Homeschooling and Unschooling email lists, support groups, message boards, forums and newsletters for those practicing home education in Illinois (the Prairie State), including Chicago, Decatur, Edwardsville, Fairview Heights, Fox Valley, Great Lakes NTC, Glen Carbon, Granite City, Gurnee, Litchfield, Naperville, Oak Park, O'Fallon, Peoria, Plainfield, Russell, Springfield, St. Louis (Missouri), Troy, Wadsworth, Waukegan, Winthrop Harbor, Woodfield and Zion. Locate fellow homeschoolers. Make new friends. Share resource ideas and curriculum / textbook information.

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There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it's going to be a butterfly.
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    Illinois Email Lists, Support Groups, Message Boards, Forums and Newsletters (A - G)

    3riversnetwork (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. This is a mailing list, not an organization, but we welcome posts from local homeschool organizations. Meeting announcements, field trip and activity opportunities, workshops and conferences, and homeschool related for-sale items will be welcome. While we welcome families of all faiths to participate, please be aware that the overwhelming majority of members of this list are Christian and the subject matter of many posts will reflect a conservative, pro-family, pro-life point of view. If this is offensive to you, please do not subscribe.

    To subscribe, visit 3riversnetwork.

    apachecentralillinois (APACHE - Association of Peoria Area Christian Home Educators) - The mission of APACHE, Association of Peoria Area Christian Home Educators, is to help parents excel in home educating their children from a Christian perspective.

    The vision of APACHE is threefold:

    1. To provide education and information to parents.
    2. To provide activities for children to assist parents in their efforts.
    3. To promote understanding and acceptance of home schooling [homeschooling] as an excellent means of education.

    The purpose of the APACHE message forum is for subscribers to share and discuss curriculum, give encouragement and much more for home educators in Central Illinois!

    For more information, visit APACHE.

    To subscribe, visit apachecentralillinois.

    AtOurOwnPaceIL (At OurOwnPace-IL) - This is a nonsectarian group for Illinois parents who homeschool their children with special needs. Parents will share methods, ideas, techniques, problems, and general support. Commercial messages will not be accepted.

    To subscribe, visit AtOurOwnPaceIL.

    Catholic Homeschoolers of Wisconsin (catholichomeschoolersofwi) - This is a private list for leaders of Catholic homeschool support groups within the state of Wisconsin (or in border towns in Illinois, Minnesota, Iowa, and UP Michigan). It is a place to exchange information that may be of interest to Catholic homeschoolers throughout the state. It is also a forum for the dissemination of statewide invitations to various Catholic homeschooling events, such as conferences, graduations, dances, etc.

    For a list of Catholic homeschool support groups in Wisconsin, go to the Catholic Homeschoolers of Wisconsin website.

    Please note: To join this email list, you must be a leader of a Catholic homeschool support group in Wisconsin or in a bordering town. The moderator will approve only those who meet this criteria.

    To Subscribe, visit Catholic Homeschoolers of Wisconsin.

    CCARE (Christian Chicago Area Relaxed Educators) - We are a Christian group of homeschoolers living in the Chicago area who are committed to a lifestyle of learning in a relaxed way. Our group provides support for parents, group activities for kids, and much more. We hope to help Christian unschoolers and relaxed homeschoolers have confidence in themselves, build relationships within a Christian context, and offer opportunities for the children to engage in meaningful and fun group experiences.

    To subscribe, visit CCARE.

    CentralILAPHomeschoolers (Central Illinois AP Homeschoolers) - We are a group of attachment parents who choose to homeschool our children. We reside in Central Illinois. We practice different aspects of attachment parenting. Most importantly, we choose to listen to and respect our children by following their cues and meeting their needs with an emphasis on raising happy children first and foremost!

    This group is secular. We are a group of all different religions and backgrounds, and all should be respected. We all choose different methods of homeschooling. We choose what works best for our family! This group was made to provide support to each other for all of the challenges that homeshooling and parenting can bring! Together we will enjoy playdates, homeschool days, field trips, good conversation, and most of all.....friendships!

    To subscribe, visit CentralILAPHomeschoolers.

    CentralILHSGifted (Central Illinois Home School Gifted) - Are you homeschooling a gifted child in Central Illinois? Then, welcome to your support group! This group was started in hopes of creating a network of local families who are homeschooling gifted children. As we all know, finding friends for our gifted children and finding other parents who understand the challenges of homeschooling the gifted can be next to impossible! We are hoping that this group will change that for us.

    Our goal is that this group will be used as a springboard to form a solid network of families for purposes such as meeting the social needs of our children, sharing in "enrichment" activities, and supporting parents. We've already begun planning special classes for the children!

