• Storytime
  • Special Events
  • Computer Classes
  • Art Programs
  • Yoga/Dance
  • Test Prep
  • Book Clubs
  • Groups – Writing, Hobbies, etc.


  • Homeschool days
  • Classes/programs – Age Specific

Nature Center/Preserve

  • Hiking
  • Classes – Science, Nature, Art, Heritage, History
  • Volunteering/Internship
  • Animal Care opportunities


  • Martial Arts – Local Schools
  • City/Town Recreation Department
  • Sports Clubs
  • School Sports Club (some counties allow homeschoolers to compete in school sports)
  • Gymnastics

Religious organizations

  • Sports
  • Youth Groups
  • Playgroups
  • Mommy and Me
  • Competitions


  • Boy Scouts
  • Girl Scouts
  • Venture Scouts


  • Michaels – Art, Sewing, Crocheting, crafts, cake Decor, etc.
  • Home Depot – Building (First Saturday of every month)
  • Jo Ann – sewing, crafts
  • Barnes and Noble – Storytime
  • Whole Foods
  • Lego Store
  • American Girl

Community Centers – Local/YMCA/Boys & Girls Club/4H

  • Sports
  • Crafts
  • Arts
  • Stitching/Sewing/Crocheting
  • Robotics
  • Engineering
  • Building
  • Playgroups
  • Life skills


  • Library
  • Hospital
  • Animal Shelters
  • Women’s Shelter
  • Food Banks
  • Group homes
  • Zoos/ Aquariums/Museums
  • Nature centers
  • Schools


This is a general list to help with extracurricular activities/programs. Depending on where you live there may be more or less available. These are just some ideas but there are endless opportunities out there for you and your child.


High School and Beyond

High School is not like the previous years. It has more importance because it will determine scholarships and college acceptances. Every grade, activity, sport, award, service that a child will do will be looked at by a college admissions officer. You should help your child stay active through the high school years. Make sure that the program your child will be enrolling in is an accredited program that is recognized by colleges and universities. If it’s not an accredited program, make sure you create a portfolio with sample work and it would be beneficial for the child to take SAT subject tests to show proficiency in the subjects. These would be especially for the core subjects.

There are many routes that one can take through the high school years. Students can take regular paced, honors, Advanced Placement (AP), dual credit, and/or dual diploma. You and your child should decide as a team which route may work best in your situation. Keep in mind that a child will need to be a minimum of 16 years of age to enroll in most dual credit programs. Colleges will look to see that there is a variety of subjects taken. Try not to take all your electives in the same category. Show that you have challenged yourself, even if that means that you have a B in an honors sections versus a regular section.

Plan to take a PSAT during Sophmore year.

Contacting your local high school to arrange for your child to take the test. Your child can take the SAT or ACT as many times as s/he would like. They only have to report the test they want the college to take account. Many, if not all colleges superscore the SAT but very few will superscore the ACT. Superscore is when they take the highest scored sections from all the tests you have taken. Check College Board for SAT and ACT  test dates and locations. SAT and ACT are different tests, ACT is four sections and SAT is three. They both have an optional essay but most colleges don’t require it.

Colleges don’t have any preference but your child may, depending on their test-taking ability. SAT and ACT are offered many times over the year so you can plan accordingly. SAT subject tests are not offered as frequently so make sure you check dates and register on time if this is something you are interested in.

Extracurricular activities are a way to set yourself apart from other candidates in a college admission process.

All students will be applying with good/exceptional grades, SAT or ACT scores that meet the college minimum, but what will set your child apart? This is where extracurricular activities come in! Volunteer, scouts, school programs, recreational programs, internship, art/sports classes, etc. Help your child become a better, more well-rounded person by exposing them to the various programs that are available in your area.

In the summer and fall of junior year, it is a good time to start college tours.

On the college websites, you will find dates and times that can be arranged for college tours. Tours help you and your child understand the admission process, what that particular college is looking for, college life, activities, etc. Attending a particular college tour does not obligate you to apply to the college or university.

College applications are done in senior year.

If you are interested in early action or early decision those applications will be due by late October to early November depending on the college. Early decision is stating that if that college accepts you, you will withdraw all other applications and you have agreed to attend. Make sure that you are a 100% sure you want to attend that college and are financially prepared to attend that college before checking that early decision box on college applications. Early action is when you will be notified by January but aren’t committed financially to attend that college/university.

Then there is Regular decision in which applications are due by early January. This is the regular pool of applications in which you are notified of their decision early April. Common core applications will allow you to fill one main application that can be sent to all the colleges you are applying to. Some colleges may have additional essay questions in addition to the common core essay. Make sure you have a few people read and give comments on your essay. The essay is their window into seeing who you are.

Fill out the FAFSA -Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

This can be done after filing for tax returns. The sooner you fill it, the better, because they will give out money as they get applications and in Georgia, it qualifies for the HOPE and Zel Miller scholarships. This can also help students get work-study on campus. Work study is where they work on campus and get money, that can be applied towards tuition. Scholarships and grants are given by colleges and through SAT, PSAT, and ACT. College applications will also enter you into the college scholarships and grants.

Teaching to Read

Reading is the key to learning. Every subject will require reading and the stronger your child is in reading, the more independent and successful they can be at schooling. The first revelation in the Quran is Iqra – Read. It’s a command from Allah(swt). Learning to read is the most important step towards learning.

