Read Free Range Learning How Homeschooling Changes Everything by Laura Grace Weldon Online


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 books factual approach is balanced by quotes and stories from over 100 homesFree 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 books 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. Free Range Learning demonstrates:that children and teens can best be nurtured outside of restrictive educational systems that we can restore what is heart-centered and meaningful back to a central place in education how networking with others enriches the learning experience for our kids how homeschooling has become a force of positive social change-making the community a better place for everyone.The simple choice to homeschool is much more significant than a homespun method of education. Laura Weldon asks us to consider this choice as participation in a cultural shift toward redefining success and as a form of collective intelligence with major implications for the future of education. Laura Grace Weldon writes for national publications about learning, sustainability and spirituality. She is a long-time columnist with Home Education Magazine, and an award-winning poet. Laura lives on a small farm with her husband and their four homeschooled children. Her background includes teaching conflict resolution and developing community enrichment workshops....

Title : Free Range Learning How Homeschooling Changes Everything
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781935387091
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 304 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Free Range Learning How Homeschooling Changes Everything Reviews

  • Tiffany
    2018-12-31 03:38

    Having recently read nearly thirty-six books on homeschooling in preparation for my first year of schooling my children at home, I found Weldon's book "Free Range Learning" full of insight, intriguing facts, and varied viewpoints. While the organization of this book made it difficult for me to focus (too many blocks of text,) I did enjoy a more realistic view of learning that it elaborated on. It really focused on the natural ability to learn that every child is born with and the parents natural ability to teach. The facts presented to back up home schooling priniciples and theories (or to debunk them)were ones I had not read before in other home school literature. That alone is worth the read. The inserted opinions and advice from home schooled children and their parents came from all over the world and not only discredited the "stereotypical" home schooled child image but also added perspectives outside the box. I loved the "teaching" ideas that Weldon suggested because they are not really "teaching" but more like "interacting" suggestions. And in my book, it is far more important to interact with my children than it is to just "teach" them something.

  • Trace
    2019-01-02 07:35

    Excellent book... so much so, that I'm purchasing it for our own library... probably one of my favorite books on the topic of homeschooling (maybe even next in line behind Educating the Wholehearted Child!)

  • Mandy
    2019-01-14 06:48

    If I could only recommend one book about homeschooling to someone, it would be Laura Grace Weldon's Free Range Learning: How Homeschooling Changes Everything. There is something for everyone in this book, whether a homeschooling veteran or someone who is contemplating whether or not to homeschool their children. While the book is unschooling-lite, families of all styles will find value in the book. Free Range Learning is not merely about homeschooling; it's about the way people learn and interact with others, about what we take from life, and about what we make of life.Weldon's eloquent writing is backed by numerous studies and research. The book is not a fluff read. Readers will want to take their time, pondering and digesting the information, whether the information presented is new to them or something they have long believed. With numerous personal anecdotes from homeschooling families of all styles and experiences allowing glimpses into the lives of homeschoolers, the bulk of the book relies on sound research. While I would reccomend the book to anyone with even a passing interest in homeschooling, I would not reccomend it to anyone not open to homeschooling unless they are willing to challenge their current assumptions.Free Range Learning: How Homeschooling Changes Everything promises to be a valuable research for new homeschoolers everywhere for many years to come. Disclaimer: A copy of the book was provided by the author.

  • Erica
    2018-12-31 06:36

    I'm NOT a huge fan of NOT formally educating children. Of course, the greatest learning they will do is just living, but to cut it at that lobs off a necessary formal component. This book advocates unschooling, at least partially. And while I love the notion of teaching by living, doing, etc.. and especially by field tripping a child needs to learn how to handle a task that is not so catered to how they want to learn. They need to learn to sit and pull through stuff they hate. My favorite ( in terms of jaw-dropping) example in this book was of a public? school where the kids got to choose everything they did. For years they did no math! Then they choose to do math and according to the teacher learned years worth in weeks because they wanted to. My brows furrow in disbelief. Really? Not sure I buy it, beyond just the stupidity of teaching kids to learn only when they want. "Sorry boss, not in the mood to do that report-- wait a few years till the mood hits." Catering too much to a child's education like that only can lead to self-centered brats, I might think. However, like all things-moderation is key, and learning free range is great to some extent. The book itself is more a compilation of people's experiences who wrote to the author. There is a letter of experience followed by a few paragraphs by authors, all the way through the book. Fine for browsing, fine for some good points... But as a follow it whole-heartedly, to the death curriculum...lacking hugely!

