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Need info reg hsing in Chicago area


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#1 michelle l

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Posted 18 November 2011 - 04:17 PM

please!! We are considering a move to the Chicago area. Dh is considering a job offer in the norther suburbs. I just love our homeschool communtiy here are do NOT want to move. But anyway...

I'm pretty sure I understand the IL laws, but would like to know more about the community aspect. Are there sports for homeschoolers there? Here we have soccer, basketball, cross-country, and i'm not sure what else. It is like playing for a school in that we have a mascot and all the homeschool teams are the Cougars. It's nice to have that sense of being part of something bigger, like you do when you play for a school team. That is something that has really helped my boys this year as they have sort of missed school.

I guess in general I am wondering if it's easy to connect with other families, and if there is any sense of community?

What about schools, places to live, etc? The job would be located in the North...um...Northville? Northfield? Something like that. We looked online at houses in some of the towns on the lake - Evanston, Highland Park, etc. There is definitely a price increase from where we are now. Whew! We also looked at some in the Barrington area and that seemed a bit more reasonable. I visited Naperville once and thought it was cute, but that might be too far away and I haven't even looked at housing costs there.

Anyway, can anyone give me the good, the bad, and the ugly about the area? I feel like we have no information to base our decision on other than the job itself, and that's just not enough info to go on.

#2 ELaurie

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Posted 18 November 2011 - 05:06 PM

Barrington is a great area for home schooling, with loads of classes, coops, and support groups (both secular and Christian) within the surrounding area. Depending upon the time of day, and what he's used to, your dh may find that it's a bit of a commute to get to Northbrook (45 minutes or so).

You'll also find lots of options further north (Gurnee, Gray's Lake, Libertyville) if you're looking for sports and activities. There's a large, very active secular group in Evanston. You'll find somewhat less activity in Highland Park and Northbrook. However, we have a nice support group here in Deerfield, with monthly activities sponsored by the local library.

Naperville is a longer commute - I wouldn't want to drive form Naperville to Northbrook every day although you will find other home schooling families there.

There are also a number of resources for Catholic families in the area, if that applies.

Many of the museums offer free admission for home schooling families, and the Lake County Forest Preserves also offer activities for homeschoolers. The homeschooling support groups sponsor field trips as well - honestly - there are so many activities that we only participate in a very small fraction of them.

Feel free to PM me for more info if that would help.

#3 Harriet Vane

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Posted 18 November 2011 - 05:18 PM

Pm'd you. :)

#4 dirty ethel rackham

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Posted 18 November 2011 - 05:19 PM

PM me if you want to know about homeschooling in the Naperville area. If you are talking about Northbrook (which I am guessing by the other suburbs you mention), Naperville might be too far of a commute. I am not as familiar with the opportunities in the northern suburbs, but I am sure they are plentiful. The city, especially the north side has a vibrant homeschool community, as do the near west suburbs and far west ones as well. Hopefully, others here will chime in.

#5 jelbe5

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Posted 18 November 2011 - 05:41 PM

We live in Lake County on the north shore. Easy commute to Chicago via train if that is of interest. Search for IL Christian Home Educators (ICHE) and Illinois HOUSE to learn of area groups. Lake County has a huge homeschool community and you may find it more affordable. PM me if you have specific questions.

#6 michelle l

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Posted 18 November 2011 - 08:13 PM

Thank you all so much for posting!:) It's really a relief to hear that there are lots of opportunities for homeschoolers. On one hand, it seemed there would be because it's such a big city. On the other hand, it seemed like maybe it would just be too hard for families to connect because of the size. I sort of pictured us isolated because we'd never be able to see the same people twice.:tongue_smilie: I guess that sounds really small town.:blush:

I did an internship the first semester of my senior year of college, right down in the loop. That was...well, a long time ago. It was really fun then, but definitely not what I'm looking for these days. ;)

I'm sure I'll have more questions. Just haven't quite figured out exactly what to ask yet! I really hate change, so it's helpful for me to hear some positives. Thanks again.

#7 michelle l

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Posted 06 December 2011 - 09:01 AM

Well, dh has taken the job, so we will be moving.:ack2: The job is in Northfield for now, with the possibility of moving downtown. We just don't know yet. If it changes to downtown, that opens up different communities.

I'm thinking the north/lakeshore areas may not be for us. I think they are more congested than we prefer. So that leaves us...northish-westish? We like what the lots look like the Barrington area. Our lot right now is 2 acres. We obviously are not going to find that there for the price we got it for here, and we don't have to have something quite that size, but we do like a bit of privacy. Our boys like to forget to put their bikes, balls, skateboards, etc away, so I'm sure our neighbors appreciate the space as well.;)

I would also love any insight you can give about the area schools. So far we have homeschooled on a year-by-year basis. (this is our third year) Our oldest graduates this spring (never homeschooled), and we've always been comfortable with the the thought of sending the others back to the public school if that was something they really wanted or that we thought would be best. I'm feeling a bit anxious now because my oldest hsed ds is in 7th, and we're getting to the point where we need to decide what to do for high school. Are there any schools there that are great? Schools to stay away from? Are they crazy with the homework? Rich kids on drugs? For real, I have every terrified mom thought imaginable! :blushing:

That is probably enough for now. Thanks for the input. I may end up pming once we decide on a specific location. Another option is for dh to get a small condo down there, and come home on weekends. It is about 2 1/2-3 hours from here. I know that wouldn't be good for our family, but moving stinks!:crying:

#8 Karen A

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Posted 06 December 2011 - 09:42 AM

Congrats to your husband on the job!!

Just a couple of quick comments. Public schools in the area are very good. That's one reason why the homeschool community is not as large as it might be. I live in a nearby suburb and once you know where you might land, feel free to PM me. We don't homeschool, but I know one family in Winnetka that does, and several in Glenview, Wilmette and Skokie that I could connect you to. As far as I know, none are involved in any large group, and the Winnetka family went out to Barrington for co-op.

IMO, Barrington is too far away to commute to Northfield every day. I would prob recommend heading to Lake County for less expensive housing. And sadly, I don't know anyone who has two acres.

Oh, just thought of something else--there is a major construction project slated for the main east west road (Willow) through Northfield, so keep that in mind too!

#9 michelle l

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 08:18 AM

My husband is pushing for putting them back in school when we move. :001_unsure: We have one going into 8th, and having him go back for high school has always beena possibility for us. Can you give any feedback about Antioch, Lakes, or Libertyville schools? We do not want the bigger highschools like Stevenson, even though the scores are very good. Antioch's scores and not so great, but then I wonder if you go somewhere like LIbertyville, where the scores are higher, is that just a ton of pressure for the kids??

Again, any and all advice/info/etc is welcome! We go househunting this weekend.


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