With the rise in violence and drugs, peer pressure and a general lack of academic challenges in some public schools, many parents consider homeschooling. If the concept sounds appealing but you don’t know where to begin, start here. From stores that stock necessary educational materials to parent support groups, the Philadelphia area offers a variety of resources for homeschoolers. These are the top resources in the City of Brotherly Love.
Becker’s Parent/Teacher Store
Northeast Shopping Center
9165 Roosevelt Blvd.
Philadelphia, PA 19114
(267) 672-1680
Whether you plan to devote a room in your house to teaching or simply take over your dining room, you’ll need homeschool materials. Becker’s Parent/Teacher Store has everything a home classroom requires. Desks, chalkboards, bulletin boards and laminators abound at Becker’s. The store is also stocked with a wealth of curriculum resources, arts and crafts materials, science labs, teacher essentials and instructional aids. If you really want to go all out, you can shop for playground equipment here, too.

Cairn University
200 Manor Ave.
Langhorne, PA 19047
(215) 702-4283
Price: $25 per child/$60 per family

For families that lack a yard or enough players for a team, Cairn University offers a Kidsport physical fitness class especially for homeschoolers. Formerly known as Philadelphia Biblical University, it invites children ages 6 to 7 to learn about the body and how to use balls, bats, hoops, jump ropes, parachutes and scooters. Older children (through age 17) can participate in team-building sports including tennis, flag football, volleyball, softball, gymnastics and soccer.

Philadelphia Museum of Art Homeschool Program
2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA 19130
(215) 684-7580
Price: $11 per student/$6 chaperone fee

Homeschool classes at Philadelphia Museum of Art are specifically geared toward small homeschool groups or families. Through drawing, discussion, role playing, writing and games, students ages 3 to 17 are introduced to famous artists, sculpting, interior design and landscape painting. The interactive lessons are held the first Wednesday of every month and run about two hours long. Classes are broken into age groups with each age group working with the same art educator throughout the whole year, making for an cohesive academic and social experience.

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Talking Stick Learning Center
13 E. Mount Pleasant Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19119
(610) 331-1387
Price: $1,700 12-month day program/$120 six-week math circle/$825 to $875 12-month workshops

Located on a lush 40-acre campus just minutes from northwest Philadelphia, Talking Stick Leaning Center provides a great environment for kids to discover new interests, cooperate with others, socialize and make friends. The center offers a host of nurturing educational programs specifically geared toward homeschoolers. Courses include a math circle, naturalist training and local history, literature and writing workshops. A day program fostering group learning through cooperative games, science experiments and art projects is also available.

Davisville Homeschool Connection
325 Street Road
Southampton, PA 18966
(215) 355-6462
Price: $55 per semester

Davisville Homeschool Connection is a Christian support co-op offering classes for children from Pre-K up to 10th grade, who may participate in gym, along with various subject classes. The group meets every Tuesday from 9:15 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. at the Davisville Church. Ten-week sessions are held in the Fall and Spring. No co-op classes will be held on the fourth Tuesday of every month, throughout active semesters. Davisville Homeschool Connection offers Field trips are also organized throughout the semester, with past trips to Longwood Gardens and the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts ranking among the favorites. Nursery care is available for the little ones under age three. The members of the co-op teach or co-teach the classes. Generally speaking, new parents are not asked to teach during their first semester.

Related: A Parent Talks About Homeschooling

Susan DeFeo has been a professional writer since 1997. She served as a community events columnist for New Jersey’s “Cape May County Herald” for more than a decade. A writer for numerous online publications, Susan has covered health, fitness, beauty and travel, all subjects that are near and dear to her as a married mother of seven children. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.