Resources


Our homeschool files are available on Pinterest! New links and boards have been added, and this page is in the process of being updated. If you don't want to join Pinterest, search for ways to view without joining. Please bookmark CLA's page to make it easier to find resources that you can use.

California Homeschool Organizations

There are three statewide organizations: California Homeschool Network (CHN), Christian Home Educators of California (CHEA), and Homeschool Association of California (HSC). CHN and HSC are inclusive organizations serving all homeschoolers regardless of faith, and CHEA is a Christian organization. All provide support and information for homeschoolers, as well as social activities and home teaching professional information.

Websites and Groups

A to Z Home's Cool. A to Z Home's Cool has lots of general homeschooling information no matter which state you live in, and it is one of the biggest and busiest homeschooling websites.

California Homeschool Network and Homeschool Association of California have a broad social media presence from their original Yahoo groups to the newer Facebook pages. Check their sites for details. You can network statewide with these groups as well as locally with the homeschoolers you see every week!

Cedar Life Academy Homeschool News on Facebook. CLA provides homeschooling information and mentoring on Facebook for Cedar Life Academy families and other homeschoolers.

FlyLady. If you're overwhelmed with homeschooling and housekeeping, check out Fly Lady Mentors, and easily get your house organized the way you always dreamed it could be! This isn't just for homeschoolers, but a lot homeschoolers like her information! Marie Kondo's books, "The life-changing magic of tidying up" and "Spark Joy" are also very popular. A supporting Facebook group is https://www.facebook.com/groups/konmarimethod/. It's not a homeschooling group, but many members are homeschoolers.

Gifted Homeschoolers Forum. An excellent resource for families with gifted children. They also have an active Yahoo group and Facebook group.

Homeschool Buyers Co-op. Membership is free, and members receive group discounts on curriculum.

Homeschool Classifieds Sell and purchase curriculum at sites like this one. Or even better, at a homeschool fair or conference.

Support Groups. Having some homeschool friends to talk to and share tips about parenting as well as homeschooling is a big part of the homeschooling community. Your kids will make friends and so will you! How do you find a group and what are some tips for success? It's all here at: http://www.cedarlifeacademy.com/blog/2017/finding-a-california-park-day/

Universal Preschool. The universe is our preschool! If you have a preschooler, learn about homeschooling preschool here and also at CLA’s Preschool/Kindergarten Pinterest page

ID Cards. Want an ID card? Print one for free or order one at Homeschool Buyers Co-op.

Informative Homeschooling Essays

"15 Common Characteristics of Successful Homeschools: The Magic Is In The Child." By Diane Flynn Keith, Editor of Homefires, Author of Carschooling.

"Living and Learning with Teens." By Michelle Barone, M.A., M.F.T.

"Reading - The Easiest and Best Homeschool Curriculum." By Diane Flynn Keith.

"Save Money with Educator Discounts!" By Diane Flynn Keith.

"Teaching Math: How early can I start?" By Linda C. Burks.

"Teaching Math: Where Do I Begin?" By Linda C. Burks.

"Watching For "Holes" in Your Child's Education." By Diane Flynn Keith.

CLA's Blog covers topics from general homeschooling, new homeschooling, unschooling, gifted issues, high school and college, preschool, and more

Catalogs

Free catalogs are a great resource for homeschoolers, and here are a few to get you started. I think you'll find the descriptions of the items they sell to be very helpful, and as you read catalogs, you will start to get a feel for the kind of education you want to give your child. Many of the items they sell can be purchased used, or borrowed from the library. Don't buy a lot, especially when you are just starting. You will soon know what you need to purchase and what you will really use. Here's a tip to save on shipping costs – talk to your park day friends and put together a group order!

Are you a secular homeschooler? Please note: most homeschooling companies are Christian, but they will be helpful for you, and they usually clearly indicate what items have religious content.

  • F.U.N. Books
    From their site: "Our family has put together this catalog of books, games and other materials to help you in your efforts to produce life-long learners. Good luck and remember to have FUN!" Instead of a print catalog, their information is online.
  • Rainbow Resource Center
    This may be the largest homeschooling catalog you'll ever find (from 800-1,000 pages)! They discount their prices, and also give great descriptive reviews, so you'll learn a lot from Rainbow.
  • Sonlight Curriculum
    Sonlight is a Christian company but 90% of their books are non-religious, and many of their suggestions are available in libraries. They offer a full curriculum (homeschool in a box with religious instructor's guides), but many homeschoolers use the catalog and website as a guide, and pick what works for their family, rather than ordering the entire package. As with any book recommendation, it can be helpful to look for reviews and summaries of the books. Sonlight has descriptions and reviews on their website, and you might also check Amazon for additional information about any book you are considering.
  • Timberdoodle
    A smaller catalog, but it contains a wonderful selection that won't overwhelm you, and they discount their prices. They have some interesting educational items that make great gifts, and as with the other companies on my favorites list, their descriptions are very helpful.
  • The Critical Thinking Co.
    For years, I've recommended just four catalogs for new homeschoolers. I have added an additional catalog to the list for those who want to include critical thinking activities. It's also a good resource for those who are looking for a workbook.

A science catalog may or may not be necessary for you as you start, since the above catalogs offer science items. But, if you think you want a specialized science catalog, there are many companies to consider:

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