Home Education Resources ⋆ Mama Says Namaste

Home Education Resources

Are you new to homeschooling, unschooling, or any form of alternative learning?
Welcome to your Home Education Resources Landing page!

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. 

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

First and foremost, my goal is NOT to have everyone unschool, homeschool, or any other alternative school label.  It is to create LIFE LONG LEARNERS.  I have a series on unschooling here that really explores unschooling and how to foster lifelong learning, no matter what your schooling style is:​

Want to create a life-long learner?  Read this series:

Alternative Schooling Insights

  • Alternatives to School is an excellent site that really explores what is going on with our education system here in the US, and how we can navigate it and see what options there are for our children.  Run by private citizens with all different backgrounds, it's a diverse site that is super helpful for equipping you with knowing what you are talking about!
  • Simple Homeschool does a wonderful job of laying out their unschooling approach with their teens - full of excellent articles with tips on learning resources.
  • "The Myth of the Uninvolved Unschooler"  This blog post exemplifies why we choose to Unschool vs. Homeschool or any other option.
  • Here are quite a few posts all about Unschooling and living the Zen lifestyle.
  • Here are some key points for creating a lifetime learner.
  • homeschooling socialization

    Educational Gift Guide

    educational gift guide

    Common Concerns

    • 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.
    • Help your kids think mathematically HERE.  This is a classic example of how to incorporate subjects like math into your daily living.

    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:

    If you are dreaming of travel with your family, I highly recommend you take in the free webinar,
    "how to take the ultimate family road trip...without going broke or crazy"


    If you are considering travel as a main thing for your family while you homeschool check out the Family Adventure Podcast - this is what got us over our initial fears and motivated us to not wait for "one day"!

    don't wait for one day - start travel now

    Resources for Older Children

    Here are some great online/virtual/alt. ed home education resources:

    life long learner functional education

    Pinterest Inspiration

    Prepare to get sucked away with awesome ideas!!

    You'll find all kinds of fun boards to check out!

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    Home Education Resources

    Fun for the family

    Cosmic Kids Yoga

    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!

    Fairy Mail

    Because, magic.  It's so worth it and the girls love the mail they get!  The theme is that magic truly comes with kindness, so there is a positive message and a reminder to love and be kind in every letter.   Only caveat: fairy dust.  All of our letters have to be opened outside - no glitter in our house!  (Update: they now put the glitter in a little baggy - so much better.  The girls got a box of goodness from the fairies this month that was awesome- little magnifying glasses, a cloth bag, chocolate rocks and a vial of lavender buds for creating their own fairy magic!)

    Secular Home Education

    A Daily Sketch Journal

    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:

    • 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 LGBTQ, various birth control, etc, this may not be the series for you).
    • 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: http://www.deannalam.com/mother-daughter/
    • For older kids, check out this blunt and honest sex talk
    • 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!

    Head Clutter and The Chaos of Overwhelm
    How can you be calm when there is so much clutter in your head?  In this episode, we talk about[...]
    Why I Believe In Functional Education For Our Future…and what that even is
    You may have heard of functional medicine -a medical practice or treatments that focus on optimal functioning of the body[...]
    Homeschool Rebuttals (Episode 61)
    "But what about socialization? How will you meet all requirements? How will they get into college?" If you homeschool in[...]
    History in a Distillery and other opportunities for learning (Episode 47)
    Opportunities for Learning Notice the opportunity - this is the last in our "Functional Education" series: Opportunities to learn and[...]
    Think Three Times, Speak Only Once (Episode 46)
    This week we dig more into personality styles - steady, loyal, precise, factual...do any of these describe you or your[...]
    What is your internal motivation? (Episode 44)
    How are we internally motivated?  True learning comes from that desire and hunger to acquire a skill or knowledge based[...]
    Your Credibility as Lead Explorer, Not A Teacher (Episode 42)
    Credibility - do you really feel comfortable teaching your children?  No matter what type of "school" they are in, like[...]
    Embrace The Struggle (Episode 41)
    Is failure a tattoo or simply a bruise?  Can you allow your children to struggle and be uncomfortable?  This week[...]
    Deschooling and the Myths of Education (Episode 40)
    Deschooling - The Education of Letting Go So you want a new perspective on education?  It may be that your[...]

    Secular Home Education Resources in TN

    *This is specifically for those looking to move to TN, our home state.  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:

    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: http://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!

    *this post contains affiliate links. Bottom line, if it's not something I believe in, I don't promote it. If it IS, then it's no extra charge for you to click on an affiliate link, and I get a little bonus. For more info, please read our disclaimer

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