With a growing homeschool and unschooling population in Ottawa, some families are turning to alternative programming and activity schedules for their kids. Not only does Ottawa have a supportive homeschooling population where parents can learn from one another and find support, but the city is rich with opportunities and activities that the kids will love to participate in.
We have a few suggestions for those of you who aren’t sure what’s available or if you have just begun your family’s homeschool program. And if you’re already homeschooling and have suggestions for activities, groups and other places families can turn to, please share them in the comments below.
Homeschool Activities for Families in Ottawa
Storytelling and Drama class at Shenkman Arts Centre
Registration is open for Homeschool Drama class on Thursdays from 1:30 pm until 3:30 pm for children aged 5-12 at the Shenkman Arts Centre. Over the course of the program (running from March 21 until May 23), students will learn about characterization, imaginative play and story telling and will create their own story and perform during classes.
Roll and bounce at Tumblers Gymnastics
At Tumblers Gymnastics, homeschoolers can move, roll and jump during the homeschooling drop ins, Monday to Fridays from 1 pm until 2 pm. The cost is $5 with a membership fee and many homeschooling families will be welcome to join in the fun. There’s no pre-registration required and as the weather continues to be cold and snowy, this is the perfect opportunity for the kids to burn off all of that extra energy.
Jump into the water with swim lessons
If you want to add swim lessons to your days, the City of Ottawa has you covered. Their homeschooling learn to swim sessions for school-aged children from ages 3 to 12 can be found at local community and recreation centres. For example, the Richcraft Recreation Complex in Kanata offers lessons on Wednesday afternoons for the winter sessions. Spring session registration will be opening soon.
Another swim lesson option is the Dovercourt Recreation centre. They provide a group swim lesson for homeschooled children over the course of 45 minutes with 15 minutes of additional supervised free time.
Start a new chapter at the library
The Ottawa Public Library is a popular destination for families at any time, but we love that they also have special activities for homeschoolers too. The Ruth E. Dickinson branch has homeschool drop in sessions on Wednesday afternoons at 1:30 for two hours. Families can enjoy board gaming, LEGO building and additional hands-on experiences, in between browsing the book shelves too.
Step up and learn about STEM
Your homeschool group can learn about science with hands-on workshops through the Let’s Talk Science Outreach program with the University of Ottawa and Carleton University. These programs are free and curriculum-based for students in kindergarten through high school.
Find fun outside at Forest School
The school-aged program of the Chelsea Forest school welcomes students (aged 6-10) on Tuesdays and Thursdays for a full day of fun and homeschool kids are welcome to join in the fun! At forest school, kids can explore nature and the engage in the great outdoors in new ways.