  • Sheila
    2018-12-28 10:49

    I received a copy of this through Goodreads First Reads. As a homeschooler myself, I was very much looking forward to reading this, and I have to admit I was not disappointed. What an excellent reference for anyone who is homeschooling or considering homeschooling. There are tons of ideas and resources included in this book.I would also recommend this book to all traditional school teachers, and parents of traditional schooled children. There are ideas in here that can benefit those of all learning styles, not just homeschoolers.This book has earned a permanent place on my bookshelf, next to the books I own by John Holt, and I'm sure I will be consulting it regularly. This book has reminded me why we homeschool.Thank you Laura Grace Weldon!

  • Angela Wade
    2019-01-04 04:50

    The most important, focused, well-written book on homeschooling I've read to date. Bursting with ideas, common sense, wisdom, and advice for everyone from beginners to seasoned homeschoolers to those still in the process of deciding. It gave me new points of view to consider, challenged me to think for myself, and helped reinforce my belief in the rightness of homeschooling for our family. While the overall idea is geared toward unschooling, you do NOT need to have a firm belief in that method to get something positive from this book. More, the book's main point is in using the world as a classroom - something even those of us who use some formal curriculum can benefit from.

  • Catherine
    2019-01-15 03:37

    This is an incredible book...whether you're home schooling your children or not. I loved the insight it gave me on raising children, and I came away with incredible quotes from the book to remind me of the value of simplicity, slowing down, respecting our children, and allowing them to develop into who they truly are---their authentic selves. With all of the resources and ideas in the second half of the book (divided by subjects and academic areas), this is a book I plan to buy for my home library. I know I will want to refer to it very often!

  • Lisa
    2019-01-20 04:49

    This is one of the best homeschool books I have ever read (and I read a lot of homeschool books). I thought it was going to be very unschool,but she really focuses more on all the benefits of homeschooling rather than methodology. She talks about the many areas of life that homeschooling influences, not just "school learning" but things like creativity and physical well being. She also has great lists of resources and ideas. I highly recommend this to anyone who's interested in homeschooling.

  • Lori Tummonds
    2019-01-15 10:00

    You CAN Homeschool your Child(ren)I found this book very inspirational. I'd already made the decision to homeschool prior to reading this book. After reading, I no longer feel that I need an 'All-In-One' curriculum. I am confident that I can provide a stellar education for my daughter at home and help her develop a love for learning that she doesn't have currently.Plenty of ideas/resources given in the book. The book gets a little "woo woo" in a few places, but I liked it.

  • Karyn
    2018-12-31 07:35

    I really enjoyed this book! I have been homeschooling for several years and gained some great tips from it. I think this is a good one for new homeschoolers or veterans. I love the concept of "free range learning" but struggle with letting to of my structure, so this was a nice reminder for me to relax a bit in our homeschool.

  • Nancy
    2018-12-24 05:37

    Best book I've read while trying to figure out what home school/unschool means to us and how we should proceed. Thank god.Always reading, re-reading, and just looking back again for inspiration and stimulation.

  • Jamie
    2018-12-29 08:43

    In my 8th year as a homeschooler, my style has become more relaxed as the years go by and I realize how well homeschooling really does WORK. Greatly enjoyed the ideas and encouragement in this helpful book.

  • Julianne Brewer
    2019-01-13 06:02

    One of the best books about homeschooling that I've read.

