Austin Area Homeschoolers
Newcomers' Guide

The Austin Area Homeschoolers (AAH) support group began meeting in the summer of 1989. AAH was formed by people who were interested in homeschooling primarily for educational reasons. Our families represent the whole spectrum of homeschoolers. Our children vary in age from newborns to adults. We have families who started thinking about homeschooling when their children were born and others who didn't consider it until their children had been in school for several years. We use many different methods to educate and guide our children, including textbooks, purchased curricula, parent-designed curricula, and/or our children's interests. We come from many different lifestyles, religions or beliefs, educational backgrounds, economic groups, family sizes, and cultures. Suffice it to say, we are a varied group, and the threads that tie us all together are faith in our children and their abilities, and the desire to be consciously involved in their education. We enjoy our diversity, and we tolerate differences of opinion. We respect other parents' decisions, even when we disagree with them, and we acknowledge that there are many different ways to educate our children successfully.
    Our group does not have nonprofit status. There is no budget. We have no officers or directors-people jump in and do what is necessary or what interests them most. (See the Home Education Magazine article reprinted, which describes how our type of non-directed group works.) Following is a list of the services and activities currently offered by our volunteers. We would like to welcome you to AAH, and we encourage you to become involved in any of our activities, or even create your own.
    If you have any special interests, such as baby-sitting co-ops, clubs, special classes, etc., feel free to communitcate that on our email list.  Sometimes you will get a great response, and other times you won't, but you won't know until you try.

The most up to date and complete information is in the AAH-Announce files area of the eMail list, because each subscriber keeps his own file current.  Local homeschoolers are welcome to add to those files.

AAH SUPPORT' MEETING is held at the North Village Library approximately once every three months.  The librarians have asked our members to refrain from bringing unsupervised children into the library. If you have any doubts regarding your children's ability to behave or wait for your meeting to end, please do not bring them with you. Sometimes the topics covered in the meetings are sensitive and not appropriate for youngsters.  So the meeting is for adults only.  If you are new to homeschooling, or are a veteran with knowledge to share, or you just have homeschooling questions, please join us!

Time: 7:00 to 8:45 PM on a weeknight (Usually a Monday or Tuesday.)
Location: North Village Library, 2505 Steck Ave, Austin, 78757
Watch AAH-Announce for exact dates and topics; a reminder will be sent several days before the meeting. 
Please: 
  No food or drinks, other than water.
  No unsupervised children in the library. 

Newcomer Information
First, read this Austin Area Homeschoolers' Newcomers' Guide. If you need more information beyond that offered in the guide, please join the AAH email list, see info below.

Web Site
The web page is managed by one of our parent volunteers. It is at http://AustinAreaHomeschoolers.com/

AAH Email List
Many AAH parents enjoy participating in the AAH email lists. We discuss homeschooling and we post announcements about upcoming events and opportunities. Join the AAH email lists by following the instructions at http://austinareahomeschoolers.com/email-list.html, This is a highly recommended way to stay in touch with the group. Please take a moment to read the list rules and submit your introduction to join.

Social Club for Older Homeschoolers
This is an informal group of homeschoolers ages 10 and up. Two or three varied social activities are scheduled each month. In the past, activities have included ice skating, movies, swimming, dances, etc. Each year, a student from the social club produces an AAH yearbook containing photos and information about social club members; the books are distributed at an "annual-signing" party in the fall. Social club events are extremely popular with our AAH teens. The Social Club calendar is accessed via the internet.  Once one child in the family is 10, than the whole family can join.  Send an email to aah-socialclub-subscribe@yahoogroups.com to be added to the group. 

AAH Park Days: See the AAH-announce list files to get the most current info.

Homeschool Soccer
AAH SOCCER ongoing year round since 1994.  We meet every Tuesday from 9 a.m. to Noon, and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.  Our players are ages 4 up; parents are welcome & encouraged to play, also.  We play at various fields at Zilker Park.  (The parks department has asked us to move around.)  If you are a subscriber to AAH-Announce, you can go here for current info: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/aah-announce/files/AAH_Activities/ and click on AAH Soccer.  Because the game is an altered soccer, please read the description in the Announce files. 

Everyone is welcome, regardless of ability. All ages play together, including interested parents. (Most players are age 8 and up, but younger children are welcome to play.) On Tuesdays, around 10-10:30AM, the teens join in, which morphs the play into a faster, more skilled game. Soccer days are a social event for many AAH families; the games provide an excellent place for newcomers to meet other homeschoolers. This is the place for teens who don't yet know enough other homeschoolers. 

