamazoo, MI
Kalamazoo Valley Museum – Kalamazoo, MI
The Keewatin Maritime Museum – Douglas, MI
Kellogg Bird Sanctuary – Augusta, MI
Kendall College of Art and Design – Grand Rapids, MI
Kensington Metropark Farm Center – Milford, MI
Kensington Metropark Nature Center – Milford, MI
Kids ‘N’ Stuff: An Interactive Experience for Kids – Albion, MI
Kilwin’s Factory Tour – Petoskey, MI
The Kimball House Museum – Battle Creek, MI
Kingman Museum – Battle Creek, MI
Klackle Orchard – Greenville, MI
Kresge Art Museum, Michigan State University Campus – East Lansing, MI
Lego Land – Auburn Hills, MI
Lionel Trains – Chesterfield, MI
Loren Andrus Octagon House – Washington, MI
Love Creek Nature Center – Berrien Center, MI
Lowell Area Historical Museum – Lowell, MI
Mackinac Island Carriage Tours – Mackinac Island, MI
Mackinac State Historic Parks – Mackinaw City, MI
Mackinaw Area Heritage Village – Mackinaw City, MI
Marquette County History Museum – Marquette, MI
Marquette Maritime Museum – Marquette, MI
Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum – University Center, MI
Mary’s City of David Museum – Benton Harbor, MI
Maybury Farm – Northville, MI
Meadow Brook Hall – Rochester, MI
The Menominee Range Historical Museum – Iron Mountain, MI
Metro Beach Metro Park Nature Center – Harrison Twp, MI
Michigan 4-H Children’s Garden, Michigan State University – East Lansing, MI
Michigan Fire House Museum – Ypsilanti, MI
Michigan Historical Museum – Lansing, MI
Michigan Legacy Art Park – Thompsonville, MI
Michigan Maritime Museum – South Haven, MI
Michigan SEA LIFE Aquarium – Auburn Hills, MI
Michigan State Capitol Building – Lansing, MI
Michigan Transit Museum – Mt. Clemens, MI
Michigan Women’s Historical Center & Hall of Fame – Lansing, MI
Michigan’s Own, Inc., Military & Space Museum – Frankenmuth, MI
Middle Island Lighthouse Keepers Association – Alpena, MI
Midland Center for the Arts – Midland, MI
Milford Historical Society Museum – Milford, MI
Minibeast Zooseum and Education Center – Lansing, MI
Model T Automotive Heritage Complex, Inc. – Detroit, MI
MOOmers – Traverse City, MI
Morley Candy Makers – Clinton Township, MI
MotorCities National Heritage Area – Detroit, MI
Motorsports Hall of Fame – Novi, MI
Motown Historical Museum – Detroit, MI
Museum at Southwestern Michigan College – Dowagiac, MI
Museum of Ojibwa Culture – St. Ignace, MI
Museum Ship Valley Camp – Sault Ste. Marie, MI
Muskegon Museum of Art – Muskegon, MI
Nankin Mills Interpretive Center – Westland, MI
The New Detroit Science Center – Detroit, MI
North Berrien Historical Museum – Coloma, MI
Oakwoods Metropark Nature Center – Savage Road, MI
Old Victoria Copper Mine and Restoration Site – Rockland, MI 
Ontonagonal Historical Museum – Ontonagon , MI
Oswald’s Bear Ranch – Newberry, MI
Outdoor Discovery Center – Holland, MI
Pewabic Pottery – Detroit, MI
The Plymouth Historical Museum (Dunning Memorial Building) – Plymouth, MI
Pond Hill Farm – Harbor Springs, MI
Port Huron Museum – Port Huron, MI
Potter Park Zoological Gardens – Lansing, MI
Public Museum, Grand Rapids – Grand Rapids, MI
Quincy Mine – Hancock, MI
R. E. Olds Transportation Museum – Lansing, MI
Raven Hill Discovery Center – East Jordan, MI
Red Metal Minerals – Hubbell, MI
Robert T Longway Planetarium – Flint, MI
Robinette’s Apple Haus – Grand Rapids, MI
Rock Financial JA Finance Park – Detroit, MI
Ruby Farms of Michigan – Ruby, MI
Saginaw Art Museum – Saginaw, MI
Saginaw Bay Symphony Orchestra – Saginaw, MI
Saint Joseph Mercy Health Exploration Station – Canton, MI
Sarett Nature Center – Benton Harbor, MI
Saugatuck Center for the Arts – Saugatuck, MI
Scrap Box – Ann Arbor, MI
The Second City Detroit – Novi, MI
SeaLife Aquarium – Auburn Hills, MI
Selfridge Military Air Museum – Selfridge, MI
Seven Ponds Nature Center – Dryden
Shalom Street – West Bloomfield, MI
Soo Locks – Sault Sainte Marie, MI
Spicer Orchards Farm Market – Fenton, MI
SS Milwaukee Clipper – Muskegon, MI
St. Joseph Art Assoc. – Krasl Art Center – St. Joseph, MI
Steam Railroading Institute – Owosso, MI
Stony Creek Nature Center – Shelby Township, MI
Studio 23/The Arts Center – Bay City, MI
Summer Wind Farms Animal Sanctuary – Brown City, MI
Troy Museum & Historic Village – Troy, MI
The University of Michigan – Museum of Art – Ann Arbor, MI
Upper Peninsula Children’s Museum – Marquette, MI
Veldheer Tulip Gardens – Holland, MI
Walcott Mill Metropark Farm Center – Ray, MI
Walter P. Chrysler Museum – Auburn Hills, MI
Washtenaw Community College – Ann Arbor, MI
Waterloo Farm Museum and Dewey School Museum – Munith, MI
WEISS CENTENNIAL FARM – FRANKENMUTH, MI
Wellington Farm – Grayling, MI
Westland Historic Village Park – Westland, MI
Whaley Historic House Museum – Flint, MI
White River Light Station & Museum – Whitehall, MI
The Whiting and Flint Youth Theatre – Flint, MI
Wilderness Trails Zoo – Birch Run, MI
Windmill Island – Holland, MI
Wittenbach-Wege Agriscience & Environmental Educational Nature Center – Lowell, MI
Yankee Air Museum – Willow Run Airport – Belleville, MI
Your Heritage House Fine Arts Museum for Youth – Detroit, MI
Ypsilanti Automotive Heritage Museum & Miller Motors Hudson – Ypsilanti, MI
Ziibiwing Center – Mt. Pleasant, MI

