Support
Often the key to whether a family can successfully homeschool is the type of support they receive. Unfortunately, we don't always receive encouragement from our family or community. Connecting with other homeschoolers is the best way to make new friends, and to get information, ideas, and support. We've compiled support group resources and offer simple ways to connect with other homeschoolers through email groups, website forums, and in your community. You'll also find information on local and state events, cultural and educational institutions, field trip ideas, tutors, bookstores, and much, much more.
Support Groups
Homeschoolers have created networks of support to provide a way to make friends, get ideas and information, and to offer positive socialization opportunties to their children. You can join in! There are many groups to choose from, many with specific affiliations, like Christian groups or unschoolers' groups. Some are eclectic, inclusive, and open to anyone. Whatever your interest, you are sure to find other like-minded parents. And if you don't find what you are looking for, we've put together tips for starting your own group.
Humor
We all could use a little chuckle every once in a while--especially on those days when things seem a bit bleak and challenging. Enjoy some humor from the home front.
Events
You'll find everything from homeschooling conventions to used book sales to camps for homeschoolers. Read about local and state events and submit your event for posting.
Local & State Resources
Homeschoolers learn as much outside the home as in it. Here you'll find listings of cultural and educational institutions, government resources, libraries, and bookstores. If you need a tutor, this is the best place for you to find one near you.
Publications
Want to learn more about homeschooling? Need a monthly or weekly boost of enthusiasm and ideas? You may be interested in a subscription of a homeschool publication. Whether you are looking for a hard copy magazine or an e-newsletter, we've got the best listed here.
What's Popular
Western Region Unschoolers
The Western Region Unschoolers is a group for unschoolers who live in the Western U.S. covering: Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, and California. This is a forum to announce and organize conferences, travel, camping, and other places to get together.
Safari West
Nestled on 400 acres in the heart of California's wine country 65 miles north of San Francisco, Safari West is home for over 400 exotic mammals and birds. Not a zoo, not a drive-through park, it's a wildlife preserve where the whole family can experience some of nature's most beautiful animals in a natural habitat.
San Francisco Homeschoolers
Inclusive support group for homeschoolers in the San Francisco area. Offers classes, activities, park days, nature hikes, Brownie Girl Scouts troop, Boy Scouts, crafts, and more.
Underground Adventures in California - Cavern Tours
Sierra Nevada Recreation Corporation runs five "underground adventure" locations: Black Chasm, National Natural Landmark; Boyden Cavern, California Cavern, State Historic Landmark; Moaning Cavern, and Sutter Gold Mine Tours. Guided tours are offered at each location and picnic tables provided for to enjoy their meals or snacks in the scenic beauty of the properties. Two of the locations offer challenging adventure activities: Moaning Cavern has the Rappel and Adventure Trip and California Ca...
Bay Shore Homeschoolers
This list is for those who are homeschooling or interested in homeschooling in Long Beach, CA. BayShore Homeschoolers is a support group open to all homeschoolers (or those interested in homeschooling), regardless of faith, ethnicity, lifestyle and/or philosophy of education. The homeschoolers involved in this group follow various paths from families who file the R-4 to those enrolled in public programs and other private ISPs.
San Diego Wild Animal Park
