Homeschool Resources Guide

Lakeland Homeschool Guide

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” for the first time this year – whether through eCampus learning, Polk Virtual School, Florida Virtual School, or other online school option. 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.

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:

Full year of 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.
Coming soon, full print & ship/pick-up options! (Email to inquire about additional costs to print.)

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
  • Morning Basket
  • Work Cycle
  • Project Time
  • Family Read Alouds
  • Nature
  • 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! Coming soon, Friday PE!

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

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

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 recordsLearn 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.

Homeschool Co-Ops + Social Groups

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.

HOPE Homeschoolers

HOPE is a community of families that both give and receive support for the homeschooling journey.  This exchange of practical support happens at the Moms’ Night Out events, Future HOPE meetings, on the playground during Park Days, at field trips, over the phone, and by other communications within the group.  We serve one another during times of triumph and struggle and endeavor to minister in any way God prompts us to do so.

Journey Homeschoolers

Journey Homeschoolers is a Christian homeschooling support group serving the greater Lake Wales and Winter Haven area. They provide support and encouragement for homeschooling parents as well as a social environment for children through park days and member-led field trips.

First HUG (Homeschoolers Under God)

Christian Homeschool Support Group in the Auburndale area, membership comes from Auburndale, Lakeland, Winter Haven, Lake Alfred, Polk City. Provides encouragement and support for Christian homeschool families through group events, Moms meetings, co-op classes, and more.

Branch Christian Academy

Branch Christian Academy is a 501 (c) (3) organization in Polk County that seeks to educate families at home and in a community together. “We desire to do life together and support each other in this journey. We all have something to offer and we see the value of everyone in the co-op. We are one body with many parts, all essential to the co-op family.”

Facebook Groups for Homeschool Families

Polk County Homeschoolers – A place to come together as homeschooling families of Polk County, FL – mom’s and dad’s – to share ideas, deals, and help each other out!

Lakeland Homeschoolers – A beautifully collaborative FB group for families in Lakeland, FL. Share ideas and lessons, discuss field trips and awesome co-ops in town, seek advice during homeschool struggles and celebrate wins! This page is not affiliated with any one specific group or co-op in town and all homeschool parents in Lakeland, FL are welcome here.

Lakeland Secular Homeschoolers – This is an inclusive, secular homeschool group for the Lakeland, FL area. The target age for the group is 10 and up but families with younger siblings are welcome too.

Polk Homeschool Connection -An online support group for Polk county home school and co-schooling parents to connect, encourage, and support each other in our home schooling journeys from preschool on! We will occasionally plan meet-ups and field trips.

Supplemental Programs + Umbrella Schools

The Homeschool Connection

The Homeschool Connection offers homeschool classes as a supplement to Florida’s homeschooling families, as well as after school tutoring. They have a professional staff of teachers ready to meet your child’s needs. Fourth through sixth grade classes take a traditional approach to learning and meet twice each week for math on Mondays and Wednesdays. For 7th – 12th grade students, live stream classes are available on a two-day tract, either Monday and Wednesday or Tuesday and Thursday, based on your class schedule.

Main Street Homeschool Auxiliary

The mission of Main Street Homeschool Auxiliary is to promote curiosity and creativity in a supportive community of learners. We supplement the work you do at home by offering workshops for a variety of age groups, from preschoolers to adults. Our classes are small, project-based endeavors where the children are actively engaged in topics as wide-ranging as their interests.

942 South Boulevard, Lakeland, Florida 33803

Classical Conversations

Classical Conversations is a national Christian-oriented curriculum company and homeschool organization. Classical Conversations Communities meet weekly during the school year. Trained parent-tutors model skills and facilitate activities that give students opportunities to practice these skills. There are multiple communities in Polk County, to find a community near you, visit the Website.

Cygnet School

The Cygnet School is an inclusive private K-8 micro-school in Lakeland. At Cygnet, each child is recognized as an individual with his or her own strengths, challenges, and interests. We utilize multi-age classroom instruction and offer both part- and full-time programs combining academics and electives to keep students interested and cultivate a love of learning.

2700 Florida Avenue South, Lakeland, Florida 33803

Calvary Homeschooling Academy

Calvary Baptist Church Academy is a K-12 private Christian school and homeschool support group in Lakeland, Florida offering an award-winning fine arts program (choir, band, drama, visual art), junior varsity and varsity sports, and academic record keeping.

