Q. How do I get started?
A. Once you have joined SCHN you will have access our Private Facebook Group. To begin networking with other homeschool families we encourage you to introduce yourself and to familiarize yourself with the family roster (that is emailed to you) so you can find other homeschoolers in your area with similar aged children.
Q. How do I homeschool in CA?
A. See our Homeschool in California Page
Q. What Charter/Independent Study programs exist in Sonoma County?
A. Click Here
Q. What are some educational opportunities (resources?) in Sonoma County?
A. Click Here.
Is there a person I can contact directly with homeschool questions?
A. Contact our Board President at firstname.lastname@example.org and she can answer your questions or help you locate someone who can.
Questions About SCHN:
Q. What are the benefits of joining SCHN?
A. Joining SCHN allows access to our private social media pages where members provide support to each other, connect with each other, and create (or spread the word about) events for our community.
Other benefits of membership include a privately emailed roster listing other members of SCHN in Sonoma County, access to our homeschool resources pages, admission to free SCHN activities held throughout the year, educator discounts at participating stores, non-profit discounts when planning field trips and events, and most importantly the knowledge that you are helping to support and build a strong homeschooling community.
Q. Where do my membership fees go? What am I paying for?
A. Your SCHN membership fee is a donation to a 501c3 Non-Profit organization. Your investment helps SCHN thrive and pursue it’s mission – to provide help to local homeschooling families. The SCHN executive board is full of parent volunteers, who meet regularly meet and plan community building activities that appeal to a large range of ages and interests. Every member is encouraged to attend these meetings and share their ideas for what they would like to see in the community. We also collect a small portion of donations from local vendors and businesses that want to support the community. All funds collected are carefully tracked and spent according to the budget, and are used to create fun events that bring our members together. For example, Annual Swim Day, Open Mic, Rebounderz Homeschool Day, Entrepreneur Fair, Trunk-or-Treat, Science Events, Holiday Gatherings, Field Trips, etc.
Q. How can I become involved with SCHN and where can I share ideas for events and group gatherings?
A. There are several ways to get involved. The easiest way to to attend one of our monthly meetings! (Due to social distancing we are not meeting in person, but please reach out for virtual options!) Normally we meet on the second Monday of every month, 6pm at Panera Bread in Rohnert Park, at 6305 Commerce Blvd. Rohnert Park, CA 94928. Please join us. New ideas and volunteers are always appreciated. (You may also reach out to us via email at anytime!)
Q. How do I connect with other homeschoolers in the area and what is the difference between SCHN and other homeschool groups in Sonoma County?
A. SCHN is a great place to connect to other homeschoolers in the area via our social media pages and events. As a nonprofit SCHN differs from other groups in the county. 501(3)(c) status enables our members to take advantage of non profit discounts when planning events. SCHN collects membership dues to fund a handful of fun homeschool events each year. We also offer a secure online network for homeschooling families. Every member must be verified and sign a liability waiver to participate in SCHN activities/message boards, etc.
Q. Do we have to live in Sonoma County?
A. No, homeschoolers from surrounding regions are welcome to join SCHN’s growing community, however, the majority of our events and field trips are local to this region.
Q. What is my role as a member of SCHN?
A. Your role as a SCHN member is vital to our organization. This group started as a group of parents who wanted to network and bring their families together to create a community. To continue in that tradition, there is an expectation that members are going to learn to use the resources available to them and that they will host events stay active in the community by attending meetings and events whenever they are able.
Q. What if I am new? What if I don’t have time to host or I just don’t know where to start?
A. Don’t be scared! We are here to help! We have 180+ families in this group. If everyone just hosted ONE event a year, our calendar would overflow with a rich selection of activities. Not everyone is interested in the same things, so think about the events you would love to see, and post on the Facebook group to see if anyone else might like to join you. THAT is how easy it is to start. If your idea is BIG and you need assistance on how to pull it off – please reach out to a board member for assistance. With the addition of our Zoom Account – all member have an endless supply of ‘online’ meeting space available – so make your ideas a reality!
Q. What about Covid-19 and all this social distancing stuff? Is it ok for me to join with a distance learner in regular school? Are we going to be meeting in person again soon?
A. While it is our intention to start in-person events as soon as we get the green-light – there are many things that SCHN is doing to try and keep our community strong during this time of social isolation. SCHN has used part of our budget to create some unique online opportunities for our members:
3 Private Minecraft servers for groups of children of different ages, so they have a safe space to gather online and socialize with friends.