The San Diego Zoo's Wild Animal Park is an expansive wildlife sanctuary operated by the Zoological Society of San Diego. Many of the earth's most rare creatures roam in herds and flocks in vast enclosures resembling their native homelands. It's home to more than 3,500 animals representing 429 species, including the largest crash of rhinos in any zoological facility, and one of the only California condor exhibits in the world. More than half of the acreage of the Wild Animal Park has been set asi...
San Francisco Zoological Gardens
The San Francisco Zoo is home to over 250 species of exotic and domestic mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates.
Foothills Unschooling Network
Foothills Unschooling Network is a support group for families in Placer County, CA, and neighboring counties.
Homeschooling in Orange County
Provides information and support to home educating families in Orange County.
Unschool LA
Unschool LA is a group of Greater Los Angeles-area parents, children, teens and extended family/friends who identify as unschoolers (or their supporters).
CaliforniaHS-Calendar
CHN's Statewide Calendar of Events gives the latest on activities, field trips, & classes for all California homeschoolers. Sponsored by California Homeschool Network, a non-profit organization for all who are interested in homeschooling in CA. Use the list to learn about field trips, cooperative classes, and homeschooling events taking place in your community and throughout California. Information about homeschool days at museums, and theme parks, etc., is welcome. Support groups are encouraged...
Lassen Volcanic
Beneath Lassen Volcanic's peaceful forests and gem-like lakes lies evidence of a turbulent and fiery past. 600,000 years ago, the collision and warping of continental plates led to violent eruptions and the formation of lofty Mt. Tehama (also called Brokeoff Volcano.) After 200,000 years of volcanic activity, vents and smaller volcanoes on Tehama's flanks-including Lassen Peak-drew magma away from the main cone. Hydrothermal areas ate away at the great mountain's bulk. Beneath the onslaught of I...
Eugene O'Neill National Historic Site
Eugene Gladstone O'Neill, the only Nobel Prize winning playwright from the United States and the architect of modern American theater, lived at Tao House in the hills above Danville from 1937 to 1944. It was at this site that he wrote his final and most successful plays; "The Iceman Cometh," "Long Day's Journey Into Night," and "A Moon For the Misbegotten." Since 1980, the National Park Service has been restoring Tao House, the courtyard and orchards and telling the story of O'Neill, his work an...
Solano Homeschools
Solano Homeschools is a secular group for Solano County homeschoolers to meet each other, plan educational field trips, exchange information, and chat. Member include those actively homeschooling in the Dixon-Vacaville-Fairfield area.
Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institute of Oceanography
Set against a breathtaking view of the Pacific Ocean, the Birch Aquarium at Scripps is home to more than 350 species of marine life found in waters from the cold Pacific Northwest to the warm tropical reefs of the South Pacific. Forty-six tanks range in size from a 70,000-gallon re-created kelp forest to small nursery tanks. The aquarium also features a man-made tide pool that stimulates an awareness in visitors of the fragility of San Diego's intertidal environments.
Resources
America's National Parks for Dummies, Second Edition
What makes a trip to a national park so wonderful? For starters, America's national park system is more diverse than any park system in the world. You can stroll the seashore at Olympic National Park in Washington or Cape Cod National Seashore in Massachusetts, climb craggy mountains in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, or go underground into the world's largest cave system at Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky. You can marvel at the largest canyon on Earth (Grand Canyon National Park), hike among the planet's largest collection or rock arches (Arches National Park), explore the lowest and hottest place in the Western Hemisphere (Death Valley National Park), or wander a realm of forests and misty mountains (Great Smoky Mountains National Park).

