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Where are wonderful areas in which to homeschool (semi-rural or at least non-urban preferred)?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

We live in Fairbanks, Alaska in an incredible homeschool community (tons of support, huge community of all sorts of homeschoolers, etc.).  We have no plans to move but I've realized that I'd be afraid to move if we had to because I can't imagine finding such a wonderful community elsewhere.  But life brings change and I'd love to have an idea of what it is like to homeschool in other places.  We live a nature based spirituality and do not find ourselves comfortable in exclusively Christian communities.  Our homeschooling is Waldorf-influenced.

 
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post #2 of 5

We live in Oregon's Mid-Valley region. I think it's a great area to homeschool in. It's not uncommon to meet other homeschoolers. The pool nearby offers homeschool swim times, the yoga studio is going to start a class for homeschoolers. There are several home-charter schools that will cover the cost of materials if you're willing to jump through their hoops.

 

It fits your semi-rural/non-urban request. In Lebanon, where we're living now, the population is about 15,000. There is one high school in town (and the fact that people say "going into town" means it's not urban). 

post #3 of 5

I find Vermont a good place to homeschool.  State homeschooling requirements are more stringent here than in a lot of other states, but they aren't really that burdensome.  Standardized testing isn't required, which is nice.  (But it is one option for an end-of-year assessment.)  I live in northern Vermont, in a town with a population of under 4,000, about an hour from Burlington (the only biggish city in the state.)  The number of homeschoolers here seems fairly high compared to the total population, and homeschooling seems to be well accepted and well thought of by people in general.  Most homeschoolers in my area aren't homeschooling for religious reasons and don't seem particularly religious.  In a small town like mine, it's not hard to make connections with other homeschoolers.  There's a loose group of us in my area who communicate through a Yahoo group and have a few organized events.  Out of all the homeschoolers we see regularly, I can only think of one family that is obviously religious.  There are some Christian homeschooling groups in the state, but for the most part they seem to have their own networks and activities that I rarely hear about.  I know of a fair number of activities for homeschoolers - swimming lessons, library programs, a ski program, ice skating, yoga, art.  Today we went on an ecology field trip organized by a homeschooling mom.  Homeschoolers in Vermont are also allowed to participate in classes and activities at their local school if they want - art, PE, music, or whatever.

post #4 of 5

The Pacific Northwest is a good place to homeschool in general.  Depending on where you live, it might be more religiously based, but if you are living close to an urban area, you are going to find people.  Will it be as wonderful as your local experience?  Perhaps not.  I live in a rural area, and finding like-minded people that also homeschool is a challenge.  

 

The homeschooling laws in both Oregon and Washington (and Idaho, I understand) are very liberal (or should I say "conservative" if it means less governmental intrusions?)  I think Idaho has laws similar to Alaska (but I'd need an update on that), WA is the next easiest, and OR is almost as easy as WA, but with some requirements concerning test results, which WA does not have.

 

So, there are plenty of areas where HSing communities are alive and well and diverse.  Can you get lucky and find the perfect community to replace the one you are involved in and have as wonderful an experience as you are having now?  That's a long shot, I think.  You simply can't put a finger on a map, even with some help, and say, I'm going to connect with that community.  

 

I wouldn't let your homeschooling experience keep you in a place you might otherwise hate because there really are great communities out there, and places that make HSing easy, but it sounds like you are happy, so it's not really an issue for you.

post #5 of 5
Central Texas hill country, if you don't mind heat and droughts. We can swim most of the year, some pools open year-round. There is access to many types of climate zones, which offers great variety for naturalists. Lots of interesting wildlife, easy access to ocean (long weekend), and lots of liberty lovers (thought they really run the full spectrum from extreme conservative to extreme liberal).
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