  • Monika
    2019-01-15 07:39

    This week I finished up "Free Range Learning: How Homeschooling Changes Everything" by Laura Grace Weldon.We haven't "officially" started homeschooling yet; my daughter is just entering the preschool years. Everything is laid-back and fun right now, with only a little guidance from me as I notice interest and wonder. And lots of reading, of course! She's our first (and only), and I am utterly fascinated by how natural it is for her to learn things like numbers, the alphabet, putting sounds together - often without any input from me. I would love to keep this organic type of learning going. Many aspects of unschooling appeal to me, but so many of the books I've read on the topic felt too extreme for my own comfort. I need a bit of structure, but I definitely do not want to get in the way of the joy my daughter receives when making her own connections as a result of her natural curiosity. Free Range Learning helped me envision what a balance between the two would look like.The first part of the book encourages the reader to think about the settings in which learning occurs. How can we live a life that encourages natural learning? It spills over into all parts of the family's life, and even into relationships with others. The first several chapters shatter the notion that learning occurs only at a desk, between certain hours of the day. These pages challenged me to trust that my child is learning, even if it occurs in an unconventional way.The second part of the book is broken down by subject matter (Math, Science, History, etc.). Each chapter contained practical ways of - and ideas for - cultivating natural learning in that particular subject area. Weldon also included a multitude of subject-specific resources such as links to websites and book suggestions for further reading. I was reading on my Nook Tablet, and was always moving back and forth between the book, the browser, and the shop, bookmarking websites and adding books to my wishlist.While reading Free Range Learning I kept thinking, "This is going to be a great resource. I need to keep it handy so I can come back to it when C is a little older." I highlighted so much! The book appealed to all of the aspects I love about unschooling, without once suggesting that unschooling is the ideal way to educate one's child. It encourages parents to educate their child according to what works best for that child as an individual, recognizing that that will always look unique.If you already feel very secure about having an unschooly or child-led approach, and especially if you've been homeschooling for a while, you may find yourself skimming some portions of the book. I still enjoyed these sections, probably because we're still new to all of this and don't know many people who homeschool. I'm still doing a lot of thinking and information gathering. No matter your style of homeschooling, if you want your child to love learning, there is plenty in this book for you.I found the following two statements from Free Range Learning especially inspiring. If you do, too, I think it's a book you will appreciate as much as I did:"We can educate as easily as we breathe simply by remaining fully present to our children's questions and enthusiasms.""A child's desire to learn is a light that shines from some inner part of his or her being. As adults, we are guardians of that light. Many times we find that it illuminates us as well when a child's awe and wonder reinvigorates our own lives."

  • NoBeatenPath
    2019-01-21 06:38

    This is a homeschooling book that sits towards the 'unscholling' end of the spectrum. It is a bit of a mix between a 'how-to' and a 'why-to' book, with a mix of discussing the advantages of home educating and things you can do. Studded throughout the book are short interviews with home educating parents and students.The first part of the book discusses ideas such as learning happening everywhere, following children's interests, how children will learn best when they are ready and interested rather than trying to stick to a proscribed timeline, and the effect of homeschooling on the whole family and the wider community. There is a lot of good information and inspiration in this section, but it is also rife with statements put out there as truths without any backing. There is also a lot of feel-good padding: perhaps helpful if you are still trying to decide if you want to make the change to home educating, but rather waffly otherwise.The second part of the book is a bit more of a 'how-to', though here again this is no real strict program of how to do things. Rather, it is a collection of different topics of subjects or ideas to cover in your education and resources for going about it. As well as 'traditional' topics like language arts, maths and science there are also sections on volunteerism, ethics and spirituality, field trips and 'adventure homeschooling' which is about learning while travelling. Each chapter has an introductory section about each 'learning area' followed by detailed dot points of suggested activities then detailed lists of resources, both online and books. The book is obviously aimed at a North American audience, so many of the recommended resources may not be relevant to readers in other countries.This book is an inspiring mix of philosophy/theory and practical ideas. It covers a broad range of topics that would be relevant to home educating families with children aged six up to grown-up. However there are a few things that let it down. Firstly, the kindle edition is NOT well formatted, to the point the some sections are unreadable. Secondly, there is a lot of 'padding' (at least it seems so to this reader), including the fact every section has to begin with a quote, which starts to feel like the author has discovered a good quote search website.If you are considering home education, or are currently home educating and thinking of moving to a more unschooling/unstructured approach, this book is definitely worth a read.

