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Homeschool Resources

Lakeland Homeschool Guide

Homeschool Guide for Lakeland + Polk County

Are you looking for homeschool enrichment classes or a parent co-op here in Lakeland? Interested in homeschooling but not sure where to begin?

Lakeland has an amazing homeschool community, multiple social and support groups, homeschool programs, and daytime classes and activities to help with your learning journey.

Some families are also “Schooling at Home” this year – whether through Polk Virtual School, Florida Virtual School, or other online school options. While this is not the same as a traditional home education program, some of these classes and activities listed below are available to you as well.

Whether you are a homeschool family or a family who is temporarily doing school at home, whether you call it unschooling, deschooling, home education, or something else, we hope our Homeschool Guide helps you find educational resources for your family in Lakeland and Polk County.

Don’t miss our full Education Guide – it includes information on Polk County public schools, tutoring and test prep, colleges, scholarship programs, and more.

How to Begin Homeschooling in Florida

If you are new to homeschooling in Lakeland or Polk County, get connected with experienced homeschool parents {groups listed below} or an established umbrella school who can help you navigate the process. You can also use the free resources from WonderHere – an At-Home Starter Kit and a Parent How-To Course.

You do not have to be a certified teacher to homeschool, you simply have to comply with the requirements outlined below. You can start homeschooling at any time in grades K-12 – even in middle school or high school. The PCPS Website has a helpful list of FAQs.

The Florida Parent Educators Association is also a helpful resource for Florida homeschool families. According to the FPEA, these are the six steps to begin homeschooling in Florida:

  1. Submit a notice of intent to your school district. In Polk County, visit the PCPS Homeschool website for a Notice of Intent form. On that page you’ll also find a helpful Parent Information Packet. You can also submit your own Notice of Intent letter (FPEA download) to your public school district. You can also enroll with an Umbrella School that will take care of this paperwork for you.
  2. Choose your educational approach or curriculum. If you prefer a set curriculum, the good news is there are MANY educational materials to choose from. {This is also the bad news for anyone who is indecisive like me}. Parents in one of the co-ops or Facebook Groups listed below can help provide guidance to figure out what works for your family. You can also check the FPEA website for a list of quality educational teaching materials and online homeschool curriculum.
  3. Maintain your portfolio – See the FPEA website for details.
  4. Submit an annual evaluation – A student learning in a home education setting must be evaluated once a year to demonstrate educational progress at a level equivalent to his or her abilities. As a parent, you select an evaluator (a Florida-certified teacher) to review the portfolio and/or administer an evaluation, and then submit the appropriate paperwork to the school district. Learn more. (Click here to see Homeschool Evaluators listed in our Directory, you can also ask fellow homeschool parents for recommendations).
  5. Preserve your records – Learn more.
  6. Submit your notice of termination if you decide to stop home schooling. This form can also be found on the PCPS Website.

Note that the requirements above are for a home education program led by a parent or guardian. They do not apply for students who have already enrolled in eCampus learning, Polk Virtual School, or Florida Virtual School.


Thank you to WonderHere for Sponsoring our Homeschool Guide

WonderHere Loves Lakeland Homeschoolers!

WonderHere is a learn & play studio in Lakeland that offers hands-on academic classes, creative extracurriculars, & an open studio for free & structured play. WonderHere is owned by two Lakeland moms who are teachers {and amazing women!} – they are a fantastic resource for all families choosing to homeschool, whether you are a newbie or an established homeschooler.

The WonderHere Vision: To see children play and explore as a means of learning. To see parents in the driver seats of their child’s education. To provide parents with support and resources as they aim to enhance their children’s learning experience. To be a safe, fun place for families to learn, grow, and play. 

WonderHere’s Homeschool Resources:

WonderHere

111 S Florida Ave., Lakeland, FL 33815
863.698.7782 | info@wonderhere.com | wonderhere.com
Connect on Social Media#wewonderhere FB Group | Lakeland Homeschoolers FB Group | Facebook | Instagram


Homeschool Resources in Lakeland + Polk County

Use the 3 bars on the top left to filter by subcategory. Use the map below to find Homeschool Resources Near Me.

