Explorers Home School Association

Members' Login

About Explorers

Welcome to the Explorers Home School Association! Explorers is an ecumenical Christian cooperative.  We meet Tuesdays in Ann Arbor, Michigan, for two twelve week long semesters beginning in September.

Explorers is a cooperative.  This means that one adult per family needs to be on site to help.  Duties involve teaching one class per semester and doing one additional co-op responsibility.

You may navigate this site by clicking on the questions below, or just scroll down and read everything. If you have questions that are not answered by this site, or you would like further information, you may contact the administrator at: Explorersceo@gmail.com. This e-mail is only checked on Tuesdays.

  1. What does Explorers have to offer our home school family?
  2. Is Explorers a Christian co-op?
  3. What does Explorers offer for my high school student?
  4. Can my student take classes without our family joining the co-op?
  5. What does Explorers offer for my younger student?
  6. Does Explorers offer me support as a home schooling parent?
  7. How many students are in Explorers?
  8. Is everyone in a class the same age?
  9. What is the class size at Explorers?
  10. May I have my children on a team that does not coincide with their traditional school age?
  11. What are my responsibilities if I join the co-op?
  12. What does it cost to join Explorers?
  13. When is the next Explorers Open House?
  14. How do I join?
  15. What will happen after I send in my application?


What does Explorers have to offer our home school family?

Explorers prides itself on offering a strong slate of academic and enrichment classes for all age groups. First hour we bring in professional instructors to teach classes like gymnastics, ballet, and martial arts.  Second and third hour, there are at least 3 different classes offered for every age level from age 4 through grade 12 as well as preschool programs for two and three year olds. 

Anyone can stay for lunch.  Then the younger students head home and older students stay for the afternoon program with 4-6 class choices each hour for fourth, fifth, and sixth hours. In all, Explorers offers between 90 and 100 classes each semester.

There is a small second day program on Friday mornings for the academic classes requiring more class time for the 7th - 12th grades. Students enrolled in our Tuesday program may participate in our Friday classes.

Is Explorers a Christian co-op?

Yes! Explorers is a group comprised of Christian families from many traditions. The majority of our members are socially, religiously, and morally conservative and respect the sanctity of life in all of its many stages. We do encourage our co-op teachers to open their classes with prayer, praying in a way in which all in the class may participate. As Christians, we share much in common, but also recognize that significant doctrinal differences exist. Because of this, we show profound respect and charity for those differences. We want to honor and uphold the God-given parental authority and respect family beliefs.

What does Explorers offer for my high school student?

We offer a range of enrichment and academic classes for our high schoolers.  Many of our academic high school classes are available to take for credit. Because we know that high school is an important time academically for your student, Explorers works to ensure a balance of classes to help fulfill graduation requirements for the state of Michigan.  Surveys are taken each spring to determine which classes are needed by our high school families for the following year. We then seek out the best teacher for each class.   Class sizes range from two to fifteen students.

Can my student take classes without our family joining the co-op?

Your older student is eligible for the Explorers drop off program if s/he will be at least 14 years of age and in ninth grade prior to December 31 of the academic year in queestion. Drop off students are eligible to take all the same classes (morning and afternoon) as co-op families, for an additional fee.

What does Explorers offer for my younger student?

Our younger students also have strong academic classes and interesting enrichment classes.  Look at this semester’s offerings for an idea of what classes are generally offered.  Our teachers strive for that fun hands-on experience that is so much a part of home schooling.  We try to help with things that are difficult to do at home: science experiments, art, group games, public speaking… Class size is limited to twelve students and two teachers.  Our small class size and variety of topics consistently lead to a great learning experience.

Does Explorers offer me support as a home schooling parent?

One of the best things about Explorers is the chance to connect with other homeschooling parents. Homeschooling is all about networking, and Explorers provides a great place to do it! At Explorers, we have a common room where parents gather informally on Tuesdays just to chat or work on classes. Often, members share their ideas on curricula, solutions to problems with a particular age "phase", and resources within the larger community.  We also have Yahoo and Facebook groups on which parents share anything from first day of “school” pictures to prayer requests.  The Explorers blog offers practical ideas to help you in your homeschool journey.

How many students are in Explorers?

We currently have 60 families registered for the 2016/17 school year with 188 students.

Is everyone in a class the same age?