1945 North Florida Avenue, Lakeland, Florida 33805

Families of Faith Christian Academy International

Families of Faith Christian Academy adheres to the conviction that God has ordained that parents are directly responsible for the education of their children. The goal of FOFCAI is to serve families that believe in and practice Parent Directed Education. Each student and family is different, with varying educational needs. Students might be homeschooled, enrolled in a traditional campus program through a private school, or even taking virtual classes at home.

Florida Unschoolers

Florida Unschoolers is a private umbrella school focused on independent home education, serving unschoolers and other home educators all across Florida. It is private school enrollment for attendance purposes while you support your particular child’s learning at home.

Huntington Learning Center of Lakeland

For 40 years, Huntington’s highly trained tutors have worked with students of all ages and abilities to build self-confidence, organizational skills, and good study habits. Huntington partners with homeschool parents to set goals together to best support your homeschool programs. They can provide a thorough academic evaluation to help you personalize your curriculum, and can also do end of year testing/evaluations with documentation to send to the county. Huntington accepts the Gardiner scholarship and will bill them directly. Plus they are open all day so homeschool students are able to attend during traditional school hours for tutoring or test prep.

6655 Florida Avenue South, Lakeland, Florida 33813

Homeschool Enrichment Programs

WonderHere

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! Click here to go back to the top and read more about all that WonderHere has to offer Homeschooling families.
Website

Explorations V Children's Museum

Let’s be curious! Join homeschool families for a great season of workshops designed specifically to meet your unique homeschool needs.

NEW in 2020! All workshops will be offered in a hybrid model. All participants have the option of participating in person or via Zoom. You will make your selection at the time of booking or change it as soon as one hour prior to the program.

Homeschool workshops are designed to meet your family’s flexible needs. All academic classes happen on Tuesdays and cooking classes take place on Thursdays. Each workshop is 90 minutes. The 10 am time is for students age 9 and under. The 1 pm time is for students 10+. Thursday Cook It classes are all ages at 1 pm.

Visit the Explorations V Website to see the schedule for class details. Book the whole season and receive 20% the total price.

109 North Kentucky Avenue, Lakeland, Florida 33801

Camp Gilead

GileadCLUBS Homeschool Enrichment Program – Starting in September 2020, Camp Gilead will offer a Homeschool Enrichment Program for ages 6-9 and 9-12 called GileadCLUBS! Kids can come to camp for Christ-centered learning and camp FUN. Blocks are held on Tuesdays and Thursdays with both morning and afternoon sessions available. Visit the website to see session topics and learn more.

1445 Camp Gilead Drive, Polk City, Florida 33868

Homeschool Enrichment – Arts + Crafts

Polk Museum of Art

Join the Polk Museum of Art as a Homeschool Advocate for $130 annually and receive access to an exclusive program, Homeschool Tour + Lab, offered twice each semester.

You’ll also receive:

  • Reciprocal admission to more than 955 museums including many in Central Florida,
  • Reciprocal admission to over 60 Smithsonian Affiliates.
  • Free admission to Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales, Florida Holocaust Museum in St. Petersburg, and Clearwater Marine Aquarium in Clearwater all year long and the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) in Tampa (February and July)
  • 50% off tickets to the Florida Aquarium
800 East Palmetto Street, Lakeland, Florida 33801

Art Centric Studio

Art Centric is offering both weekly and monthly art classes for homeschooling families.

Weekly – Each Thursday will be themed around one of the ‘Elements of ArT’ that we LOVE at the studio! Students can expect to complete 2-4 projects in the month, though you can also register for the semester with an awesome discount and more flexible attendance. Ages 5 – 10.

Monthly – Once-a-month Homeschool Art Classes are open to any family that is homeschooling their children. Each child will have their own project to complete and take home with them at the end of the 90 minute ArT Class.

1035 South Florida Ave St #180, Lakeland, Florida 33803

Sew Unique Sewing

Sewing classes available beginning at age 5, both individual and group sewing lessons are offered.

3601 Cypress Gardens Road, Winter Haven, Florida 33884

Homeschool Enrichment – Dance

Ultimate Dance Center

The UDC Homeschool Dance Program currently offers Ballet, Contemporary, Acrobatics, Tap, and Hip Hop. This is a unique, personalized program offered during the morning and afternoon hours for home schooled children.

2930 Lakeland Highlands Road, Lakeland, Florida 33803

Highland School of Dance

Offers a Homeschool Dance Enrichment Program with classes in ballet, theater dance, and creative movement.

