When you home ed, the socialisation aspect and the different learning environment aspect of organised groups make them a great supplement. It takes some responsibility off the parents’ shoulders, if only for an hour a week, when someone else provides a high-quality activity with expertise.This can be costly. I know of parents who have their kids out every evening and at the weekends – I am in awe of the number of hours spent just organising meals at different times and driving around, dropping kids off and picking them up again. But even if a child only attends one group per week, if you have several children, it all adds up.
Where to Look
Not only do the groups below cost less than profit making (private or council) groups but they offer a wide variety of activities. This gives the opportunity to explore dozens of activities instead of the flavour of-the-month. With the costs around our way, the 50p-£3 for the groups I list below are a much better bargain than the 6-week course in cartooning for £80, or the £10 per week musical-theatre.These groups can often use extra support to help them keep up and running. If you offer to help out in the session, you might even get a discount for your child’s fee or be able to bring along your other children (as long as they know how to behave of course, and do not take enjoyment away for the kids the activity is aimed at.) Assisting in sessions will also look good on your CV. A huge incentive for me personally is that I do not have to leave my children in the care of someone else, even if they have been trained and police-checked and seem very lovely.
We find the following brilliant value for money, if not free, and thoroughly worthwhile.