I do not homeschool my children alone. In fact, the term homeschool can be misleading. Schooling is not something to be done to your children in the home alone, instead it is something that we do with our children, as a community, society, and world. A more appropriate name may be world schooling, experiential learning, cooperative-community learning.
Homeschooling is a lifestyle. It is living in connection with your family, neighbors, extended community, and the natural world. It is a large collaborative effort. What your children learn and how they learn should not fall on the backs of you, their parents, alone. Our children need experience in building relationships with members of the community and beyond. That is afterall how humans have come to survive. We are social beings who depend on our environments to survive and thrive. Other people are the most important part of our environment.
Children therefore need to explore territories, opportunities, experiences and more outside of the home in order to fully exercise their drive and need to learn about the world around them. They need support from a diverse number of resources to gain the confidence, resilience, and courage to lead their own journey of fulfillment and lifelong learning. They are our future. Their minds will change the world.
The research is clear: children are born geniuses. They are born mathematicians, scientists, and explorers, They are also learning machines. So let’s create the conditions for their genius to flourish. Let’s provide them the opportunity to see themselves as what they are from birth and that is competent and capable to change the world.
That is where adults come in. We are in charge of setting the right environmental conditions and creating circumstances in which children can experience all that this world has to offer, particularly when children are young. My mission is to facilitate, not direct or coerce, a lifestyle that opens boundless opportunities for personal growth, change, meaning, and purpose that will keep the fire of curiosity and a love of lifelong learning endlessly burning.
The resources that I share with you here have accompanied my family and I in our journey to live in trust, adventure, learning, and connection. I predict that you have your own list of invaluable resources that have served you and your family well. I would love for you to add them in the comments below. Here is my list:
Julie Bogart- The Brave Learner
Peter Gray- Free To Learn
Ben Hewitt- Home Grown
John Holt-How Children Learn
Sir Ken Robinson- The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything
Dr. Shefali Tsabary- The Conscious Parent: Transforming Ourselves, Empowering Our Children
Janet Lansbury- Elevating Child Care
Daniel J. Siegel, M.D. and Tina Payne Bryson, PhD.- The Whole Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Development
Honey, I’m Homeschooling the Kids- Robyn Robertson
Sage Parenting- Rachel Rainbolt
Brave Writer- Julie Bogart
Off Trial Learning- Blake Boles
Unruffled- Janet Lansbury
HSLDA– Homeschool Legal Defense Association- nonprofit advocacy organization that works to provide legal advice and representation to homeschooling families.
The Homeschool Mom– homeschool help and encouragement through thousands of homeschooling resources online.
Peter Gray- A Survey of Grown Unschoolers – Unschoolers report on their childhood and adult experiences
Project World School– Join a community for experiential learning experiences
Blake Boles Dot Com – Speaker, author, owner of Unschool Adventures a program for teens and young adults.
John Holt and Pat Farenga– A wealth of information and resources on everything learning and self directed education
If you consider what you want for you and your family, when you reflect upon the impressions that you want to leave upon your children, how much of those ideals and ideas would you be able to gain from completing workbooks and tests? Yes, those have a place and are important at times, but learning and education is so much more. It actually comes down to the science of how we learn. We learn best by being active participants through real world, meaningful, and relevant experiences. I hope these resources will help you and your family through your journey of living and learning.
Please share your go-to resources in the comments!