Community

Perhaps you are looking for a support group that meets on a different day, or closer to your house.  Here are some groups that are welcoming to unschoolers:

Illinois H.O.U.S.E

Westside H.O.U.S.E.  The group welcomes all types of homeschoolers to the group.

The Chicago Homeschool Coop Meet once a week for social time at various parks or at an indoor space during the winter.

Many Rivers Unschoolers  is an all inclusive homeschooling group comprised of approximately 35 families in Naperville, Aurora, Joliet and surrounding communities, including Will County, DuPage County and surrounding counties in the west, far west, and southwest suburbs of Chicago, Illinois.

Grassroots Homeschoolers H.O.U.S.E.   serving Chicagoland and NW Indiana area homeschoolers.

 

 

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Tween Club Yahoo Group   This homeschool tween club was started to assist tweens in the north and northwest perimeters of the city of Chicago to gather, socialize and explore the world together. This is an open and inclusive group for all homeschool tweens in Chicago and surrounding.
Chicago Homeschool Meetup Group The mission of our group is to provide opportunities for homeschooled children to connect with other kids, do joint field trips, and to serve as a resource for new and seasoned homeschool families.

 

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Chicago Museums: Educator and Homeschool Resource Page

as of 9/1/2015, these are the current links to the admission policies for Illinois Educators and or Homeschools at various Museums in Chicago, Il

Adler Planetarium

Art Institute, educator pass

Brookfield Zoo

Chicago Childrens Museum, educator pass

Field Museum, educator pass

Field Museum-field trip

International Museum of Surgical Science

Museum of Science and Industry

Museum of Contemporary Art

Museum of Contemporary Photography

National Museum of Mexican Art

National Veterans Art Museum

The Oriental Institute

Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

Shedd Aquarium-field trip

Shedd Aquarium, educator pass

Smart Museum of Art

Swedish American Museum & Brunk Children’s Museum of Immigration

 

Each Museum has its own policy. Many extend free admission to Illinois Educators. In Illinois, home schools are considered private schools, and the parents are considered educators. You can create an ID with an online template, design your own, or some homeschool groups offer IDs to their members.  Some of the museums allow for free visits for homeschool groups. Some of those field trips may have minimum participants, maximum chaperones, restrictions on days or hours of admission. Some of them require pre-registration. Please confirm the details of your planned visit by contacting the museum directly if necessary.

You may also be able to visit the museum of your choice on one of it’s Free Admission days, or borrow a pass from a Chicago Public Library. You may search if a Kid Museum Passport is available at any library on the Chicago Public Library website. Use “Kid Museum Passport” plus the museum name in the search bar.

Northside Unschoolers Group (NUG)

We are the Northside Unschoolers Group

 

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 We provide information, support and encouragement to Chicago area families with children ages 0 to 18 who unschool or are interested in unschooling.  Unschooling is child-led or child initiated learning. We also provide a variety of activities, classes and events to all interested homeschoolers.
 
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How NUG works in a nutshell:

We are a non-directed support group, which means that there are no official leaders, just people interested in offering their energy and ideas to the community. All activities are offered and organized by individuals, based on their interests and needs. For example, if someone wants to organize a field trip, she/he determines when it will happen, where it will take place, what age groups can participate, how much it will cost, etc… that information is then posted to the website, and people can choose to participate or not.

If the thought of diving into a new crowd seems intimidating, Read this article about strategies for “breaking in” to an existing homeschooling group.

 

Find us:
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Ideas for Things to Do

Community Resources

  1. ID cards and discounts
    1. make an id for yourself/kids to use: template at Homeschool Buyer’s Coop
      1. Ventra student discount cards
      2. homeschool educator discounts at many stores
        1. Barnes and Noble
        2. Joann Fabrics
        3. Blick
        4. Tom Thumb Art supply
        5. Half Price Books
  2. Public Institutions
    1. Museums
      1. Many museums have free admission for educators
      2. Many museums offer free admission for homeschool groups
        1. Oriental Museum
        2. Surgical Science
        3. Museum of Science and Industry
        4. Art Institute (has a homeschool kit)
        5. Chicago History Museum
        6. Planetarium (kids can collect badges by doing “missions”)
        7. Shedd developing teen curriculum
        8. Skokie Heritage Museum has homeschool classes
    2. Libraries
      1. Evanston has meetups
      2. Harold Washington You Media
    3. Nature Preserves, volunteer opportunities, h.s. programs North Park Nature Center, Chicago
      1. Emily Oaks Nature Center, Skokie
      2. Heller Nature Center, Highland Park
      3. The Grove, Glenview
      4. Ryerson Woods, Deerfield (has a farm, woods)
  3. Other Places to Check Out
    1. Pumping Station: One, hacker space https://pumpingstationone.org/
    2. Science Resources
      1. Kids Science  http://www.kslchicago.com/
      2. http://www.curiosityhacked.org/
      3. The Plant (hydroponics and fish farming) http://www.plantchicago.com/
    3. Writing Resources
      1. 826chi.org (kid writing classes) http://826chi.org/
      2. Open Books (mentorships) http://www.open-books.org/index.php
    4. G.L.U.E hiking group and book club
    5. YouMedia in Harold Washington Library for teens

 

    1. Materials:
      1. Jim Weiss narrated History of the World Cds
      2. Podcasts like Wait, Wait, Dont Tell Me
  1. Night Sky app Star Walk app
  2. Geocaching website and app
    1. Art Resources
      1. Marwen.org free art classes https://marwen.org/
      2. yollocalli.org arts outreach, street art http://yollocalli.org/
      3. shecrew.org for girls 12-14 http://www.shecrew.org/
  1. Volunteer Opportunities
      1. Treehouse Cat Shelter offers kids volunteering spotshttp://www.treehouseanimals.org/site/PageServer?pagename=involved_volunteer
      2. Call around and ask at places you are interested in (or your kids are interested in) take the initiative