How to Start Homeschooling in Philadelphia
In recent years, the trend toward homeschooling in Philadelphia, PA has grown exponentially. More and more families are recognizing that home education allows them to not only customize their child/teen’s learning, but add flexibility to their curriculum and schedule. If this sounds appealing, then continue reading to get the basics on how to start homeschooling in the City of Brotherly Love.
- How to Homeschool in Philadelphia
- Time4Learning Curriculum for Homeschooling in Philadelphia
- Field Trips in Philadelphia and Beyond
- Additional Resources Related to Homeschooling in Pennsylvania
This information should by no means be interpreted as legal advice. It is your responsibility to interpret and understand the laws that you will be homeschooling under.
How to Homeschool in Philadelphia
Pennsylvania is a state with more homeschool regulations than most, so it is important to do your research to understand what is required of you. In general, however, you have several steps to follow when getting started homeschooling in Philadelphia.
- Research the Pennsylvania homeschool laws.
- Download and complete the Philadelphia Homeschool Starter Packet from the school district of Philadelphia. (Be sure to submit by the yearly target date).
- Once you are notified that your home packet is complete and accepted, you can officially withdraw your student from his/her current school (if enrolled).
- Choose the best homeschool curriculum that fits your student and family needs.
- Make note of the deadlines for your upcoming homeschool year including dates for your renewal affidavit, standardized testing, evaluations, and documentation you must submit at the end of each homeschool year.
- Seek out Philadelphia homeschool groups for advice, collaborative learning opportunities, and socialization.
- Start having fun learning together!
Time4Learning Curriculum for Homeschooling in Philadelphia
Although there are specific course requirements in Pennsylvania, homeschoolers in the state have plenty of latitude to choose their own curriculum to fulfill those. Time4Learning has become one of the most popular homeschooling programs in Philadelphia because of its ease of use and ability to produce portfolio-ready reports at the click of a mouse.
Here are just some of the reasons why more and more Philly families are choosing Time4Learning as their main homeschool curriculum.
- Time4Learning’s comprehensive curriculum for grades PreK-12 includes many of the subjects required by PA homeschool law, including English Language Arts, Arithmetic, Civics, History of the U.S., Health Education, Science, and Geography.
- Time4Learning gives parents complete control of their child’s education. It can be used with a broad array of student types, learning styles and homeschooling methods.
- The multimedia lessons combine video and animation to keep students engaged. Concepts are taught in short chunks and are followed by interactive software exercises for reinforcement and discovery learning.
- Students simply log in when they are ready to learn and have complete access to all their work. Lessons are laid out in a suggested sequence and families can utilize as much or as little of the program as they see fit.
- Each grade’s curriculum is aligned to state standards and can help prepare homeschoolers for required standardized testing.
- Virtual labs, interactive projects, guided notes, and much more help enhance material, bring concepts to life, and allow students to apply what they’ve learned.
Time4Learning is accessible to kids with widely varying learning aptitudes. Because of the flexibility of the curriculum, and how each student can move at his or her own pace through the lessons, T4L works well for kids who are gifted, kids with special needs, and kids with all learning aptitudes!
Field Trips in Philadelphia and Beyond
Of course, if you have chosen homeschooling, you’ve done so not just because of the subjects you can teach or the knowledge you can instill. You likely also recognize that homeschooling gives you the flexibility to truly customize an education to your individual child(ren)’s interests and curiosities.
One of the biggest perks of a homeschooling lifestyle is the ability to complement what you are learning about with hands-on, experiential outings. Thankfully, the range of homeschool activities in Philadelphia and its surrounding region are almost endless! Here are just a few destinations you may want to visit to complement your home learning adventure.
The Academy of Natural Sciences– Founded in 1812, and holding the title of the “oldest natural sciences institution in the Western Hemisphere”, this museum is home to more than 18 million specimens! Visitors can explore and learn about the natural world around them through interactive exhibits, a dinosaur hall, dioramas, a fossil dig, family programs, special events, and more.
U.S. Mint– When the Coinage Act of 1792 became law, it established the United States Mint. Because Philadelphia was the U.S. Capitol at that time, the mint facility was built there. Although not in its original building, the mint is still operational to this day, and can produce up to one million coins in 30 minutes! During a self-guided tour of the facility you can view the coin production from an enclosed catwalk above. You will also get an understanding of the various stages of minting and view the antique equipment previously used for minting.
Wissahickon Environmental Center– Also known as the “Tree House,” this environmental education center is part of the Philadelphia Parks and Recreation system. It offers year-round programming on topics such as aquatic life, bird identification, reading maps and using compasses, forest ecology, and many more. Week-long camp opportunities are available in the summer months as well. Beyond the scheduled programming, families will also appreciate the opportunity to hike and explore nature in the forest and meadow habitats of The Andorra Natural Area surrounding the center.
The Franklin Institute Science MuseumFounded in 1824, this is one of the oldest centers of science education in the United States. Some of the permanent exhibits in the museum include a showcase of Benjamin Franklin’s discovery of electricity, the Wright Brothers aeronautical engineering collection, and the science behind sports. Also on site is a planetarium, an observatory, and an IMAX theatre. A visit to this destination is the perfect complement to your homeschool STEM learning.
Longwood Gardens – One of the premiere botanical gardens in the U.S. is only about 45 miles outside of Philadelphia. The gardens consist of over 1,000 acres of gardens, woodlands, and meadows and an extensive conservatory. Educational activities and programming go on year round, including events specifically aimed at homeschoolers. You might be surprised to discover that the gardens host many performing arts events as well. Visit their website for an extensive offering of lesson plans and learning activities, too.
Historic Germantown – Germantown, a district of Northwest Philadelphia, was the birthplace of the American antislavery movement. Today it still holds rich history with sites, buildings, and educational destinations that make it an ideal field trip. A couple of these that you shouldn’t miss are the Johnson House Historic Site, which includes an Underground Railroad museum, and the Wyck Historic House and Garden. Among the 18 different historic sites, students will experience how people lived in colonial times, and better understand the beginnings of the antislavery movement in the U.S.