Support Groups
Homeschoolers have created networks of support to provide a way to make friends, get ideas and information, and to offer positive socialization opportunties to their children. You can join in! There are many groups to choose from, many with specific affiliations, like Christian groups or unschoolers' groups. Some are eclectic, inclusive, and open to anyone. Whatever your interest, you are sure to find other like-minded parents. And if you don't find what you are looking for, we've put together tips for starting your own group.
Local & State Groups
Support groups offer a way for those interested in homeschooling or new to home education to get information and support. They also offer opportunities for social activities, group learning, and networking. Find a support group near you in Illinois.
National Groups
Tap into the national homeschool movement by connecting with these national homeschool groups and support organizations.
Social Media
Connect with other homeschooling using social networking tools. You can share tips and ideas, get support, collaborate on lesson plans, upload photos, and much more.
Co-Ops
A co-op offers a way to share teaching duties with others who are excited and knowledgeable about a subject. It also offers an opportunity for your children to learn in a group and to make friends. Browse through this list of co-ops in Illinois.
Umbrella/Cover Schools
An umbrella or cover school provides an alternative way for parents to fulfill governmental educational guidelines and requirements. Most offer a variety of services, which can include curricula, social activities, field trips, standardized testing, portfolio reviews, evaluations, and graduation materials, including diplomas. While umbrella schools do tend to the needs of homeschoolers, they are considered a type of private school in most states.
Resource Centers
Homeschool resource centers offer classes, materials, field trips, and other activities for parents and children alike. They are great ways to get new information, engage in group activities, and network with other homeschoolers.
Public School Programs
Public schools are increasing offering programs to appeal to homeschooling families, from classes to educational materials to computer and distance learning. In most cases, students enrolled in these programs are considered public school students rather than homeschoolers. Learn more about these programs and decide if these are right for your family.
Group Management
Learn how to start and manage a homeschool support group, including how to stay organized, how to handle conflict, and ideas for your support group.
What's Popular
Starting a Homeschool Co-Operative Overseas
Includes tips and ideas for starting a formal co-operative learning environment for the special situation of overseas living.
Homeschool Family Businesses
This group is for the discussion of all things related to running a business while homeschooling. This list is for you if you homeschool and run a business (from home or elsewhere) or are thinking of starting a business. You'll get ideas on businesses that the whole family can participate in. If you are single and homeschool, and are looking for ways to be the sole wage earner while homeschooling, this list will also be helpful.
Grassroots Homeschoolers
This non-profit organization exists for the purpose of nurturing families in a non-denominatinal, non-sectarian capacity. They welcome all faiths, all abilities, and all educational styles. To the homeschooling community, they offer social opportunities, practical information, and learning adventures to be experienced by not only their members but the general public as well. This group is a member of Illinois HOUSE.
Magnum Opus
Raising a large, Catholic, homeschooling family is a great work (Magnum Opus) and a great deal of work! Hopefully this email discussion group will be a place for parents of four or more to help each other with the nitty-gritty details of raising and educating a large, Catholic family.
HEM-Networking
This list is sponsored by Home Education Magazine (HEM) for networking and communication within the online homeschooling community.
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Featured Resources

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Flip Over Math Manipulatives
Grades 1-5. Tub of over 500 manipulatives includes Pattern Blocks, Connecting People, Cuisenaire Rods, Coins, and Bean Counters and can be used with the Flip Over Math Books. This 49 page book (others sold separately) is written to NCTM Standards and provide hands on activities from basic math skills to advanced problem solving.
Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning: An Approach to Distinctively Christian Education
Author Douglas Wilson makes the argument that education must have a foundation of religion, which informs worldview. Education is the asking and answering of questions, and learning to read and write is simply the process of acquiring the tools needed to do that. 
Montessori: A Modern Approach
Montessori: A Modern Approach has been called the single best book for anyone -- educator, childcare professional, and especially parent -- seeking answers to the questions: What is the Montessori method? Are its revolutionary ideas about early childhood education relevant to today's world? And most important, especially for today's dual-career couples. Is a Montessori education right for my child?Paula Polk Lillard writes both as a trained educators and as a concerned parent -- she has many yea...
Catholic Homeschool Companion
Here’s your one-stop resource for information, insight, and inspiration about every aspect of educating your children at home — written by those who understand it best: homeschooling parents themselves! Would you like to teach science or phonics better? Introduce your child to Latin, piano, or great works of art? Try new classroom approaches that other parents find effective? In these pages, you’ll find helpful essays from more than forty veteran homeschooling parents to help you do all this and...
Climb Inside a Poem for Children Big Book of Poems
The poetry anthology, Climb Inside a Poem: Original Poems for Children, uses the writings of contemporary children's poets, whimsical illustrations, and an expansive big book format (14"x 18") to create a 36-page poetry playground. The children's poems crafted expressly for this collection are written by acclaimed children's authors.