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Homeschool Experts - Session 4 - Finding and Building Community


Our panelist had a great time sharing homeschool info and answering your questions. We hope you enjoyed getting to know us and learning more about your children’s school options.

We are here to help support you in navigating all of the information on homeschooling in California.

Do you want to learn more about homeschooling and have your questions answered by long time homeschool parents and homeschool community experts? Then please keep reading.

For anyone who missed it or wants to rewatch it, below you will find the details about our live discussion, a recording of the event, and links to resources that you may find helpful.



Link comming soon


Session four topics:

How to find your community or build your community

  • Co-Ops

  • Park days

  • Vendor classes

  • Charter schools

  • Field trips

  • Facebook Groups

  • Homeschool Support Groups/Meetings

  • Meet-Up Groups

  • etc.

  • Open Discussion with attendees and panelist

  • Q and A



Heather Deyden-Littrell

Director of Operations at Homeschool Concierge

Personally, I want to encourage and inspire others to live their best life while being as kind and compassionate as possible. My children take the lead in my life and I am so fortunate to have a truly caring husband right by my side.

Professionally,  I direct amazing teams of individuals who help support homeschooling families as well as charter schools and the vendors they are partnered with.

Coming into the world of homeschoolers, I brought corporate experience and aimed to learn as much as the students on a daily basis.

In the past 5 years, this community has welcomed me with open arms and it has been one of the most rewarding experiences.  I am very fortunate to be able to continue supporting this charismatic community. 

In my past life, I aimed to rule the real estate world.  But these days that is nothing more than a past life.


Windi Eklund - Host

I am a long-time homeschool mom with a passion for child-centered education and family support. We have been homeschooling for over 11 years through the public charter school system. My two youngest are currently enrolled in an independent study public charter school. This school year we moved my oldest out of the charter school and we now homeschool him independently through a PSA. 

Since starting our homeschool journey as a family I have dedicated myself to being an integral part of our unique and diverse community. I have worked to broaden educational choices and knowledge of the programs available to our families through:

  • Volunteering at Celebration Education, where I was able to help families from all over the world find alternative education options for their children

  • Organize and lead field trips for homeschool families

  • Set up new education programs and learning centers for homeschoolers 

  • Organize National School Choice Events and Charter School Choice Open Houses

  • Speak on the homeschool options available to families at homeschool and alternative education conventions

  • Run numerous homeschool and charter school social media groups, covering all of California with 1000s of members in each

  • Organize our community to oppose anti-charter school legislation

  • Founded a non-profit to serve the diverse needs of homeschool families

  • Helped pave the way for family choice at charters by founding multiple family-focused programs serving our community

I am here to help support families in finding their homeschool path. I am representing myself as a homeschooling mom, offering information from my experience.

Always happy to help, please feel free to email, call, or text anytime.

Windi Eklund



Maria Flores

Maria Flores knows firsthand the detrimental effects limited educational options can have on the most at-risk students. She and her siblings were those students when they were young, and struggled for opportunities while they were in K-12 schools. Because of this, she has committed herself and her resources to inform families that now there ARE countless options for alternative school settings, and that children do not have to settle for a one-size-fits-all education.

She has been homeschooling her 5 children, plus her niece, for over a decade. She was also a K-12 classroom teacher for ten years in Title I schools, and teaches college courses during her summers. She believes children best learn when they are allowed to lead their learning, while being given opportunities to have dynamic educational settings. Her homeschool philosophy? A healthy mix of styles that reflect Mr. Rogers, Reading Rainbow and Little House on the Prairie!

Maria and her family also run the Soaring Minds program in San Diego County where families can choose a hybrid schedule for their children to attend class days with their peers. These class days are held around the community, and nature areas that include parks, lakes and gardens. Her hope is that families can embrace the many options they have and give their children the dynamic, fun-loving and education that encourages them to Explore – Engage – Expand!


Mariah Gage

Mariah Gage, mother of seven children, has been homeschooling for the past six years. After enrolling her children in the public school setting, she realized that each of them learned differently, and knew there had to be a better way to help her children feel successful in their education. After being overwhelmed in the first few years of homeschooling multiple children, Mariah created a hands-on learning approach for her children. This approach, has boosted her own children’s confidence and has helped them develop a true love of learning. In 2018, Mariah saw a need in the homeschool community, and opened Crafty School Crates to share the resources she developed with other families. Being an active member in the community, Mariah launched the annual Central Valley Homeschool Convention in 2019, to bring resources and speakers to local homeschool families. Mariah is passionate about education, teaching her children, and helping others through their homeschooling journey.


Elmarie Hyman

Elmarie is the founder of Learn Beyond The Book and has more than 20 years experience as an educator.  She has taught her own 4 children (currently ranging in age from 11th grade to college), as well as group classes for homeschoolers and after school enrichment classes for public school students. She also has experience tutoring and has been a speaker at various homeschool seminars and conventions.  

She has been the coordinator of various homeschool co-ops and support groups, organizing numerous fieldtrips and other homeschool events as well.  Before she started teaching, she obtained a degree in Accounting and worked as an accountant and auditor for years.

She has a passion for education, and strives to accomplish that goal through means that go way beyond the textbook.  She loves using projects, games, and hands-on learning while teaching, which is evident in the classes that she offers, as well as in the Where’s the Money curriculum she developed for teaching Economics, Finance, and Entrepreneurship.


Linda Maepa

Linda Maepa is a scientist, inventor, serial entrepreneur, and small-scale farmer. Professionally, she focuses on renewable energy and electric transportation, cyber-physical security, and pre-K through PhD education, especially in the sciences.

Linda is the gifted/2e homeschool mom of three gifted/2e children, aged 23, 19, and 7 years old. She began her homeschool journey as a Navy wife stationed in Hawaii before relocating to San Diego and eventually the Bay Area where she and her children started a new family.

Over her 10+ years of homeschooling, she's mostly been an unschooler; used a daily schedule and none at all; schooled under a PSA and under a homeschool charter.  She holds a BS degree from Caltech and is a published contributor to The Language of Cybersecurity.


Laurel Ward

Laurel Ward has been homeschooling since 2005, and over the years they have sampled and experienced just about every kind of homeschooling option and format there is.

She is founder and admin for Homeschooling OC, a parent to parent support group on Facebook. She hosts a weekly park day at Irvine Regional Park. She is a long time volunteer with California Homeschool Network as a Local Contact, helping people with questions on how to get started in homeschooling. She has been helped by so many great moms over the years, and made such wonderful friends along the way, that she is happy to give back to this community that has meant so much to their family.



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