BOOK LOOK – Free Range Learning by Laura Grace Weldon – Chapter 3

~~~ BOOK LOOK ~~~

Review & Reflections

Free Range Learning:

How Homeschooling Changes Everything

by Laura Grace Weldon


If you were to only have one homeschooling, unschooling, life learning book on your shelf this would be my top pick. It is absolutely worth owning this volume to revisit again and again for both support and inspiration.

This book encompasses so many of my core beliefs on life learning and how to raise children (and yourself!) in a mindful and wholehearted way that I just had to write a series of reviews and reflections covering the chapters in this book and encouraging other folks to try out this lifestyle.

Revisit reviews of previous chapters by clicking on the Category – Homeschooling + Unschooling search tab on the right side of this page or linked HERE.

Or revisit the reviews by clicking – Chapter 1 HERE, Chapter 2 HERE, and continue the conversation below with Chapter 3.

In Chapter 3 – Work, Play, and Other Essentials Laura shares what I believe to be the true essence of being a lifelong learner – knowing that work can be play and play is work at any age and stage in your life long journey. My entire blog and website and P.L.A.Y. business is based on this idea. Simply read this chapter and be sure to read the reflections below. Then take a moment for your own reflections to see if you are weaving play into your own life and letting it ripple out to your friends and family. You’ll be glad you did!


 Focusing on Challenges, Creativity, and the Importance of Play

Our daily work, engaging with topics of interest, curiosities, chores, creativity, family life, and quite simply building a life of purpose and meaning also includes encountering challenges of all sizes.


Challenges – If you have read my blog post titled A Simple Gift: Problem = Situation = Opportunity then you are familiar with how I like to see the challenges life puts before us. Challenges are always opportunities to learn and grow and stretch ourselves in ways we never thought possible.

Sometimes these opportunities present themselves in small snippets and with hard work they will build over time into a true treasure trove of knowledge and experience.

There are other times where these opportunities hit us full on with no warning and there is seemingly no way in, around, or through them. And yet if we navigate the situation with curiosity and learn from what may be seen as a “failure” (no such thing) and continue to connect to resources and people to guide us through what at first seemed insurmountable this will often be in hindsight quite an amazing part of our life long journey.

These challenges are an opportunity to see your resilience and grit in action as that little voice in you calls out “Keep going! Onward! You can do this!”

And when challenges do appear and a few “mistakes” take place that is your wonderful reminder that “mistakes” simply show you are trying! Yay you! You’ve got this!


Creativity – Creativity works hand-in-hand with challenges. Finding creative solutions or next steps for any challenge that comes your way allows for a less stress-filled atmosphere and also allows the learning environment to be open to possibilities. Innovation can take place in this space.

And by being open to possibilities you are also able to engage with a state of flow that encourages creativity where the experience is more important than the outcome. (see flow & creativity books below)

So much can be generated from a state of flow and creativity. In addition to the arts this applies to most any endeavor be it working on plumbing fixtures, caring for animals, trying a new recipe in the kitchen, or solving a computer glitch.

And one of the things that is most compatible with creativity and flow is time. Giving yourself and your family members the space and grace to explore and engage daily with work that is meaningful to them even if it doesn’t look like valuable work to others. Remember it is ALL meaning-filled. Creativity works in mysterious and magical ways building upon itself. None of us know exactly where we are headed at all times and yet in hindsight we can see where different pieces of the puzzle that we explore along the way become a part of the great masterpiece called our lives.

The Importance of Play

All I can say is P.L.A.Y. is everything.

Play and P.L.A.Y. is where it all comes together as we creatively work through our daily challenges.

Need I say more? Ok, then just read my P.L.A.Y.  blog and stay tuned. It is all unfolding right before you.

Then read Stuart Brown’s book Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul.(see below) This book provides the data and explanations on how play applies to everyone, every day, at all ages and stages. Simply always.

Trust me Stuart Brown’s book is a must read and game changer for the journey ahead.

Onward to Bonus Goodies Below!

Be sure to revisit my P.L.A.Y.  blog often as something new is being shared daily.

Pass the P.L.A.Y. forward to friends and family too!

Then walk the walk, get out, and P.L.A.Y.! You’ll be ever so glad you did!

For more inspiration and insight Chapter 4 + 5 + 6 in this series can be found HERE.

As always, compliment this reading with the authors and resources listed below and support your local library and book stores by requesting these books!

~ Recommended Authors + Resources ~

Stuart Brown – Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul (my review HERE)

Keri Smith –

Wreck This Journal (my future review here)

How to Be An Explorer of this World: Portable Life Museum

The Imaginary World of . . .

The Pocket Scavenger

Elizabeth Gilbert Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear (my future review here)

SARK (Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy) –

Juicy Pens, Thirsty Paper: Gifting the World with Your Words and Stories, and Creating the Time and Energy to Actually Do It (my future review here)

SARK’s New Creative Companion: Ways to Free Your Creative Spirit

Glad No Matter What: Transforming Loss and Change into Gift and Opportunity

Purchase Here – P.L.A.Y. Nature Alliteration Adventure Guide Books

and join the play-filled journey today!