~~~ BOOK LOOK ~~~
Review & Reflections
Free Range Learning:
How Homeschooling Changes Everything
by Laura Grace Weldon
If you were to only have one homeschool, unschooling, life learning book on your shelf this would be my top pick. It is absolutely worth having this volume on your shelf to revisit again and again.
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 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.
In Chapter 15 – History & Current Events Laura covers more of what some folks would view as the “academic subjects” of homeschooling. She is quick to point out how history is linked to you and your family in so many different ways including through beliefs, attitudes, ideas, and interests and that exploring history is relevant and essential.
Be sure to try out the wide variety of options Laura offers with both activities and resources and see my reflections below on our own families lived experience engaging with the study of history and the resources we used on our journey.
History – Making Connections Through
Curiosity & P.L.A.Y.
Our work as life learners is to engage with topics of interest, explore curiosities, and quite simply build a life of purpose and meaning through our daily adventures.
Connecting to history by reading stories of what has come before us can be fascinating, insightful, and provide context for how we live our lives.
The focus being on reading history about the lives of real people in real situations sharing the truth of their experiences throughout time including current events (history in the making).
Our family has spent countless hours listening to audio books, in the car and at home, to cover both fictional entertainment (hello Harry Potter – we love Jim Dale! ❤) and to cover the centuries of historical stories that have taken place before our existence.
We listened to Susan Wise Bauer’s The Story of the World series volume by volume as was age appropriate for our two kiddos. And when I say we listened I am including anyone who was in the vicinity, parents or grandparents. This provided the opportunity for multi-generational conversations and plenty of questions to bubble up. And it is worth noting often times we learned more from asking questions of ourselves and each other then always seeking the answers. Over time we made connections and as we re-listened to each volume at new ages + stages our understanding grew and so did our list of more meaningful questions.
And, as is often the case, both Susan Wise Bauer’s World History and Joy Hakim’s US History series were not necessarily covered 100% as both of my kiddos found the sections on war to be fatiguing. We made use of what had meaning for us and moved on when it no longer suited us. For example, KIDS Discover Magazine with their brief, engaging, and concise articles on so many topics helped cover the areas on war (and many other topics) more succinctly.
This was all coupled with a long list of non-fiction picture books, non-fiction and historical fiction chapter books (love Laura Ingalls Wilder!), plenty of documentaries viewed, museums visited, games played, and news watched which provided a nice broad base of context to build on (even to this day!)
Now that my kiddos officially have both feet planted in the “adult world”and continue to live at home we also continue to learn from each other with curiosity and P.L.A.Y. especially in the “history in the making realm” while we listen to the news on the car radio or watch clips of monologues online together. And often I will find that they have broadened their understanding of Planet Earth and the inhabitants on it and are well equipped to share their valued opinions backing them up with context they have picked up along the way and engaging me with new information to make connections on my own P.L.A.Y. journey.
Many wonderful full circle connection moments, history related and more, really do occur with time and patience. And as I can now attest to parents this is a P.L.A.Y.-filled gift worth waiting for! En-JOY-able!
As this series wraps up you can find Chapter 16 HERE.
Compliment this reading with the authors and resources listed below.
~ Recommended Authors + Resources ~
Susan Wise Bauer –
The Story of the World – a 4 volume set of World History in story format for kiddos+families (audio/book/workbook options)
Joy Hakim –
The History of US – an 11 volume set of USA History in story format for kiddos + families (paperback books)
DK Eyewitness – Resource Books – variety of topics
KIDS Discover Magazine – History/Biographies/Science (print titles & online)
Who was? a biography series published by Penguin Book Group
Travel back in time with historical fiction series like these:
Mary Pope Osborne – The Magic Tree House (ABOVE)
Laura Ingalls Wilder – Little House on the Prairie (BELOW)
Scholastic Series – Everything You Need to Know About American History Homework
There are *OODLES* of awesome, engaging, inspiring picture and chapter books both in fiction & non-fiction formats.
Simply make it a practice to visit your local library OFTEN(!) to take you worlds away to P.L.A.Y.!
Purchase Here – P.L.A.Y. Nature Alliteration Adventure Guide Books
and join the play-filled journey today!