Wabash Valley, Vigo County, and Terre Haute Homeschool Resources and Groups
If you’ve ever considered homeschool in Terre Haute, Vigo County, or the surrounding Wabash Valley, this post is for you!
Special thanks to our contributor, Wesley of Dots and Daisies, for writing this post!
Sure the house is a mess, I haven’t worn make-up in days, I haven’t watched anything but cartoons in months, and as I write this my potty training toddler has just had an accident all over the floor, but I love my job as a stay-at-home mom. The most rewarding part of staying home is getting to see my children learn and grow.
As parents, we are our children’s first educator. We teach them to eat, how to use the potty, how to dress themselves, and sometimes we re-teach them how to use the potty. Even these little everyday lessons can be difficult to teach and sometimes I still feel like I have trouble simply getting my message to them. The topic of homeschooling has come up with our family, but we still have a year or so before we must make that choice. The thought of homeschooling is a welcome idea, but I know it would not be without challenges. Even as a former educator, I had a ton of questions! I have compiled a list of some local and online resources I found to help parents who have chosen homeschooling as the right option for them.
Homeschool Co-op in Terre Haute, Vigo County, and the Wabash Valley
Joy Sutter is one of the founders of Terre Haute Preschool Co-OP. This is a nature and forest focused group that meets weekly. For more specific information about curriculum and meeting locations/times please contact Joy via her facebook page.
Homeschooling CO-OPs are growing in popularity. It allows students to meet with their peers, work collaboratively with one another, follow a structured curriculum, and cover many subjects. Terre Haute has a local Classical Conversations Community that meets once a week. This is a faith based program that reaches communities all over the United States and several countries world wide. Learn more about their mission here. Sharon, a local parent whose son participates in the elementary age program (ages 4-12), says it is a “very rigorous” program. She outlined the details of a typical day of learning. Students are classified by age and lead by a tutor. Each group is a maximum of 8 kids. They work on geography, history, Latin, science, and math. Time is devoted to Fine arts, music theory, painting, and exploring artists of all genres. To explore this further, you can attend one of their open houses. Kristin Schulz is the contact for classical Conversations. She can be contacted via her Facebook page.
Arrows, Inc. Christian Homeschool Group takes place in Brazil. They have a facebook group for their members. If you’re interested in finding out more how to join this group, you should contact Amanda Loughmiller at email@example.com or call or text 812-607-0463. She is the current group leader and would be happy to help. Arrows offers a co-op of classes, small curriculum library, field trips, special events and holiday parties, monthly moms’ support meetings, and a monthly newsletter.
Cindy from Arrows says this about homeschooling in Indiana: Homeschooling in Indiana is a great choice for some people. Homeschool families have various reasons for choosing this route and Indiana affords us the ease and ability to make that choice. We define homeschool as: 1) parent-directed 2) home-based 3) privately-funded. If anyone is considering the homeschool route, be assured, you CAN do it! And there are lots of resources and knowledgeable people to help you begin.
Class Action Co-op at World Gospel Church. This group meets at World Gospel every Monday & have 3 hours of instruction for younger age groups. High school students have more depending on what classes they take. Our teachers are homeschool parents! We choose subjects & grades to teach each semester. The cost is currently $75 for the year (per family). Co-op isn’t meant to take place of any curriculum. It’s the chance for kids to sit in a more formal classroom setting and able to get instruction from other parents- and on other fun subjects!
My friend Christen Reed has this to say about her experience: Currently, my oldest son is taking Spanish, Sewing, and Life Skills. My younger son is taking Art, PE, and Science Experiments. They’ve had classes this past year like Martial Arts, a study of Countries Around the World, Greek Myths, Famous Americans. My husband is currently teaching Computer Science for high school level. Christen provided the following contact information: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com for elementary and middle school. And then Misti Haney for high school is firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Class Action” co-op falls under the umbrella of Terre Haute Christian Home Educators (THCHE) which includes additional opportunities such as a geography bee and art show. Please contact Tami with membership questions at email@example.com.
Homeschooling Resources at the Vigo County Public Library
Our local library is one of my (and my kids’) favorite places to visit. There seems to always be some type of activity going on and many appeal to a variety of age ranges. Our library is often an underused resource. It’s not simply a place to check out books there is so much more it offers our community.