    We are a Christian group that welcomes families using any style of home schooling. We feel that the best method is the method that works for YOUR family. And no matter what method you or the other families in the network use, there is still much to be learned from each other regarding how to educate our children...who often seem to be pulling us along behind them!

    If you are homeschooling your gifted child or children and live in the Central Illinois region, we invite you to join this group.

    If you are not sure if your child is gifted, a great online resource is Hoagies' Gifted Education Page -- There you will find more information that you could ever really need on the subject of gifted children and adults!

    To subscribe, visit CentralILHSGifted.

    ChicagoHT (Chicago Homeschooled Teens) - ChicagoHT is a place where homeschooled teens in northern Illinois can connect to each other, network, and plan get-togethers. We currently meet every other Friday in Chicago and meet in suburbs or for field trips on the alternating weeks. Some of our planned activities include movie outings, outdoor hikes & picnics, camping, parties, lasertag & paintball activities, swimming, skating, bowling, dances, and other gatherings.

    Most of our teenage homeschoolers also belong to one or more of the HOUSE homeschool groups or unschooling groups in the Chicago area, with members coming from, but not limited to, Cook, Will, DuPage, Lake, McHenry, Kendall, and Kane county homeschooling families.

    To subscribe, visit ChicagoHT.

    CHIPS_Illinois (Chicagoland Homeschoolers Inclusive Play & Support) - CHIPS_Illinois (Chicagoland Homeschoolers Inclusive Play & Support) is an inclusive, secular group for all types of homeschooling families. Whether you're unschooling, using a more relaxed, eclectic approach or employing an educational program like Montessori or Waldorf, you'll feel welcome at CHIPS. Our goal is to provide opportunities for social interaction and creative play for our children as well as a place for parents of different homeschool philosophies to meet and interact. Our only request is that we respect each others philosophical and religious differences.

    Our group meets every Tuesday from 11:00 to 3:00 at Plymouth Congregational Church in Plainfield. We have a sunny, toy-filled nursery for the little ones, rooms for the art and science clubs' activities, a space where families can sit, eat and chat, and a roomy basement for free play and games. Currently, our children range in age from 0 to 12 years old. Our group is driven by our members' interests so we happily welcome your ideas and involvement. For example, if you would like to lead an art project for the group, just write an email with your suggestion and see if the other members are interested. Don't have the supplies? Write the other members for them. It's that easy!

    Our members pledge to pay whatever amount they can afford each month. The suggested drop-in fee is $5 for those families who would like to pay as they go. If they choose to prepay, it's only $15 per month or 4 consecutive visits. These monies are used to pay for our rent and supplies. Please note that new members are exempt from fees for their first visit. Our group also plans occasional free park days and free or low-cost field trips. Kindly plan to attend one of our events soon as we would love to meet every one of our members.

    Please come and join us as we grow, learn and play together!

    Counties: DuPage, Grundy, Kankakee, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, Will

    To subscribe, visit CHIPS_Illinois.

    Christian Home Educators Fellowship (CHEF) - CHEF is a Christian-based homeschool group that serves the tri-state area of IL, WI, and IA, and meets in Platteville, WI. We offer events and activities that include parents night, classes, science experiments, drama, purity ball, senior banquet, graduation, and much more.

    For more information, visit Christian Home Educators Fellowship (CHEF).

    Decatur_hs_network (Decatur Area Homeschool Network) - The Decatur Area Homeschool Network is a dedicated group of homeschool families from the Greater Decatur Illinois area. Members of this network share homeschool information and available community resources for their homeschooled students and families. With the mutual goal of providing the best education possible for their children, this group is meant to be a source of support and information for experienced and inexperienced homeschoolers alike.

    In this group, all members agree to abide by a code of Christian conduct. All correspondence within the group will focus on the topic of homeschooling. Our individual family traditions and theologies may differ, but we are united in Christ as Christian brothers and sisters. Respect for each other and godly attitudes should be evident in all group communication and activities.

    This is an e-group, thus all information is diseminated through e-mail. Information about outside group activities or educational opportunities will be posted regularly. Discussion topics relevant to education are welcomed. All members are invited to participate. List moderators will assist in keeping posts relevant to homeschooling. If it is decided a discussion thread is inappropriate, disrespectful, or too controversial, list members will be asked to discontinue the thread. If a persistant problem occurs, a member may be asked to leave the e-group.

    Welcome to the Decatur Area Homeschool Network. The Decatur Homeschool Network is free and operates through volunteer efforts. Any member can organize a group field trip or post an upcoming community event which may interest the homeschool community. We look forward to knowing you better.