6929 Old Hwy 37, Lakeland, Florida 33811

Homeschool Enrichment – Gymnastics

Spirit Gymnastics Sports Academy

Spirit Gymnastics in Winter Haven offers a Homeschool class for ages 5 – 17 as well as classes for ages 1 – 4 on weekday mornings.

2830 Recker Highway, Winter Haven, Florida 33880

Homeschool Enrichment – Music

Lakeland School Of Music

Lakeland School of Music offers music lessons in guitar, piano, voice, violin, drums, bass, flute, trumpet, mandolin, ukulele, and more. Classes are available beginning at 9am on weekdays.

115 West Oak Drive, Lakeland, Florida 33803

Chesser Music Studio (Piano)

Piano lessons are available Monday through Thursday, from 10am-7pm. Lessons for ages 3 – adult.

Mysti's Music Studio

Piano lessons available for homeschool students between 9am and 2:30pm. Ages 3 – adult.

Homeschool Symphony

Our goal is to provide an inspirational and challenging environment where instrumentalists of all ages can learn and enjoy the camaraderie of playing in a band. Visit the website learn more.

Izza Lotta Music Homeschool Band

Fun and educational band experience for homeschoolers. Students learn how to play an instrument, read music and attend music related field trips.

JaM Guitar Studio

JaM Guitar Studio in Winter Haven offers lessons for guitar. bass. and band music and performance. JaM provides individual instruction and group classes for all ages.

Homeschool Enrichment – Nature + Animals

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. Programs offer learning through meaningful play experiences for ages 18 months through middle school, including weekday programs for ages 4 – 12.

1905 Shepherd Road, Plant City, Florida 33811

Wild & Free Lakeland

Our desire is to explore God’s beautiful creation in and around our wonderful city in order to nurture the souls of children and mothers alike, and to encourage our spirits to truly be Wild + Free. This is a group of homeschooling families that go on nature hikes every other Friday morning.

Deep Roots Nature School

Offering nature based programs for ages 5 to 12.

Home Grown 4-H

Polk County 4-H offers more than 35 community clubs for you to choose from, including Home Grown 4-H that meets the 2nd Tuesday of each month at 1:00 p.m. in Auburndale. They focus on Archery, Community Service, Sewing, Exploring 4-H.

All-Stars 4-H

Focuses on Archery, Community Service, Dog, Public Speaking, Dog Enthusiasts. Meets 1st,2nd,3rd Thursday, at 1:00pm; and every Friday at 3:30 pm in Lakeland.

Homeschool Enrichment – Sports + PE

Lakeland Homeschool PE

Lakeland Homeschool PE offers classes for students age 5 (as of Sept. 1) – 12th grade. To become a member, come out to the park and sign up. Tuesdays, 9 – 10:30 AM at Lake Parker Park, Entrance 2 at the soccer fields. Check FB page for updates and start date. Students participate in exercise, team sports, fun, and friendship. This is a true co op, parents participate and do not leave while students attend PE. Cost is $5 per child annually, with a family cap of $25.

Winter Haven Homeschool Running Club

Weekly running club for homeschool families. Join the Facebook group for more information.

Winter Haven

Lakeland Ice Arena

Lakeland Ice Arena has an 8-week Learn to Skate program on Thursday mornings for virtual and homeschool students.

3395 West Memorial Boulevard, Lakeland, Florida 33815

Urban Air Trampoline Park

School Day Play is held weekly for kids who are homeschooling, elearning or distance learning. Come get your PE credits or take a break from school work for some active play. Typically on Fridays from 12-4pm. Check website or call park to verify dates.
You can also book a room to work in while the kids play on weekdays with the Work & Fly option – call park for details.

3800 US Highway 98 North, Lakeland, Florida 33809

Homeschool Enrichment – Theater

Lakeland Community Theatre

Musical Theatre Homeschool Show Choir for ages 7-17. Classes are held on Tuesdays from 10:00 – 11:00 am. LCT also offers a variety of after school theatre classes during the year.

121 S Lake Avenue, Lakeland, Florida 33801

Theatre Winter Haven

Offering theatre and dance classes for homeschoolers.

210 Cypress Gardens Boulevard, Winter Haven, Florida 33880

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

Do you know of a parent co-op, social group, enrichment class, or other resource for home school families not listed here? Contact us and we’ll add it to our list.