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.
Resources
Not Back to School Camp

Not Back to School Camp is a non-denominational, non-religious homeschool camp. The camp offers workshops, spontaneous events, and special evening gatherings, bringing together campers who are excited about life and willing to be themselves and to reach out and connect with the others. 

Local & State Support Groups
H.O.U.S.E. by the Lake
H.O.U.S.E. by the Lake, a local chapter of Illinois H.O.U.S.E., is a support and networking group for homeschooling families with children of all ages in and around the northeast Chicago and Cook County area. This group is non-sectarian and inclusive of all styles of homeschooling.
Will County Unschoolers
This is an inclusive homeschooling group for Will, DuPage, and surrounding counties in Illinois. They meet every Wednesday, alternating each week between the Joliet area and Aurora/Naperville area.
Illiana Homeschool Cooperative
This is a group of homeschooling families in northwest Indiana and northeast Illinois who are providing socialization and educational opportunities for their children.
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.
Illinois H.O.U.S.E.
Illinois H.O.U.S.E. (Home Oriented Unique Schooling Experience) is an umbrella organization of individual nonsectarian and inclusive support groups across the state of Illinois.
Evanston Home Educators
Evanston Home Educators provides support, ideas, information and opportunities for group classes and field trips for homeschooling families in the Evanston Area. As a member of the umbrella group Illinois H.O.U.S.E. (Home Oriented Unique Schooling Experience), this group is non-sectarian, and members have many different approaches to and reasons for homeschooling.
Off The Beaten Path
Off the Beaten Path is an inclusive support network of unschooling families based in Lake County, Illinois. OTBP’s mission is to provide a means for local unschoolers, and those wanting to learn more about interest-led learning, to connect and support one another.
Lake County H.O.U.S.E.
Lake County H.O.U.S.E. (Home-Oriented Unique Schooling Experience) is located in and around Lake County, Illinois. Their mission is to provide non-sectarian and non-political support and information for homeschooling families as well as providing socialization and shared educational opportunities for their children. Lake County H.O.U.S.E. provides many clubs and field trip experiences organized by and for its members and others in the homeschool community, as well as a lively dialog concerning homeschool interests and educational opportunities in the Lake County and Chicagoland areas. New members are always welcome.
Northside Unschoolers of Chicago
The Northside Unschoolers is a support group for homeschooling families that practice child-led learning.
Local & State Online Groups
PeoriaAreaHomeschoolers
A message board and email list for homeschoolers, or families who are thinking about homeschooling, in the Peoria, Illinois area.
IL Homeschoolers (homeschool-Illinois)
Email support group for the discussion of topics related to homeschooling in Illinois. This group is open-minded and discusses a variety of topics. You'll find information about local events, organizations, and homeschool websites.
Three Rivers Homeschool Network
The Three Rivers Homeschool list functions to connect homeschooling families and their support groups in western Kentucky, southern Illinois, and northwest Tennessee. Its purpose is to keep families aware of the opportunities for support and enrichment available within a roughly 60 mile radius of Paducah, KY.
ILHomeschools
A Christian email support list for Christian families who plan to or are currently homeschooling in the state of Illinois.
ILHSannounce
Email list for Illinois homeschoolers, or those who are interested in homeschooling in Illinois, to announce area activities, field trips, speakers, group meetings, legal information, and legislation information.
Home-Schooling the Only Child
Homeschooling an only child can be quite challenging at times. This group is open to anyone for support, enrouragement and ideas for those who choose the home-schooling road for you and your child. Although they are based in NC, anyone can join for support. They have a database that you can access to see who is in your state to get together with.
Unschooling in IL
Email list for Illinois families who are unschooling. This is for parents for have chosen the method of unschooling as the means to teach their children. Join the list of Illinois families who are unschooling.
Unschooling in the Midwest
This group is for unschoolers in the midwest to offer support to other life learning families and to organize activities.
Scott AFB Homeschoolers
Scott AFB Homeschoolers is an online email and discussion group for military Families (Active, Reserve, Retired) at or near Scott AFB, IL. This is not an official Scott AFB group or site and they are not sponsored by the base. They are a group of Christian homeschooling families living at or near Scott AFB.
Illinoishomeschool
This is a mailing list for people who home school or are thinking of homeschooling in Illinois, kids and parents alike. Here you can exchange ideas, support each other, and share resources and information.
Will County Unschoolers
This is an inclusive homeschooling group for Will, DuPage, and surrounding counties in Illinois. They meet every Wednesday, alternating each week between the Joliet area and Aurora/Naperville area.
Off The Beaten Path
Off the Beaten Path is an inclusive support network of unschooling families based in Lake County, Illinois. OTBP’s mission is to provide a means for local unschoolers, and those wanting to learn more about interest-led learning, to connect and support one another.
