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Eclectic Community of
Homeschooling Opportunities

What is ECHO-MN?

The resources on this website have been chosen because of their broad and varied contents. ECHO does not promote any one method of homeschooling in particular and we do not endorse any businesses connected with the resources named on this website. Please let us know if you have a resource you would like added to this page or if you see a link that no longer works

State Education and Homeschooling Organizations
National Homeschooling Organizations and Resources
Homeschooling Publications
ECHO Recommended Reading List
Resources for Homeschooling Approaches 
General Homeschooling Resources
Preschool Resources
MN Homeschool Testing Resources


State Education and Homeschooling Organizations

Minnesota Association of Christian Home Educators (MACHE)
MACHE is a statewide homeschooling support organization. Although MACHE is a Christian organization
  they support and encourage all homeschoolers. 

Minnesota Homeschoolers’ Alliance (MHA)
MHA is a statewide homeschooling support organization. MHA is committed to fulfilling its mission without discrimination
based on race, religion, or educational philosophy.

Minnesota Council for the Gifted and Talented (MCGT) 
Not specifically a homeschool organization, MCGT offers support to families with gifted and talented children. They have an active Homeschooling Chapter in the Twin Cities.

Maple River Education Coalition (MrEdCo)
MrEdCo is a political organization working to increase the quality of education in Minnesota and the United States. They also have a  strong commitment educational choice including homeschooling. 

Minnesota Department of Education (MDE)
Main website: 
School Choice page: 
Homeschooling page: 
Copy of the Minnesota Compulsory Education Statutes: 
(MDE is the regulating body for education issues in the State of Minnesota.)

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National Homeschooling Organizations

National Home Education Network (NHEN)
P.O. Box 41067
Long Beach, CA 90853 or

Homefires®-The Journal of Homeschooling
Homefires®-The Journal of Homeschooling offers resources and support for homeschooling families. You can find ideas for children of all ages as well as get advice from respected homeschooling experts.

Jewish Home Educators Network
2122 Houser
Holly, MI 48442

Catholic Homeschool Network of America
P.O. Box 6343
River Forest, IL 60305-6343

Muslim Home School Network and Resource (MHSNR)
P.O. Box 803
Attleboro, MA 02703

Native American Home School Association
P. O. Box 979
Fries, Virginia 24330

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Homeschooling Publications

Home Education Magazine (HEM) 

Homeschooling Today 

The Link 

ECHO Recommended Reading List

There are so many great books about homeschooling we could not possibly list them all here. This list represents books we have found to be particularly beneficial to new homeschoolers.

Family Matters: Why Homeschooling Makes Sense
David Guterson
ISBN: 0156300001

Learning All the Time
John Holt
ISBN: 0201550911

How to Write a Low-Cost/No-Cost Curriculum for Your Home-School Child
Borg Hendrickson
ISBN: 0945519214

Homeschooling: The Early Years
Linda Dobson
ISBN:  0761520287

Homeschooling Book of Answers: 88 Important Questions Answered by Homeschooling's Most Respected Voices
Linda Dobson
ISBN: 0-7615-1377-9

Homeschooling Handbook
Mary Griffith
ISBN: 0761501924

Big Book of Home Learning: Preschool and Elementary
Mary Pride
ISBN: 0891079165

The Well -Trained- Mind
Jessie Wise and Susan Wise Bauer
ISBN: 0393047520

Complete Idiot's Guide to Homeschooling
Marsha Ransom, John Taylor Gatto
ISBN: 0028639898

A Charlotte Mason Education
Catherine Levison
ISBN: 1891400169

The Way They Learn
Cynthia Ulrich Tobias
ISBN: 1561794147 

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Resources for Homeschooling Approaches

Traditional :Often referred to “School-at-Home”, this approach attempts to replicate the school model in the home setting. Textbooks are used and a schedule is followed.

  • The Educated Child
    William Bennett
    ISBN: 0684833492

  • What Your nth Grader Should Know
    E.D. Hirsh
    ISBN: varies

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Classical : In the Classical Approach children are taught tools of learning collectively known as The Trivium. The Trivium has three parts: the Grammar stage, the Dialectic stage and the Rhetoric Stage, each part corresponding to a childhood developmental stage.

  • The Well-Trained Mind
    Jessie Wise and Susan Wise Bauer
    ISBN: 0393047520

  • Designing Your Own Classical Curriculum; A Guide to Catholic Home Education
    Laura M. Berquist
    ISBN: 1-88393704-3

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Unit Studies : A unit study takes a topic or theme and delves into it deeply over a period of time, integrating language arts, science, social studies, math and fine arts as they apply. Instead of studying subjects as unrelated, all subjects are blended together and studied around a common theme or project.

  • Five in a Row   
    Literature-based unit study for children ages 2-12.

  • The Unit Study [Idea] Book
    Valerie Bendt
    ISBN: 1-880892-43-X

  • How to Create your own Unit Study
    Valerie Bendt
    ISBN: 1880892421

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Unschooling : Unschooling has many definitions. The main thread connecting these definitions is the idea that a less structured learning approach allows children to pursue their own interests and find personal meaning and purpose in learning.  Children are surrounded with a rich learning environment and adults who model a lifestyle of learning.