This program is generally held on the second Tuesday of every month from 10:00 am to 11:00 am. This program was created specifically for homeschooling families. The program covers a variety of topics, such as science, geography, art, technology and more. It usually focuses on one specific topic each month. This program is for all ages. On February 12th, they will be using playdoh and iPads to create video games.
The Vigo County Public library also offer a variety of technology related courses that families can register for as well. They offer several Intro into 3D Printing classes per month. The course lasts about an hour.They offer the occasional Advanced 3D Printing course as well. Experience Virtual Reality is held a few times throughout the month. It’s for ages 12 and up. You can test drive the HTC Vive virtual reality headset by immersing yourself in a 3D environment. Play a game or visit a faraway destination. Traveling Tech Station allows you to drop by with your tablet to learn how to borrow ebooks, movies, music and more or to get answers to other basic tech questions. Level up your Tech also helps you learn how to use ebooks or audiobooks, watch videos, listen to podcasts, and find new games you’ll love. Each session will focus on a specific topic. Registration is required. Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Drop-in Assistance provides learners some time to get answers to those nagging questions they’ve had about Microsoft’s Word, Excel, or PowerPoint programs.
These are some recurring storytimes for younger learners as well. These are interactive story times where children get to hear a story, sing songs, play instruments, create crafts, and is often followed by free play time. These story times were often the first opportunities my children had to socialize with other children their age.
Tiny Tot Time: Mondays from 10 am – 11 am. Ages 0 -3.
Wiggle Worm Wednesdays: Wednesdays from 10 am – 11 am. Ages 3 -5.
Books before Bedtime: Thursdays from 6 pm – 7pm. Ages 0 – 5.
Ready to Read Storytime: Every Friday starting in February from 10:30 am – 11:30 am. Ages 0 – 5. (West Branch) Don’t forget the West Branch. They are a hidden gem!
Mother Goose on the Loose:
First Saturday of every month at Main Branch from 10 am – 10:30 am.
Fourth Tuesday of every month at West Branch from 11 am – 11:30 am.
This program will be starting in March 2019. It will be hosted weekly for children ages 6 – 11. Creative Builders will be every Thursday from 6 pm – 7 pm. It has been created to be an alternative to the Books before Bedtime Storytime. The program is designed to let kids explore technology, art, and other themes.
There are also lots of opportunities at the library to get your child out of the house and socialize with children other than their siblings! I know some days that is much needed around here!
Watch this! is a fun event where kiddos can come and watch a current movie and enjoy some refreshments provided by the library. Be sure to check the calendar because sometimes these are at the Main Branch and West Branch. Youth services also host special events throughout the year. On January 29th at 3:30 head to the West Branch for a Winter Fairy Garden party where children will create a fairy garden using miniatures, scraps, and recycled materials.
Of course, the Library is always an active participant in Downtown Terre Haute’s First Friday. One month, the theme was Loco for Cocoa. My family had such fun playing in a hot cocoa sensory bin, painting with marshmallows, molding cocoa play dough, and sipping hot cocoa. These activities are held in the Lifelong Learning Center on the main floor of the library from 4:00-6:00 on the first friday of each month. We are excited to check out February’s First Friday event Hugs & Kisses. It’s on Friday, February 1st from 4:00-6:00 in the Lifelong Learners Center.
The library offers so much for you and your family to enjoy! I encourage you to utilize this wonderful resource in our community. Click here for the library’s event calendar.
Terre Haute Children’s Museum Opportunities for Homeschooling Families
The museum is another Terre Haute gem that we love to visit and visit often. Totally recommend investing in a membership! The museum is just fun to let loose some energy and check out the exhibits. My 4 year old son and 7 year old nephew couldn’t get enough of the new FIT gym. I was happy to sneak in a small workout. Hey, sometimes that’s all I can squeeze in! My two year old was not into waiting on the boys to try the new Rope Challenge Course. Maybe next time? One option that is popular with homeschooling families is Learning Lab. This is a drop off program for children K-4th grade held in a classroom setting on Saturday mornings 9-12. Each session is designed to stand alone so no biggie if you can’t make all sessions.
The cost is $15 per session or $10 per session for members. Another great incentive to join! Also, ask about the sibling discount. You can register for Learning Lab right here.
