Meetup is a wonderful organization offering numerous groups, including ones to connect homeschoolers. Homeschool families can find local groups dedicated to an assortment of homeschooling options, needs and concerns through the Meetup website. The “Hayward” search turns up Meetup groups throughout the Bay Area, including several East Bay locations. If you are not familiar with Meetup, the groups are open for new members to join and participate in. You must be a member of Meetup to access the Meetup groups. You can also create a group of your own if you see a gap that needs filling for homeschoolers. Meetup membership is free to join, although individual groups may collect nominal dues or fees to keep the group active and growing.
The Lawrence Hall of Science
University of California, Berkeley
1 Centennial Drive
Berkeley, CA 94720
The Lawrence Hall of Science, as part of the University of California at Berkeley, is a terrific resource for homeschoolers. The Hall supports parent efforts in children’s science learning, and offers homeschooling classes to engage students as they experiment with science, develop their ideas and gain new skills. Classes are offered in semester series and prior registration is required. Classes are popular, so register as early as possible. Visit the website and search “Homeschool Classes” for complete details and fees.
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Chabot Space & Science Center
10000 Skyline Blvd.
Oakland, CA 94619
The Chabot Space & Science Center is the center for students to learn and stimulate their senses about the Universe and our Planet Earth. Chabot was initially founded in 1883 as an observatory, and today the center is the place for the latest in hands-on, interactive exhibits and displays, plus planetarium shows exploring the universe and our life on earth. The center is a leader in informal science education and is a perfect field trip destination for homeschoolers. Although the center does not have a homeschooling program, it does have several school field trips available. Homeschooling groups can request and schedule one of the trip options and the center will make arrangements for your group. See the School Field Trip options page for complete information.
Alameda Oakland Home Learners
Alameda Oakland Home Learners, formed in the 1990s, is a homeschooling support group committed to developing friendships among its members for mutual benefit and resource sharing. Parents contribute and participate, as described in the Group Guidelines on the website. See the calendar on the website for upcoming events, highlighting the group’s planned activities.
San Francisco Bay Area Gifted Homeschoolers
SFBAGH is a group of families who are homeschooling intellectually gifted children throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. The focus here is to give support and network advantages to families navigating through the ups and downs of homeschooling gifted children. The term gifted can mean different things for different students. The challenge for homeschool families is to recognize and understand the potential that is part of gifted children, and to help these children feel normal and comfortable as they learn at their own pace. The group has various gatherings in different areas within the group’s range, plus a monthly presentation day in Redwood City. Check the website for additional news including membership information.
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Melanie Graysmith is a freelance writer and artist based in San Francisco. She writes on adult education, art and lifestyle topics, and enjoys writing short stories and poetry. Melanie is a member of an independent filmmaking group and aims to spin her stories into film. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.