Frequently Asked Questions

What is CHC?

The Columbia Homeschool Community (CHC) is an inclusive and diverse organization of homeschool families currently welcoming over 200 families and 480 children to our community. 

Now in our 15th year, CHC is Central Maryland's oldest, inclusive homeschool support group and has been called "Maryland most active and best-run inclusive support group" by Manfred Smith, founder of the Maryland Home Educators' Association.  

CHC's mission is to provide enrichment, social skills and support to homeschool families residing in the Baltimore-Washington area.

How is CHC organized?

CHC is a friendly group of families working together to help each other homeschool by helping host various events and activities. Each family hosts one field trip and helps out at one of our monthly events in the fall and one of our monthly events in the spring. (Fall events include camping, orientation, welcome picnic, Halloween trunk--or-treat, spelling bee, holiday showcase, and bingo night. spring events include Valentines exchange, teen dance, science fair, arts night, graduation, and field day)  Helping out at one of our monthly events is simple and fun.  Jobs are clearly explained and might include  things setting up tables and chairs, taking trash to the dumpster, or making programs for one of our drama productions.  

The direction, affairs, and administration of CHC is organized by a volunteer board called Leadership. Leadership consists of CHC's founder and volunteers recruited, as needed. In addition to Leadership, others volunteer to serve as Program Directors, coordinating ongoing or special projects, like play groups, art education series, music appreciation concerts, sports/p.e., and community services.  Others volunteer serve as Team Leaders, who lead and organize one of our monthly family events.

Interested in volunteering as a team leader, program coordinator, or serving on Leadership?  We'd love your help!  Please send an email to

How did CHC get started?

Lisa Dean founded CHC in 1998 with her friend Susan Kaczmarek because they were interested in sharing information, opportunities, and activities on their homeschool adventures.  Today, CHC is the oldest, inclusive homeschool support group in Central Maryland.

CHC was based on the model of the "Columbia Concept", espoused by the famous philanthropist and urban planner, James Rouse (developer of Columbia, Maryland, Baltimore's Inner Harbor, and Boston's Fannueil Hall). The "Columbia Concept" was the name given to Mr. Rouse's belief that people could learn from, and grow with, each other if they were given the opportunity to really get to know each other, live near each other, and work together.  

That's what we do at CHC!  We learn from and grow with each other through all the opportunities for homeschool enrichment that CHC and our members provide.

What does "inclusive and diverse"  mean?

In homeschool lingo, inclusive means we include everyone.  We don't inquire about your religious, political, or educational beliefs or philosophies.  

Diverse means we have an incredible array of members that bring a variety of experiences and backgrounds to our community. We subscribe to Jim Rouse's Columbia Concept that we are strongest when learn from each other's differences and grow together.  We practice tolerance and embrace diversity.

Where can I find out more information?

Please explore the pages of our public website.  Our website contains comprehensive information and should answer most of your questions.

Come visit us!  Check the website front page for registration links for upcoming Visiting Days, Meet-n-Greets, and public homeschool information roundtables.