Homeschool Programs in Central Iowa

Central Iowa has so many different programs for homeschoolers! There are options for every interest, from zoo classes to performances to gym time.  Check out this list to find something your kids will enjoy.

Applause Series at the Civic Center

The Des Moines Civic Center Applause Series has shows for ages Pre-K through 12th Grade.  The Applause Series runs from January through May.  Each show listing gives the age range the show is geared for.  Adults need to accompany children and all children need to be at least 3 years old to attend.  When you sign up for a show, remember to check your email for the guide with helpful tips to help incorporate the show into your homeschooling lesson.

Cost $1

Must be at least 3 years old to attend

Blank Park Zoo Homeschool Safari

Homeschool Safari

Blank Park Zoo has super fun Homeschool Safari classes for homeschoolers.  The classes are divided by age with the break up being 5-6 year old  7-9 years old and 10-12 year old.

The classes are from 1:30-3:45 on the second Friday of the month.  The Spring semester dates will be: January 12, February 9, March 9, and April 13.

Cost per class is $12.80 for members/ $16.00 for non-members

Zoo Keeper 

For 13-17 year old, the zoo offers a Zoo Keeper for a Day program.  This is a program for those who are interested in zoo keeping or working with animals in the future.  For more information on dates and cost, contact Angela Tague at altague@blankparkzoo.org.

Also, keep an eye out for more information on their Homeschool Day celebrating Earth Day in April.  The theme this year will be “Party for the Planet”.

The Brenton Arboretum

Nature Club

While this is not specifically for homeschoolers, due to the timing of this, many homeschoolers enjoy Nature Club.  The Brenton Arboretum is a fun place to explore and hike.  Nature Club has a different nature theme each month that the children will explore.  During warmer weather it is nice to bring your lunch to picnic near the playscape after Nature Club has ended.  Don’t forget to wear weather appropriate play clothes.

10:30 to 11:30 a.m. on the 2nd Friday of each month

Cost is free to members/ $5 for non-members

Center Grove Orchard

Home School Day

Each fall Center Grove Orchard offers a special day for homeschool families to visit and explore the farm. Keep an eye out for the 2018 dates here!

$7.95 per person ages 3 years and older.

Central IA Homeschool Band/Instrumental Music Classes

Differing from a Pre-k & younger elementary vocal-based music course, this is overall instrumental and music theory education; a combination of individual instruction and ensemble participation/interaction. To learn more and register visit their Facebook page here or join the private group here.

Des Moines Community Playhouse

Friday Funday

Interactive Theater Shows for Children Ages 4-6! Great for preschools, child care centers, kindergarten classes, and families. Join the Clubhouse at the Playhouse Gang each month as they dramatize a favorite story using their imaginations and the costume pieces and props they find in their Magic Trunk. A new story is presented each month, October through April. Children learn the Clubhouse pledge and secret handshake, and listen for the word of the day.

9:30 a.m., 10:45 a.m., and 1:30 p.m. on Fridays October through April.

Tickets are $6 for all ages.

Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden 

The 2018 Homeschool Day will be Friday Sept. 21, 2018 from 10 a.m. to noon and will include guided tours, story time, discovery stations and other self-led activities.

Living History Farms

Homeschool Day

Living History Farms has 2 days each year (June and September) that they devote to homeschooling.  Come and explore hands on all that Living History Farms has to offer.  The 2018 dates will be released soon.

This program is for all ages.

Online registration opens a month before the date and ends at noon the day before.  If you register early, you receive $1 off admission.  The cost for members is free.

Local Libraries

Your local library offers tons of events and activities throughout the day including STEM programs, story times, hands on learning, crafts and much more. Make sure to reach out to your library to get a calendar of their events. Some you may need to register for and some are drop-in.

Science Center of Iowa 

  • March 21, 9:45-10:45 am– Characteristics of Conductivity

Get an inside look into the work of an electrician. Learn about the flow of electrons and the components needed to complete a circuit. Investigate a variety of materials to discover characteristics of conductivity. Use what you have learned to create a paper circuit that you can take home. Follow up with a visit to Founders Hall to investigate circuit blocks.

  • April 4, 9:45-10:45 am – Mechanical Motion
    Get an inside look into the work of an engineer. Experiment with the four forms of mechanical motion; rotary, linear, reciprocating and oscillating. Build structures that will create a force to cause an object to move in one of these motions. Follow up with a visit to the Ball Wall to see mechanical motion in action.
  • April 18, 9:45-10:45 am – Fabrication Foundations
    Get an inside look in to the work of a construction manager. Bridges, roads, buildings and homes are created by combining or arranging parts. Fabrication involves making something by art or skill and labor. Build different types of structures using various materials and test them for efficiency. Follow up with using our Imagination Playground.
  • May 2, 9:45-10:45 am –  Robo Code
    Get an inside look in to the work of a computer programmer. Coding and programming are 21st century skills that are important to our society. Learn how to use computational thinking to program robots. Follow up with a showing of Dream Big in our Blank IMAX Dome Theater. (Member ticket price is $5.00. Non-member ticket price is $5.50.)

Register here.

Triad Gymnastics

Homeschool Open Gym

Once a week Triad Gymnastics opens up their gym to homeschoolers.  The children are allowed to free play with all of the different gymnastics equipment available.  There are mats, foam pits, ropes to swing on and so much more.  There is even a smaller area for younger children.

1 to 2 p.m. on Thursday

Cost is $7 per child.  You can prepay $63 for 10 visits. This punch card could be used for multiple children in the same family.

Valley Community Center

Homeschool PE

Valley Community Center offers 8 week PE sessions for homeschoolers aged K through 12th grade.  During each 8 week session, children will be able to participate in different games such as basketball, volleyball, soccer and other sports.

11 a.m. to Noon on Tuesdays

Cost is $50 per child for 8 week session.  There is a $5 family discount for each additional child.

YMCA

Homeschool Tumbling

A popular homeschool tumbling program is held on Tuesday afternoons at the Walnut Creek Family Y. Classes last for 10 week session. For more information about the homeschool tumbling program or to register, please contact Joanna Gilmore, Youth Development Coordinator, at 515-224-9901, ext. 223.

Member: $25, Non-member: $50

About the Author

Lori Joy is a homeschooling mom to two wonderful children. When she has some free time, she enjoys sewing, baking and planning Disney vacations she sometimes gets to go on.

 

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