Unschooling can sometimes be an isolating educational path for both parents and children due to the nature of individual, self-guided learning. There are plenty of ways to keep your kids socialized through clubs, community events, and volunteer work but sometimes parents also need like-minded individuals to connect with in order to share their thoughts and ideas about education, lifelong learning, and unschooling techniques. Unschooling parents may not have the opportunity to mingle with other parents at PAC meetings but there are so many ways to stay connected to families who share the same educational views and ideals as you.
Reading and listening to what other parents have to say about their unschooling experiences can be very helpful when you’re trying to figure out the best way to let your children learn and direct their own education. Many new unschoolers have questions and concerns that seasoned unschooling families have already answered for themselves through past experience. Others may question themselves and the education choices they’ve made for their families and are simply looking for some insight and reassurance. Whether it’s advice, tips, inspiration, or encouragement, these unschooling blogs can provide invaluable information for other unschoolers.
Unschooling Forums and Discussion Groups
Forums are a great way to connect with like-minded individuals who share the belief that children can and will learn through self-guided education. Open discussion in a forum allows families to talk about their successes, strategies, concerns, and frustrations with others who have had similar experiences. These types of discussions can build friendships, offer new ideas, and provide a support network between unschooling families.
Facebook is one of the best platforms for groups to get together and discuss their ideas in a public forum. It’s no surprise that there are countless unschooling groups and pages on facebook with thousands of people chatting back and forth about their ideas. At this time writing this, the Unschooling Facebook page had over 26,000 followers. The page admins post member submitted thoughts and questions for followers to comment on, provide feedback, ask further questions, or simply read through as a silent observer. They also share news and articles related to unschooling that members may find interesting or thought-provoking.
Time4Learning is a fantastic homeschooling resource page that provides homeschooling curriculum, blog posts, FAQ’s, and also features a great Parent Community and Forum section. There are a ton of different open forums topics, each with their own wide array of different threads and comments. There are discussions in plenty of different categories, such as the different stages of learning, Christian families, military families, roadschoolers, special needs support, science, language, and even state specific discussion boards.
Anyone familiar with Reddit won’t be surprised there are plenty of unschooling discussions happening under the subreddit r/unschool. Here you’ll find unschooled individuals discussing their own experiences with learning, unschoolers sharing links and resources others may find helpful, and people just putting thoughts and questions out there for others to ponder and comment on. As you may expect on a platform so widely used as Reddit, there are always new posts, comments, and discussions occurring amongst the 4.3k members of the r/unschool community.
There are many homeschooling and unschooling groups that you can join that will provide support, resources, and peer connections on many levels. Some groups put on events, field trips, or virtual meetings to allow unschooling families to meet up and discuss their experiences. A few unschooling associations have a small fee to become a member and other groups are simply large Facebook groups where everyone is welcome to contribute their thoughts and ideas, discuss unschooling strategies, and make some connections within their community.
The Home School Legal Defence Association can be a very helpful group to join for those who have questions about homeschooling and unschooling legalities. Members of the HSLDA are provided with homeschooling-related legal advice and legal representation when and if it’s ever required. They will correspond with government officials on your behalf should your right to provide at home education be questioned. They also provide an extensive list of homeschooling and unschooling organizations for specific areas or special interest groups.
Alpha Omega Publications provides an excellent homeschooling community page that allows you to read their blog, learn about other homeschooling organizations, and search for Christian homeschool support groups by your state. AOP also offers print and computer based curricula, ideal for the Christian unschooler who chooses to approach their self education through a more structured format.
The Unschooling Canada Association is a non-profit organization designed to provide resources and information to Canadian unschoolers. They provide bi-yearly conferences as well as monthly live webinars on a variety of unschooling topics. They provide news, articles, and research and as province specific information regarding unschooling in Canada. Membership comes in the form of an incredibly low fee of $11 per year. With more members, more recognition for the unschooling community can be gained in the eyes of the government, providing more legitimacy for this ever growing group of free thinking individuals.
The Unschooling Mom2Mom resource site has compiled a large list of unschooling groups you can join based on region or special interest. Many of these are Facebook groups but a few are local associations specific to certain areas. These region specific groups can help to provide information about unschooling laws and regulations in your area, information about community resources, and can function as a hub to make friends within your community. You can also check out their list of unschooling events and conferences and see if there is anything in your area that you might want to attend.
There are so many ways to connect to the unschooling community within your hometown, state, country, and even around the world. Sharing ideas, stories, and strategies is a great way to stay inspired and motivated while ushering your children down the unpaved path of self-guided learning. Every parent will use their own unique unschooling strategies and every child will have their own particular interests but connecting to others who are on the same journey can give us new thoughts, idea, and inspirations we may not have thought of on our own.