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Help me figure out where to move! LONG


frugalmamatx
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This is purely theoretical right now, but I'm seriously considering moving to either another city in Texas or perhaps elsewhere in the US. Right now I'm in San Antonio - I love the city and it meets most of our needs BUT I am so tired of the lack of homeschooling options here. Everything is either super preachy or super expensive or across town {I'm NE near Ft Sam, everything seems to happen near Sea World area}. Plus there are so few opportunities for dd overall here - places like Houston or Dallas have far more things she could be exposed to for science / art / etc. I was considering moving within the city to somewhere that would be easier to get to things and DD asked the question "Why are we tied to San Antonio?". Well honestly we're not - I'm just comfy here because it's been home for me since 2002. I know everything here etc. I'm self employed so my job can go pretty much anywhere as long as their are thrift shops and decent internet available. 

 

So - where would you move? This is my list of must haves:

 

  • Excellent Public Transit system {basically can I use city bus / subway / etc 95% of the time and the occasional uber/taxi when absolutely needed}. I don't drive so this is a must. 
  • Low cost housing. Probably looking for a fixer upper in the under $45k range and putting sweat equity into it just as with my current home. I'm okay with a slightly bad neighborhood but not really bad. 
  • Good public library system. BIG bonus points if the library does things like check out passes for museums zoos etc. 
  • Decent secular or at least tolerant homeschooling network for middle school and higher kids
  • Good homeschooling laws. DD isn't crazy about the idea of testing, and I hate the thought of having to get things reviewed etc 
  • Ideally, a college / community college nearby that allows dual enrollment prior to 16 {ours won't until 16 and it's putting a wrench in my theoretical high school planning}
  • Easy to access grocery stores / etc. So not a food desert. 
  • A good network of local assistance programs {food pantry / utility assistance}. Especially the first couple of years while I'm working on the house, probably going to need to seek assistance at least a few times for things because money will be very tight. 
  • Good medical care available. I have a chronic health problem that needs followed by an endocrinologist. 
Edited by frugalmamatx
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I'm posting mostly to give you a "bump" in the hopes that someone who knows a good suggestion will see your post.  My suggestion may not be a great one.  I don't know if you were considering moving this far from your current location, but when I mentioned this to my husband, he immediately suggested Pittsburgh.  Now, he is not at all familiar with the homeschooling laws or culture there so that could completely negate the suggestion, but he grew up there and said it would meet your other non-homeschooling-related criteria.  It would be quite a change in climate, though:  not only colder, but a lot cloudier and drearier.  

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I honestly can't think of any without tradeoffs on your list. For example, generous programs of excellent public transit don't go hand in hand with low cost of living, by and large. To get s low cost of living you usually are trading off in public services and utilities.

 

A lot of places like Detroit have low cost fixed upper housing, and even decent access to transit and food. But do you really want to live there? I'd be looking at some place like a suburb of Atlanta, but don't know about dual enrollment in Georgia.

 

The outskirts of St Louis, MO might also be a good choice. I've been extremely impressed with what I've seen in terms of access to things like the zoo, museums, and transit. Cost of living is quite modest too.

Edited by Arctic Mama
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I moved from Houston, and did not really have homeschooling options that weren't preachy. I don't hear my friends in Dallas talking about great secular HS options either.

 

If I were you, I'd stay in San Antonio. I think it is a much more enjoyable city.

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I think your budget of $45k is going to be the sticking point. I don't know of anywhere that has homes in that price range that aren't in terrible condition and that are in relatively safe neighborhoods. If your current home is decent, the neighborhood is safe, and public transportation is good, I think you might be better off staying where you are than moving to a place where you don't know anyone and couldn't really be sure about what it's like to live there.

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If the homeschooling thing along with opportunities is the only thing that makes you want to move, I too would stay. There are many many of us who live or have lived in small rural locations where homeschool opportunities are non-existent not to mention having to drive over an hour for anything like a museum. I used to be in this position and it worked just fine. Now, I'm living in an area where there are tons of homeschooling options. Yes, it's nice, but not necessary.

 

Where I live has most things on your list except the cost of housing. Average housing here is over $200k. I've seen gut job houses for over $100k easily and they go fast. They are in bad parts of town though. Average rent here is over $900 a month for a basic two bedroom near public transportation. Our guitar teacher was living in a home that cost her $700/ month in a downtown location. The only problem was the toxic mold...

