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Do you have a year long or spring membership? If not, now is a great time to get one. You can sign up or renew your membership online.

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This Week's Lending Library Hours

Tuesday: 1:30 - 3:30
Thursday: 1:30-3:30
Friday: 10:30-12:30

The Discovery Learning Center of Santa Cruz is a volunteer-run, non-profit organization that provides learning resources to preschool, homeschool, and traditionally schooled families. The core of our mission is to provide a location and resources for pre-K through 8th grade family learning.

View Courses and Register Online!"We have partnered with CourseStorm to bring you online registration and easy pay-ahead options for our exciting line up of spring classes and clubs. Register today!

We are accepting proposals for summer events and classes!

You can lead a one day, one week, or all summer activity. Talk to your kids and see what they would like to explore together with their friends. You can even invite a favorite teacher to teach at the DLC!

Submit your class, event, activity, or workshop proposal today!

Special Events

3rd Annual Santa Cruz Homeschool Conference

Third Annual Santa Cruz Homeschool Conference

Saturday, August 13th, 2016 
9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Our third annual Santa Cruz Homeschool Conference is a chance for building community, finding support, learning new things, and having fun for the whole family!  This one day event is especially for Santa Cruz County homeschoolers!

We welcome prospective, new, and experienced homeschoolers.  Each session will include activities for adults and youth.

Find out more and register on our conference page

Adult Classes & Support Groups

Homeschool Parent Support Group

Join this supportive group of homeschooling parents where we share the joys and challenges of homeschooling over tea, coffee, and (always) chocolate! New and prospective homeschoolers area always welcome!

Questions about the support group?  Please contact Heddi at

Monday, July 11th: 7-9 pm
Leader: Heddi
Activity Rating: Adult & Babes in Arms

Volunteer Opportunities

DLC Board Meeting

Our board meetings are always open to anyone who would like to get involved. Do you have an idea about how the DLC could better support local homeschoolers? Come share it with the board!

Monday, June 20th: 7-9 p.m.

Santa Cruz Homeschool Conference

The Conference Schedule is Up!

Check out the wide variety of conference sessions and speakers sharing their expertise and leading roundtables on topics from Christian Homeschooling, to eclectic homeschooling, to unschooling and everything in between. We will even have a panel of grown homeschoolers sharing their perspectives on home education. Review the full schedule.

Volunteer and Get 1/2 Off Registration Fee!
Volunteer or speak at the conference to receive 1/2 off the registration fee (reimbursed in cash after your volunteer job is completed). 

Register today!

Summer Classes Starting this Week!
There is still time to join in our new classes and clubs. Visit our Course Catalog for a full listing. 

See below listings of classes starting this week, including:
- Sewing Camp (starts Monday)
- Two Fiction Writing Classes with Deb Bell (Wednesdays)
- Group Bike Ride (Sunday)

Current Classes & Clubs

Our workshops are free to supporting members.  We request a $2-$5 (sliding scale based on what you're comfortable with) donation per family for each class day of all others to help support the DLC.  Some classes have an additional materials fee listed in the class description.

NOTE: The DLC is not a drop off program. If you wish to leave the DLC campus while your child is participating in a class, activity, or club, then you must arrange for another parent or caregiver who will be staying on campus to supervise your child.


Sewing Camp Session A

Learn how to sew by hand and on the sewing machine. We will make our own sewing kits - pincushion, needle book, carrying bag and zipper pouch for notions. We will also make a pillowcase or other project depending on the group size and ability.

