History of Planet Homeschool
The idea for a secular homeschool cooperative for older students started taking shape in the spring of 1999 when homeschooling mom Julie Abel began wondering what the next stage of homeschooling might look like for her ten- and eleven-year-old children. She wanted some help with academics in the coming years as well as a supportive and welcoming community. With the thought that structured classes one day a week could provide this, she contacted her friend Zoe Carroll Kuester and together they launched what would become Planet Homeschool.
They started by contacting their homeschooling friends and acquaintances. Several showed interest, and through a series of meetings formed an assortment of committees to tackle the myriad of issues involved in starting a parent-led learning cooperative. The families developed a mission statement that summed up their intent: “We are an educational cooperative for home schooled students in upper elementary grades through high school. We are committed to building and sustaining a positive and enriching environment for learning, socialization, and support.”
Planet Homeschool, the name chosen by voting on names submitted by students at the first gathering, began weekly Thursday classes at Creek Valley Baptist Church in Edina starting in the fall of 1999, as a program of the non-profit corporation Learning for Life Cooperative Inc. In 2007 Planet Homeschool moved from Edina to South Minneapolis, spending three years at Minnehaha United Methodist Church. In 2010 Planet Homeschool changed location once again and relocated to Northeast Minneapolis at the Grace Center for Community Life before moving to its current location at Faith United Methodist Church in St. Anthony in 2013.
In the summer of 2015, the decision was made to dissolve Learning for Life Cooperative Inc, and a new non-profit corporation, Minnesota Secular Homeschool Enrichment Inc took over the Planet Homeschool Program.