~~~ 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 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 find reviews at these links – Chapter 1 (HERE), Chapter 2 (HERE), Chapter 3 (HERE), and continue the conversation below with Chapters 4+5+6.
In Chapter 4 – Connecting with Others, Chapter 5 – Collaborating Benefits Everyone, and Chapter 6 – Homeschooling Changes Everything Laura lists a wide range of ways for families, kiddos, and adults, to connect with one another on their learning journey. From friendships to homeschool groups, elders to interest based gatherings, accessing communities online to the number one classic homeschool gems – meeting folks at the library or local park, there are countless ways to associate and bond with people both near and far.
Best of all when you finish these three chapters you will have the answer to the most asked question of homeschooling folks “what about socialization?”
Spoiler Alert – This myth of socialization deficit is debunked over and over again as you read these three chapters. Life long learners are actually more often fully engaged as social beings since they have the time to access and engage with people of all ages, at any time, in their own time and way, and in a wide range of locations. Our culture makes this an issue only because the life learning practice does not fit in the standard education system box and so it is simply an unfamiliar way for folks. Once you step into the homeschooling/unschooling arena and experience all it has to offer socialization becomes an obvious non-issue. Period.
Connections – All Ages, Any Time
Now that our family is 20+ years into this life learning lifestyle I can candidly reflect on the myriad of ways that I have witnessed and experienced kiddos connecting to kiddos, kiddos connecting to adults, and quite simply people connecting to people!
Local Children’s Chorus singing at Eric Carle Museum -2008-
Our journey of making connections, human to human AND human to animal (equally as important), on a daily or weekly or monthly routine has included:
* =weekly ** =monthly *** =Bonus 24/7 daily access
*Neighborhood play group – parents & kiddos
*Library story time, programs, and volunteering
*Nature walking group affiliated with Roots & Shoots
*Archery lessons & mentorship & earning a coaching certificate
*Art Teen program
*HS Co-ops run by parents with classes from dance to meditation, astronomy to computer technology, felting to Olympic celebration, etc.
**Membership in state wide butterfly association
*Ice skating at local university (bargain daytime pricing)
*Children’s chorus & later college community chorus (at age 15 )
*Science project & play program w/ 3 homeschool families covering biology + environmental studies
*Local park gatherings run by homeschoolers: from carpentry to gym class, book club to barter days.
*Community College blended classes – mushrooms to hip hop
*Mentoring on the care & ownership of goats and raising ducks
***Online communities & social media (interest based) making connections around the world with lasting friendships as one of many by-products
*** Living in our home of 3 generations for 10 years
*** Living & participating in intentional farming community 8+ years – ongoing
Truth be told this is actually just a sampling(!) of the many ways and opportunities our family has had the chance for connection with a host of communities large and small. And regardless of the outcome, short lived moments or long term lasting relationships, there was learning and growth to be had in every one. They were all of value and all required social engagement to varying degrees.
And throughout our days engaging with these opportunities we operated as a family unit honoring each member of the family and acknowledging they had a voice and a choice. When parenting moments arose that felt like a struggle I had to remind myself that this was a time to self reflect and ask “what is this here to teach me?”. And more often than not it was quite clear that I was just here to guide my children and it was the kids who were the true teachers if I was simply present to receive this gift.
Connecting to family while connecting to a wide range of community learners is a wonderful process if we are able to be present and embrace the life lessons that make for a very full-filling P.L.A.Y.-filled journey.
Chapter 7, 8, and 9 in this series can be found HERE.
As always, compliment this reading with the authors and resources listed below that I highly recommend and have used to inform my life learning experiences as a parent and as a human learning to live cooperatively with family, community, and daily people-to-people connections.
Support your local library and request these books!
~ Recommended Authors + Resources ~
Katrina Kenison –
The Gift of an Ordinary Day: A Mother’s Memoir (my future review here)
Magical Journey: An Apprenticeship in Contentment (my future review here)
Dr. Shefali Tsabary –
The Conscious Parent: Transforming Ourselves, Empowering Our Children (my future review here)
The Awakened Family: How to Raise Empowered, Resilient, and Conscious Children (my future review here)
Mary Sheedy Kurcinka
Kids, Parents, and Power Struggles (my future review here)
Raising Your Spirited Child (my future review here)
Purchase Here – P.L.A.Y. Nature Alliteration Adventure Guide Books
and join the P.L.A.Y.-filled journey today!