June 20th-24th, 9:00-1:00

Age range: 8-13
Activity rating: Mellow
Instructor: Sara Homan

Cost: $200 plus registration fee

Register on CourseStorm:

Instructor bio: I have been teaching sewing to children and adults since 2008. I currently teach through the Santa Cruz Adult School and the afterschool Arts Academy program at Branciforte Middle School. I have a small collection of antique hand crank sewing machines that I like to let kids get started on before moving to the electric machine. This allows them to get comfortable with the machine by going at their own pace and gaining a deep understanding of how the machine works and how to troubleshoot problems. I like to encourage kids to experiment and figure things out on their own as much as possible - my emphasis at first is more on process than finished product. I find that once kids have that time to experiment, then they are ready to move on to using patterns and learning proper technique. For more information, contact Sara at, call 831-588-6696, or visit her website at


Knit & Crochet Club

This weekly club is for homeschoolers and their families ages 7 to 99 who wish to learn how to knit or crochet. We have a few projects to get you going if you aren't sure where to start or bring the pattern you'd love to start with to the club. A supportive adult should participate with 7-9 year olds. A limited number of knitting kits are available with everything you need to get started. Otherwise, bring skein of worsted weight yarn and either US size 7 knitting needles or a US size H crochet hook. (We can even help with sewing and simple weaving!)

Tuesdays 1:30-3:30 beginning June 14th
Age range: Ages 7 to adult
Activity rating: Mellow
Volunteer facilitators: Heddi and Julie

Suggested donation: $2-5 per family per club day
Materials fee: $6 materials fee if you want a knitting kit, no fee if you bring your own materials

Register on CourseStorm:


Because of that: Developing Fictional Stories with Character, Action and Dialogue

This class is for kids who want to write fiction. We will focus on plot, scenes, dialogue, character, setting, and conflict.

Week 1: Plot Structure for Stories using Because of That; Finding Character Wants, Flaws, and Obstacles

Week 2: What is a Scene? Opening Hook, Rising Action, Goals and Obstacles, and Cliff Hangers

Week 3: Dialogue and Action; Sensory Description and Action; Setting and Action

Week 4: What's in the Way? Obstacles, Villains, Adversaries, and Flaws

Week 5: Revision of a Favorite Scene

We will find examples of each of these elements, play with them as a group, and practice developing them in our own stories. The class is one hour long. We will write for twenty minutes and share for ten minutes each class. Students should be comfortable writing or typing for themselves. I do NOT care about spelling (etc.) as long as we can read it, so they can be terrible spellers and we won't pay any attention to that. They can have bad handwriting. They can use a voice-to-text tool (though they may need to go outside the classroom so as not to be too loud). They may work with a partner. Kids will gain the most if they work outside of class between sessions. They may have anyone be their "secretary" to transcribe their words, or to partner with them. There is no way to "cheat."

Wednesdays: 1:00 - 2:00, beginning 6/22
Age range: 9-11 years
Activity rating: Mellow

Cost: $50 due to teacher at first class plus registration fee.

Register on CourseStorm:

Students should bring writing materials or a device, and will need to bring something of theirs typed and printed out for the final class.

More about this guest instructor:  Deb has been a credentialed teacher since 1986, a fellow of the Central California Writing Project since 1987, teaches writing online to homeschoolers through Brave Writer, works as a consultant teacher at Ocean Alternative, the Live Oak School District homeschool program, homeschooled her own kids, has taught writing to AFE homeschoolers grades 6-12, and is a writer herself with plans to be published before this life is over.  For questions, contact Deb at

Fiction Writing: Plot, Structure and Scene

This class is for the young novelist, including those who constantly start complex stories and end up setting them aside (and who might not quite feel they are novelists), as well as those who have begun to dig in and are managing to stick with one of their stories through more of the plot development. It's also a great set-up for the NaNoWriMo in November. Writers will get the most out of the class if they work outside of class between sessions.

We will look at Plot Structure, how Scene Structure mirrors the same pattern, and how character emotional development, conflict, and thwarted goals drive cause and effect, which drives plot. We will look at effective dialogue and description that drives the action and moves the plot forward. We will have one hour each class to learn about the day's topic and to explore examples. We will use the second hour to map out our plot planners and to write ONE scene and share it. I use Martha Alderson's book, Writing Blockbuster Plots: A Step-By-Step Guide to Mastering Plot, Structure, & Scene

Week 1: The Structure of Stories; How to Use the Plot Planner
Week 2: Funneling for Plot and Scene Selection; How to Use the Scene Tracker
Week 3: The Beginning through The End of the Beginning (The Turning Point)
Week 4: The Middle through the Crisis (or the False Climax) and the Drop Off
Week 5: The End (the Buildup to the Climax, the Climax, the Denouement)

Wednesdays, 2:00 - 4:00 beginning 6/22
Age range: 11-13 years old
Activity rating: Mellow

Cost: $100 due to teacher at first class plus registration fee 

Register on CourseStorm:

Biography of guest teacher: see above (under "Because of That..."


