Simple Schooling at Home: School Where You Live, Lake Norman Style


Just like traditional schools, learning outside the daily classroom is usually a welcomed break for any student. Thumbing through the issues of this magazine, it’s easy to see that there are so many great opportunities for fun and excitement in the Lake Norman area. This includes outings with your kids that can present great educational value. 

Here are a few examples of where we have gone on field trips or taken advantage of resources right in the area we call home to enrich our learning experiences:

  1. The Northern Regional Recreation Center in Cornelius offers PE classes for students who school at home on various weekday mornings. There is a small fee involved, but they recently changed the registration process that allows you to register and pay only for the classes you attend. So, if you have plans in place that require you to miss a class, you can just skip registration for that date! There are also other fun activities and classes we have participated in there including game night and a kids’ cooking class.
  2. Take your students to a Town Hall meeting where you live. Introduce them to the Mayor and Commissioners before the meeting starts. Typically, the agenda for the meetings are posted online a few days prior to the session, and you can pick a day where there is a lighter agenda. Ask if you can sign them up to speak during public comments for 2-3 mins about a matter that is important to them, or better yet to talk about something they love about their town. 
  3. Bring your kids with you when you vote. Even when they are only in the pre-k/kindergarten ages. Sure, they may not understand the details of it all quite yet, but they will feel the weight of the importance. When they are older, you can start to teach them all about the democratic process and government, etc. While they are young, having them see you exercising your right to vote matters. 
  4. Visit the library and get to know your librarians. If your town has multiple locations, try to go to each one at least once per season.  Help your kids get their own library card. Make sure you have one, too. Of course, we all get busy and you may not get to the library all of the time, but you want to be prepared for when you do go. Besides, a library card is required for online access to the plethora of resources available.  Movies, music, e-books and audiobooks can all be obtained with a library card! 
  5. Call your local post office. See if they can give you a ‘backstage’ tour of how their operations work. We did this with some of our other friends that school at home as a mini field trip. Watch some videos about the history of the postal service before you go. Practice addressing letters to family members the next day. Receiving an actual letter or postcard in the mail these days can be a fun surprise! 
  6. Try the same thing with your police department. Many will try their best to work you into their schedule to share how they operate their headquarters. If the kids are lucky, they might get a fun K-9 demonstration while they are there. Some will fingerprint the kids for safety. Fire departments may also offer mini tours of their facilities. (Hint: it’s always fun to bring cookies or other goodies to our neighborhood heroes, and baking those treats can be a fun lesson in itself too!) OK, technically this is slightly outside of the Lake Norman area, but the Charlotte Motor Speedway hosts S.T.E.A.M day events!

We visited this past spring and had a great time. The fee was fairly reasonable. Our day included a fun activity, a spin around the famous Charlotte Motor Speedway, and even a visit to the winner’s circle! Visit for more information. 

When you think back on your own educational history, field trips are likely some of your fondest memories. This is your shot to do the same for your kids, too! There are so many other fun places to explore – the opportunities in Lake Norman are plentiful! 

I’m anxious to learn more about places that you’ve visited with your family for a true educational experience! Join our LKN Magazine Readers Facebook group at and share all the fun details!  


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