Groups for Homeschoolers

Parent Q&A

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  • Home school collectives?

    (5 replies)

    I am curious if there are any collectives or collaboratives creating homeschool experiences for small multi family groups? Thanks to the pandemic zoom solution and some old school public schooling, the challenge of getting an IEP going and then implemented, our student is struggling with school as a concept. The social angle and the training and the need to be employed stand in the way of our imagining traditional homeschool. As we consider all options, I am wondering about something in between private school and homeschool: small group, student centered, sometimes collaborative and project based, always encouraging curiosity and differentiated instruction. One can dream! Has anyone created or discovers and experienced something like this? Like a learning pod during the shutdown but without the district zooms and seasaws, with a trained/experienced teacher. Are there small private schools that meet this description?

    We are looking for something exactly like this!  Our little guy is young, 2.5 years old.  Would love to see if there are options like this!

    We are about to start our first year there so I don’t have a ton of first hand experience but my son (6 years old)’s school, Walden Center, seems like it might be a good fit. It’s very small (my son’s 1st grade class is 9 students total!) and so far we love it. You can read more about Walden that others have written in BPN. They are still open to late enrollment I believe for this school year.

    Did you see the recent post for The Earth School: Small group homeschool? I don't know anything about it but it seems like it's just what you're looking for. Search BPN for 'schools with current openings'. I think it was posted last week.

    There is also Outside School. Again, I'm not personally familiar but it is listed under schools with current openings and I know it's been operating for several years. 

    My last suggestion is check out Crestmont School. My son attended for several years and we enjoyed every minute of it. Yes, it is a school but it's a really unique one that checks all your boxes. Small class size, differentiated teaching, engaging, creative, meaningful  projects and a comprehensive social justice curriculum. It is a  "modern day co-op" with a vibrant and inclusive community. You can peruse the many positive reviews on BPN

    Good luck! 

    If you are open to a collective meeting outdoors at Tilden, we recommend connecting with Brooke at Seeds of Love Collective! She is experienced, credentialed, and resourceful at facilitating engaging projects for kids. Our child thrived in her pod during the 2020-21 school year (when they were 5) in Trackers Micro-school. Trackers is not running Micro-school this fall but Brooke is creating a literacy and science focused collective on her own.  

    Check out Without walls learning collaborative, a family cooperative that meets 9:30-4 M-f, mostly at Miller/Knox in Richmond but we also rotate to other parks in the area and take monthly field trips. 

  • Homeschooling in the East Bay

    (1 reply)

    I’m considering pulling my kids out of public school and homeschooling. Does anyone know if there is a homeschooling group in the East Bay that I can contact with questions?

    Hello! I homeschooled my kids for many years and Alameda Oakland Home Learners has been a wonderful community and resource for our family! AOHL weekly Park Days have been on hiatus due to the pandemic but folks in the group are welcoming and helpful to new and experienced homeschoolers and some get-togethers are happening on Zoom for parents currently. Here is their website:

  • Teenage homeschool groups in SF

    (1 reply)

    Dear BPN:

    my wife and I are seriously considering home schooling our 14 year old this coming fall and we'd like to find other families we can meet & talk to and possibly have social activities with in San Francisco with but its been difficult searching on the web as most leads seem to dead-end. We saw an advert on Facebook for an upcoming home school prom but that's about it. Any suggestions, contacts &c are much appreciated. 

    Thank you,


    I invite you or anyone else to call the Homeschool Association of CA, I am the Phone Line Coordinator, for help. 1-888-HSC-4440. You are also welcome to attend one of two free talks I am giving April 26 at 1 and May 10 at 6pm at the San Jose Bascom Library regarding if homeschooling is for you. Feel free to contact me directly as well, I can help you with resources and how to find your people.

    Library info:

    1000 S Bascom Ave
    San Jose, CA  95128

  • Homeschool group for 14 year old

    (4 replies)

    I was wondering if there are any homeschool groups that have teenagers in Berkeley or close by. I started homeschooling my 8th grader this year and we are looking for a community to belong to.


    I homeschooled my kids for a few years (in the upper elementary/middle school years). To be honest, the social piece was the part I found most difficult--there simply aren't as many homeschoolers around as the internet would have you believe. But with some searching and a willingness to travel a little, you should be able to find some kindred spirits. There is a group on Facebook called "SF East Bay Homeschool Teens." I also suggest checking out Tri Valley Explorers which is out by Pleasanton There is another group called SF Bay Unschoolers, which has a yahoo group you can look up; they hold park days in Berkeley pretty regularly.

    Best of luck!