    For more information, visit Decatur Area Homeschool Network blog.

    To subscribe, visit Decatur_hs_network.

    Family_HUGG (H.U.G.G. Homeschooling Under God's Grace) - We, the members of H.U.G.G. (Homeschooling Under God's Grace), are a Christian group dedicated to glorifying God through homeschooling and raising godly children.

    In our meetings, we support, encourage, pray and teach one another. For members, we offer field trips, and a garage sale table to sell used curriculum.

    We meet, generally, on the first Tuesday of the month from 7 to 9 p.m.

    To Subscribe, visit Family_HUGG.

    GC_area_Home_Ed - Families from Granite City, IL and surrounding areas who homeschool. An inclusive group, we are here support of each other in our effort to home educate our children.

    To Subscribe, visit GC_area_Home_Ed.

    GLHE_Online (Great Lakes Home Educators Online) - Welcome to GLHE Online! The purpose of this group is to connect homeschooling military families at Great Lakes NTC.

    To Subscribe, visit GLHE_Online.

    Greater Milwaukee Catholic Home Educators (GMCHE) - Greater Milwaukee Catholic Home Educators, founded by two moms in the Spring of 1991, is a Catholic homeschool support group for over 140 families in the Southeast Wisconsin and Northern Illinois area.

    Our mission is to offer support and encouragement to the Catholic home educator by spiritually strengthening, inspiring, and uplifting one another to fully uphold and embrace an authentic Catholic family lifestyle, as exemplified by the Holy Family and taught by the Catholic Church.

    We provide encouragement in a variety of ways, such as Day Events with Mass and children's activities, gym class, Park Days, Parent's Meetings, field trips, a Toastmaster's Youth leadership Program, teen groups, Latin Club, and much, much more. Perhaps most importantly, we pray for each other.

    For more information, visit Greater Milwaukee Catholic Home Educators (GMCHE).

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L Is For Lincoln
An Illinois Alphabet
by Kathy-Jo Wargin
The home of one of America's most revered Presidents is also home to American icons such as the Ferris wheel, Montgomery Ward stores, and John Deere tractors. Teachers, students and parents will enjoy the clever poems, rich illustrations and revealing text of L is for Lincoln: An Illinois Alphabet.

Catholic Homeschool Companion
by Maureen Whitmann, Rachel Mackson
CHC gives its readers a variety of homeschooling methods along with a great wealth of resources, information, inspiration, and support.

Illinois Atlas & Gazetteer
The first choice of outdoors enthusiasts. Beautiful, detailed, large-format maps of every state. Perfect for home and office reference, and a must for all your vehicles.

Hiking Illinois
American’s Best Day Hiking Series

by Susan L. Post
This is your complete guide to the 100 most interesting and scenic day hiking trails in Illinois. No matter what part of the state you want to explore or how easy or hard a trek you want, this handy book will lead you to the right trail.

The Unschooling Handbook
How to Use the Whole World As Your Child's Classroom
by Mary Griffith
Unschooling, a homeschooling method based on the belief that kids learn best when allowed to pursue their natural curiosities and interests, is practiced by 10 to 15 percent of the estimated 1.5 million homeschoolers in the United States.

Lake Michigan Backroads
Your Guide to Wild and Scenic Adventures in Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana

by Robert W. Domm
Here are 19 backroads drives around Lake Michigan, showing you the grand lake as never before in this richly illustrated exploration of the Great Lake’s history, culture, ecology, and natural beauty. The big blue inland sea--the only Great Lake entirely within U.S. borders--appears here in all its natural diversity.

In Lincoln’s Footsteps
A Historical Guide to the Lincoln Sites in Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky

by Don Davenport
The book features more than 25 sites, including a fascinating summary of historical events that took place at each site and a detailed description of the site as it is today. This is the ultimate guide for travelers seeking a greater appreciation for the lands of Lincoln.

Illinois Trees & Wildflowers
An introduction to over 140 familiar species of trees, shrubs and wildflowers

by James Kavanagh

Home Learning Year by Year
How to Design a Homeschool Curriculum from Preschool Through High School

by Rebecca Rupp
A structured plan to ensure that your children will learn what they need to know when they need to know it, from preschool through high school. Based on the traditional pre-K through 12th-grade structure.

Homeschooling: The Teen Years
Your Complete Guide to Successfully Homeschooling the 13- to 18- Year-Old
by Cafi Cohen
The teen years are when many homeschooling parents start to question or abandon their efforts. It's a precarious time, with challenging academics, pressing social issues, and the prospect of college looming. Parents can now breathe easy: this guide calms the teen-time jitters and even offers hope to those just turning to homeschooling now that their child is about to enter high school.

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