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Athens, GA might be an option.  There is some public transportation, but it's not ideal.  But you could make it work for the size town that it is.  College town, with decent thrifting.  Perhaps some housing in that price range or close.  

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With your list, Houston is OUT. The public transit is horrible- it doesn't exist for all intents and purposes outside of the tiny bit of inner city it's in. If you want to live in a safe area that has access to it, you will be paying many, many times 45k. I honestly don't know anywhere near Houston you could live for 45k. Even Pasadena, La Porte, Baytown or any of the more affordable suburbs- prices have risen too fast lately. Tiny houses from the 40's and 50's in not so great neighborhoods are going in the mid-100's. I would not leave where you are for Houston. 

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I always thought San Antonio had a ton of homeschooling options.  They an organization with their own facility and sports teams? 

I agree that the 45K house is going to be a killer.  I don't know anywhere that has housing that cheap that isn't just tear down.

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Albuquerque comes to mind, but I'm not sure why.

 

  

It did for me, as well, but I'm not sure about the housing budget.  Maybe.

I live in Albuquerque, and I wouldn't recommend it for the OP. Crime here overall is twice the national average, and her budget would, unfortunately, limit her to the highest crime areas. The only public transit is the bus, and the routes do not make it easy or practical to use, and it doesn't have a reputation for running on time either.

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Are you sure you have exhausted all possibilities in San Antonio?  It has a very active, very large homeschooling community.  Goodness, compared to where I live it is like an oasis.  And Texas is one of the easiest states to homeschool in.  Cost of living isn't too bad, either.

 

Are you just feeling restless?

 

I mean there are probably cities with a better fit for a large selection of secular offerings but I can't think of a single one that is in your price range AND has no or extremely low regs.  

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I always thought San Antonio had a ton of homeschooling options.  They an organization with their own facility and sports teams? 

I agree that the 45K house is going to be a killer.  I don't know anywhere that has housing that cheap that isn't just tear down.

 

San Antonio does have a ton of options for homeschoolers - if you drive across town for everything, are willing to pay hundreds/ thousands of dollars annually in membership fees and class fees, and sign a statement of faith. Otherwise there is pretty much nothing. Even park day moved to the NW side last year! Science opportunities here are a joke - everything is either creationist classes or woefully behind grade level. With a dd who is a science nut and is considering becoming a scientist, she needs solid options. And the amount of folks homeschooling middle / high school here are very very few. The few secular folks I've know locally all put their kids in charter schools as soon as they hit middle / high school. 

 

 

You'd actually be surprised at the housing I've found in that budget that is not tear downs. I've even found move in ready homes for that. The biggest issue I find is the neighborhood demographic. Most of the homes I find in that budget seem to be in historically African American neighborhoods. As someone who isn't that demographic, I worry about how we'd be accepted in them. 

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Greta - Thanks for the suggestion of Pittsburgh! I took a look at homes there and WOW they do go cheaply there. It is a high regulation homeschooling state though, but making my short list of places just based on home prices and the ability to take short trips to other east coast places. 

 

Artic Mama - I know there will be trade-offs, and I'm ok with that within reason. I've actually considered Detroit, and if it weren't for half my family living in the state I'd probably do it. 

 

Amy G - hmm. Maybe the preachiness is a Texas thing. I hope not. 

 

Catwoman - We probably have different definitions of "safe neighborhood" I think My home is meh - it has issues but the neighborhood is okay. Next block over gets rough though. But we're having some potential neighbor issues, and combined with an itchy foot it's making us think that perhaps it's time to move. Plus the half a mile walk each way to the bus for everything is getting old. Dd wants a neighborhood that is close enough to do homeschool acticivies. She needs more friends she sees on a regular basis, and here she has just two. All the other kids have done stints in juvi and want nothing to do with a homeschooled kid. 

 

Bethben - it isn't the only thing, but it's a big factor. The problem for us is that driving that hour means riding several hours on city bus. And by the time I do that, it's an entire day wiped out AND a cranky over stimulated dd. 

 

SamanthaCarter & Spryte - Albuquerque has nothing in my price range. 

 

Texasmom33 - Good to know. I had looked there and thought the same, though there was a tiny house near UH that had potential but was going higher than I hoped to pay. 

 

rdj2027 - Lafayette, IN has a few but they are all outlaying. I'll keep checking though. 

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Is there anyone familiar with Dallas here? I'm seriously considering a house there, but unsure of the neighborhood. It's in the vicinity of Metropolitian Ave between Malcom X & the Wright frwy. Can anyone here speak as to the neighborhood there? 

