Home Base is a community center for homeschoolers where members will benefit from a wide variety of opportunities for their families. We offer a safe space just for homeschoolers and provide a common ground for homeschool families to meet. Members will also have access to many free resources including books, curriculum, games, learning materials and more through our extensive Lending Library. Unique to our center will be a drop-in space for kids, especially teens and tweens, to get together to spend time with friends and make new ones, too. Among the varied programs offered for homeschoolers in Marin, Home Base stands out as a non-profit, community-oriented organization and a true Community Center meeting the diverse needs of all of Marin’s homeschool families.
Our goal is to build community and foster an environment of connectedness for homeschooling families throughout Marin County and the surrounding Bay Area. Among the many benefits of membership there are some specifically geared towards accomplishing these goals, including: free (monthly) parent support meetings, Special Interest Clubs (i.e., Lego Club, Music Club, Minecraft Club, Chess Club, Robotics, etc.), and free or discounted Field Trips and Special Events. Other benefits include: discounts on classes offered at the center as well as at local businesses and other homeschool programs, free drop-in hours and guest passes, priority sign-up for classes, and a discount at our on-site and eCommerce stores. The greatest benefit, of course, is the connection one feels to a community who all value and prioritize home education for their families.
A shared space is essential for creating community. Our chosen site will have many windows and an outside area for playing, providing an enriched educational environment that promotes academic, social, and emotional learning. We plan to open our first location in or around the West End of San Rafael or Central San Rafael due to centrality of location (equidistant from Novato/Petaluma, Southern Marin/San Francisco, East Bay, and West Marin). Once our successful flagship center is launched, we plan to open sites throughout the SF Bay Area and beyond as we will have a model in place for scalability that will support new centers opening in other homeschool communities.
Members will have many ways to get involved to help reduce fees. Costs can be offset by volunteering to teach a class/workshop or volunteering towards maintenance, marketing, etc. in exchange for free classes and drop-in passes. Another way to save money will be to pre-purchase a pack of hours for drop-in which will decrease costs by up to 20%. We plan to offer other incentives to grow membership, such as: families who refer 3 new members to enroll will receive a discount on all classes that semester, or refer 5 new members and receive a FREE class. We will also have a sliding scale and scholarship funds available for those with financial need.
In addition to donations and fundraisers (yearly gala event, silent auction, raffles, bake sales, eScrip, Amazon Affiliate, etc.), we have multiple revenue streams planned to support our ongoing efforts. We offer yearly memberships enabling families to take full advantage of all our offerings. However, families are still welcome to participate without a membership but will not be eligible to receive member benefits. We will be developing our own program of classes, workshops, and special events to be offered through the center as well as offering space rentals for members and subcontractors to organize their own custom classes or to hold consultations and private tutoring. There will be a Recycled Resource Store (from donations) as well as a Bookstore for sales of new books, learning materials, games, and Home Base merchandise such as t-shirts, bumper stickers, tote bags, etc. Many of these things can also be purchased online through our eCommerce store. We will also be seeking grants through local tech industries interested in funding innovative educational alternatives.
Homeschoolers will finally have a place to call their own; a place where they feel a sense of ownership and pride, similar to that of School Pride; a place where kids (and parents) feel like they truly belong. It is not surprising to learn that a sense of belonging to a greater community has been shown to improve one’s overall health and happiness. Our community center will serve as a cornerstone for local homeschoolers, establishing a Home Base for homeschool families to create a stronger, more vibrant homeschool community.