Favourite Homeschooling Links

Favourite Homeschooling Links

People often ask me where they can read more about homeschooling/unschooling, or for recommendations for books or other blogs and I can never remember off the top of my head! So, I decided to compile a list of my favourite homeschooling links for you and for me. I’ll add more to it as I come across them.

Here’s what has inspired me the most so far…

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 Articles

A Thousand Rivers: What the modern world has forgotten about children and learning.

There is a reason this one is at the top of my list. It would have to be my all time favourite! Whenever I’m needing a little inspiration or confidence I read it again. A must read for everyone.

“Any wildlife biologist knows that an animal in a zoo will not develop normally if the environment is incompatible with the evolved social needs of its species. But we no longer know this about ourselves. We have radically altered our own evolved species behavior by segregating children artificially in same-age peer groups instead of mixed-age communities, by compelling them to be indoors and sedentary for most of the day, by asking them to learn from text-based artificial materials instead of contextualized real-world activities, by dictating arbitrary timetables for learning rather than following the unfolding of a child’s developmental readiness. Common sense should tell us that all of this will have complex and unpredictable results. In fact, it does. While some children seem able to function in this completely artificial environment, really significant numbers of them cannot. Around the world, every day, millions and millions and millions of normal bright healthy children are labelled as failures in ways that damage them for life. And increasingly, those who cannot adapt to the artificial environment of school are diagnosed as brain-disordered and drugged.

It is in this context that we set out to research how human beings learn. But collecting data on human learning based on children’s behavior in school is like collecting data on killer whales based on their behavior at Sea World.”

Seven Sins of Our System of Forced Education

Now this one is straight to the point, blunt, maybe you might even find it offensive? But I also found it very thought provoking, inspiring, and hard to argue with…

“Now here’s another term that I think deserves to be said out loud: Forced education. Like the term prison, this term sounds harsh. But, again, if we have compulsory education, then we have forced education. The term compulsory, if it has any meaning at all, means that the person has no choice about it.

The question worth debating is this: Is forced education–and the consequential imprisonment of children–a good thing or a bad thing? Most people seem to believe that it is, all in all, a good thing; but I think that it is, all in all, a bad thing. I outline here some of the reasons why I think this, in a list of what I refer to as “seven sins” of our system of forced education:”

Homeschool this

This is a really great account of one family’s homeschooling/unschooling journey and how they did it. It will put your mind at ease.

“Feed them, throw them books and sunshine, chase them around a bit, be as nice to them as you can manage, even when they’re jerks (and they will be) and — presto! Great big, relatively functional, frustratingly opinionated, adequately educated and very hungry humans.”

Homeschool Worries: Erased With Research & Experience

Just one of the many great articles to be found over here…

“Taking my kids out of school liberated them from the test-heavy approach of today’s schools, one that actually has nothing to do with adult success. Instead of spending over 1,200 hours each year in school, they could devote time to what more directly builds happiness as well as future success. Things like innovation, hands-on learning, and meaningful responsibility.”

How do Unschoolers Turn Out?

“In 2011, he and colleague Gina Riley surveyed 232 parents who unschool their children, which they defined as not following any curriculum, instead letting the children take charge of their own education. The respondents were overwhelmingly positive about their unschooling experience, saying it improved their children’s general well-being as well as their learning, and also enhanced family harmony. Their challenges primarily stemmed from feeling a need to defend their practices to family and friends, and overcoming their own deeply ingrained ways of thinking about education.”

Ten obvious truths about educating kids that keep getting ignored

I love Alfie Kohn and was first introduced to him through his book Unconditional Parenting. Turns out his views on education are awesome too.

“The field of education bubbles over with controversies. It’s not unusual for intelligent people of good will to disagree passionately about what should happen in schools. But there are certain precepts that aren’t debatable, that just about anyone would have to acknowledge are true.

While many such statements are banal, some are worth noticing because in our school practices and policies we tend to ignore the implications that follow from them. It’s both intellectually interesting and practically important to explore such contradictions: If we all agree that a given principle is true, then why in the world do our schools still function as if it weren’t?

Videos

Changing Education Paradigms

I love Sir Ken Robinson and this TED talk of his is my favourite. Will really make you think. A must watch.

Do Schools Kill Creativity?

And this would be my second favourite TED talk by Sir Ken Robinson.

My contention is that creativity now is as important in education as literacy, and we should treat it with the same status.

Hackschooling makes me happy | Logan LaPlante

A really awesome talk by an unschooled teen on what he calls ‘Hackschooling’.

Schooling The World Documentary

This is an absolutely brilliant documentary that everyone needs to watch! It made me think about things I had never even considered before.

If you wanted to change an ancient culture in a generation, how would you do it? You would change the way it educates its children.