    Hi!  We'd love to have you visit us at Alameda Oakland Home Learners.  Check out for a calendar of our park days. We have a little group of middle schoolers, including my sons, ages 11 and 13.  Feel free to contact me directly if you have more questions!



    Hi I have been homeschooling my 12 yo with the support of Valley View Charter school and he attends classes at a wonderful micro school with mixed ages in Albany Called In Addition. Vonnie is the director and can be reached at tel:(510) 693-1959

    My son also enjoys going to Trackers homeschooling classes. Trackers is in Berkeley across from Ashby Bart  there’s lots of various classes and programs  

    Good luck! 

    We are part of a homeschooling charter, the Hickman Charter Annex, which mostly takes place at Live Oak Park in Berkeley. They meet something like 18 Wednesdays/year, nominally for classes (which, at the middle school level, includes an absolutely phenomenal Shakespeare program), though in large part for the social interactions that happen before, during, and after. My 7th-grader has a number of friends from there, and participates in other activities with them outside of Hickman. We've had absolutely no trouble finding enough socialization for her, and Hickman is a big part of her community! Same for my son.

  • Hi - We are a family in the Hercules area of the bay, looking to connect with other homeschooling opportunities.  We are a family of 4, with two girls 10.5 & 8.5 years old.  Hoping to connect with a homeschooling group that is 20 miles local to Hercules (Berkeley, Walnut Creek, Vallejo).  Currently considering co-op, charter, or (possibly) private small school opportunities for 2018 and looking for recommendations.  Girls are pretty typical giggly, quirky, and bright bay area kids.  Wanting something close to north/east bay.  Welcome suggestions for meetup group, co-ops, charter opportunities.  Thanks for any suggestions! 

    I wanted to reply to the part of your question that concerns small, private schools for 2018-19. I am a parent at Berkeley Rose Waldorf School and I also now work for the school as the Outreach Coordinator. My children are in first and fourth grades. I invite you to come explore our school at our tour on Thursday, November 30 at 8:30 am or our open house on Saturday, January 20, 2018 at 10 am to learn more about Waldorf Education. Our programs are centered around delivering the curriculum as it is developmentally appropriate based on children's learning stages. We have had several homeschooling families successfully transfer into our school in the last years. The class sizes do not go above 20:1 in the grades (and are currently more like 14 kids per grade); we are at 120 children in our school from preschool to fifth grade and will be adding sixth grade next Fall.  We offer Mandarin and Spanish, orchestra, music, handwork, movement, math and language arts, gardening and lots of outdoor time with fine art integrated into every subject.  If this sounds like it might be appealing to your family, you are welcome to come see for yourself. Our community is wonderful and the rewards of volunteering are a large part of our success. Our tuition is approximately half of what most schools of our quality and capacity charge in this area. Good luck in your search. --Kim   kim [at]

    If you're considering a private co-op be sure to check out Crestmont School in the Richmond Hills. It's a small co-op elementary school which expanded last year to include its first middle school cohort. My son just started kindergarten this year and we couldn't be happier. We love the small class sizes, the emphasis on project based learning,social-emotional development. and social justice. Not to mention the many,many field trips, amazing school community, enthusiastic teachers and really sweet, kind kids. It's a special place, please feel free to come for a visit:


    We are also a homeschooling family in the Hercules area! My 3 oldest kids, ages 6-10 recently started attending micro school one day a week at In Addition:

    It is run by two wonderful certified teachers who because it is :not: a school have a ton of flexibility in the way things are presented. Because of the small class size they can adjust to the individual child's needs and really give them 1:1 attention. The classes are roughly broken up by groupings of K/1 and 2-5, and 6+ so that the teachers can do differentiated instruction. For example, my 1st grader went on a hike to gather some leaves, which they then painted with shaving cream, and my 3rd & 4th graders engaged in a group activity where each of the children acted out a different part of city government (think mayor, parks & rec., etc.) It provides the types of group activities that you cannot get within your own family, but with all homeschooled children. This week they were working on haikus, and non-fiction reports about turkeys that live in the east bay, among other things!

    Additionally, one of my favorite aspects of In Addition is how responsive the owner/head teacher Vonnie is. She is always reachable and does her best to accommodate schedules, which with 5 kids can be complicated! For example, I recently asked her about reading tutoring for my 8 year old, and she set up a small reading group which has led to wonderful progress!

    Anyhow, I really love this place, and it fits in with our other activities nicely. My kids love going there and always ask when they will be going back! Feel free to contact me off list!

  • Homeschool Co-op Elementary?

    (4 replies)

    Hello All,

    We have recently relocated from Brooklyn to Oakland. In Brooklyn, our 6 year old daughter attended the RAD School, which was a "homeschool collective" where several families shared the cost of a private teacher. Does anyone know of something similar here in the bay? Is anyone looking to start something similar here?