Athletic Opportunities and Fine Art for Terre Haute Homeschooling Families
The Terre Haute Boys and Girls Club, the Vigo County YMCA, the Wabash Valley Family Sports Center, and the West Vigo Community Center are four examples of local organizations that have athletic programs for youth all year round. For example, your child can play indoor soccer, flag football, tackle football, volleyball, and basketball. Looking for something to keep your child active during summer? Check out the Boys and Girls Club and the YMCA’s list of summer camps. There is usually a membership required.
You can find 65 athletic teams and opportunities HERE!
Families who love theater and the arts should consider ISU Community School of the Arts, the programs offered by the Swope Art Museum, Terre Haute Children’s Choir, and Children’s Theatre of Terre Haute. Auditions and important dates are included in the Haute Happenings monthly calendars.
HATA (Homeschoolers for the Advancement of the Theatrical Arts has theatrical opportunities for local homeschool students.
Homeschool Dances of the Wabash Valley hosts a spring prom and fall fling!
Bible Study Fellowship is an international program that teaches scripture and how to apply it do your daily life. This is my second year participating in the study. I have enjoyed the fellowship it provides me and the knowledge I have obtained from this group. I can’t wait until my kids are old enough to participate. The BSF chapter that meets in Terre Haute on Monday nights 6:45-8:15 is held at First Baptist Church. This chapter is women and children ages 6-18. This is presented in a classroom style. There is a lesson, notes, and questions to go over. Your child will receive homework to complete throughout the week. There is no associated cost, but donations are welcomed.
Online Homeschool Resources
You can find a discussion group or community forum that covers just about any topic on Facebook and homeschooling is no different. I found most groups are closed so you’ll have to request to be approved by admin before you gain full access. That’s easy, just a few clicks, short questionnaire, and send. I spent quite some time just perusing these pages. I found helpful articles on hot topics, curriculum and teaching resources, and special events shared by members. In particular, I found some interesting art sessions created with homeschoolers in mind hosted by Ripple Mobile Arts. There is a link to their homepage within the event. They are located at 201 S Rural Street in Indianapolis. They can be contacted via their facebook page www.facebook.com/ripplemobilearts, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone (317) 514-8469.
Cindy from the Arrows group in Brazil adds this recommendation for IAHE: Indiana Association of Home Educators (www.iahe.net) It is a great place for info on homeschooling in Indiana–questions for those thinking about homeschooling to things pertaining to long-term homeschoolers. They also put on an annual homeschool convention at the state fairgrounds in Indianapolis at the end of March every year. (This year’s dates are March 22 and 23, 2019.) With lots of workshops, curriculum vendor booths, etc. it is a great place to find out how to homeschool or be encouraged in the homeschool journey. You can find out more information about the convention (as well as lots of other things) on their website.
Heather Sanders, a blogger for thepioneerwomen.com, has compiled a very thorough list of FREE online resources. Khan Academy is one of the listed resources. This website has instructional videos that cover a variety of subjects starting at Kindergarten and working up to the collegiate level. It was a lifesaver so many times in my college days.
Homeschool.com is a very comprehensive website devoted to all things homeschooling. There is a FAQs page to answer all your questions and I especially found the list of the 10 Most Important Things you Need to Know helpful and encouraging for you to begin your homeschooling journey.
You can find additional resources through these local groups:
WaVaHo: Wabash Valley Homeschool Association
West Central Homeschoolers of Indiana
Indiana Homeschool Discussion Group
Terre Haute Preschool and Kindergarten at Home Moms
Terre Haute Inclusive Network for Knowledge (THINK) Homeschool Group
West Central Homeschoolers of Indiana
For more local Terre Haute homeschool ideas and resources, be sure to check the Haute Happenings calendar and social pages!
Author/Contributor Bio: My name is Wesley Thomson. I am a stay-at-home mama to an adventurous four year old and a spunky two year old. I am a former special education teacher and have a passion for learning. I love cooking, crafting, reading (in my extra time) and hanging out with my family. I am a born and raised Hautian. I lived in the same house until I was 22 and married my high school sweetheart. We now live on land gifted to us by his grandma just a few hundred feet from his childhood home. We are both such family centered people and I have a heart for nostalgia. Terre Haute is and will forever be our home. I am very excited for the opportunity to dive more into my community and write about it to you! Connect with me online and see my custom decals and creations at Dots and Daisies!