Featured
Explorations V Children's Museum

Explorations V Children’s Museum provides 3 floors of kid-powered, hands-on exhibits and mind-stretching programs in the arts and sciences to celebrate the five senses! Art and Science are the pathways for many learning concepts, freeing the child’s creativity and unleashing the power of play. The Museum was founded on the premise that children, like adults, use all five senses to explore and learn about the world around them, hence the V in our name.

The Second Floor includes a small children’s art gallery, interactive science components and brain-teasers as well as Temporary Exhibits located in the Dreamer’s Gallery.

The First Floor features Our Town including exhibits that offer action-packed opportunities for learning through the basics of music appreciation, art, theatre, math, science and history. The new Tot Spot is an engaging area designed especially for our youngest visitors.

The Lower Floor introduces children to local history and Our World through
O is for Oranges, from seed to Our World. Pick, pack, sort and slide in this
fanciful Florida orange grove that takes visitors on a journey of discovery to Asia, Africa, Australia and America.

OTHER PROGRAMS – The Museum offers field trips, free tax preparation, summer camps, spring break camps, Financial Fitness for Families classes, tutoring and test prep, homeschool programs, and daily programs that are included with admission.

BIRTHDAY PARTIES – Host your party at the greatest place in town! Birthday Parties are held at 10am, 12pm, 2pm, and 4pm during the day on Saturdays. Call to inquire about weekday party times. Party includes Use of a party room for 90 minutes, plus unlimited play in the Museum. Themed parties available including princess tea party, crazy chemistry, and art-rageous art. Details – https://explorationsv.com/parties/

Annual Memberships are the best way to enjoy Explorations V Children’s Museum all year long!

109 North Kentucky Avenue, Lakeland, Florida 33801
Activities for Ages 5 & Under (Music, Dance, Sports, etc.) | Birthday Party Venues | Children's Museums | Field Trip Locations
Featured
Polk Museum of Art

The Polk Museum of Art is the largest and the only nationally accredited visual arts organization in Polk County and has been a Smithsonian Affiliate Museum since 2010. The museum offers workshops and classes for teens and adults, after school art for children, weekend workshops, spring break camp, summer camp, and the annual Mayfaire by the Lake.

800 East Palmetto Street, Lakeland, Florida 33801
Arts + Crafts | Field Trip Locations | Gift + Home Stores | Homeschool Enrichment - Arts + Crafts
Applewood Private Education

Applewood Private Education is a Florida-based Umbrella School program, designed to offer you and your family the most freedom possible on your homeschooling journey. Our qualified staff of education professionals is always available to offer guidance and support: we’re here to help your child learn and grow!

Supplemental Programs + Umbrella Schools
Art Centric Studio
1035 South Florida Ave St #180, Lakeland, Florida 33803
Activities for Ages 5 & Under (Music, Dance, Sports, etc.) | Arts + Crafts | Birthday Party Venues | Field Trip Locations | Homeschool Enrichment - Arts + Crafts | Make + Take Art Studios | Mommy + Me
Brain Quest Academy

We offer homeschool enrichment activities for art, history, science, theatre, and stem. Kid approved and portfolio lesson plan included!

