Enrichment Programs Defined
Enrichment programs are outside courses that supplement homeschool curriculum. They can be hosted by public or private schools, homeschool parents, or community groups. The host usually charges an attendance fee, as well as a materials fee.
Some programs are full-day programs, but most offer classes a la carte, allowing parents and students to choose those that best match their needs and interests. Some describe them as “college for kids.” They are usually taught by instructors who have special training or knowledge about the subject.
Points to Ponder
What types of classes an enrichment program offers varies widely. Some are academic in nature, offering courses in science, math, writing, etc. Others are much more elective in nature, with classes such as art, music, and cooking. Many are a blend of the two. Smaller programs may offer only a few choices per age level, which larger programs may have several courses to choose from. Most divide children by a general age level rather than by grade.
Advantages of Enrichment Programs
- Your child can enjoy learning that you do not feel capable or comfortable teaching at home.
- Classes allow the use of special equipment, such as some art supplies or science experiment materials and tools, that would be too expensive to purchase for home.
- Children get the opportunity to learn from other adults and experience meeting other expectations than those at home.
- Enrichment classes give a taste of group learning without the need to be in school all day and with more extensive parent involvement.
Disadvantages of Enrichment Programs
- Enrichment classes can be expensive. There are usually fees to attend, as well as material fees for some classes.
- While less than spending all day in school all week, the group setting still allows for some of the drama and problems involved with student behaviors and group teaching.
- Your student will be spending one or more days outside of the home, which can add strain to a busy schedule.
- It can be difficult to find programs, especially in rural areas, so you may need to travel to find one.
Finding Enrichment Programs
Enrichment programs can be found in a variety of places. Here are some ways to find them:
- Ask your local or state homeschool organization for recommendations.
- Contact your local public or private school to see if they have any programs available.
- Ask your librarian.
- Visit homeschoolconvention.com or conduct other web searches.
A Few More Thoughts
Enrichment programs can be a valuable tool to supplement what you are doing at home. Choosing whether to participate in enrichment programs is a decision each family needs to make based on their own needs. These can change from year-to-year as your family grows and changes.