Minecraft Club

This club is open to all ages. Participants should bring a laptop or tablet with Minecraft pre-loaded and a valid Minecraft license. The tablet version won't work with the full version, so participants using the app will not be able to share worlds with laptop users, though they can share with each other. Visit for information. This club will be run co-op style. We ask that a parent or guardian stay on campus the first time a child attends Minecraft Club (previous participants or teens may have exceptions) and then we ask all parents to sign up to stay as a support person once every four to six weeks so that we always have at least two adults on campus for the club.

Thursdays, 1:30-3:30 beginning June 9th
Age range: all ages
Activity rating: spicy
Suggested donation: $2-5 per club day or register for the summer.
Facilitators: Heddi, Hunter and Jonah.

Heddi is a long time DLC board member. Hunter and Jonah are homeschooled teens who have Minecraft expertise to share!


Early Childhood Co-op
Parent co-op hosted by the Discovery Learning Center for families with children ages 2-6. 

Registration is required. If your family would like to be added to the waitlist for the co-op this spring, please contact Stephie Tucker:

Friday, June 24th: 10:30-12:30

Activity Rating: Tangy


Chess Club

Scholastic chess team for committed players during which kids train to play in tournaments and develop various critical thinking skills. Classes are social in nature and we have lots of fun along the way.

This is a fee based class organized by the instructor and not by the DLC.

Sundays: 10:00 - 12:15
Activity Rating: Mellow
Leader: Gjon Feinstein

For more information, contact Gjon Feinstein at or call (831) 425-7835.

Group Bike Ride at Wilder Ranch

This event is for boys and girls of all ages and their parents.  We will gather at the DLC (111 Errett Circle, Santa Cruz) and ride to Wilder Ranch, where children can decide what they want to do for a couple of hours (at some point, I am sure, lunch will be everybody's favorite). 

The outing is organized by Dads, Boys, and Tomboys Club, where parents stay back and let children chose what to do, and interact with each other and nature at their own pace and in their own ways. Both moms and dads are very welcome, if they are comfortable with that. On the way back we may stop at Natural Bridges and take a dip in the ocean.

Please download and complete the DLC Field Trip Release Form to bring with you for this event.

Sunday, 6-26, 11:00-4:00

Age range: Children of any age are welcome, if they ride on their parent's bicycle or a two-wheeled bike. There will be some street biking involved.

Activity rating: Tangy
Suggested donation: $2-5 per family
Volunteer leader: Leon Khaimovich

Biography:  I grew up in a small town next to Moscow. When not in school, I spent most of my time playing with other children. We didn’t take it lightly though. We were very serious fishing, gathering berries, mushrooms, and other edible plants, building and fixing our bikes, making bows and slingshots, building an ice skating rink, finding shortest or secret ways between each other houses, which were sometimes miles apart, making floats and navigating creeks and rivers, dealing with bullies, and maintaining law and order in general. We rarely would stay inside, if we didn’t have to.

Our family of five ( 3 boys born in 2006, 2008, and 2011) lives in Santa Cruz Mountains, and I work on creating an opportunity for this kind of life for my and other children in our area, which has so much to offer.

For more information, contact Leon at or visit

Upcoming Classes & Clubs:

Summer Kiddie Lit: 
Arnold Lobel's Frog & Toad

Come explore the world of Arnold Lobel's 

"Frog and Toad" together with other 4-6 yr. old homeschoolers this June. Each class will start punctually with tea together in circle as we listen to a story about Frog and Toad's friendship and adventures. During the second half of each class we will expand upon themes and concepts discovered in the text through hands-on, multi-sensory activities.