Homeschool Enrichment - General | Homeschool Enrichment - Arts + Crafts
Branch Christian Academy
Homeschool Co-Ops + Social Groups
Calvary Homeschooling Academy
1945 North Florida Avenue, Lakeland, Florida 33805
Homeschool Co-Ops + Social Groups | Homeschool Enrichment - General | Homeschool Enrichment - Arts + Crafts | Homeschool Enrichment – Music | Homeschool Enrichment - Sports + PE | Homeschool Enrichment - Theater
Camp Gilead
1445 Camp Gilead Drive, Polk City, Florida 33868
Homeschool Enrichment - General | Homeschool Enrichment - Arts + Crafts
Chesser Music Studio (Piano)
Activities for Ages 5 & Under (Music, Dance, Sports, etc.) | Homeschool Enrichment – Music | Music Classes + Lessons
Classical Conversations
Homeschool Co-Ops + Social Groups | Homeschool Enrichment - General
Classical Conversations Bartow
Homeschool Co-Ops + Social Groups | Homeschool Enrichment - General
Cygnet School
2700 Florida Avenue South, Lakeland, Florida 33803
Homeschool Enrichment - General | Private Schools | Supplemental Programs + Umbrella Schools
Deep Roots Nature School
Homeschool Enrichment – Nature + Animals
Families of Faith Christian Academy International
Supplemental Programs + Umbrella Schools
First HUG (Homeschoolers Under God)
Homeschool Co-Ops + Social Groups
Florida Parent Educators Association (FPEA)
Homeschool Resources
Florida Unschoolers
Supplemental Programs + Umbrella Schools
Haven Homeschoolers
Homeschool Co-Ops + Social Groups
Highland School of Dance
6929 Old Hwy 37, Lakeland, Florida 33811
Activities for Ages 5 & Under (Music, Dance, Sports, etc.) | Dance | Homeschool Enrichment - Dance
Homeschool Symphony
Homeschool Enrichment – Music
HOPE Homeschoolers
Homeschool Co-Ops + Social Groups
Izza Lotta Music Homeschool Band
Homeschool Enrichment – Music
Journey Homeschoolers
Homeschool Co-Ops + Social Groups
Lake Wales Arts Council Fine Arts Classes
1099 Florida 60, Lake Wales, Florida 33853
Arts + Crafts | Homeschool Enrichment - Arts + Crafts | Music Classes + Lessons
Lakeland Community Theatre

Lakeland Community Theatre boasts a Main Stage season of five high quality productions; The Eunice Fuller Theatre for Youth three show season as well as classes, summer camps, workshops, Master Classes; The Out of the Box Troupe for special needs youth and adults, a Senior Troupe and many special productions and events each year.

121 S Lake Avenue, Lakeland, Florida 33801
Drama + Theatre | Homeschool Enrichment - Theater | Sensory Friendly + Special Needs Activities | Theatres + Performing Arts Venues | Volunteer Opportunities Available
Lakeland Homeschool PE
Homeschool Enrichment - Sports + PE
Lakeland Ice Arena
3395 West Memorial Boulevard, Lakeland, Florida 33815
Birthday Party Venues | Homeschool Enrichment - Sports + PE | Ice Hockey | Ice Skating Rinks | Roller Hockey
Lakeland School Of Music

Lakeland School Of Music is Lakeland’s largest music school with over 14,000 lessons taught annually! We offer music lessons in over 25 different instruments, and have 16 dedicated music teachers on staff, ready to serve you and your family.

We’re currently the only music school in Polk County licensed in the Musical Ladder System, rewarding students with wristbands, certificates, and trophies, and we have a 100% success rate for successfully preparing students for the Harrison School Of The Arts auditions in classical guitar, vocal theater, jazz guitar, upright bass, piano, violin, and more!

Visit www.LakelandSchoolOfMusic.com to learn more or call us today at 863-640-2810 to schedule a one-time trial lesson!

Lakeland School of Music also offers Music Fun Time, an innovative and proven early childhood curriculum for kids 18 months to 7 years old. Learn more at https://lakelandmom.com/directory/listing/music-fun-time.

Lakeland School of Music
115 West Oak Drive, Lakeland, Florida 33803
Activities for Ages 5 & Under (Music, Dance, Sports, etc.) | Homeschool Enrichment – Music | Music Classes + Lessons
Lighthouse Homeschoolers

Lighthouse is a cooperative of parents that strives to meet the needs of the families within the group. Field trips, educational events, social activities, and parent/teacher support are the major focus of the group. Lighthouse is a Christian led organization but is not an exclusively Christian group.

Homeschool Co-Ops + Social Groups
Main Street Homeschool Auxiliary
942 South Boulevard, Lakeland, Florida 33803
Homeschool Co-Ops + Social Groups | Homeschool Enrichment - General
Mulberry Phosphate Museum
101 SE 1st Street, Mulberry, Florida 33860
Birthday Party Venues | Field Trip Locations | Free Activities and Classes for Ages 5 & Under | Homeschool Enrichment – Nature + Animals | Museums + Historical Attractions | STEM Programs
Mysti's Music Studio
Activities for Ages 5 & Under (Music, Dance, Sports, etc.) | Homeschool Enrichment – Music | Music Classes + Lessons
Saints Sports League at All Saints Academy in Winter Haven

Saints Sports League open to age 5-12 at All Saints Academy in Winter Haven. Soccer, Flag Football, Basketball and Volleyball will be offered year round. Go to www.allsaintsacademy.com/sports to register or call Jason Smith at 863-293-5980 ext 2311.