There are some great books out there that can help you start this rewarding task. One book I used and was successful with is, “Teach your child to read in 100 easy lessons”. The use of word families, pick simple books from the library and practice with your child. Read to your child while pointing to the words, encourage your child to read one page while you read the next. Don’t focus on the spelling. It’s not important that they can spell all the words they can read, as long as they can consistently read them. With reading and practice, the spelling will eventually come.

Practice, Practice, Practice! Practice is the key to getting them to read. Encourage them to read instructions on their assignments, signs, labels, titles, ads, cereal boxes, anything and everything they can. Help them break down bigger words into syllables, cover part of the word to help them break it down, but don’t overwhelm them. If there is a word that they are struggling with help them break it down, show them how to break it down. If the word doesn’t follow a regular phonetics pattern, say it for them and repeat it as many times as they see it and they will eventually memorize the words (sight words).

As parents, caregivers, and educators, we need to provide support and encouragement to children. Teaching them to read is rewarding for them and us!

Here are some books that can help you teach your child to read:

Dr Seuss books
Biscuit series
Frog and Toad Together
Pete the Cat
Henry and Mudge
Eric Carle books
BOB books

Begin with the End in Mind

Just like anything in the world, one should begin homeschooling with short-term and long-term goals. Goals give you a purpose and direction and that is exactly what is needed, especially when things get tough.

Personal Goals

These are your goals, the parents/guardians who will be doing the schooling. These should be SMART goals – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-bound. What do you want to accomplish on a daily basis? What do you want completed monthly, quarterly, mid-year, and at the end of the year? These goals will be how you rate your success and give you a sense of accomplishment that will help you continue. Have those goals in your mind and have them written down so you can refer back to them as often as needed, but at least once a month.

If you feel that you and your child(ren) are unable to complete your goals on a regular basis, you should reevaluate to see if those goals are realistic for your situation. Every family will have different abilities because of their family dynamics. No single mold fits every family. Don’t compare your family, children, and situations to others, it may lead to dissatisfaction and to discouragement.

Childs goals

Every Child should have their own personal goals as well. These may not be as specific or realistic as an adults but the adult can help them set them to be achievable. For example, “we will complete X number of units in X number of subjects in the month of October.” Children need to know what is expected of them so that they may pace themselves to be successful. Keep in mind that children don’t necessarily understand or view success the same way adults do. Children also may not be able to set goals for themselves and need guidance.

Don’t compare the goals and/or accomplishments of one child to another. Each child is different and develops at their own pace. As parents/educators who guide them in this very important endeavor, we must be supportive. We need to be especially supportive in times when they feel unsuccessful. Comparing them to their peers/siblings will only add unnecessary pressure and resentment towards those whom they are being compared to as well as towards those who compare them.

I am not saying not to have high expectations for your children. We should indeed have them try to their best ability but keep in mind each child’s ability is different. One child may be a whiz at math and can attain high grades without much effort whereas another child may work for hours and still get B’s or C’s; recognize their effort and not just the outcome, just as Allah judges us for our efforts and not just the outcome. Children need encouragement and a loving and caring environment to succeed. That can not be provided without the support of the parent.

Short Term Goals

These goals are for a yearly basis and can even be broken down to quarterly or mid year. This will help one stay focused and not overwhelmed. Take each day as it is and see how you can improve. If you have you feel that your goals are not being fulfilled on a daily basis, re-evaluate them and set up some simpler ones.

Maybe your goal is only short term. Some parents may pull children out of traditional schools for grades, if they have fallen behind, need extra help in certain subjects, or memorizing Quran. These are all perfectly acceptable but keep your goals clear. These goals should be explicit between the parents and child(ren). Keep communications open between all parties as clarity will allow success and harmony in the family.

Something that I have done with my children is, we have 160 lessons/per grade, our goal was to finish all the lessons by the end of May. We broke it down further to 20 lessons every month and gave ourselves one month buffer for vacation and breaks, difficulty with concepts, more engaging topics, illness, and/or anything else that may come up.

Long-term Goals

In general when people plan their long term goals, it’s a 5-year and a 10-year plan. However, in our case, you can break them down as Pre-Elementary (Birth – Kindergarten), Elementary (Grades 1-5), Middle School (6-8), and High School (9-12). The ultimate goal is what you decide between you and your family.

Is Homeschooling Right For Me?

Long ago before there were school houses, children were educated in their homes. They were not sent to schools for an education. Then there came school houses, made for those who could not educate their children at home for various reasons. Overtime, it became a tradition to send children to schools to get an education. It even evolved from a one room school that housed multiple levels and ages of children to a single level or age per a classroom.

Why homeschool? Is it right for me? Can I do it? Am I organized? What about socialization? Will my family and/or friends approve? Are they really learning? Am I equipped to teach the child? How will they get into college? How will I do it? The questions are endless but what you need to ask yourself is, am I, my child, and my family willing to make the homeschool investment?

Some of the things to take into account if you are going to homeschool your child….

  • Am I confident enough to teach my child?
  • Is homeschooling right for my child?
  • Will my child be happy? Will I be happy?
  • Will I have time to teach my child?
  • Do I have a support system at home? Outside the home support system?
  • How can I find the right curriculum?
  • What are my state’s regulations regarding homeschooling?
  • How long am I planning to homeschool my child?
  • What about college?
  • What’s the cost to homeschooling?