    Hi there,

    We are a homeschooling family in SF. My son is 7 yrs old.

    Oh, I would love to find/start a Homeschooling group/coop. 

    Somethng in the East Bay would be perfectly fine with us; doesn't need to be in SF.

    Please contact me via my BPN username.


    Also interested in something like this in SF. Anyone have any leads? Thanks

    If you are interested in a co-op school (rather than a homeschool co-op), check out Crestmont School in Richmond.  My daughter goes there and we love it.  Because Crestmont is a co-op, there is a high level of parent involvement in and out of the classroom and a very strong community.  There's still a few seats available if you were looking for something this school year. 

    SF family (billynare) please contact me via my username; let's talk about what might be possible. There is a need!

  • lgbt parent homeschooling

    (2 replies)


    Would like to find others who are part of the lgbt community who are homeschooling. Does anyone know of any groups?

    Thank you


    You might contact HSC , HomeSchool Association of California ( )

    They have lots of resources for all types of homeschoolers and could probably point you in the right direction. They have a local advocate you can speak to as well as a listing of local groups. Just look through the drop-downs when you mouse over the main headings on their homepage. Good luck. I hope you find what you are looking for.

    I don't know of anything, but would be grateful if you would share what you find out!



Archived Q&A and Reviews


Looking for other homeschooler families

Sept 2014

We are homeschooling our two sons, ages 8 and 10, after many years in public school. We don't have any friends who homeschool, and find park days where everyone already knows each other a little intimidating. I'm also aware of various events at Chabot, LHS, etc.... What would be ideal would be to meet up with homeschoolers who are also public school vets. Any advice greatly appreciated. Amy

While your post indicated that park days feel intimidating, I want to let you know that there are a wide variety of families who go to park days. There are always families coming for the 1st time & others who've come for years & everything in between. You will also find lots of public school vets; also families where one child is being homeschooled while another is going to public school, or families where they've gone back & forth with schooling choices.

On Monday afternoons, Homegrown Kids meets from roughly 1-5 at the following parks: Orinda, Codornices, Kennedy Grove near El Sobrante, Shorebird, and, on 5th Mondays, Arlington Park. The schedule is posted on line, no membership needed.

On Tuesday afternoons, the SF Bay Area Unschoolers (SFBunnies) meet at Berkeley & sometimes Oakland or Emeryville parks. SFBUN (Unschoolers) They do not post a public schedule for the park days. You need to ask for get into the group.

On Thursday afternoon, the Alameda-Oakland Home learners get together, alternating between Oakland & Alameda at wide variety of parks (much more variation in parks than the Mon or Tue groups). (AOHL)

All 3 groups do additional activities: field trips, getting together to go to plays, camping trips. The parents of AOHL also offer quite a lot of classes for kids in writing, science, debate, book club, etc. To get all the info about classes, etc for aohl, you need to become a member ($15/Sept-Aug 'year').

I wish you all the best in your homeschooling journey and all the support and resources you are hoping to find. happy homeschooling


Want to form a homeschooling collective

June 2014

Mom in north El Cerrito interested in home-schooling 6 year old son next year looking for other moms interested and/or enrolled in home-schooling in Contra Costa County to teach and take turns in some sort of collective style. Would love some age diversity and experience with home-schooling!

You might want to post your question on these groups as well:

SFBUN (Unschoolers)

Alameda Oakland Home Learners (AOHL)

Homegrown Kids:

Also, there is a locally made documentary coming out later this year that is growing community: and

Email lists and online groups for homeschoolers?

Nov 2011

I am considering home schooling my child for various reasons. Would any homeschooling parents please share which email lists/online groups they belong to, that have been most useful for you? Thank you! Potential Homeschooling Parent

The Community Learning Web ( is great and I have heard good things about Hickman Charter School (a resource center for homeschoolers, located near MOCHA in Oakland). There are several groups, including Homegrown Kids, SF Bay Unschoolers, and Alameda Oakland Home Learners -- all of these host park days in the east bay. Also check yahoo for local homeschool group listservs, for the Homeschool Assoc. of CA. happy homeschool mom

join the yahoo group BAHFT (bay area homeschoolers field trips). Join regional and national homeschooling groups which support your needs/reasons for considering HSing (e.g., SENG, 2e, Calvert, ADHD, SPD, LDS, Davidson) check out the great resources at happy HSing

There is a yahoo group SFBUN - San Francisco Bay Unschoolers. Unschooling is a particular flavor of homeschooling. To learn more about it google Growing Without Schooling and look up the work of John Holt, John Taylor Gatto and Grace Lewellyn. This website is also a good place to start: EK

Meetup - I've joined a couple of really good groups through Meetup - just go to the Search boxes and enter in ''homeschool'' for topic and your zip code for area.