5001 Florida 540, Winter Haven, Florida 33880
Basketball | Flag Football | Homeschool Enrichment - Sports + PE | Soccer | Volleyball
Sew Unique Sewing

Sew Unique is a teaching shop. They teach sewing, quilting and more for ages 5 – 105! Both individual and group sewing lessons are offered. In the Unique Room they offer a variety of unique crafting classes including Painting, Woodburning Sign Making, Cookie & Cake Decorating, and more.

3601 Cypress Gardens Road, Winter Haven, Florida 33884
Arts + Crafts | Homeschool Enrichment - Arts + Crafts
South Lakeland Classical Conversations Homeschool Group
Homeschool Co-Ops + Social Groups
Spirit Gymnastics Sports Academy

Recreational/Team Gymnastics, Summer Camps, After School Care, Dance Classes, All Star Cheer Team, Tumbling, and more. HUGS Special Needs classes. Our mission is to build and encourage true character in all ages as they learn the sports of gymnastics, cheer and dance.

2830 Recker Highway, Jan Phyl Village, Florida 33880
Activities for Ages 5 & Under (Music, Dance, Sports, etc.) | After School Programs | Gymnastics + Tumbling | Homeschool Enrichment - Gymnastics | Sensory Friendly + Special Needs Activities
Tampa Bay Heat
307 South Parsons Avenue, Brandon, Florida 33511
Homeschool Enrichment - Sports + PE
The Homeschool Connection
Supplemental Programs + Umbrella Schools
Theatre Winter Haven
210 Cypress Gardens Boulevard, Winter Haven, Florida 33880
Drama + Theatre | Homeschool Enrichment - Theater | Theatres + Performing Arts Venues
TimberNook West Central Florida

TimberNook West Central Florida provides innovative outdoor play experiences that challenge the senses and inspire creativity, imagination, and independent play in the great outdoors. #TimberNookWCFL provides year-round programs for ages 18 months through middle school. Join us on Social Media or find our current programs on our website.

701 East Sparkman Road, Plant City, Florida 33566
Activities for Ages 5 & Under (Music, Dance, Sports, etc.) | Homeschool Enrichment – Nature + Animals | Mommy + Me | Outdoor Play for Ages 5 & Under | Playgroups | STEM Programs
Ultimate Dance Center

Ultimate Dance Center (UDC), bringing you the BEST in DANCE since 2016, offers a standard of excellence in dance education that is for EVERYONE, all ages, all levels. UDC offers a diverse array of dance styles under one roof. Our goal is to share & explore the art of dance while bringing people from the community together. We offer opportunities with a variety of styles for ALL ages 2 – Adult and levels of experience that the whole family can enjoy. ULTIMATE DANCE CENTER welcomes ALL!

UDC Offers:

  • Dance classes for ages 2 – Adult
  • After School Care
  • Homeschool Classes
  • Spring Break Camp
  • Summer Camp
  • + more!

 

Ultimate Dance Center Lakeland
2930 Lakeland Highlands Road, Lakeland, Florida 33803
Activities for Ages 5 & Under (Music, Dance, Sports, etc.) | After School Programs | Birthday Party Venues | Dance | Group Fitness Classes | Homeschool Enrichment - Dance | Sensory Friendly + Special Needs Activities | Yoga + Pilates
Urban Air Trampoline Park
3800 US Highway 98 North, Lakeland, Florida 33809
Birthday Party Venues | Homeschool Enrichment - Gymnastics | Indoor Play for Ages 5 & Under | Indoor Playgrounds | Trampoline Parks + Ninja Warrior Gyms
Wild & Free Lakeland
Homeschool Enrichment – Nature + Animals
Winter Haven Homeschool Running Club
Homeschool Enrichment - Sports + PE
WonderHere

WonderHere is a learn & play studio that offers hands-on academic classes, creative extracurriculars, homeschool support, summer and holiday camps, birthday parties, mommy & me toddler classes, & an open studio for free & structured play. WonderHere Academy is a full-time program for K-8.