Don’t Stay In School

A really powerful video about what is taught in school…

I wasn’t taught how to get a job

but I can remember dissecting a frog

I wasn’t taught how to pay tax

but I know loads about Shakespeare’s classics

I was never taught how to vote

they devoted that time to defining isotopes

I wasn’t taught how to look after my health

but mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell

The Decline of Play and Rise of Mental Disorders

I love this TED talk by Peter Gray on the importance of play. If you weren’t convinced on how important play is before, you will be after watching this! Play is vital and this is one of the reasons we decided to homeschool. I refuse to let school take away childhood.

Sugata Mitra: Build a School in the Cloud

This is an amazing TED talk from Sugata Mitra about his research on kids teaching themselves. This will leave you with no doubts about how capable kids are to learn whatever they need to learn.

Why I Hate School but Love Education

“All I’m saying is that,
If there was a family tree hard work and education would be related,
But school would probably be a distant cousin,
Because if education is the key,
School is the lock,
Because it rarely ever develops your mind to the point where it can perceive red as green and continue to go when someone else said stop.”

Books

Free to Learn

You just have to read this. I wish everyone would. This will leave you with no doubt that free play is what children need to thrive, not coercive schooling. There are so many YES moments in this book. You will love it! If you read one book, make it this.

Home Grown

A truly beautiful book that will make you look at life and learning differently. My second favourite.

Free Range Learning

One of the first books I read on homeschooling!

“Free Range Learning presents eye-opening data about the meaning and importance of natural learning. This data-from neurologists, child development specialists, anthropologists, educators, historians and business innovators-turns many current assumptions about school-based education upside down. The book’s factual approach is balanced by quotes and stories from over 100 homeschoolers from the U.S., Canada, Germany, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, Mexico, India and Singapore. These parents and kids are the true authorities on alternative learning. Written for interested parents and educators, Free Range Learning will also encourage and excite those who want their children to have the benefits, but who are timid to approach homeschooling.”

Love Learn Live

This is a great book about an Australian homeschooling family and their approach to education. It also addresses a lot of the myths about homeschooling. I really liked how at the end there was a section written by each of their children about what homeschooling was like for them.

Project-Based Homeschooling

Highly recommend this one for the ‘how to’ of homeschooling. It really helped me understand how I could identify my children’s interests and what my role was in helping them explore them.

“The author gives parents concrete tips for helping children do challenging, meaningful, self-chosen work. From setting up a workspace that encourages independence to building a family culture that supports self-directed learning to concrete suggestions for a step-by-step approach to inquiry-based investigation, Project-Based Homeschooling shares techniques for mentoring independent, confident thinkers and learners.”

Blogs

My favourite blogs from fellow home educators…

Racheous – Lovable Learning

An Everyday Story

HippyHappyMama

Free Range Learning

I’m Unschooled. Yes, I can Write.

Suzie’s Home Education Ideas

That’s all I’ve got for now! You can also find all of my posts on homeschooling/unschooling HERE. And I have a Pinterest board for homeschooling articles I like HERE.

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24 thoughts on “Favourite Homeschooling Links

  1. What an incredible list! The unschooling journey is not the norm, which can make it confusing, overwhelming and lonely. Blogs like yours are incredibly valuable. Thank you for the work you do and for compiling such a wealth of Information.

  2. Have an autistic son I’ve homeschooled since he was 4. It’s a very rewarding journey and there are so many pluses. The HSLDA has been a great source of information and support.

  3. This is a really comprehensive list of fantastic resources. I’d love to homeschool our children and these articles make it even more compelling. Thank you.

  4. Thanks for compiling this. I’m on the look out for new homeschool blogs to read. We’ve been homeschooling for fourteen years now (five kids ages 3 to 17) and most of the bloggers I loved have moved on or just got tired of it. The old, wonderful, “here is what we did today and here are all the plans to do it if you want to, too” types of blogs have been replaced by glossy, affiliate-linked, pretty blogs that don’t seem to share themselves and their real lives the way we used to.

    My own blog is about 8 years old and I don’t blog as often as I used to, but I’m trying to get back to doing it much more often. I miss that community of sharing our days, our finds, our frustrations and our support with each other. 🙂

  5. Lovely list! Homeschooling is almost non-existent in India. However, i would love to start the trend! Hope your decision turns out to be the best for your kids! God bless

  6. Hello! I am a mom of two girls, 3 years and 6 months, and I’m planning on homeschooling. I was not home schooled and I don’t really know where to start. What are a couple resources that you would suggest for someone like me?

  7. Thank you for an amazing blog! And for this post, very helpfull.
    I really want to unschool, it feels so right. Living in Sweden though where it is illegal… Hoping we will find a way. Will continue to read your blog!
    Many thanks again, Linda

  8. Is unschooling intended to go through to teenage years? Do the children ever attend school. How do parents afford not to work and stay at home unschooling?

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