We recently decided to have our seventh grader attend an online charter school in the area. Now, while this does not make him a homeschooler in the traditional sense, he is schooled at home and I am his primary teacher. The new format is working well for him, but I decided to look for educational and social opportunities in the San Jose area of California. This led me straight to the homeschool communities in area. It can be difficult to find homeschool resources if you don't know where to look. I have grouped them into four different categories:
This seems simplistic and obvious, but many people overlook this ready resource. You would be surprised how many of your friends know someone who homeschools or was homeschooled. They often can lead you to a direct source of information to help you along your educational journey. A recent discussion with a group of friends revealed at least two sources I could go to for information. Because the information comes from mutual friends, it is much easier to schedule a coffee date with a veteran homeschooler and pick their brain.
Park Day Groups
There are several groups of homeschool parents and their children that meet at parks around the South Bay. It is a great way to meet other families in the area that homeschool and for your child to have some fun socialization time. Even if you are just thinking about homeschooling, this might be a good place to get tips and info from other parents. South Bay F.R.E.E., Homeschooling Park Hoppers, and Memorial Park Homeschoolers are just a few groups in the area that meet weekly at parks in San Jose and the surrounding cities.
Not only can you pick up your curriculum and supplies at educational stores, but you can also get some great tips. I have found that the staff at Lakeshore Learning are very helpful and always ready to answer any questions you might have. Resource Area For Teaching (RAFT) is a great resource for any teacher -- and that includes homeschooling parents. They have many interesting workshops that homeschooling parents are welcome to attend.
Support groups can be the best place for many people to get the information and support they need. There are many support groups for homeschooling parents in San Jose. There are groups that offer support for any homeschooler, like the Milpitas Homeschool Support Group, which welcomes parents from San Jose and other local cities. There are support groups for homeschoolers that are focusing their child's education on Christian values, including Bay Area Schools In Christ (BASIC) Homeschool Support Group and GRACE Homeschool Support Group. If your child has a specific need, there are even homeschool groups for that, like the Autism and Homeschool Support Group at Parents Helping Parents and San Francisco Bay Area Gifted Homeschoolers. Some of these groups may charge a membership fee to join, so check with group administrators for more details.
- Society & Culture