An upgraded ZOOM account that allows our members to schedule online meet ups and events anytime without the standard time limits. Want to start a book club? A cooking class? An online study hall? A moms chat? Let us know when you want to use the meeting space and we will set it up for you!
Online Open Mic, Scavenger Hunt, Teen Creativity Jams, Watch Parties, and more.
Q. When can I join SCHN?
A.You can join SCHN at anytime throughout the year. Your child does not have to be school age to become a member. Join if you are considering homeschooling and would like to learn more about homeschooling in our county.
Q. What are the ages of kids in this group?
A.The SCHN homeschool community has a broad age range from Pre-k to Highschool. Younger siblings are also welcome at events and start attending in babyhood.
Q. How can I get a replacement card if it is lost or expired?
A. Please contact our President Christina Semeski at email@example.com and she can send you a new one.
Q. I am not sure when I paid my SCHN membership fee, who can I talk to about membership renewals?
A. Please contact our President, Christina Semeski at firstname.lastname@example.org and she can let you know when you last paid your dues. Please include if you paid by check or via Pay-Pal with your inquiry.
Q. Is there a group for special needs?
A. SCHN board recognizes the need for a group designed specifically for our special needs kids and families. We value any suggestions or feedback and warmly welcome volunteers to help bring our special needs community more support. If you would like to help organize a group please contact us or come to a board meeting in person to discuss your ideas.
Organizing and planning events and field trips using the SCHN non profit discount:
In this section you will find information about what steps to take when organizing an event or field trip for SCHN. We encourage our families to build events and field trips that interest their family.
Step One: Choose a venue or location of interest.
Step Two: Contact the venue to inquire about school trips. Remember to ask about any non-profit discounts they may offer. You may be asked to provide SCHN’s tax id and/or letterhead as proof of legitimacy.
- Ticket packages may be dependent on the size of the group so it may be beneficial to collect a few quotes.
- Ask what dates the venue has available
- Will this be a guided tour or will each family be responsible for a self guided tour?
- You may also want to find out if the venue will allow members to pay when they arrive or if you will need to collect money in advance
Step Three: Post details about field trip or event to SCHN membership to gauge interest. Remember to include information about targeted age group, times, dates, potential costs, if it’s a docent led excursion or self guided etc.
(If you are uncertain about how to post to the yahoo group or to do a poll on Facebook please see the next section for guidance.)
Step Four: Once you have a date selected and have an estimated headcount, confirm these details with venue and post the event on the SCHN social media pages.
(If you need instructions about how to post an event on Facebook, please see the section below.)
- We suggest setting a deadline for RSVP’s, so you are able to provide this to the venue and confirm ticket costs with members and collect money if necessary.
- Provide a meeting location and a way to contact you directly in case someone is late or lost.
- Inform members if they should pack a lunch or if food will be available for purchase.
- Send a reminder a couple days before the event.
**Steps to adding an event to the website Google calendar:
- Email email@example.com your event name, location, time, age group, cost. Please sent event information at least 2 weeks in advance.
- That’s it!
Q. How do I plan a field trip for SCHN families?
A. The best way to plan a trip for SCHN families to choose an activity that is interesting for you and your kids, and invite other members to join you. Most activities and field trips are best organized using the SCHN Private Facebook Group. Simply click the option to “create an event” for SCHN members, plug in all the event details (including time. location, cost, etc). The Facebook tools will personally invite everyone in the SCHN network to attend, keep track of RSVPs, and allow you to share a special event page to communicate with those who are meeting you.
Q. Can someone help me add a homeschooling event to the calendar?
A. Sure! If you have any trouble creating an event or adding it to the SCHN calendar, please reach out to anyone on the board – or send an email directly to firstname.lastname@example.org, and someone can help you.
Q. How can SCHN members get non-profit rates for event locations and field trips?
A. The easiest way to accomplish this is to first call or visit the venue to see if they offer non-profit rates or discounts. Ask the organization what sort of proof they need from you reserve the trip/room/event as a non-profit. Once you know what you need, contact the SCHN board and we can provide you with any documentation you may need.
Q. I lost my SCHN membership card, can I get a new one?
A. Yes, please contact a board member and we are happy to send you another card.
Q. I am not sure when I paid my SCHN membership fee, who can I talk to about membership renewals?
A. All memberships are currently set for auto-renewal via PayPal, so that is the first place to check. If you sign into your Paypal account, you will be able to see the last time you renewed. If you paid by cash/check, or are unable to locate your PayPal record, please contact a board member and they can look up this information for you.