CHEFA, A Local Homeschool Look!

Today I’m going to be talking about CHEFA, or Christian Home Educators of the Fresno Area. This was filmed in the last Academic Year, so prices have changed. If you like this kind of localized video talking about different groups in different areas? Do me a favor and leave me a comment so I know to seek out more of this information.

So I’m in Fresno, and full disclosure, I’m an active part of this group and I’m on the Board. When I was first starting to homeschool it was kind of hard to find out what all the interesting activities and things were in my area for homeschoolers, so that’s why I am talking today about CHEFA.

CHEFA is a Christian support group for private homeschoolers in the State of California who are in the Fresno area. What does that mean? It means we do not educate your children. We are not a school and we are not a co-op. What that means, co-ops tend to have one day a week where everyone gets together and everyone takes turns teaching. Someone’s running this group and we’re going to educate your kids either in core subjects or not core subjects but it’s usually planned out for the year. School obviously, we’re educating your children.

But CHEFA is a support group. We cover families so you buy a family membership and list which of your children are being homeschooled. Only the parents and children who are being independently homeschooled in California are going to be covered. Specifically, any children in the family that is in charter or traditional public grade school will not be included in the membership. Family membership for new members is $55 a year. Once you are a member you will have opportunities to renew at a discounted price for future years.

Now different support groups have different levels of activities and different areas that they cover. For us, we do a variety of things but we are a volunteer-led group. We may have classes, we may not have classes. We tend to do a Sports Saturday program that is similar to intermural sports, meaning it is casual, and whoever can make it joins. It looks a little different every year depending on who’s running it That is one of the joys of a volunteer organization Sports Saturday is a huge reason we joined when the kids were younger. It is included for free in your membership and that is cheaper than any other single sport, much less a year’s worth. Any activity that doesn’t have a cost is usually free to members, like sports, but some activities cost to cover the expense (think supplies, rentals, etc).

All it takes to run most activities is to have 2 non-related parents want to organize it. So if you want a painting day, park day, or a field trip it can be done. That is also when you figure out how much a participant needs to pay to join that specific thing.

Another big pull for membership is when your kids get into high school and junior high. We have something called CHEFA Youth and we have different activities that are aimed at that age group. There are often game nights, contra dances, Christmas parties, and a lot more. This is actually a reason that some charter school parents make a point to pull their kids out in 7th-12th grades. It is a great social group for your students to bond with!

Another huge reason people join the senior year experience. The senior year for any homeschooler is always just a little different than if your kids went to public school. So what we have is a senior leadership team of students and they plan fundraisers and activities all year. They have a senior Bible study, fundraise for their activities (including traditional graduation), and even have senior class clothing! There is often (when covid isn’t an issue;) a senior trip and sometimes other trips that get organized. The graduation is always gorgeous and gives the students to put on a cap and gown with their friends and family. It includes speeches and musical performances, you will never miss out on the traditional experience with graduation.

CHEFA is a great group and if you are in the Fresno area looking for a way to meet people and have great experiences with your kids then you much check us out. There is a new member meeting you would have to attend but that is it! (Secret, I am currently leading most of the new member meetings;)

If you have a local-to-you group and you would like me to make a video about them, please let me know. We’ll talk about it and see if it fits in (it probably will).

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