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Homeschooling in the Chicago Suburbs: Co-ops, Field Trips, & Family Activities

homeschooling in the Chicago suburbs: co-ops, field trips, & family activities

As I’ve written this post, all of my family’s belongings were loaded onto a 26’ moving truck and taken to our new home in another state! 

After searching online for co-ops and extracurricular activities near our new home, I realized firsthand how helpful it is when bloggers share their favorite local homeschooling resources!

So, before my family leaves the northwest Chicago suburbs, I want to post a “brain dump” of all the northern Illinois homeschooling resources I’ve found over the years. We’ve been parenting and homeschooling here for over a decade and have collected a list of awesome co-ops, support groups, nature centers, field trip ideas, and more! 

Super-Easy DIY Phonogram Game for Pre-Readers

Super-Easy DIY Phonogram Game for Pre-Readers

I’m not sure why this simple, homemade game has been such a hit with all of my kids. Maybe it’s the shaking. Maybe it’s the dumping. Whatever the reason, they’ve all loved it!

I wish I could recall where I heard about this game first. I’ve seen variations of it floating around, but I’m not sure who came up with the original idea for Phonogram Sound Shake. Whoever you are, thank you! 

Our Homeschool Summer Break Strewing Experience

Our Homeschool Summer Break Strewing Experience title with cardboard tubes

This past summer, I was looking for ways to keep the kids involved in something productive but not too formal (that is, no 24/7 Minecraft allowed… but nothing that would require too much work on my part, either).

Among other things, my plan included intentionally setting out interesting activities for my kids to find and explore if they wanted to (aka “strewing”). If you haven’t yet, check out the original post – Our Homeschool Summer Break – Year 5 – for a little more context and my original summer plan. In that post, I promised you an update on how it went and here it is!

The Secret to Creative & Resourceful Kids

The Secret to Creative & Resourceful Kids title on yellow toys background

I’ve tried – oh, have I tried – to get the kids to clean up one thing before pulling something else out. “One toy out at a time” I’d call in a sing-songy voice…

Yeah, right. 

After years of trying, I’ve finally accepted that it’s just not going to happen. There just will be lots of things out at one time and you know what…

…the world isn’t going to end!

Your A to Z Guide: The Best Kids’ Stocking Stuffer Ideas

Your A-Z Guide: The Best Kids' Stocking Stuffer Ideas on green banner with stocking background

It seems like every year I’m scrambling to figure out what to put in my kids’ Christmas stockings. If you’re like me, the last thing you want in your house is more plastic trinkets! But I end up defaulting to that kind of filler when I can’t think of anything better. 

Well, no more!!  

This time I’m making a list, checking it twice, and not wasting this opportunity to give my kids some useful, engaging, and maybe even educational stocking stuffers!