Home Education Resources
Are you new to homeschooling, unschooling, or any form of alternative learning?
Welcome to your Home Education Resources Landing page!
I've compiled a list of ever-growing home education resources on this page. Bookmark the ones that resonate with you, and dive in to the fabulous world of life-long learning!
This video stands as the go-to for many people when trying to explain why people choose something outside of the traditional realm. Sir Ken Robinson, is an English author, speaker and advisor on education in the arts to government, non-profits, education and arts bodies. He says we can’t improve a broken model with education anymore. It’s not a linear thing. Learning…education…it’s organic. It grows and develops in everyday life. This video is from a TED talk Sir Ken Robinson did, and it has circulated in every homeschool community I know:
Know The Law In Your State
First and foremost, when it comes to home education resources, it's important you know the law. This is your best landing page to bookmark to know what your laws are in your state. While I'm not endorsing HSLDA for everything, they do have a pretty good read on the legalities around homeschooling.
Now, let's get this title thing cleared up. How do I explain this type of schooling? My eyes are glazing over all the many things we can say we're doing - homeschooling, free-range learning, unschooling, radical unschooling, deschooling, world-schooling, leadership education, etc. This article is a resource for defining the many labels that are out there.
For our family, we "unschool", and when asked, our children say:
The world is our school, and everyone is our teacher.
Defining what Alternative Education looks like for Your Family
Want to create a life-long learner? Read this series:
- Why I believe in Functional Education...and why You Should, Too.
- I Am Not a Teacher (But I Unschool)
- Education Overhaul #1: Reframe Your Thinking
- Education Overhaul #2: Define Learning
- Education Overhaul #3: Lose the Lingo
- What Kind of Teacher Are You?
- Life Long Learners Come In All Personality Styles
- BUT WHAT ABOUT SOCIALIZATION?
Alternative Schooling Insights
- Simple Homeschool does a wonderful job of laying out their unschooling approach with their teens - full of excellent articles with tips on learning resources.
- Here are quite a few posts all about Unschooling and living the Zen lifestyle.
- Here are some key points for creating a lifetime learner.
- Check out Kelsey Henry's content - her book "Growing up Roadschooled" shows not only her homeschooling lifestyle, but doing it while RVing fulltime with her family. (Check her her podcast as well - the Positively Delighted Podcast!)
Educational Gift Guide
- Check out this podcast where we cover "Homeschooling Rebuttals" with a powerful clip from Seth Godin
- Want to hear from a grown unschooler? This one is a now-23-year-old laying out what unschooling really means to her: I'm an Unschooler: Yes I Can Write. And here is one about the top six reasons she was glad she was unschooled.
- And how in the world do you cover all subjects with unschooling? HERE IS YOUR ANSWER
- WHAT ABOUT SOCIALIZATION?? Of course, this comes up all the time, and I wrote a whole blog on it. READ THIS and don't worry about it any more. The bottom line is that homeschool kids have the world at their fingertips with many, many opportunities not only to socialize, but to do it in a broad way that includes people of all ages - not confined to one geographic location and age bracket. Here is another article on socialization.
- Curious how a homeschooler can prepare for college? While I'm not a fan of student loans, this article lays out the steps well!
Hands-On Learning By Travel
As we embark on our own travel adventures, we've started to explore more and more families who get their education while traveling. Here are some great blogs and FaceBook groups to get involved with:
- First and foremost, if you're looking to RV with your family like we have, check out 90 Day Family Road Trip - not only to get a better feel for what RV to pick out and how to plan your travels, but the deeper insights from a family coach on how to actually enjoy each other in the process!
- What is World-Schooling? This blog was the first one I started following when I was exploring non-traditional school options. They traveled the world with their daughter from age 5-13, having her learn with peers in other countries and embracing every learning opportunity they could. Read about how little "Mozart" has had an education full of life experiences!
- Worldschooler House Swap/Sit
- Traveling Homeschoolers
- The Republic of Nomads - an inclusive RVing community for families (RV FB Community)
- This is a great compilation of VIRTUAL Field Trips to "travel" to so many cool places in the world!