 
We’ll say it again, field trips are one of the best parts of school! In fact, many traditional ‘field trip’ destinations offer programs, days, field trips, and activities specifically for homeschool children. These are a great way to socialize with others, supplement home learning, and get out of the house! Check their websites for the most up to date options and details.
 
homeschool field trip

Homeschooling does not mean children go without experiencing typical groups and programs. Many traditional programs are open to homeschool children – and if you aren’t sure if yours is, ask! There are also many community and religious organizations that offer programs for children regardless of their approach to schooling.

homeschool scouts

Homeschooling is not only legal in the state of Michigan, but offers relatively ‘relaxed’ homeschool laws. Below are many Michigan homeschool resources and groups, but briefly, these are the laws related to homeschooling in Michigan:

“Michigan parents or guardians may homeschool their children ages 6-18 {or through graduation} in an organized program of study to include reading, spelling, mathematics, science, history, civics, literature, writing, and English grammar.” 

Homeschool families in Michigan do not have to register with the state, report attendance/curriculum/grades, are not required to hold a degree or license in teaching, and are not required to use a specific curriculum.

Homeschool can look different for every family, this includes how children are instructed. An increasingly popular method is using a virtual or online academy that provides distance learning in age and ability-appropriate learning to meet children’s core and elective course needs. Below are a few local and nation-wide options, including a few that may be tuition-free.

homeschool online

Homeschooling can be as simple or complex as you prefer and this includes supplies, manipulatives, supplemental materials, and books. There are a TON of shopping options available for homeschool families, located both in-person and online. 

homeschool supplies

  • Christianbook – online shopping
    • A variety of homeschool curricula, supplements, and extras
  • Discount School Supply – online shopping
  • Education Express – Bay City, MI – in-person shopping
  • Fat Brain Toys – online shopping
    • Variety of educational, unique, and play-based learning options
  • Lakeshore Learning – Sterling Heights, MI – in-person and online shopping
    • Educational items, supplements, decor, as well as, educational toys and materials
  • Oriental Trading Company – online shopping
  • Rainbow Resource Center – online shopping
    • Educational items, supplements, decor, as well as, educational toys and materials
  • Teacher’s Discovery – online shopping
  • Teachers Pay Teachers – online shopping of digital/downloadable items
    • Free and paid resources, created by educators
  • The Curriculum Store – online shopping
    • A variety of homeschool curricula, supplements, and extras
  • The Teacher’s Store – Livonia, MI – in-person shopping
  • Timberdoodle – online shopping
    • A variety of homeschool curricula, supplements, and extras
  • Toyology Toys – West Bloomfield, MI – in-person and online shopping
    • Variety of educational, unique, and play-based learning options

Other great places that have many educational toys and materials:

  • Dollar Stores
  • Facebook Marketplace Homeschool resale groups and pages
  • Michael’s and Joann Fabrics
  • Target
  • TJ Maxx/Marshalls/Ross
  • Second-hand Stores

Click below to check out our guide to over 200 {and almost all FREE} educational resources!

children's educational resources

Mid-Michigan Moms is a part of City Mom Collective, the largest network of over 90 locally focused parenting resources across the United States. Below are some amazing homeschool resources from our sister sites.

Did we miss a great educational resource?

Please send us a message and let us know.
Thank you for enriching the lives of Mid-Michigan Moms!

A special thank you to our Presenting Sponsor, Homeschool Connections! We thank them for their partnership.