And these are just a few of your park options.

America's National Parks For Dummies gives you guidance to decide which park is for you, when to go, and what to see when you reach your destination. This guide will help you plan the best trip imaginable, whether you are

  • An inexperienced traveler looking for guidance in determining whether to take a trip to a national park and how to plan for it
  • An experienced traveler who has yet to explore the national park system and wants expert advice when you finally get a chance to enjoy one
  • Any traveler who doesn't like big, thick travel guides that list every single hotel, restaurant, or attraction, but instead looks for a book that focuses on the places that will provide the best or most unique park experience

America's National Parks For Dummies is user-friendly and organized in a logical fashion. Each park is broken down in a chapter that delves into the nitty-gritty of trip planning and highlights, including tips for

  • Planning your trip by touching on the diversity of the park system, explaining some of your vacation options, and telling you when parks are the most (and least) crowded
  • Ironing out the details by describing how you get to the parks and how to find your way around after you arrive
  • Exploring America's national parks by giving you the lowdown on 15 of the best parks, detailing things like each park's wild kingdom, the best spots for memorable photographs, and a few safety issues

The pages of this book resemble a great long-distance hike – you never know what's around the next bend in the trail. So throw on a backpack, take a swig of water, and get ready to explore the national parks!

The National Parks of America
For tourists, family campers, and serious lovers of the outdoors, here is a big, beautiful, color-illustrated book that describes more than 50 national parks, sites, and seashores that stretch from Cape Hatteras on the Atlantic coast to the Grand Canyon in Arizona, Yosemite in California, Haleakala in Hawaii, and Glacier Bay in Alaska. More than 400 breathtaking photographs capture the beauty and atmosphere of each site, and 54 color maps show each park's location and major features. Visitor information panels give important details on access points, accommodations, and recreational activities such as hiking, rafting, birdwatching, and fishing. Here is a wonderful volume that will inspire plans for trips and evoke marvelous memories of past experiences in America's great outdoors.
Great Lodges of the National Parks: The Companion Book to the PBS Television Series
Stand amid soaring Douglas fir in the great hall of Glacier Park Lodge or sit in the setting sun and gaze into the Grand Canyon at El Tovar. This beautiful gift book will transport you to the majestic lodges of our national parks to relive the glory of past vacations or plan adventures anew. This book and the PBS television series of the same title (to air in spring 2002) take armchair travelers into these architectural wonders and explore the surrounding natural beauty of our national parks. Lodges, wildlife, and stunning vistas are showcased in 175 full-color and black-and-white photographs, along with historical documents from the PBS series. In his introduction, Richard Moe, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, offers a call to preserve this national heritage, and a portion of the proceeds from the sale of this book go toward the rehabilitation of these magnificent buildings.
National Geographic Guide to the National Parks of the United States, Fourth Edition

Now in its fourth edition, the National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America is the ultimate birder’s field guide. Sturdy, portable, and easy-to-use, it features the most complete information available on every bird species known to North America. This revised edition features 250 completely updated range maps, new plumage and species classification information, specially commissioned full-color illustrations, and a superb new index that allows birders in the field to quickly identify a species.

The National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America, Fourth Edition will continue to be a bestseller among the fastest-growing sector in the U.S. travel market—the nearly 25 million people who travel each year specifically to observe wild birds.

America's Spectacular National Parks
The concept of the national park is an American contribution to world civilization, and it remains a defining characteristic of our country. From the rocky shore of Maine's Acadia to the barren crater and lush rain forest of Hawaii's Haleakala, America's national beauty is celebrated and preserved in its national parks. This book retells the history of each park, describes its most important features and wildlife, and reproduces its gorgeous scenery in full-color photographs that will enthrall armchair travelers and entice others to lace up their hiking boots and reach for their sporting gear. Organized by region of the country, it includes well-known parks like the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, and Glacier as well as lesser-known destinations like Shenandoah, Biscayne, and Kenai Fjords.
Pretend City Children's Museum Homeschool Days
Third Friday of each month
Irvine, CA
Once a month, on the 3rd Friday of each month, they offer Homeschool students unlimited access to 17 interactive exhibits offering learning through fun experiences. All of the educational exhibits develop foundational math, reading, and science skills, while fostering curiosity and inspiration, creativity, critical thinking, problem solving, organization, teamwork, self-confidence and socialization. Pretend City believes that the process of learning is as important as the product. A field experience to Pretend City offers students a learning experience through hands-on educational play. These activities surround students with challenging problems and absorbing questions.
America's National Parks: The Spectacular Forces That Shaped Our Treasured Lands
From stunning mountain ranges to arid expanses of desert, America has been blessed with an incredibly diverse land -- and the vision to protect it for our and future generations to enjoy. These lands are ours to view, wander, learn from, and revel in. America's National Parks captures all that is great about all fifty-six parks in the national park system. It also gives interesting, easy-to-understand background on the geological and ecological forces that continue to make each national park so worthy of protection.

Nature lovers will be captivated by gorgeous photos of landforms, flora, and fauna. Families will appreciate the information that is sure to enhance vacations at the parks. And visitors to any of the country's national parks will forever treasure this book as a memento of past visits and an inspiration for future ones.

Unlike any other book published on national parks, America's National Parks is a must-have for anyone who relishes America's natural wonders and wants to learn more about the powerful forces that created them.

These Rare Lands
If a picture's worth 1,000 words, this book--with its hundreds of breathtaking photos of America's National Parks--is a well-stocked bookstore. Accompanied by the words of poet laureate Mark Strand, These Rare Lands is a perfect coffee-table book for anyone who has enjoyed the wonders of nature's wildest places. From a storm over Sequoia National Park in California to the otherworldly stalactites and stalagmites of New Mexico's Carlsbad Caverns and an Atlantic sunset in Maine's Acadia, this is a book that draws you back again and again. Photographer Stan Jorstad's obvious love of nature comes through in the thoughtful approach he takes to his life's work, contained in the pages of These Rare Lands.
Educational Travel on a Shoestring : Frugal Family Fun and Learning Away from Home
Educational Travel on a Shoestring shows parents how they can help their children learn–and have a blast–while traveling. From researching destinations to sharing activities that both teach and entertain, this priceless guide offers practical information for parents who want to have more fun with their kids, build closer family ties, and enjoy richer educational experiences–all without spending a fortune.
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