Remaining Classes: Monday 27th & July 4th, 10:15-11:30
Age range: 4-6

Activity Rating: Tangy
Leader: Stephie Tucker

Suggested donation: $8

Materials Fee: $12 due at day of class

Register on CourseStorm:

Healthy Eating Workshop

The CookBook Project is an International Non-Profit Organization with a mission to educate children and teens about the connection between Nutrition, health, and sustainability through hands on activities. In this class we will learn to prepare healthy snacks and drinks, learn how to make pickles, and plant seeds for edible plants.

Wednesdays 10:30-12:30 beginning June 15th
Note: no class on June 22nd.

Age range: 8-12
Activity rating: Tangy
Instructor: Elisangela Young

Cost: $50 due to teacher at first class plus $10 registration fee

Register on CourseStorm:

Instructor Bio: I am a Holistic Nutrition Practitioner and a stay-at-home mom. I have been homeschooling my son for a year now and we love it. I am passionate about promoting healthy eating and helping others to achieve better health through nutrition. To learn more about this class, contact Elisangela at or call her at (415) 913-0748.

Project Based Math

(Note:  This class includes a $48 fee to be paid to the teacher at the first class in addition to the $8 registration fee.)

Laura Chatham, guest teacher, will work with students to identify a project they are very passionate about and then explore how math concepts can be applied, practically, to support these projects.

Budding entrepreneurs can learn about spreadsheets, gross and net profits, using statistics in marketing, etc. Builders and engineers can explore geometry and physics concepts supported by math while building models of rollercoasters and building. Bakers and makers can work out recipes and materials for scalable projects.

Along the way students will come to understand how the world can be represented mathematically.

During each class meeting, students will have the opportunity to present their project to the class in whatever format they would like, from drawings, to computer graphics, to a role-play or sketch. 

The class will discuss each project as “mathematically proficient students making sense of problems (that need to be addressed to complete the project) and persevere in (helping each other figure out how to go about) solving them.”

For each project, we will take 10 to 20 minutes talking over and working on the math problems that need solutions in order to successfully complete each project.

We will be working to find out:

* What materials are needed 

* How much is needed

* Approximately how to do it

* A good estimate of what it will cost

* About how long it will take

Expect to do a lot of computer research, head scratching, and just plain thinking.

We will also take time to focus on learning whatever basic math skills are required. These could include: all the basic algorithms (that a future employee might expect you to know- like dividing fractions. No worries. It’s really easier than remembering the rules to a video game.); working with graphs; basic probability; a little statistics; simple functions, any other math concepts that you may need to understand to make smart decisions.

Age range: Any age
Activity rating: Tangy- this activity is a mix of calm and high energy periods, good for kids who can focus for short periods of time but also like to get up and move around
Mondays, 10:30 - 12:00 beginning July 11th
Cost: $48 to be paid directly to the guest teacher at the first class

About Laura Chatham, guest teacher: I graduated from UC Berkeley in Biochemistry in 1980. I worked in labs from 1977 to 1987. While I worked for the University of Wisconsin at Madison School of Medicine, I earned a teaching credential from UW Madison in Chemistry and Math. I taught at a continuation school in Los Angeles and then I worked with elementary schools in the Denver area introducing hands on science experiments. I also taught at Soquel High and Branciforte Middle School. Then I worked on math text books for the Common Core State Standards. I have 2 children. My daughter is 25 and graduated from NYU in 2011. My son is 22 and is in graduate school at MIT in mathematics. I home schooled my son while he was in middle school. My husband has a PhD in Physics from the University of Colorado at Boulder and he has worked as a process engineer for most of his career. He is often available to help me think of how to apply math to the real world. Math is a tool that only works for a person if it make sense to them. I have helped students understand math well enough for it to be useful, not confusing or scary.

For more information about this class, contact Laura at

DLC Activity Ratings

Mellow- this activity is calm and tends to be focused and/or structured, good for sensitive kids

Tangy- this activity is a mix of calm and high energy periods, good for kids who can focus for short periods of time but also like to get up and move around

Spicy- this activity is high energy with a lot going on, good for kids who like to be busy and active

Subpages (1): Unconference Wiki
Stephanie Tucker,
Sep 13, 2015, 2:27 PM