- Unschooling Families (my educational FB group)
- Mama Says Namaste (for families all over- lots of traveling families in there)
If you are considering travel as a main thing for your family while you homeschool, we have a whole season on the Mama Says Namaste podcast focused on it, covering key areas we discuss in our course, 90 Day Family Road Trip.
We share what got us over our initial fears and motivated us to not wait for "one day"!
Resources for Learning
Here are some great online/virtual/alt. ed home education resources:
- https://www.kidsmoney.org/teachers/ - this is a great resource to cover your bases and help build financial literacy with your kids (and yourself).
- www.Outschool.com - if you need additional support, grab some classes at a place like this, Varsity Tutors.com, Masterclass.com or even searching free YouTube videos.
- Free World Geography Curriculum
- Vocation-Vacations - explore vocational options where you can apprentice before you dive in!
- https://modernstates.org - This is a free online program to give you college classes - it's pretty impressive!
- https://thecarbonalmanac.org/kids/ - this is a kids version of the Carbon Almanac - a book compiled by over 300 volunteers to gather the facts about climate change...and what can be done about it. This is a free book, and there is a free teacher's guide - so much great info in here!
Really...what is school for?
Fun for the family
This is such a great way to connect as a family, and do a collaborative project that involves SO many subjects! Here is an excellent article put out by Adobe on Filmmaking and Animation for Kids
We've created quite a few fun ones already - here are a few:
- Romeo and Juliet with a Logsdon Twist
- "I Walk The Line" by Johnny Cash (Covered by the FieldTripGypsies)
- "Mother Earth" by the Cousin Crew
My girls love doing yoga, and Jaime's stories are a great way to get them started - her "Zen Den" and "Peace Out" programs on mindfulness are pretty awesome!
This is so great - not only is a fun way to learn about foods across the country, but it encourages you to try new things! We're big on "no thank-you bites" in our home, because, you can't say you don't like something you've never experienced!
I've been very impressed by the educational component of Universal Yums and how we learn the backstories on all the foods, as well as all about the country and culture.
This is a great educational art page - step by step instructions on how to draw/paint fun things from an amazing illustrator, Rose Gauss. This site (and the upcoming book) is a great place to get cute drawing ideas for kids of all ages and skill levels. When Clara was first starting out with her art, she had a painting day with her YiaYia - and ended up with the cutest snail painting (Rose posted it on her site here)! Rose just so happens to be the illustrator for the I Wanna Be... series, written by YiaYia (Joanne Miller).
The Birds and the Bees
On dealing with puberty and womanhood (sorry guys, I have three girls so my focus is on the females here, although some of these resources will work for either gender:
Check out my 3-part series on navigating this with your family:
- How to talk to your kids about the Birds and the Bees: Part 1 (Episode 182)
- Moon-Cycle Wisdom - How To Talk To Your Kids About The Birds and the Bees: Part 2 (Episode 183)
- Creating Sexual Legacy – How to talk to your kids about the Birds and the Bees: Part 3 (Episode 184)
- I highly, highly recommend Moon Daughters - this is a powerful program for mamas of daughters to go through, and I went through a lot of it WITH my teen daughter.
- You'll see in my book list that I recommend "It's Not the Stork" and "Beautiful Girl" as great books to educate little ones on their bodies. The "It's Not The Stork" series has three versions based on your child's age, and each one builds on the other - they are excellent...and very thorough! (caveat - read through them first - if you are not comfortable with talking gender identity, foreplay, various birth control, etc, you'll want to look through them first, especially the one for the oldest. That being said, these are all very legitimate topics your children will be exposed to, and I'd much rather I open up the conversation for them to be able to address it with me).
- I also recommend Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom and Mother-Daughter Wisdom by Dr. Christiane Northrup for every mama - it's THAT important.
- I haven't gone through this personally, but a friend highly recommends it: Healthy Bodies for Kids
- Additionally, check out this site for girls: https://www.deannalam.com/mother-daughter/
- How about an impressive "Sex Talk" from a Mennonite who gets it!
