Resources


My homeschool files are available on Pinterest! I add new links often and have blocked out space for more homeschool boards in the future! These are available to see without joining Pinterest, so if you think Pinterest isn't your thing, that's ok. Please bookmark my 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.

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. It is owned by homeschooler Ann Zeise.

CaliforniaHS Yahoo E-list and CA-Homeschooling-HSC. These two elists are the largest in California and thousands of homeschoolers belong and help each other learn about homeschooling.

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

Driver Training. I am sometimes asked which Drivers Ed program I recommend. There are many online programs you might consider or you can also sign up for a local class for your teen. The one I selected for my teen was DriversEd.com

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!

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

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

Homeschool Classifieds Sell and purchase curriculum.

Support Groups. Here are three sites that maintain lists of support groups in California:

  1. http://homeschooling.gomilpitas.com/weblinks/support.htm
  2. http://www.homefires.com/support/
  3. http://www.californiahomeschool.net/homeschooling-resources/homeschool-support-groups/

Universal Preschool. The universe is our preschool! If you have a preschooler, learn about homeschooling preschool.

Marie Kondo's books. "The life-changing magic of tidying up" and "Spark Joy" are very popular. A supporting Facebook group is https://www.facebook.com/groups/konmarimethod/ It's not a homeschooling group, but many on it do homeschool.

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.

"How to join a new homeschool group." By Kathleen McKernan.

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.

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
    F.U.N. Books is an unschooling catalog, with lots of games and books, and descriptions that will help you get ideas. Their print catalog is printed infrequently and is not complete, so read it online rather than ordering a hard copy. I used to think of them as the only secular company, but they are carrying some Christian books now, too. Check them out and be sure to look at their games, since games are a great way to learn in the elementary grades.
  • Rainbow Resource Center
    With well over a thousand pages, this may be the largest homeschooling catalog you'll ever find! 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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