Starting Homeschool: Getting Connected/ Online Classes

This is the last post in the series, “Starting Homeschool.”  You may download the entire Starting Homeschool Guide here.

One of the classic concerns about homeschooling is the issue of socialization.  If you homeschool already, you are probably either laughing hysterically or getting very annoyed by that last statement.  Most of us know that there are more than enough ways to get connected if you homeschool your child(ren) both for them and for you.  If you are just getting started, here are some ideas for you.

Discussion Groups (ONLINE)

The Well Trained Mind
Info/Forum for “Classical Method” of Homeschooling (very helpful for curriculum suggestions)

Facebook Groups

Search for what you are looking for: Special Needs Homeschool, Christian Homeschool, [your area] Homeschool, etc.

Yahoo Groups
Some local groups here for outings
Discussion groups for special interests/special needs

Meetup Groups – (IN PERSON):

There are a more homeschool meetup groups than you can count including Christian, secular and special interest groups.  It is easy to search for one in your area or start one yourself!.

  • field trip groups
  • Co-ops (Most co-op sign-ups usually begin in about March/April)
  • parent groups

Another common concern is, “What will I do for high school?”  Many of us barely remember what we learned in high school chemistry or trigonometry.  How will we teach it to our kids?  What if my high school student is interested in things that I know nothing about?  Luckily, many community colleges allow high school students to take classes (called dual-enrollment) and there are also many online class options.  Sometimes a group of families will even hire a teacher or form a co-op for certain subjects.

Colleges Offering Free Classes for Your High School Student (or for you!)

These are not for college credit, but can still be a good option if you are not necessarily looking for the credit, but want to find an appropriate class for your older student.  There are actully many more available, but here are some ideas to get you started.  When seeking out classes like this, look for “open” courses, sometimes called “OpenCourseWare.”

Institution: Link:
Carnegie Mellon
Johns Hopkins School of Public Heath
Notre Dame
Stanford (Engineering)
Tufts University
UC Irvine
University of Massachusetts, Boston
University of WI – Eau Claire
Utah State
Various available on iTunes U*

*There are many  colleges and universities that have lectures and some downloadable print content available on iTunes U.  I have listened to many of these lectures myself because, yes, I am just weird like that.

Other (paid) options to consider:
Many high school students take college classes online or at their local community college (known as dual enrollment), but I am not aware of any that are free.  Dual enrollment  can help your student get a jump start on college credits and can help them “prove” their ability as they apply for colleges after high school.


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