Yahoo Groups - Another great resource. Do a search for ''SF Bay Area'' and ''homeschool'' (or something similar), and you'll get a wealth of choices.

Both of the options mentioned above would be for online groups that also meet in person (usually a couple times per week, at least). If you're interested in an online only listserve-type of group, I personally like Well-Trained Mind Secular (find it through Yahoo groups); I'm also on a couple of Catholic homeschooling lists, as our family is Roman Catholic.

It also depends on what type of homeschooling you're interested in - we're doing the 'classical' method, but others are unschoolers, Waldorf, eclectic, etc. You'll find groups for all homeschooling persuasions online - Yahoo groups is great for that.

Good luck in your homeschooling journey! We are just starting out, but so far have found it to be an incredibly rewarding experience. Please feel free to contact me at my email address if you'd like more info about anything. Monica

How to find unschooling families in the area

Oct 2010

I'm a stay-at-home mom to a lovely, sharp three-year-old and next year she will be ready for preschool. The topic of ''unschooling'' is something I've been reading about and I am strongly interested in doing that in lieu of the traditional school route. However, I'm not sure how to find some unschooling families in the area (Berkeley/Oakland) to get some more information about it. Does anyone know how I could get in touch with some families who unschool? I'm hoping to not only make contact and ask questions, but even hang out with them to see what it's like. Any help on this topic is appreciated! Rachel

There is a huge community of unschoolers here in the SF Bay area! You can find many of them online here: The best way to get to know more unschoolers is to come to some of the events that happen every week. There are a lot of younger kids who come to the Berkeley SFBUN parkdays on Tuesday afternoons! There is also a gathering every month in which many of the families come from all over the bay area and the kid age ranges from newborn to teen, and everyone is very friendly and open. Feel free to email me if you would like more info, Sam

Unschooling/Homeschooling Teen groups in East Bay?

April 2010

My son is currently in 9th grade and has just moved to El Cerrito. We are wondering if there are ways to connect with other teens in the area who are studying at home. I'd also like to hear any advice from parents who have tried unschooling with their teens.

There is a yahoo group called San Francisco Bay Unschooling Network (SFBUN), and some of those families have teens. In addition, a homeschool cooperative for teens is forming called High School Without Borders (, which will be offering social networking and classes in the East Bay for homeschooling teens. Jennifer

High School Without Borders is a newly formed group of experienced and new home schooling families who want a unique, interesting, challenging, college preparatory high school level education for their East Bay kids. Best wishes.

Earlier Advice

Nov 2004

There are many resources for homeschooling in the Bay Area. There are local support groups that have regular park days for informal socializing. There are websites and email lists dedicated to giving out information about field trip opportunities, classes and social functions. For academics, families can choose from several options including charter school specializing in independent study, district independent study programs, private independent study programs and private school affidavits (R-4s). Here are a few phone numbers and websites to get you started:

Some local support groups and contacts:

Family Village - meets at Corodonices Park in Berkeley every Monday afternoon (weather permitting). Mary D.

Home Grown Kids - meets around the East Bay weekly. Marianne F.; Lucy K.

Alameda Oakland Home Learners - meets in Oakland and Alameda on Thursday afternoons. Jennifer O.


The Homeschool Association of California - HSC has information for new homeschooling families and also runs the Home=Education Conference every summer in Sacramento. They offer speakers and workshops which are really great for both the new and veteran homeschooler.

Homefires - - for lots of local information including an extensive list of local support groups and contacts.

California Homeschool Network: - information on the legality of homeschooling in California.

Independent study charter schools serving the Bay Area:

Bay Area School for Independent Study (BASIS): or call 510-687-9111

Hickman Charter School (Berkeley Annex): or call (510) 525-3111

Connecting Waters Charter School: or call 800-808-9895

Thank you,

February 2003

Hi to All, I started (with a few bumps) a group that meets on the last friday of the month 7:30 - 9:00pm at the El Cerrito Plaza Barnes and Nobles, a group for homeschooled/ing teens and their parents. It is an inclusive group designed to support parents through this teen time and to allow teens to met new teens. Relationships and issues and challenges and joys come and go so fast during these years. The teens met in the book stacks and chat and ask the parents if they come up with any idea's for fun/learning they want the parents to support. While this is happening, the parents chat and share what works, what isn't, what could be interesting to do as a group or a few, etc. It is meant to become a group of parents who commit as regulary as they can through these years but who also in all probability have a schedule that does flucutate, like mine! For more information come check it out. I will be the one with the coffee cup looking around constantly! Lucinda