Explorers groups kids of similar ages into “teams.” These are: high school, middle school, 5th & 6th, 3rd & 4th, and 1st & 2nd grades, four and five year olds have their own class selection entitled “K4/5.”  The preschool area is divided into three levels: Three year old preschool, two year old preschool, and the nursery.

What is the class size at Explorers?

Highschool and middle school classes range from two to fifteen students.  Larger classes have both a teacher and an assistant.

Upper elementary classes (3rd-6th grade) have between five and fourteen students.  Larger classes have both a teacher and an assistant.

Lower elementary classes (K4/5- 1st grade) have from five to twelve students and two teachers.

Preschool has one adult for every four children; both classes are capped at twelve.

The nursery has one adult for every three children with a limit of twelve children.  

May I have my children on a team that does not coincide with their traditional school age?

When you join Explorers, you may place your child on any grade team where you think they best fit. However, we ask you to keep in mind that usually the traditional school grade is the best place for a child to be. Often, home schooled children tend to be bright for their age, so your advanced student will likely be challenged among the students in our group. In addition, if your child is somewhat behind, each team represents a wide range of abilities. We find that making friends is often best accomplished with same age students.

What are my responsibilities if I join the co-op?

As members of the co-op, parents are expected to teach. If you join Explorers, you will be asked for your preferences of age group you would like to work with, and then placed on one of these parent teams. All of the parents who make up a particular team meet with their team leader to decide an appropriate slate of classes for the coming semesters. When you join the co-op, you may list an area of expertise or interest that you have, or list a subject/unit study that you have done with your own children at home. If you do not have an idea for a class, your team leader can assist you in coming up with an idea, as well as help you find resources and materials.

Members are also assigned a second co-op responsibility. Some examples include: teaching twice, set up, clean up, or assisting in the drama programs (There are approximately 35 different choices).

What does it cost to join Explorers?

Registration Fee:

Explorers has a registration fee of $45 per year per child for morning classes with a family limit of $200.00.  If your 6th -12th grader stays for the whole day please add $20 additional registration fee. Students attending our Friday classes will be charged an additional $20.00.

Class Fees: In addition, each class will charge a fee which typically runs from $5-40 per semester, depending on the materials needed for a class. Generally, the classes for younger students are less expensive than those for older students. Fees for professional classes tend to mirror what you might pay in the community for a similar class, and run on average from $20-$125 for a semesterlong class. Participation in classes is never mandatory, although if your children are on the Explorers campus, they need to be in class, with you, or with another designated adult. Older students may be in study hall or helping in one of the younger classes, if desired.

There is an additional fee of $150 per high school student per semester to participate in the drop off program.

When is the next Explorers Open House?

The next open houses are March 28th and April 11th. If you are considering applying to Explorers and would like to attend the open house, please contact the administrator: explorersceo@gmail.com. This e-mail is only checked on Tuesdays.

Open house begins at 10:15 and runs for about an hour. There is a half hour long informational session with Q & A followed by a tour of the building and a chance to peek in on classes. You may turn in applications at this time.

Children may attend open house, but it is not geared for them. Toys and books are set up at the far side of the room for them. If you have small children, you may want to consider finding a babysitter so that you can follow along better.

How do I join?

Carefully read through all the information on the About Explorers page. Consider the time commitments and determine If Explorers seems like a good fit for your family, email the administrator at explorersceo@gmail.com. (This account is checked weekly.) The administrator will help you get signed up for an open house. 

Attend an open house, if at all possible. This is the best way to really hear about the program and determine how it would work for you. Turn in a COMPLETE application. Applications are available here.  Be sure to include references, driver's license for both parents, and registration fees.

At the end of April the Administrator will contact references, check backgrounds, and process the applications. If your family is a good fit, she will email and offer you a spot. You email back to accept.

Applications can be mailed to:

Explorers Administrator
13335 Bunton Rd.
Willis, MI 48191

 

What will happen after I send in my application?

The administrative team will review your application. They'll check to see if there is room for your family at the age levels your children are. They will contact your references and run a background check. Then the administrator will contact you to offer you membership. (If there is not room, or we feel that it is not a good fit, we will let your know.)

You will respond with your acceptance. Then the secretary will add your family to the website and email you a user ID and password (you can change these at any time.) The administrator will set up a new member orienation. This is usually on a weekday morning toward the end of May.

At the new member orientation you will meet the other new members and learn how to sign your children up for their classes. The administrator will go over how to use the password protected sections of the website and discuss Explorers policy.

There is an orientation for ALL members on the Tuesday evening prior to the start of Explorers.