 

It's meeting most of our needs, and so close to all the museums and downtown so easy transit. 

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I have no suggestions for you, but I just wanted to come to your defense about your experience in San Antonio. I'm a conservative Christian who lived on the NW side. I was not in want of opportunities for my kids. However, I know it is sparse for secular homeschoolers and/or anyone who lives on the south or southeast side of the city. Pretty much nonexistent.

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Do you own a house now?

 

$45,000 is really low for any metro area.  The suggestion of Detroit was a good one.

 

I think most of TX will be more conservative among homeschooling groups, at least from what I hear from friends.

 

Here there are homes in that price range, but not sure I would buy one.

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TN is usually the low cost of living , homeschool friendly suggestion.

 

But- the places I have lived lack public transport. Housing is affordable but not sure that low. But I am only familiar with East TN.

 

And preachy...definitely preachy. Thick skin helps with that though.

 

Maybe Buffalo , NY? I know housing is lower in Western NY. I grew up roaming the city from the suburbs on public transport but that was 25 years ago. I miss public transport.

Edited by teachermom2834
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Do you own a house now?

 

$45,000 is really low for any metro area.  The suggestion of Detroit was a good one.

 

I think most of TX will be more conservative among homeschooling groups, at least from what I hear from friends.

 

Here there are homes in that price range, but not sure I would buy one.

 

I do own one now. It needs work but I own it free and clear. My $45k figure is based on about what one of the quick sale places would pay, minus some to cover moving costs. Actually I'll probably make a little on the house when I sell it - I bought for $34k, did some work on it. But the housing market has risen quite a bit in 4 years and I might get as high as $50k if I include appliances. 

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Greta - Thanks for the suggestion of Pittsburgh! I took a look at homes there and WOW they do go cheaply there. It is a high regulation homeschooling state though, but making my short list of places just based on home prices and the ability to take short trips to other east coast places. 
 
 

 

 

I've never even visited, but the way my husband describes it, it does intrigue me.  Because of the wealth that existed there historically, it has a lot in the way of quality universities, museums, etc.  But because the economy there hasn't been great in more recent decades, the cost of living is pretty low.  Seems to me that you don't find that combination very often!  I'm sure we must have PA homeschoolers here on the boards that can tell you what it's like to deal with those regulations, if you decide to look into it further.  Good luck with your search.  It's fun to contemplate a change!

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I have been doing relocation research for my sister who is unable to drive.

 

The Central Oakland neighborhood has a 91 walkscore and a 68 transit score. The Carnegie Library and Carnegie Museum of Natural History and Carnegie Museum of Art and the Women's Hospital are in this neighborhood. As is The University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University. There is a small park on the river. There is also a gorgeous botanical garden in Central Oakland. Botanic Gardens are usually very safe places to walk as you have to pay or have a membership to get in. Outside the botanic gardens is a large park.

 

There is a zoo and an aquarium accessible by public transit near Central Oakland and the bird aviary and children's museum and science center across the river.

 

There will be many secular options in PA. There are people of all (or no) religions but it is not pushed the same way as in TX. Pittsburgh appears to be a cloudy place with only 93 sunny days and 112 partly sunny days per year. The population is 305,000. There is a big airport. They have trains and buses.

 
Downtown Pittsburgh has a 94 walk score and a 97 transit score. Duquesne University and a riverfront park are in this neighborhood.

 

Here is a link to the light rail map. It looks like it can take you from Downtown Pittsburgh to the other side of the river where the science center, aviary, and children's museum are located. http://www.portauthority.org/paac/apps/maps/TLines.pdf

Edited by Kalmia
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Murfreesboro TN

I'm going to have to disagree. Our transit only runs Mon-Fri. until 6pm and the housing cost is fairly high (looking for a 2 bedroom for my sister and I can't find anything under $800).  The town itself is fairly safe and there is a big HSing community but it is mostly religious but inclusive. Not sure if there's enough "stuff" to do here either but there is a bus system that runs from the Boro to Nashville.  What TN really has going for it is nice people, good weather, free Community College including 2-3 courses per year for DE (look into the TN Promise, main reason we moved here), and reasonably priced Public Universities.

 

Info about 5 years old....

We've lived lots of places and I think the closest to what you want that I've been is Charlotte NC.  They have a good public transit, you can even live in the Fort Mill Area of SC and take the train in.  We lived in a tiny 3 bedroom house in a so-so neighborhood in Stallings for $750 per month.  Big HSing community, especially on the Northside and tons of stuff to do.  Central Piedmont use to have some sort of free/reasonably priced DE options.  Living in Charlotte proper probably wouldn't work though, COL is high.

