With all the changes happening with charter programs, homeschool families can’t always rely on their program’s enrichment to cover their kiddos. Fortunately, there are a lot of local enrichment classes and opportunities for our kids in the Gold Country.
Whether you live in Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado, or Sacrament county (or beyond), there are enrichment programs near you. Plus, new co-ops and other enrichment programs crop up all the time (and we’ll update here as they do!).
Local Enrichment Classes for Gold Country Homeschool Families
Living in Amador County, we often have to travel upwards of 30 minutes to reach fun and educational spots. Therefore, this list includes Sacramento-based enrichment opportunities simply because so many of us are willing to travel.
Also, I’m only including campus-type courses here, where multiple classes are offered at the same site and on the same day. I’d love to add an extensive resource on local vendors for our area, too, so keep an eye out for that (and send me your recommendations, too!).
Listings are in alphabetical order so you can scan easily, but I’ve included the city and county where applicable, too.
A Brighter Child Classes, Fair Oaks (Sacramento County)
Location: 8137 Greenback Ln, Fair Oaks, CA 95628
Contact: (916) 722-2228 or email@example.com
You might have ordered curriculum from A Brighter Child before, but did you know they offer enrichment on-site, too?
Representatives from the store were at a vendor fair I attended, and I spoke with staff who explained the classes change each semester. You can sign up for local email list by calling them up (don’t use the contact form on the website as it’s a national resource), however.
You can shop for curriculum on site, and there is seating plus a play area for siblings/parents to wait in.
Class offerings: All types, from writing, history, and math to gardening, electronics and coding, art, photography, and more. Grade levels span kindergarten through high school.
Charters accepted: No specific charter information is available on the website (will update as I find out more details!).
Best for: Families who want to shop while kiddos attend classes, families with younger siblings or those who aren’t enrolled in courses.
Note: Email to ask for detailed class descriptions and other info!
Academy Learning Centers, Sacramento (Sacramento County)
Location: 4211 Arden Way, Sacramento, CA 95821
Contact: (916) 426-2656
Academy Learning Centers is in the Arden/Arcade area, making it a bit of a trek for most Amador and Calaveras families. However, their facilities are a highlight for families with multiple kiddos.
Academy Learning Centers has a homelearners academy section where they cover their facility and class offerings. Siblings and toys are welcome, and there’s often quiet space open for studying, you just have to ask!
Kids can stay over for the supervised lunch period, and you can add a study hall period to their schedule if there are gaps. There’s also an option to get your own class together at a set time, you just need five students total to participate.
Class offerings: Core subjects including PE, STEAM from K to high school
Charters accepted: South Sutter, Inspire, Visions, Horizon, Pacific Charter
Best for: Families with multiple children, families with pre-school age and younger kiddos
Note: Rumor has it there will be Academy Learning Centers classes coming to Ione (in Amador County) in fall of 2019. Fingers crossed that happens! If it does, you’ll for sure see me and my littles there!
ACRA Enrichment Classes, Jackson (Amador County)
Location: Classes are usually in Jackson, but ACRA’s location is 10877 Conductor Blvd Suite 100, Sutter Creek, CA 95685
Contact: (209) 223-6349
In summer, the Amador County Recreation Agency (ACRA) has all kinds of fun programs for kids and families. But during the school year, they have Recreation, Enrichment, Academic Classes for Homeschooling (REACH) in downtown Jackson.
Offerings vary, and I’ve noticed in the past that options for younger grades (K and 1st) tend to be scarce. It changes up, however, and I’m sure community input has an impact on what they decide to provide each semester.
Class offerings: Varies!
Charters accepted: I believe both Visions and Inspire vouchers are accepted (be sure to check when classes begin!), and it’s usually noted on their fliers.
Best for: Upper elementary grades, families with errands to run around Jackson (not sure what the situation is for families/siblings waiting)
Note: To my knowledge, this is not an all-day program with lunch periods, etcetera.
Foothill Learning Academy, Placerville & Cameron Park (El Dorado County)
Location: Two campuses:
Cameron Park classes take place at Foothills Church, 2380 Merrychase Drive, Cameron Park, CA 95682
Placerville classes take place at Seventh-Day Adventist Church, 6831 Mother Lode Drive, Placerville, CA 95667
Foothill Learning Academy is our family’s program of choice for classes for all ages. My little guy even took a class as a pre-schooler (private pay, he wasn’t old enough for the TK cutoff) and it was great.
The administrators are also teachers in many cases, and everyone is invested in the kids’ education. They also do a yearbook (the kids have a class for it!), which I regret not ordering our first year with them.
