BOOK LOOK – Free Range Learning by Laura Grace Weldon – Chapter 16 Volunteerism, Ethics, Spirituality

~~~ 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 16 – Volunteerism, Ethics & Spirituality Laura highlights these areas showing that homeschoolers have many opportunities to engage and explore individually, and with their families & friends, in a variety of community settings to round out their life learning journey.

Be sure to check out the activities and resources Laura offers and see my reflections below on our own families lived experiences and the resources we used on this journey.


 Voice and a Choice + Time to Listen + Time to Volunteer

Our work as life learners is to engage with topics of interest, explore curiosities, express ourselves creatively and authentically, and quite simply build a life of purpose and meaning through our daily adventures. I have found Laura’s book to be a wonderful guide through the life learning experience and hopefully, although this review series has come to an end with this final chapter, the practice of P.L.A.Y. and the many positive takeaways from this volume continue on for you and your family.

These past twenty plus years as a homeschooling and unschooling mom have provided me with an endless supply of lessons learned on my parenting journey. It has been the greatest gift to have the time to simply listen to my kiddos struggles and triumphs over the years. Providing a safe space while they questioned all that was before them and truly listening as they also reflected back on what they had learned as they moved along on their journey.

Throughout this parenting season in my life I’ve been given the opportunity to honor “a voice and a choice” again and again as we each participated on equal footing in our household discussions. Everyone truly mattered and had something valuable to contribute if they wished to bring it forward.

There have been many lessons learned and so often the teaching was done by the kiddos shining a light on what was really most important for the parents to understand. We are all the better for it and now have trusting adult relationships with each other because we’ve done this work, the hard homework, together.

Practicing this way of learning and being for multiple decades now means it runs deep in my veins and is connected to the very core of who I am. This year I launched P.L.A.Y.Passionate Learning All Year to share my experiences of this practice with you, pass forward what I have learned, and encourage as many folks and families as possible to engage daily with nature and P.L.A.Y. so that you too may experience the joy and connection it can create for you and your loved ones.

This practice of P.L.A.Y is meant to be shared and it is providing me with the opportunity to “volunteer”, show up and be seen, engage my mind + body + spirit, and give back to the future generations of young folks and families just beginning their life learning adventures.

And so you can see this journey, with much gratitude, continues for me even though the label of homeschool mom is beginning to fade and instead now when I am asked “What do you do?” I reply “My work is P.L.A.Y“!

❤ ❤ ❤

Sending many thanks to Laura Grace Weldon, to whom I’ve never met, for writing her book and being a wonderful guide all along the way.

Now that this series is through I hope you and your family will keep coming back and join me for many more daily P.L.A.Y. moments!

Here’s how:

  1. P.L.A.Y. daily by making sure you’ve signed up your email address to receive my posts (see home page).
  2. Bonus – Homeschool Visionista at your service! If you live in Western Massachusetts and you’d like to consider being a part of a small gathering of women for a Mom’s Visioning Retreat that will dive deeper into the concepts presented in this series and for the opportunity to be mentored by Karen in this group please send your name and email to: . I will contact you to discuss the program details -place/time/level of commitment/etc. with the intention to begin in early 2020. And in the spirit of volunteering  please know that it will be a pay-what-you-can program as my way of giving back to the homeschool community and making sure everyone has equal access to this support.
  3. Go back through all of the original posts in this Free Range Learning series and begin reading the suggested books listed as resources and the corresponding reviews I’ve made on separate posts.

Compliment your reading of Free Range Learning with the authors and resources listed below that our family have used on our life learning and parenting journey.

~ Recommended Authors + Resources ~

Dale McGowan –

Raising Freethinkers: A Practical Guide for Parenting Beyond Belief

Parenting Beyond Belief: On Raising Ethical, Caring Kids Without Religion

Ryan Niemiec –

Mindfulness & Character Strengths: A Practical Guide to Flourishing

The Power of Character Strengths: Appreciate and Ignite Your Positive Personality

Marshall Rosenberg –

NonViolent Communication: A Language of Life

Raising Children Compassionately: Parenting the Nonviolent Communication Way

Myra & Jon Kabat-Zinn

Everyday Blessings: The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting

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

and join the play-filled journey today!