Lake County H.O.U.S.E.
Lake County H.O.U.S.E. (Home-Oriented Unique Schooling Experience) is located in and around Lake County, Illinois. Their mission is to provide non-sectarian and non-political support and information for homeschooling families as well as providing socialization and shared educational opportunities for their children. Lake County H.O.U.S.E. provides many clubs and field trip experiences organized by and for its members and others in the homeschool community, as well as a lively dialog concerning homeschool interests and educational opportunities in the Lake County and Chicagoland areas. New members are always welcome.
National Forums
Homeschool Christian Solo Homeschooling Parents Message Board
This message board is designed for single homeschooling parents to support each other and get ideas and information on homeschooling as a solo parent.
Black Homeschoolers' Network
Black Homeschoolers' Network is intended to facilitate a network among African American homeschoolers across the country. Here you will also find a message board for general communication as well as an email pal listing for homeschooled kids.
Military Homeschoolers Forum at vegsource.com
Connect with other military homeschooling families at this vegsource.com message board.
Charlotte Mason Forum at vegsource.com
Discuss Charlotte Mason's ideas and find new way to implement those ideas at the forum sponsored by vegsource.com.
Community Homeschooling Forum at vegsource.com
This is a general message forum at vegsource.com designed to discuss all general homeschooling topics.
Adoptive Homeschooling Parents Forum at vegsource.com
This forum at vegsource.com focuses on parents with adopted children who choose to home educate.
Unschooling Forum at vegsource.com
Unschoolers meet to talk and share ideas at this vegsource.com message board.
Special Needs Homeschooling Forum at vegsource.com
A message board for parents who are homeschooling special needs children.
Homeschooling Humor Forum at vegsource.com
Got a funny story to share? Need a good chuckle? You'll find it here as homeschooling moms and dads share the joys and humor of homeschooling.
Work at Home Moms (WAHM) Homeschool Forum
The WAHM message boards provide a forum where you can make announcements, promote your home business, find business services, and much more. The WAHM forum is also a great social network for work at home moms. Share your WAHM stories, find help, support and advice, and meet other WAHMs across the USA and around the world.
National Online Groups
ABC Books by Ann
This group consists of two things: 1) a bi-weekly newsletter with articles about living books, book collecting, taking care of and organizing your home school library, using living books in your homeschool, notebooking, book and author reviews, and more; and 2.) a bi-weekly catalog of living books for sale on eBay, plus and some unit studies.
Crunchy Unschoolers
A list for unschoolers who are interested in moving towards a sustainable lifestyle. Topics for discussion may include how sustainability and unschooling complement each other, and how we resolve conflicting values.
Mater Amabilis Teacher Training Forum
Mater Amabilis is a free online homeschool curriculum, which takes the methods of Charlotte Mason and applies them for the 21st century Catholic family. Offering a detailed and flexible syllabus for each age level, Mater Amabilis can be used as a complete curriculum or simply as a springboard for learning. This online teacher training forum provides support in implementing the methods of Charlotte Mason and tips for adapting these methods to today's family.
Unschooling.com Email List
This discussion list is the companion communications forum for the Unschooling.com website.
CM for One
CM for One (CMfor1) is a message board for families home educating an only child and using the Charlotte Mason Method.
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.
Shining Children with Radical Unschooling
This list is a forum for those either radically unschooling or learning how to radically unschool to discuss our "shining" children (Highly Sensitive, Out of Sync, Asperger’s traits, Explosive) and all the issues that accompany life with them--how we grow and learn ourselves thanks to our non-typical children and how unschooling frees their spirits and allows them to truly "shine."
Child-Led Christian Unschooling
This child-led learning group is for those unschoolers who are also Christians.
Radical Christian Unschoolers
Feeling like you must be the only radical unschooler in the Christian faith? Tired of hearing those who claim to be Christian unschoolers discuss curriculum or how to make their kids do chores? Tired of hearing secular unschoolers say that you couldn't possibly exist? Look no farther! On this list there will be no talk of curriculum, spanking, chore charts, coercive limitations, forced respect, or anything else that doesn't jive with radical unschooling. This list is for discussing radical unschooling by people who already "get it" and want to connect with other radically unschooling Christian families.
Pregnant Again
This is a list for all who are pregnant for the third or more time and are having a large family by choice. Discussions include the difficulties of having several at home when dealing with sickness and fatigue, homeschooling, and more. This is a supportive list where people believe that large families are wonderful.
Blind Homeschoolers
This email group is for families who are homeschooling/parenting a blind child. Teachers of the Visually Impaired who would like to share tips and suggestions are also welcome.
Homeschool Helper
Homeschool Helper is an email group that focuses on specific curriculum questions, needs, and concerns.