The WonderHere Vision: To see children play and explore as a means of learning. To see parents in the driver seats of their child’s education. To provide parents with support and resources as they aim to enhance their children’s learning experience. To be a safe, fun place for families to learn, grow, and play. 

WonderHere Academy

The WonderHere Academy – A full-time program designed for children who are curious, cooperative, and would thrive in a structured, play-based environment. Each class utilizes our originally-designed WonderHere Curriculum, based on the Finnish National Core Curriculum.

WonderHere’s Homeschool Resources

Family-Style homeschool curriculum K-6 – With this FULL learning program, you have the opportunity to homeschool your children through the same interesting themes and concepts… together.

Homeschool Parent Curriculum Mentorship Program – Our Curriculum Mentorship Program is designed to give you guidance as you start your journey with the WonderHere Family-Style Curriculum. Our founders, Tiffany & Jessica, will walk alongside you and coach you for the first 6-week unit of learning you embark on with your family.

Homeschool Curriculum Hybrid Program – Enjoy the creativity and wonder of our curriculum with added virtual supports for your child! This program is perfect for families wanting to use our WonderHere Family-Style Curriculum at home, while needing some additional instructor support through Zoom classes. Through the Hybrid, you receive our curriculum digitally and your child receives weekly ZOOM classes provided by our WonderHere instructor.

FREE Homeschool Parent How-To Homeschool Course – This course is for YOU… whether you are new to homeschool, have been homeschooling for a while, or you have been thrust into home school suddenly due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19). As a WonderHere team, we wanted to empower each of you mamas & dads to help you grow in confidence as you take on this beautiful challenge. You’ve got this! We are here to help.

Virtual Enrichment Courses & Kits – No matter where you are, your kids can enjoy our exciting online courses that come with prepackaged kits of materials for pick-up so that the WonderHere learning fun can happen at home! Topics include: Spy Camp, Videogame Vintage, Shark Week, and Candyland Palooza!

FREE At-Home Learning Starter Kit – This kit is perfect for families just starting at-home learning or homeschooling! Includes in-depth information on and examples of Setting Up a Learning Environment, Schedule/Daily Rhythm, Family Read Alouds, Activities for Little Ones, Ideas for Intentional Play, and some encouragement from our team!

Printable Learning Games & Activities – Our team of teacher-moms created a variety of learning games with your home schooler in mind! Games to add fun learning and meaningful skill practice into your daily rhythm.

Mini Unit Studies – 6-week thematic units filled with hands-on, project-based activities that you can learn through at your own pace, selecting the topics that are of most interest to your kiddos!

Homeschool Enrichment Classes – Are you a home school parent wanting to enrich your child’s learning through fun, hands-on, project-based, in-person classes? If so, this program is right for you! These classes range in topics dealing with science, history, the arts, and out-of-the-box extracurricular concepts. Check out our semester-long courses to sign up!

Wonder-Here-1
111 Florida Avenue South, Lakeland, Florida 33801
Activities for Ages 5 & Under (Music, Dance, Sports, etc.) | Birthday Party Venues | Homeschool Co-Ops + Social Groups | Homeschool Enrichment - General | Homeschool Enrichment - Arts + Crafts | Homeschool Enrichment – Nature + Animals | Homeschool Enrichment - Sports + PE | Homeschool Enrichment - Theater | Mommy + Me | Private Schools | Supplemental Programs + Umbrella Schools

Gardiner Scholarship Information

The Gardiner Scholarship program helps parents individualize the educational plans for their children with certain special needs. Scholarship funds can be used to purchase approved services or products in order to design a customized educational program for the student. Scholarships can be used for specialized services such as speech or occupational therapy, instructional materials, tuition at an eligible private school, contributions to a college prepaid account and more. 

Students who are participating in a home education program and qualify are eligible to apply - visit the Gardiner Scholarship website for more details.

Helpful Homeschool Resources

Education Guide

Check out our Education Guide for Lakeland + Polk County for other education topics including public schools, private schools, homeschooling, tutoring + test prep, school calendars, colleges, and more.