When the usual soccer fields are unavailable, soccer players meet at one of our alternate locations in Zilker Park. See the map in Appendix A for directions. 

AAH Chess Club
AAH CHESS CLUB meets almost every Wednesday from 11:45 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. during the traditional school year.  But check their website first for the most recent information.  Kids ages 3 through adult play chess even at the most basic level. Siblings welcome.  A parent or responsible adult must attend.  http://www.aahchessclub.com/

Co-ops
Co-ops are groups of families that meet together for informal classes taught by parents. One parent might teach a foreign language, while another might teach art or cooking. The subjects vary depending on the expertise of the parents who are participating, and the ages of the co-op children. These groups are organized by various AAH families.
 

  • The AAH Friday Co-op is an inclusive once-a-week cooperative, made up of families with a common goal: to provide their children with a socially and academically enriching education in a diverse, supportive, and respectful environment. The co-op offers a variety of classes for the students, from science, history and culture, and arts and crafts, all the way to cooking and fun and games ... whatever the students want to learn and the parents want to teach. The co-op operates as a true cooperative; each parent participates through teaching, assisting, or handling administrative tasks. For more information, visit http://sites.google.com/site/aahfridaycoopinfo/ or email fridaycoop@gmail.com.  Fees are charged, to cover supplies and meeting space.
  • Bastrop County Homeschoolers:  For Bastrop/Elgin/Smithville area. It is an inclusive group.  They have park days on Tuesdays around 11 to 1 p.m. at Fishermans Park.  Join their email list to contact them:  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Bastropcountyhomeschoolers/
  • Learning Without Limits is an inclusive secular homeschooling community in Williamson County & far North Travis Co. Monthly Mother's Night Out, Park Days, and other activities. For more information email: LearningWithoutLimits-subscribe@yahoogroups.com.
There are more listed in the AAH Subscribers' Website, but read very carefully, because while some are true homeschool co-ops with parents sharing expenses and teaching, some call themselves a co-op but are simply small private schools which have large tuition fees in the thousands of dollars.

If there is no true co-op in your area, or if the co-ops you investigate have a waiting list, consider starting a new one! Experienced homeschoolers will be glad to share information about how to start a new co-op. You need only a handful of like minded families and a meeting location.

Field Trips
From time to time, field trips are announced in AAH News or on our email list. When we are going on field trips, we ask that all members use courtesy and good manners and discuss these with their children. Please arrive on time, because we may not be able to wait for you. Most field trips have a limit on the number of people who can attend. Please be prompt in signing up for field trips you especially wish to attend, and realize that we cannot all go to all events. If you cannot go; please call and cancel, so that someone else may go in your place.
    Any of our subscribers can organize a field trip, so if you don't see one that interests you, plan one yourself and announce it on the AAH-announce list.  In your announcement, it's a good idea to ask interested parents to call you (rather than just publishing the time and place for the trip), so that you will be able to predict the number of adults and children who will show up.  There are more tips about organizing field trips in the AAH Subscribers Website located in the AAH-announce files area.

Highly recommended EVENTS

  • Annual Not-Back-to-School Party
  • Join other homeschoolers for our annual swim party and picnic on the first day of public school in Austin. 
  • In the  AAH subscribers website, located in the AAH-announce files area, you will find info about these activities, groups, and more.
  • AAH Valentines Day Party
AAH BUSINESS DIRECTORY: If you're a local homeschooler who is a subscriber to the Austin Area Homeschoolers Announcement list and you have a business, please add it to the database on the AAH-announce list, so homeschoolers can support other homeschoolers. 
Go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/aah-announce/database
Click the "AAH Business Directory" link.  Click "add record" link. 
Input your data. 
Click the "Add Record" button.

Cub Scouts
Campfire Club:  Campfire is an excellent scouting program for homeschoolers. Campfire is for all age levels, and both boys and girls participate. Cost is $30 per family per year. 
Scholastic Book Club Book Sales: Scholastic offers lots of wonderful books at reasonable prices. We get the same flyers that public schools distribute to their students. There are five different age/grade levels. 
Drama, Fencing, Art, Music, Spanish, and Other Classes: Several times a year, AAH families arrange classes on a variety of topics. AAH parents teach some of the classes, while others are taught by community experts. Announcements about such classes will appear on the AAH Announcement list and on the AAH Subscribers Website located in the AAH-announce files area..
Clubs and competitive teams for Math, Science, History and more.

There are so many activities, groups, clubs, sports, teams, and more that are offered that we depend on our subscribers to keep the list current and correct.  So the specifics can be found on the AAH Subscribers' Website located it the files area on the AAH-Announce email list.

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