 

My info is about 10 years old....

If you are willing to consider a smaller town and cold weather than Bloomington Indiana is a possibility. Good transit, secular/inclusive HSing community, great parks and rec program. A few museums but it does have IU and there are often interesting things going on there. Ivy Tech will let you start classes as early as 15 if you pass the entrance exams (but DE is not free for HSer's ).... you can find a house on the westside (on bus route) for under $75k maybe, under $50k possibly but you'll have to hunt for awhile to do it. In particular is Pigeon Hill and around West 11th street. Some students will live in this area but it's mostly locals.  Mostly safe, a bit of petty theft and some drugs, occasional violence/domestic disturbance type stuff. Southside also has lower prices but the bus doesn't run that far, there is a rural bus that does pick up and drop off a couple times a day.  Anywhere else is either super high prices or is experiencing "gentrification" and the prices are on the way up.  There are a few 2 bedroom apartments in the $500-$600 range or there's always mobile homes, fairly cheap and if you choose the right "park" not that trashy.  The thrift scene is AMAZING! Every Maythe students at places like Varsity Villas take all their recently purchased stuff and dump it in the parking lots. It's one of the craziest things I've seen. Practically brand new dishes, pots, furniture, clothing.... all piled up to 10  feet high in mounds. Tons of thrift stores and the most amazing food pantry called Mother Hubbards. Bloomington has a very open and accepting atmosphere and leans liberal the closer you get to campus.  If we could live anywhere (and I've lived in a lot of places) we'd move back to Bloomington.  The problem is that the job opportunities in Industrial are not there.  Plus what there is doesn't pay very well.

Edited by foxbridgeacademy
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I'm posting mostly to give you a "bump" in the hopes that someone who knows a good suggestion will see your post.  My suggestion may not be a great one.  I don't know if you were considering moving this far from your current location, but when I mentioned this to my husband, he immediately suggested Pittsburgh.  Now, he is not at all familiar with the homeschooling laws or culture there so that could completely negate the suggestion, but he grew up there and said it would meet your other non-homeschooling-related criteria.  It would be quite a change in climate, though:  not only colder, but a lot cloudier and drearier.  

 

Unfortunately, Pennsylvania has some of the worst homeschooling laws in the country, so Pittsburgh might be out. Maybe Cleveland or one of its suburbs? It has low housing costs, public transportation, excellent hospitals, easy homeschooling, and lots of museums and zoos with homeschooling options.

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I can relate because we have homeschooled in San Antonio.  Do you find that the public transportation in San Antonio meets your needs?  I have found that this varies a great deal depending on where you are in San Antonio and where you frequent.  I know that I was increasingly feeling as if we were constantly in the car, driving from one side of town to another.  

 

We did not participate in many activities designed exclusively for homeschoolers.  We did not begin homeschooling until middle school, and only had one child homeschooling.  It seemed that many of the homeschool activities were designed for younger kids (or families with lots of littles in tow) or for high school kids who had all known each other for years.   We found that it worked better to seek out some activities based on DS interests that were not geared to homeschooling.  He joined Civil Air Patrol when he became interested in flying.  He became interested in Kendo, and we found a group that met at SAC he could join.  We did not do outside academic classes (until dual enrollment).  We went to the Witte museum on the free afternoon and to the art museum on the afternoon it was free.  

 

The benefits of being in San Antonio (or Texas) include a relatively cheap cost of living, liberal homeschool laws, and mild winters.  You also have access to a lot of state universities at in-state tuition (if you are looking toward that).

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Greta - Thanks for the suggestion of Pittsburgh! I took a look at homes there and WOW they do go cheaply there. It is a high regulation homeschooling state though, but making my short list of places just based on home prices and the ability to take short trips to other east coast places.

 

Artic Mama - I know there will be trade-offs, and I'm ok with that within reason. I've actually considered Detroit, and if it weren't for half my family living in the state I'd probably do it.

 

Amy G - hmm. Maybe the preachiness is a Texas thing. I hope not.

 

Catwoman - We probably have different definitions of "safe neighborhood" I think My home is meh - it has issues but the neighborhood is okay. Next block over gets rough though. But we're having some potential neighbor issues, and combined with an itchy foot it's making us think that perhaps it's time to move. Plus the half a mile walk each way to the bus for everything is getting old. Dd wants a neighborhood that is close enough to do homeschool acticivies. She needs more friends she sees on a regular basis, and here she has just two. All the other kids have done stints in juvi and want nothing to do with a homeschooled kid.

