Q: Do I have to be a homeschooler to join?

A: Whether you are currently homeschooling, considering homeschooling and/or if you have pre-school age children, all families are welcome to join. However, most of our events will be held during school hours, and you will be required to attend a meet and greet or arrange a phone call with one of our Admins before you will be able to join. Membership fees are required whether or not you are officially homeschooling.

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Q: Do I have to live in Marin to join?

A:
You are welcome to join even if you live outside of the SF Bay Area, but the majority of our events will be in and around Marin. We do have occasional field trips farther away.

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Q:
Am I able to join if my child is not yet school age?

A:
Yes, you may join if you plan on homeschooling your little one, however most of our classes are geared towards school age children. Field trips with limited space will be open to school age children and their siblings first (unless otherwise specified "Open to All.") Please be respectful of age/grade guidelines when attending events.

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Q: Will I be required to attend a minimum number of events per month?

A: You are free to come as often or as little as you like. Just remember you will get out of the group what you put in. If you attend an event every six months you will make some nice acquaintances.

If you come out once a week, you and your child will be making real friends with good strong bonds.

If you attend regular events and host events, you will not only be introducing people to things they wouldn't have thought of trying, but you get to enjoy your friends and do what you want to do, when you want to do it!

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Q: How do I legally homeschool in California?

A: There are several options to legally homeschool in Marin County, CA. Each avenue has unique benefits, and there is bound to be one that suits your needs! We describe the most commonly used options below (for more detailed information, please visit HSC's website at www.hsc.org/legal.html).

California Virtual Academy (CAVA) -- CAVA supplies homeschooling families with a computer and curriculum identical to what is used in the public school system, and there is a lot of teacher support. CAVA is part of the public school system, and children are asked to participate in standardized testing.

Pathways Charter School is a public charter school. Families are given money to spend on classes, school/art supplies, curriculum or other approved homeschooling expenses as well as receive teacher support and access to a lending library of curriculum and resources. Pathways is part of the public school system, and children are asked to participate in standardized testing.

Private School Affidavit (PSA) -- Filing a PSA give families complete independence. There is no financial incentives or teacher support for homeschooling using a PSA. Children who are enrolled through a PSA are not required to take standardized tests.

Private School Satellite Programs (PSP's) -- Both Cedar Life Academy and Beach High are PSP's available to Marin students. There may be others that are not listed -- if you'd like to add one please contact us, and we'll post it here.

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Q: What about socialization?

A:
This is probably the number one question homeschoolers hear! Some of us have socially active children, and other families have children who are shy or may have difficulty with social skills, but we all find ways to meet the socialization needs of our children. Marin Homeschoolers offers many opportunities for shared learning experiences, field trips, and Park Days.

Some people think that homeschooled children are socially awkward, but the reality is that homeschooling does not cause a child to be socially awkward (however, it does spare them the teasing and bullying that can occur at school.) Our extensive network of families with diverse approaches and philosophies will provide ample opportunity to make friends and connect with other parents. Families often pool together to hire a teacher for academic subjects, sports, or life skills; and many places that offer after school programs will schedule Homeschool classes during the school day.

Homeschooled kids benefit from experiences with many different teachers and mixed-age groups -- they constantly forge new friendships and work collaboratively with kids of all ages. There are weekly Park Days, picnics/potlucks, field trips, holiday/seasonal celebrations, family hikes, and many other scheduled events throughout the year...join our network to see our full calendar!

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Q: Does it cost a lot of money to homeschool?

A:
I think that people assume such a fantastically personalized education must come with an equally fantastic price tag, especially here in Marin County. Many homeschoolers will tell you that they originally chose homeschooling over private school because they couldn't afford the tens of thousands of dollars for tuition. Others may say that they gave up one income in order to homeschool (and then realized that they were making about as much money as it cost to pay for child care!) And still others continue to work with flexible schedules, home-based businesses, part-time jobs...there are lots of opportunities to make money while homeschooling.

We often share costs/fees for teachers, field trips, and other resources. Memberships to museums and attractions are not necessary if you use the passes offered at your local public library or attend on a FREE day. When considering the shopping list of school supplies parents are handed at the beginning of each school year, and add to that the continuous shelling out for field trips, activity fees, and fundraisers, you may wonder if this 'free' public school option is truly less expensive than doing it yourself (and, yes, you do qualify for all those 'teacher' discounts!)