Homeschooling in North Carolina continues its upward trend, and South Charlotte is a hotspot for home educators. Likewise, growing resources are available to homeschooled students. Set aside weekly time to connect with similar families, whether it’s through online forums, play dates, enrichment classes or a mom’s night out. Brew a cup of tea, relax and grab the laptop to check out these Charlotte-area resources.
The Homeschool Room
2920 Old Monroe Road, Suite B
Matthews, NC 28104
The Homeschool Room, a hub for the homeschooling community, is an educational consignment store offering hundreds of curricula options. Enjoy math manipulatives galore help kids solidify concepts. Also take advantage of puzzles, games, software, science experiment kits and CD stories. Walk to the very back of the store to see the two separate classrooms used for teaching courses. Professionals in their field offer classes in math, English, writing and music. The Parent Training Homeschool Workshops will get any newcomer off to a great start. The Homeschool Room provides a small play area to keep the young ones occupied as well. Not only is it always busy with home educators, many public and private school teachers visit the store.
HINTS Support Group
Major Charlotte area
HINTS stands for Home Instructors Need Team Support. Since 1985, this group has supported its members in the day-to-day activities of homeschooling their children. Geographically, it serves the south Charlotte area. Its members plan activities for a variety of age groups, including some for the moms and dads. Communications are sent out by phone and Internet to members only. The HINTS Book Fair held at Christ Covenant Church in Matthews is a longtime favorite for homeschoolers throughout southeast United States. Hundreds of vendors, offering new and used curriculum, make a showing. This year’s fair is scheduled for July 12 to 13, 2013. Another cornerstone activity for this support group is the HINTS Tea, an informational event for those parents wishing to learn more about homeschooling. It is scheduled for April 20, 2013.
Patten Music Studio
PO Box 788
Cooleemee, NC 27014
Price: $90 student per month, family discounts available
Jim Patten teaches keyboard and piano through the Simply Music method. It is the largest playing-based instructional institution worldwide. The play-first method introduces children to dozens of songs including classical, blues, ballads, arrangements, pop and hymns. Students play songs from the start. Consider this similarity: A child speaks many words before he or she learns to read. So goes this method of instructing. Patten encourages his students to develop performance opportunities, such as family gatherings, nursing homes or church settings. He is the first instructor of the Simply Music curriculum in Charlotte and the third instructor for North Carolina. Continuing his education online through Berklee of Boston, he also travels to symposiums throughout the U.S. and is worship director for his church.
3645 Pleasant Plains Road
Matthews, NC 28104
Price: $625 for K-5/$725 for grades sixth to 12th, two-day per week class/$1,250 for grades sixth to 12th, four-day per week class
Grace Academy is a small, college-style K-12 Christian school. It offers 180 college-prep courses on a rotating two- or four-day schedule. It has provided classes for area homeschoolers since its inception. The school acquired the Matthews Pottery property and made some expansions and renovations, opening for the 2012-2013 school year. Homeschoolers participate in the athletic program, playing in sports such as girls’ volleyball, tennis, basketball, soccer and boys’ tennis, junior varsity and varsity basketball, soccer, co-ed swimming and cross country.
394 Amhurst St.
Concord NC 28025
Price: $141 annual tuition for General Science/$248 annual tuition for Apologia Biology
Richard Hawkins conducts the classes of nJoy Science in locations throughout the Charlotte area. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree with majors in analytical mathematics and computer science. Hawkins created a general science curriculum for ages 9 through 12. The apologia curriculum is used for ages 12 and older. His classes are based upon the scientific method. Students conduct basic experiments using lab equipment, such as microscopes, measuring tools and chemicals for upper-level students. In apologia classes, student are expected to keep up with reading assignments while meeting bi-weekly to conduct experiments. Lab reports are required.