Local Homeschool Groups and Co-ops in California
Homeschool families who find and maintain an ongoing support system are more likely to have a satisfying homeschool experience and sustain it for longer. That’s where local and regional homeschool support groups come in.
Support groups are usually created by one or more parents to create a network of information-sharing, advice, and even activities that local families can participate in as a group. Some groups expand their offerings into shared learning experiences, called homeschool cooperatives (or co-ops). This page will inform you about the local homeschool groups California has to offer.
California Homeschool Groups
No matter where you live in California, there is likely a traditional or virtual homeschool group you can lean on for information and support. These groups allow both new homeschooling and experienced homeschooling parents to share information and ideas on making the most of the home education adventure. Many times, the groups organize activities where homeschooled students can also benefit from getting to know other students who are schooling as they do.
While most support groups in the past communicated on forums or via email chains, in recent years most group communication has moved to Facebook. Not only is the platform free and easy to use, but a large majority of parents are already active on it and can easily access group conversations. Sometimes this support system is online only, but many times a homeschool support group will offer regular activities for parents and students as well. Below is a list of some local California homeschool support groups. Use this list as a starting point to find a group close to you. A greater list of homeschool groups in California is available on the A2Zhomeschooling.com site.
Co-Op Homeschooling Groups in California
Homeschool cooperatives are often an outgrowth of a traditional homeschool support group. For families in CA using the private school option, a co-op can offer your students an opportunity to join together with other homeschooling students for academic pursuits. Parents often work cooperatively, taking turns teaching different subjects to the group of children or leading them on field trips. These groups and co-ops usually meet once or more a week or even a couple times a month. Co-op classes or activities may be held in a church, community center, or any other building that offers space to the group.
As an example, The Learning Collective is a homeschool cooperative in the Upland, CA area. Parent-led classes are available to students ages 5-17 and meet for two semesters of the year. Class content depends on parent availability and interest, but past courses have included instruction in archery, fiber arts, early elementary math, and public speaking.
Because co-ops can go in and out of existence fairly quickly, you might have to do a little digging to locate an option near you. To help your search you can:
- ask other homeschoolers in your region if they are aware of a homeschool co-op
- inquire about co-ops in any local/regional homeschool support groups on Facebook
- query your favorite search engine using terms like “homeschool classes” or “homeschool co-op” along with names of nearby towns and counties.
Benefits of Social Groups for Homeschoolers
Because each homeschool group usually arises via a specific family or families, they will likely have specific agendas and philosophies. For example, some are geared primarily toward faith-based homeschoolers, while others are more inclusive or secular in nature. Some groups may also differentiate themselves by a style of homeschooling such as unschooling. Once you locate a support group or cooperative that aligns with your particular families homeschool approach, though, there are many benefits to be had from being part of a homeschool social group. Positive effects you may experience include:
- Getting answers to homeschool-related questions day or night
- Being reminded that you aren’t going this education path alone
- Getting notices of upcoming homeschool-related events in your area
- Opportunities for outings and field trips
- Making new friends!
Additional Resources Related to Homeschooling in California
Have other questions about homeschooling in California? You may find the following pages helpful.