The most important thing for homeschool success is to mingle and socialize with other homeschooling families. Being a member of a support group allows you to share resources and information with them as well as to remind you that you are not alone in your home-teaching journey. Your county support groups can offer you families with common goals and interests to yours.
IMPORTANT:Note: Our information includes both Parent-led Homeschool Support Groups and Private School Satellite Programs (PSPs) formerly known as Independent Study Programs (ISPs).
What’s the difference?
The difference is that typically, the Parent-led Homeschool Support Groups are created by families for families to get together for social activities, such as park days, P.E. activities, organized classes, field trips and other “group” types of endeavors. Some require a general membership fee, but most do not. You can usually show up at a park day and meet the parents and children to see how you like the group.
PSPs or ISPs are private schools, usually small in enrollment, but schools nonetheless. Homeschooling families may enroll and pay tuition, in order to receive the administrative support of a school. This includes record-keeping of attendance, grades, testing and transcripts preparation.
To separate them, we have placed the letters PSP or ISP in the title of such schools.
- Branson Academy – We are a private homeschool satellite program that serves all counties in California. High school, special needs, or brand new to homeschooling? We’ve got you covered. Enjoy experienced support through our K-12 program. We take care of school transfers, maintain your child’s academic reports and transcripts, and help you homeschool successfully. Easy, affordable, flexible. Call Cynthia Simunovich at 831.726.3235 for personal guidance in exploring your home-based educational options.
- Bay Area Multi-Cultural Homeschool Educators [BAM-HE] – This group exists to provide support and resources to families of color who homeschool in the Bay Area. Provides multicultural-rich information, resources, curricula, field trips, learning opportunities, park/play days in both the East Bay and South Bay and other things of interest. BAM-HE through the website.
- Bay Area Schools In Christ [BASIC] – This Christian homeschoolers support group serves families in the vicinity of the mid-Peninsula/South Bay area. Contact information: Email Aimee McNally.
- Coastside HomeScholars – We are a loosely-organized, all-inclusive, parent-driven group for homeschool families on the San Mateo County coast. Contact information: Email Michelle Boyd or call (650) 728-0542.
- Home Educators Achieving Results Together [HEART] – HEART for Christ Schools. Christian homeschooling support group for San Mateo county and surrounding areas. Park days, monthly Teacher’s Night Out, e-mail list, field trips and more. Contact information: Email Esther Beal or call (650) 573-0900.
- Lupine Family Homeschoolers – Founded in 2000, is going on its ninth year as nature-inspired, community-minded, homeschool group for kids born in ’00/’01 and ’94 thru ’97. We are an intimate group of families who meet each week currently on Mondays in San Mateo County from 10:30 to 2:30.
- Mid-Peninsula Homeschoolers – Serving San Mateo and Santa Clara counties, meeting for fun, friendship, support, networking, and information gathering every Wednesday at Mitchell Park in Palo Alto. Contact information: Email Rita or call (650) 365-2070.
- San Francisco Bay Unschooling Network [SFBUN] – SFBUN’s mission is to create and support an unschooling community in the San Francisco Bay Area. All ages are welcome. SFBUN meets for a variety of indoor and outdoor events, video gaming, and other fun outings. Contact information: Email Pam T. or call (510) 527-1119.
- Welcome Homeschoolers – Welcome Homeschoolers is a support group for homeschooling families in and around San Mateo County. Our purpose is to offer support, information and encouragement to homeschoolers and those interested in homeschooling. Contact Vida John regarding membership. Contact Susan Hansell for parkday details. Contact information: Email Vida John, or Email Susan Hansell.
- West Bay Christian Home Educators – Park days, field trips, meetings, events, coop classes. Serves San Francisco to San Bruno area. This is an inclusive group for San Mateo county. Weekly afternoon park days are on Tuesday and Friday at various parks. We also have holiday parties, game nights, field trips, yearbook, and whatever else we have the energy and time for! Contact information: Call Shannon Randolph at (650) 359-8905.
California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom – Free K-12 Teaching Resources
California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom provides free K-12 teaching resources available for free downloading at LearnAboutAg.org (lesson plans, fact sheets, student newspapers and more). California educators can request print copies, shipped at no expense.
The Plant Science lesson plans (http://learnaboutag.org/resources/learn_plant.cfm) help students discover what plants need to grow through hands-on lessons and activities: Fun with the Plant Nutrient Team (K-3), What Do Plants Need to Grow? (2-4), Too Much? Too Little? (5-8), and Chemistry, Fertilizer, and the Environment (8-12). All resources are aligned to current California Standards. The organization also provides an annual teacher conference (July 14-15, 2017) and the Imagine this… Story Writing Contest for grades 3-8 (November 1 annual deadline). Learn more and request free resources at LearnAboutAg.org.