Unschoolers' Circle
The Unschoolers' Circle is an inclusive list for anyone interested in home education with unschooling leanings.
Unschool Sharing for Parents
Share successes and ideas and build a helpful, welcoming archive for the new unschoolers, the newly-unschooling, and the nicely unschooling.
Afrocentric Homeschoolers Association (AHA) Yahoo Group
A discussion group for pro-Black African and/or African Diasporan, Black homeschoolers, unschoolers, deschoolers, home-based educators everywhere. It is also open to non-homeschoolers and non-Blacks who are trying to teach their children about Blacks.
Homeschooling Boys
Boys... whether you have one, two, three or more---this is the spot to discuss their special needs. This is a group of mostly homeschool Moms who are devoted to their sons and are on a constant search for resources and wisdom for raising young men with character, integrity, preparing them for life.
CM Curricula
This list is for the buying and selling of resources (biographies,poetry and art books, teacher resources, etc.) that are in conformity with the Charlotte Mason "twaddle-free" philosophy. This is strictly a buying and selling list.
cmason
This list is for persons who are using or are interested in using the Charlotte Mason Philosophy for education (including homeschooling), or to enrich their own lives. Thislist espouses a Christian philosophy and is also a prayer list. It is also a very active discussion list, often 100 posts per day.
HEM-Unschooling
This list is for the broad-ranging discussion of unschooling. It is sponsored by Home Education Magazine.
Teach Art at Home
A monthly newsletter that delivers free art projects and lessons that are contained on www.teachartathome.com - the home of Masterpiece Art Instruction. Join the group and be the first to receive the new projects every month along with drawing lessons and fun ideas for using art to teach other subjects such as history and science.
Chevra
Chevra was formed in September 1998 as an online support community for Jewish homeschoolers of all varieties. It tends to be a very chatty place where they discuss Jewish observance, homeschooling, family life, outside interests, and (the favorite topic) why the laundry never seems to get done. If you are looking for a group that discusses only homeschooling and Judaic resources, you may very well be disappointed in Chevra's free-wheeling discussions of everything under the sun, but there is lots of great information here.
Secret Society of Unschooling Dads (SSUD)
This group is for Unschooling Dads, Granddads, and Dads-to-be who have attended one of the past 3 Live and Learn Conferences OR who have spouses who attended one of these conferences. Other unschooling fathers (et al.) can also join the group through invitation. Our intention is to keep a running dialog and passion for unschooling our children between conferences.
Homeschoolers Teaching Kindergarten
This discussion list is for homeschoolers teaching preschool and kindergarten. Topics include curriculum selection (whether necessary or not), teaching tips, creative learning ideas, time management, unit studies, homeschooling books, neat craft ideas, cooking tips for all occasions, support those who have homeschool burn out, or those who are just starting to homeschool.
Onlies-HS
This list is dedicated to families homeschooling only-children. These families have unique socialization issues and must often be super-creative in their solutions. Join this list if you are homeschooling a wonderful Only.
Designing Your Own Classical Curriculum Families
This list is for families using the classical approach to education as outlined in Laura Berquist's book Designing Your Own Classical Curriculum (DYOCC).
Work and Homeschool
Do you have to (or have to return to) work or attend school but still want to educate your child(ren) at home? Have you been told that it's impossible to fit homeschooling your child(ren) into your life if you cannot make it your top priority due to your own work or school needs? Well, many of these list members are proving that work and homeschool can be done! This is a support group for working parents (or student parents) who have chosen to homeschool their children or are considering homeschooling, as well as for homeschooling parents who are thinking of returning to work. Whether you are working/attending school or thinking of doing so, whether inside or outside your home, and whether you are homeschooling or thinking of doing so, this list is for you.
Unschooling Discussion
Large traffic email list whose stated purpose is to move out of comfort zones and critically examine beliefs, ideas, and viewpoints about learning, and seek a deeper understanding of unschooling and more respectful relationships with one's children.
Always Learning
Discussion for homeschooling fans of John Holt, whose books Learning All the Time, Never Too Late, and Teach your Own have made unschooling an option for thousands of families.
Basically Beechick
Ruth Beechick Style Homeschooling is an Eclectic approach which focuses on natural learning through Real Books and Real Life. Basically Beechick is a Christian homeschool support group to discuss the methods and ideas of Dr. Ruth Beechick. Other authors whose ideas mesh well with Beechick's are discussed as well. These authors include (but are not limited to) Susan C. Anthony, Rebecca Rupp, Jean Soyke, E.D. Hirsch, Jessie Wise and Susan Wise Bauer, Harvey and Laurie Bluedorn, Laura Berquist, Robin Scarlata, Jane Claire Lambert, Valerie Bendt, Clay and Sally Clarkson, Cindy Rushton, Mary Hood, Marilyn Howshall, and Charlotte Mason.