 

Bethben - it isn't the only thing, but it's a big factor. The problem for us is that driving that hour means riding several hours on city bus. And by the time I do that, it's an entire day wiped out AND a cranky over stimulated dd.

 

SamanthaCarter & Spryte - Albuquerque has nothing in my price range.

 

Texasmom33 - Good to know. I had looked there and thought the same, though there was a tiny house near UH that had potential but was going higher than I hoped to pay.

 

rdj2027 - Lafayette, IN has a few but they are all outlaying. I'll keep checking though.

Stay away from the U of H area. It's not safe. They even have problems on campus. If it tells you anything, when I was doing studies for UT on crack-cocaine use, we recruited participants heavily from that area. It hasn't improved with time. As they try and gentrify some of the downtown wards, it's squeezing out to the cheaper areas. And also, Houston has no zoning so you could easily end up next door to a strip club or a bar, etc. If you do think about Houston, you'd want to rent a car and drive the areas. And then drive them again at night.

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Stay away from the U of H area. It's not safe. They even have problems on campus. If it tells you anything, when I was doing studies for UT on crack-cocaine use, we recruited participants heavily from that area. It hasn't improved with time. As they try and gentrify some of the downtown wards, it's squeezing out to the cheaper areas. And also, Houston has no zoning so you could easily end up next door to a strip club or a bar, etc. If you do think about Houston, you'd want to rent a car and drive the areas. And then drive them again at night.

Driving through the neighborhoods at night is such an important thing to do! Some places that are perfectly safe during the day can get very scary at night! I know the OP doesn't drive, but it's something to insist her realtor do with her.

 

Another thing to watch out for are areas where house flippers are remodeling some of the houses so the street looks good, but a newcomer wouldn't realize that the crime rates are still crazy high. Some people don't mind pioneering in these neighborhoods in the hope that their home values will eventually increase, but particularly when you have kids, that can be a risky proposition in terms of safety.

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I can relate because we have homeschooled in San Antonio.  Do you find that the public transportation in San Antonio meets your needs?  I have found that this varies a great deal depending on where you are in San Antonio and where you frequent.  I know that I was increasingly feeling as if we were constantly in the car, driving from one side of town to another.  

 

We did not participate in many activities designed exclusively for homeschoolers.  We did not begin homeschooling until middle school, and only had one child homeschooling.  It seemed that many of the homeschool activities were designed for younger kids (or families with lots of littles in tow) or for high school kids who had all known each other for years.   We found that it worked better to seek out some activities based on DS interests that were not geared to homeschooling.  He joined Civil Air Patrol when he became interested in flying.  He became interested in Kendo, and we found a group that met at SAC he could join.  We did not do outside academic classes (until dual enrollment).  We went to the Witte museum on the free afternoon and to the art museum on the afternoon it was free.  

 

The benefits of being in San Antonio (or Texas) include a relatively cheap cost of living, liberal homeschool laws, and mild winters.  You also have access to a lot of state universities at in-state tuition (if you are looking toward that).

 

Public transit here both does and doesn't fit our needs. I mean yes we can get around and get to MOST places we want to go. But at the cost of spending at least a hour minimum on the bus to go anywhere other than the grocery store. I totally understand the feeling of constantly being traveling and am choosing to not participate in things rather than spend half the day on the bus. I go to or through downtown a lot, so watching for homes closer to that area for sure. 

 

I'm in NE SA, near the Ft Sam / Converse area. I've no problem seeking out activities for dd outside the homeschooling circle - except dd herself. She isn't into anything other than Harry Potter & American Girls {and thanks to ASD, obsessively both} and I've yet to get her interested in anything I've seen other than a robotic program {1.5 hour bus ride each way for a 2 hour 3x week program}. 

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Chattanooga, TN

 

lots of liberal, inclusive Christians

Cheaper housing

Public transit

We are putting in an application there today :wub:

 

Beautiful, cheap, lots to do as far as I can tell. I should start a spinoff to get more info!

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San Antonio does have a ton of options for homeschoolers - if you drive across town for everything, are willing to pay hundreds/ thousands of dollars annually in membership fees and class fees, and sign a statement of faith. Otherwise there is pretty much nothing. Even park day moved to the NW side last year! Science opportunities here are a joke - everything is either creationist classes or woefully behind grade level. With a dd who is a science nut and is considering becoming a scientist, she needs solid options. And the amount of folks homeschooling middle / high school here are very very few. The few secular folks I've know locally all put their kids in charter schools as soon as they hit middle / high school.