- Help! My teen is sexually active - what do I do? Take everything with a grain of salt in what aligns with your values (for example, I personally am not an advocate for the Gardisil vaccine) - this Dr. has some great nuggets of advice.
- Check out this scientific video on how the teenage brain works
- Let's go ahead and watch this one on empathy as well - very powerful.
More of an audio listener?
Never fear - tons of episodes just on home education resources and insights!
Secular Home Education Resources in TN
*This is specifically for those looking to move to TN, our home state we launched from. Now, there are a TON of resources in the Christian circle - being in the midst of the "Bible Belt", there are so many excellent co-ops and groups to really get connected. The Christian homeschool groups are robust and super supportive here. So this section is specifically for the crowd who is looking to homeschool and may not necessarily be Christian, or don't want a religiously focused group/resources.
1) What is it like to homeschool in Nashville as secular, eclectic homeschoolers?
Honest opinion? I'm a Nashville native. I've been to public, private, homeschool and group classes, and now I'm faced with teaching my own children. When I tried to find a co-op, I experienced THIS. The suburbs of Nashville tend to fit some pretty religious stereotypes. However, this is NOT all of Nashville, and there are some really cool groups that have formed since I posted that blog post. There are different forms of co-ops - some where you leave your kids for others to teach (set up more like college classes where they go a few times a week and then have work they can do at home), and/or one where parents get together and collaborate to teach different topics/subjects.Here are some I recommend in the secular arena (there are some fabulous ones that are Christian, and all but one that I know of requires either a pastoral recommendation or a statement of faith. (CHET is one that I have heard great things about - more like a school that is only a few days a week, Christian-based, but pretty open and supportive of everyone.)Non-religious focused co-ops:
- Common Ground Enrichment Program: This is a great one if you want to be involved in teaching not only your kids, but their peers as well - all the parents collaborate and take turns leading topics in their area of expertise, and it's a great way to connect and collaborate teaching and learning. This meets once a week.
- Cool Springs Montessori Homeschool Enrichment Program: This meets 2 days a week from 9-2 and is for kids ages 5-12. My oldest daughter went and loved it. It's the Montessori style in every way, adapted to homeschoolers.
- Nashville Waldorf Co-Op: We did this for a while and the girls loved it. It's pretty laid back with wonderful waldorf-inspired events and field trips. They bring in different teachers and you can a-la-cart which classes your children do - mine did Spanish and drama there, and had the rest of the time to free-play with friends, do handwork, eat community lunches and more.
- MHS Co-Op - Murfreesboro Homeschoolers: This was started by a friend of mine I met at the Waldorf Group - sounds great, just too far away for us!
For the best place to stay connected to events going on in Nashville, check out the Nashville Homeschool Calendar. This is open to all homeschoolers, and many of my Waldorf-inspired unschool friends go to these events. I've found the more Waldorf/Montessori focused in their homeschooling style, the more religiously tolerant I've found - a big part of these models of education.Additionally, there are a ton of great groups on FB to get connected:
- The Farm School Satellite Program - (this one is run by Jacki Willard - she is with the Farm Satellite School which many families opt for as their "umbrella" school) - I highly recommend the Farm Satellite School - they are super easy to work with! - more details below)
- Unschooling Families (this my FB group)
- Eclectic Homeschoolers of Middle TN
- East Nashville Unschooled - Obviously stationed in East Nashville area, but open and an active group.
- Diverse Homeschoolers of Middle TN (most of the Common Ground Enrichment Co-Op is in this one)
- Curriculum Re-Runs Sale (this one is focused on homeschool resources)
2) How to you handle the homeschool laws for TN?
You can just register with your local public school, or a lot of my friends have registered through the Farm - this is what we're doing as soon as registration opens up for the fall: https://www.thefarmschool.tv/. Technically it's not an umbrella school - we are acting as a "satellite campus" for the Farm School. We have to enter in attendance and then list what we're doing - it's pretty simple, and they help you CYA so you can simply focus on your kids vs. submitting gobs of forms or testing! If you have questions about it make sure you've joined that first FB group above, and also you can reach out directly to Jacki Willard and she can help you transition in!
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