CharlotteMasonKindergarten
A group for Charlotte Mason Mom's using the curriculum outline suggested in Karen Andreola's summer of 93 Parent's Review titled, "A Formidable List of Attainments for a Child of Six", and also trying to complete the Kindergarten Skills list as described in Catherine Levison's book, A Literary Education.
CM Audiobooks
CM Audiobooks was created to allow homeschooling parents the ability to share MP3 files of personal book readings. These audiobooks are of Twaddle-free books per the Charlotte Mason method and specifically created for those using the Ambleside Online curriculum. Anyone using the Charlotte Mason method is welcome to join and participate by reading books.
Unschooling Dads
This list is a place for unschooling dads. Whether you're an advocate, long-time unschooler, novice, or somewhere in the middle, you're welcome here. This list is for dads only.
CM for Moms of Many
An email group for homeschooling moms using Charlotte Mason's methods. Focuses on homeschooling larger families.
Always Unschooled
This is a list dedicated to achieving a deeper understanding of a Radical Unschooling lifestyle with young children. It is geared towards thoughtful discussion and exploration of what Radical Unschooling looks like in the early years, from toddlerhood to around age 8 or so. Experienced and new Unschoolers can discuss how they made the transition from peaceful parenting to Unschooling in daily practice, when that transition occurred and what benefits children gain by Unschooling from the beginning.
Homeschooling Creatively
This list is a place where parents can come to understand and give value to our creative children as we home/unschool with them. The focus will be on discussing alternative ways (versus public school methods) to help our creative children learn which best suits their learning style and respects their complex personality traits, taking a look at creating a success-based learning environment that draws on the strengths of our creative learners while providing support-based opportunities to gently guide their intense natures.
Tons of Kids
This mailing list is set up for parents of large families. Large for this list is defined as having five or more kids. They welcome everybody who has at least that many of any religion, or even no religion.
Unschoolers Coffee Talk
A place for unschoolers to come together to discuss our adventures and experiences,share resources and information.
Eclectic Home Educators
This is an online support group for families who are pursuing an eclectic style of homeschooling. Although many members of the group are religious-minded, the list itself is secular.
K12 Large Families
This group is for large families using the K-12 curriculum created by Dr. William Bennett. Both homeschooling families and Virtual School families are welcome. It is particularly intended for families with more than 3 children in K-12 as well as additional teens, toddlers and babies. Discussions include both the curriculum and the challenges of implementing it in a large family.
Unschooling Families
This list is a friendly place for all to chat about anything you wish to explore. Parenting issues, schooling issues, political issues . . . as unschoolers, we know that nothing is off topic.
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Featured Resources

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H. A. Guerber's Histories
Helene A. Guerber wrote histories for grammar school children in the 19th century. Published in 1896 by the American Book Company, ‘Guerber’s Historical Readers in the Eclectic Readings Series’ were used to introduce children to the histories of the ancient and classical world. These engaging narratives are richly detailed accounts of the lives and times of the most important people of the period, arranged chronologically. The people are placed within the context of their times, and their histor...
Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us)
In this brilliant, lively, and eye-opening investigation, Tom Vanderbilt examines the perceptual limits and cognitive underpinnings that make us worse drivers than we think we are. He demonstrates why plans to protect pedestrians from cars often lead to more accidents. He uncovers who is more likely to honk at whom, and why. He explains why traffic jams form, outlines the unintended consequences of our quest for safety, and even identifies the most common mistake drivers make in parking lots. Tr...
Homeschooling For Dummies
This comprehensive guide gets you off to a great start. From helpful advice on how to decide if homeschooling is right for you, to how to get started, to complying with all legal requirements, you'll find what you need at the beginning of your homeschooling. Also included are teaching tips, advice on networking, testing, curriculum, and more. 
LeapPad Game - Mind Wars Jr. Interactive Game
Bring a friend and try this brand new way to play with your LeapPad! Race around the board in this fast-paced, wonderfully wacky game. Be the first to close all five windows and you will become the Mind Wars master and learn important 1st and 2nd grade skills in math, language arts, life science, physical science, and social studies!
These Rare Lands
If a picture's worth 1,000 words, this book--with its hundreds of breathtaking photos of America's National Parks--is a well-stocked bookstore. Accompanied by the words of poet laureate Mark Strand, These Rare Lands is a perfect coffee-table book for anyone who has enjoyed the wonders of nature's wildest places. From a storm over Sequoia National Park in California to the otherworldly stalactites and stalagmites of New Mexico's Carlsbad Caverns and an Atlantic sunset in Maine's Acadia, th...