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Homeschoolers STEAM ahead at rec center

October 31, 2018
By CHUCK BALLARO ( , North Fort Myers Neighbor

Home-schooled students will have the opportunity enhance their learning throughout the school year at the North Fort Myers Recreation Center at 2000 N. Recreation Park Way.

Holistic Homeschoolers of Southwest Florida will offer STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math), Art and PE Gym classes at the facility, which started this week.

Gayla McKibben, who is leading the homeschooling group, said they are trying to offer free programs to homeschoolers.

"We noticed there were programs, but they were very expensive. We want them to get hands-on experience that they wouldn't be getting otherwise," McKibben said.

Holistic Homeschoolers of Southwest Florida is a group of likeminded parents that believe in a more natural parenting (and learning) philosophy. They believe in giving their kids a more hands-on experience with the environment, McKibben said.

"We offer an educational opportunity to our members that they wouldn't get otherwise. One of the misconceptions of home-schoolers is they aren't socialized. I found the opposite to be true," McKibben said. "They speak with adults and at an adult level. This gives them a chance to be with similar-aged kids and do things as a group."

Classes will be offered on select Tuesdays throughout the school year. They are:

STEAM Classes: Nov. 6 (Crystal Formations), Dec. 4 (Bubble Engineering), Jan. 8 (Paper Airplanes), Feb. 5 (Windmill Building), March 5 (Boat Floating), April 2 (Obstacle Course) and May 7 (Solar Ovens).

Art Classes: Oct. 23 (Origami), Nov. 27 (Inuit Clay Carving), Dec. 18 (Sticker Shekere), Jan. 29 (Paper Mache Maracas), Feb. 26 (Rhythm Sticks), March 26 (Rainbow Dream Catchers), April 30 (Frame Drums) and May 28 (Zamponas).

PE Gym Classes: Nov. 20, March 19 and May 21.

McKibben said physical education is one of the things homeschoolers lack.

"We have a hard time getting to a gym facility. They are not usually available. So, I thought it would be fun for us," McKibben said.

All classes are free however, a one-time $10 facility membership to the center is required to participate in this program.

For more information on Holistic Homeschoolers of Southwest Florida, e-mail

For additional information on the classes, call 533-7200 or e-mail



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