Parent volunteers (see details below) keep an eye on kids during passing periods and break times, though I understand the Cameron Park location (at least in spring 2019) involved crossing a parking lot to reach the playground/break area.
Class offerings: Everything! From core subjects like math, language arts, science, and social studies to STEAM, foreign language, guitar, ukelele, LEGO, and PE courses. Teachers are vendors with most charters in our area, and they’re all in one convenient place!
Charters accepted: The website highlights Visions, Horizon, South Sutter, CORE, Inspire, Paseo Grande, Pacific Charter Institute, and Summit Academy, but charter acceptance (and private pay protocol) depends on each instructor/vendor.
Best for: Personally, I think it’s ideal for everyone! There’s no indoor space to wait for your kiddos to finish classes, but there’s a lovely (and grassy) courtyard at the Placerville location to enjoy nice weather.
Offerings vary per campus and day (usually one day of classes in Placerville and two in Cameron Park), but classes from K up to 12th are available.
Courses are all secular, but bible study classes are available for families who want them!
Note: Parents must volunteer for a shift keeping an eye on the kiddos during three-hour periods (covering pickup, dropoff, and lunch times) or pay a fee to ensure another parent can cover.
Also, registration fees apply (typically not covered by charter programs).
Sacramento Adventure Playground, Sacramento (Sacramento County)
Location: 2418, 3301 37th Ave, Sacramento, CA 95824
Contact: (916) 222-3831 or firstname.lastname@example.org for the homeschool enrichment program specifically
If you’re an active and creative family (or just one that doesn’t thrive in traditional classroom environments), you’ll love the Sacramento Adventure Playground!
The location hosts a free after-school program for kids ages six to 15, but there’s also a homeschool enrichment program option. The courses involve unstructured play time, writing workshops, STEM activities, and social time but these programs only run on specific dates each year.
Of course, you can also stop in during open hours or a community day (typically Saturdays).
Class offerings: Homeschool enrichment spans outside time, creative writing, STEM, and more.
Charters accepted: The enrichment program accepts CORE, Inspire, Horizon, Pacific Charter Institute, South Sutter, and Visions vouchers.
Best for: Kindergarten through 8th grade
Note: Limited availability, so plan accordingly!
The Serendipity Center for Leadership and Learning, Elk Grove (Sacramento County)
Location: 10481 Grant Line Rd #130, Elk Grove, CA 95624
Contact: (916) 776-6822
Serendipity offers classes on three different days and also offers summer camps. A study hall is available for kiddos with gaps in their schedules, but center policies specify no technology devices (including cell phones) are allowed.
The FAQ section also highlights that there aren’t any available facilities for families or siblings to hang out while kids are in class.
That said, Serendipity sounds like an excellent option for kiddos who thrive in a structured yet diverse and engaging program. It’s also helpful for kiddos who are more independent, particularly older ages.
Class offerings: Ages four to 18; Everything from core subjects to STEM, hand sewing, art, photography, woodworking, finance, and fitness (and a lot more).
Charters accepted: Only specifies “most” charter school vouchers accepted
Best for: Older or independent kiddos who can manage their own schedules, kids with unique interests
Note: They also have extended TK through first grade programs, ideal if you’re missing the previously available charter enrichment classes for kinders.
Also, registration fees (typically not covered by charters) apply.
Wholistic Learning Resources, Sacramento & Davis (Sacramento & Yolo Counties)
Location: Primary site is 2425 Sierra Blvd, Sacramento, CA 95825
Two instruction locations:
Davis: Unitarian Universalist Church of Davis, 27074 Patwin Rd, Davis
Sacramento: Unitarian Universalist Society of Sacramento, 2425 Sierra Blvd., Sacramento
Contact: (916) 606-0799
Wholistic Learning Resources is a Waldorf-y, nature-based program that isn’t separate classes but a few-hours-long program where kids learn and explore in small groups.
The program is ideal for kiddos who love getting outside (what kid doesn’t!?) and need a bit of structure and guidance in their exploration.
The lower grade programs also seem like a great and gentle foray into “classes” for kinders.
Class offerings: AM, PM, and “all day” (IE 9 AM to 2:15 PM) programs cover everything from nature exploration, adventure and movement, and music/art appreciation to traditional “school subjects” (older grades).
Charters accepted: None specified
Best for: Kinder through eighth grades, kiddos (and parents) who prefer longer, all-inclusive programs, Waldorf, Charlotte Mason, or unschooling families
Do you know of any enrichment classes or opportunities that aren’t listed here? Let us know in the comments and we’ll add it so other families can learn more!