How to Start Homeschooling in Chicago
Whether you have always wanted to do it, or you are researching it for the first time, you are here because you are considering homeschooling in Chicago. You probably have hundreds of questions about everything from how to get started to what curriculum to use. On this page, we aim to guide you with information that will make your journey toward homeschooling in the Windy City a confident one.
How to Homeschool in Chicago
As with almost anything, the key to a successful start in homeschooling is knowing what to expect. This unique, flexible, and customizable approach to your child’s education begins with several important steps.
- Review the Illinois state homeschool laws and requirements.
- Officially withdraw your child from his/her current school, if enrolled.
- Choose the best homeschool curriculum or mix of curricula that will fit your preferred homeschooling style and your child’s learning style.
- Connect with other homeschoolers by seeking out Chicago homeschool groups.
- Have fun learning together!
This information should by no means be interpreted as legal advice. It is your responsibility to interpret and understand the laws that you will be homeschooling under.
Time4Learning Curriculum for Chicago Homeschooling
You have complete freedom to choose the homeschool programs in Chicago that fit your child’s learning needs. Time4Learning has become an especially popular curriculum for those new to homeschooling in the windy city because of its multimedia online format, ease of use, engaging and comprehensive learning content.
Time4Learning’s program is designed to make your path into home education as smooth and seamless as possible. Some of the reasons why families in Chicago are choosing Time4Learning as their homeschool curriculum partner include:
- The low-cost monthly subscription fits within almost any homeschool budget.
- Built-in lesson plans mean that parents can have their child follow the suggested sequence for the year, or focus on a particular area of study.
- Automated grading and record-keeping allows parents to focus on other things, while understanding exactly how their child is progressing.
- Access to virtual labs, interactive projects, guided notes, and much more to help enhance material, bring concepts to life, and allow students to apply what they’ve learned.
- Our curriculum covers all the core subjects such as math, language arts, science, and social studies and even offers multiple foreign language courses to choose from.
- Time4Learning makes learning fun!
Students from PreK through 12th grade receive a login to an interactive program complete with animated or video lessons, critical thinking exercises, and ongoing assessments monitoring proficiency and progress.
Homeschool Field Trips in Chicago and Beyond
Because Time4Learning removes the stress from your day, you’ll soon discover that homeschooling in Chicago has more than just a few perks. One of those is the freedom to complement anything you are learning with hands-on learning and field trips. When you live in a city like Chicago, with an educational opportunity around every corner, these outings are a must!
Some of the most popular homeschool field trips in Chicago include:
Smart Museum of Art – In addition to the permanent and oft-changing visiting exhibits at this museum at the University of Chicago, homeschooling families will enjoy taking part in monthly “Family Days.” These free programs include docent-led tours and artmaking projects, with all supplies and materials provided. The museum also offers unique programs for teens in the summer months.
Garfield Park Conservatory – This historic conservatory covers more than 12 acres on Chicago’s west side and is the ideal place to stretch your legs and senses during a curriculum recess. Programming at the location includes cultural performances, hands-on classes, educational demonstrations, and more throughout the year. Dedicated family programming occurs each month, focused on specific themes such as gardening, insects, and conservation.
Chicago Children’s Museum – No homeschool year would be complete without a visit or two to this museum offering arts programs, STEM experiments, and hours of imaginative play. Housed in Navy Pier, this destination offers the opportunity to practice dinosaur excavation, shopping in a grocery store, and exploring the interior of a kid-sized fire department. Families can explore three floors of educational exhibits, and participate in a full calendar of programs and events, including times of the week when the museum offers free admission.
Kline Creek Farm – A visit to this farm in nearby Winfield, IL is like stepping back in time. It is part of the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County and gives families living history insight into a 1890s farm. A restored farmhouse and barn, along with a summer kitchen, chicken coop, wagon shed and other farm buildings have all been built with historical accuracy by staff members and volunteers. Visitors can tour the grounds and the farmhouse while workers dressed in period clothing explain the day’s activities. Numerous 1890s-themed events are held throughout the year.
Museum of Science and Industry – Imagine exploring over 2,000 exhibits in 75 major halls–all dedicated to educating the public about science! Among the museum’s exhibits are a full-size replica coal mine, German submarine U-505 captured during World War II, a 3,500-square-foot model railroad, the command module of Apollo 8, and the first diesel-powered streamlined stainless-steel passenger train. Throughout the year, the museum offers Homeschool Learning Labs for up to 20 students on a first-come, first-served basis.
Emily Oaks Nature Center – This thirteen-acre savanna and nature center in Skokie, IL could mean a chance to catch a glimpse of great blue herons, flying squirrels, red foxes, Cooper’s hawks, or multiple other wildlife species. Dedicated homeschool programs offer in-depth opportunities to get hands-on with nature in the center’s classroom space. Whether you rent a canoe to enjoy the three-acre pond or just walk the trails to keep an eye out for natural wonders, this is a perfect low-key homeschool field trip.
Of course, this is just a sampling of the educational field trips in Chicago. For even more ideas on taking your learning on the road, visit our Homeschool Field Trips in Illinois post.