  • The Unschooling Handbook: How to Use the Whole World As Your Child's Classroom
    Mary Griffith
    ISBN: 0761512764

  • The Relaxed Home School
    Mary Hood
    ISBN: 0963974009 

  • Unschooling.Com 
    An unschooling resource and information sharing site. 

  • Family Unschoolers Network

  • The Natural Child Project

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Charlotte Mason : Charlotte Mason was a turn of the century British educator. She believed in treating children as persons, involving them in real life situations and allowing them to read living books, well written books that bring events to life. This method includes a strong emphasis on nature.

  • A Charlotte Mason Education
    Catherine Levison
    ISBN: 1891400169

  • Charlotte Mason Companion: Personal Reflections of the Gentle Art of Learning
    Karen Andreola
    ISBN: 1889209023

  • Charlotte Mason's Original Homeschooling Series-6 Vols.
    Charlotte Mason
    ISBN: 1889209007

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Waldorf : This method is based on the philosophies of an Austrian educator named Rudolf Steiner. He felt that concepts should not be taught to young children. Instead, emphasis should be on creative play, imagination, imitation, games, crafts and artistic activities.

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Montessori : The Montessori method is based on the philosophies of Italian doctor/educator Maria Montessori. She believed that children should have freedom to develop their own physical, mental and spiritual growth. Self-motivation and self-education are stressed. Emphasis is placed on the proper use of tools and materials as opposed to fantasy and imaginative free play.

  • Montessori at Home: a complete guide to teaching your preschooler at home using the Montessori method
    Heidi Anne Spietz
    ISBN: 0-929487-37-0

  • Modern Montessori at Home: a creative teaching guide for parents of children six through nine years of age
    Heidi Anne Spietz
    ISBN: 0-929487-02-8

  • Montessori Educational Products 

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Eclectic : Most homeschoolers fall into this category. A blend of different approaches is used to create a homeschooling method that works best for your child and family. For example, one may use a traditional curriculum for math,  unit studies to cover history, language arts, art and science and take music classes. 

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MN Homeschool Testing Resources

Testing : Homeschoolers in Minnesota have a choice in what standardized test to use for their children. The law requires that children take a standardized, norm-referenced achievement test the school years that children are 7-15. There are many resources for testing. Additional testing resources are welcome to add to this file. The following describes some testing resources available:   

  • The Peabody Individual Achievement Test (PIAT)

  • The PIAT or "Peabody" is a standardized, nationally norm-referenced achievement test that is individually administered by a trained examiner. Assessment is completed in the following areas: Reading, Math, Spelling, Science, Social Studies and Humanities. The subtests and composite scores are calculated immediately, so there is no waiting for results. The test is non-bracketed which means the results will indicate a child's grade level from K-12 in the different subtests, rather than only providing achievement level for the child's grade. The test is oral in format and almost conversational in tone. The testing experience is casual and unintimidating for the child, making it a popular test among homeschoolers. It takes 60-90 minutes to administer and score the test, but the exams are not timed. Testing is available year round and wlll assess K-12 grade levels.

    Testing sessions may be arranged with the following testers in your home, the tester's home or other agreed upon location. Testers may have different preferences for test location and availability. Each tester sets their fees for testing and travel costs. Be sure to discuss these matters specifically when setting your child's appointment with an Independent Peabody Tester.

    Ann Mathews-Lingen, MSW, LGSW, (651) 698-1244,
    St. Paul, metro area and outstate by arrangement, eve & Saturday appts. available

    Kim Jaworski, (651) 552-0044
    metro area & outstate by arrangement

    Barb Windholz, (651) 554-3042
    metro area and outstate by arrangement

    Beth Skwira, (651) 306-9623
    metro area

    Helen Dougherty-Wakeman, (651) 770-1223
    metro area

    Judy Vermeulen, (651) 786-4040
    Twin Cities area

    Julie Ritter, (651) 631-1443
    New Brighton & other metro locations by arrangement

    Lisa Paschen, (952) 236-4038
    metro area

    Wendy & Jonathan Friesen, (763) 229-5897
    metro area and outstate by arrangement

    Michelle Sullivan, (651) 257-6719
    Forest Lake area

    Kim Doerfler, (952) 891-1628
    South Suburbs, Farmington & Northfield area

    Sara Floerke, (218) 624-7421
    Duluth area

    Betsy Trout, (320) 203-4478
    St. Cloud, Detroit Lakes and Central MN area

    Testers listed above: Please contact us if there are any changes to your contact
    information, or if you would like to be removed from this list.

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General Homeschooling Resources

Jon's Homeschool Resource Page 

A to Z Home's Cool Homeschooling

Learn in Freedom

Homeschool Central        

World Book Typical Course of Study


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Preschool Resources

Slow and Steady, Get Me Ready
June R. Oberlander
ISBN: 0962232211

Brighter Vision Learning Adventures 
Early childhood educational tools.

Five in a Row   
Literature-based unit study for children ages 2-12.

Enchanted Learning 

101 Activities to do with Your Toddler

Cross Daily
Dot-to-dot puzzles for young kids

Mrs. Alphabet
Preschool activities

Paula's Archives
Preschool activities

Preschool at Home
Preschool activities

The Sunshine Room
Online activities for young children

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