 

 

You'd actually be surprised at the housing I've found in that budget that is not tear downs. I've even found move in ready homes for that. The biggest issue I find is the neighborhood demographic. Most of the homes I find in that budget seem to be in historically African American neighborhoods. As someone who isn't that demographic, I worry about how we'd be accepted in them.

Have you considered using a public charter like K 12. They have quite a few opportunities for socializing and other academic things. I am on a FB page for my sons age group and it might be a place to start of you want to get a feel for it.

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Kalamazoo Michigan. You can get a two bedroom condo near Western Michigan University for $55,000.00 needing little to no work. Between WMU and Kalamazoo College the education options for DE are super robust. Secular homeschoolers abound. Pretty good medical nearby and excellent options 30 minutes north in Grand Rapids. Very good public bus system and the Amtrak runs through town with cheap prices to Chicago. Kaz College is a top LAC and has great fine arts and humanities. WMU is a big science and tech school and both are super duper welcoming of homeschooled atudents because they are very used to the crowd of homeschooling parents that are academically driven. The city is quaint...really neat! Amtrak will also get you to Battle Creek when Kellogg is doing educational things plus their little zoo is nice. It also stops in Niles which has a big homeschooling contingency that is very active. The Niles homeschool partnership administrates hundreds of classes and field trips for students paid for by public grant money - a small portion of per head funding - and that includes some help with music and art lessons. One teacher is taking a bunch of kids rustic camping to track wildlife and hunt for flora and fauna on Isle Royale National Park in Lake Superior this summer. The grant provides $350 per student to help with expenses.

Edited by FaithManor
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Have you considered using a public charter like K 12. They have quite a few opportunities for socializing and other academic things. I am on a FB page for my sons age group and it might be a place to start of you want to get a feel for it.

I'd love to if I could. Texas rules require dd to have been in PS the prior year. Not willing to do that with our cruddy schools. 

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Kalamazoo Michigan. You can get a two bedroom condo near Western Michigan University for $55,000.00 needing little to no work. Between WMU and Kalamazoo College the education options for DE are super robust. Secular homeschoolers abound. Pretty good medical nearby and excellent options 30 minutes north in Grand Rapids. Very good public bus system and the Amtrak runs through town with cheap prices to Chicago. Kaz College is a top LAC and has great fine arts and humanities. WMU is a big science and tech school and both are super duper welcoming of homeschooled atudents because they are very used to the crowd of homeschooling parents that are academically driven. The city is quaint...really neat! Amtrak will also get you to Battle Creek when Kellogg is doing educational things plus their little zoo is nice. It also stops in Niles which has a big homeschooling contingency that is very active. The Niles homeschool partnership administrates hundreds of classes and field trips for students paid for by public grant money - a small portion of per head funding - and that includes some help with music and art lessons. One teacher is taking a bunch of kids rustic camping to track wildlife and hunt for flora and fauna on Isle Royale National Park in Lake Superior this summer. The grant provides $350 per student to help with expenses.

 

It sounds great - if it weren't in Michigan I'd go for it. But I have way too much estranged family there {both the state and area} to be comfy moving there. 

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Kalamazoo Michigan. You can get a two bedroom condo near Western Michigan University for $55,000.00 needing little to no work. Between WMU and Kalamazoo College the education options for DE are super robust. Secular homeschoolers abound. Pretty good medical nearby and excellent options 30 minutes north in Grand Rapids. Very good public bus system and the Amtrak runs through town with cheap prices to Chicago. Kaz College is a top LAC and has great fine arts and humanities. WMU is a big science and tech school and both are super duper welcoming of homeschooled atudents because they are very used to the crowd of homeschooling parents that are academically driven. The city is quaint...really neat! Amtrak will also get you to Battle Creek when Kellogg is doing educational things plus their little zoo is nice. It also stops in Niles which has a big homeschooling contingency that is very active. The Niles homeschool partnership administrates hundreds of classes and field trips for students paid for by public grant money - a small portion of per head funding - and that includes some help with music and art lessons. One teacher is taking a bunch of kids rustic camping to track wildlife and hunt for flora and fauna on Isle Royale National Park in Lake Superior this summer. The grant provides $350 per student to help with expenses.

 

Niles, IL?

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