  • Amelia
    2018-12-26 09:56

    This book has a lot of great ideas in it, and really helped me see why I'm so interested in homeschooling, even though my 3-year-old goes to preschool and we plan to send the kids to our local public school. Some of the book's main themes are the importance of unstructured, self-directed time, fallow periods, learning through active engagement with the world, learning when ready/interested in a particular subject, and keeping children in a multi-age, multi-generational context, rather than isolating them in a same-age peer group. Most schools work against a lot of those principles, and can potentially stunt kids' development as lifelong learners. As someone who intends to use the local public schools, this book highlighted for me the importance of keeping summer vacation open and unstructured. Those long, lazy days are vitally important. If, when the kids are in school (the younger one is still a baby) I feel that they're not learning optimally, getting too stressed out, or some other problem, I'll be better able to see alternatives, and I'll be more ready to switch to homeschooling if that seems like a good idea. As it is, though, my kids (the older one, anyway) really love that time with their peers, and I don't think we can do enough of that homeschooling in a small community. Also, our public schools are quite good, with small classes and, I think, some flexibility. I didn't give this book a higher rating because I think it could have been about 1/3 its current length. It got awfully repetitive and I found myself skimming quite a bit. The resource lists in the subject area sections were good, but I find anything like that tends to get dated quickly, which limits this book's shelf life. I would have preferred to read a long magazine article by the author. That said, many of the quotes from homeschoolers and their parents were really good at illuminating the potential of unschooling.

  • Elaine
    2018-12-27 06:59

    I picked this up because the author is somewhat local and she sent an invitation to look at her work and consider her for possible programming. The book's strongest point is the included testimonials from different types of homeschooling parents from various locations (a few even out of the US). I also like that there are different types of homeschooling represented, from religion-based to exploratory, to those parents who homeschool because their children have special needs. There is even travel homeschooling in there, which I wish she had covered more in depth! Also included was some much-needed sympathizing with the difficulties encountered by homeschoolers for many different reasons. There is a lot of good information here, but it does start to get repetitive. I think several of the chapters could have been condensed except for the author's desire to include more testimonials on different topics.Another issue I have with most homeschooling books is that they tend to have an "us against them" mentality. By this, I mean that many of the testimonials (though not much of the author's text thankfully) take the stance that kids in a normal school system can't think creatively or have exploratory experiences. Good and creative teaching is not unique to homeschooling, and I wish more parents wouldn't snipe at traditional schools in order to justify their choice.Overall, I think this is an excellent book for parents considering homeschooling or those who are new to the practice and are trying to find their way. I will most likely end up having the author out for a program as I think our patrons will benefit from her shared experiences.

  • Adrienne Furness
    2018-12-31 08:38

    This book doesn't contain the word "unschooling," but that's what it's about. I've been noticing for years now that some people use "unschooler" as a slur to describe what they perceive to be lazy parenting/homeschooling, and I think this might be a sign that this usage has become common to the point where unschoolers are feeling the need to create a new term to describe themselves. Weldon uses "free range learning," which I've seen used in other contexts and is a somewhat more accurate description of what unschooling really is. What Weldon does best here is to make a case for her free range learning, including many citations to books and articles that support her point of view (including John Holt, the person who first coined "unschooling"). She includes excerpts from interviews with homeschoolers throughout the book, and she has sections on how one might approach various subjects from an unschooling perspective, but I think nothing here improves on Mary Griffith's excellent and accessible The Unschooling Handbook (published in 1998, but still relevant and useful). Still, this is newer, relatively well-produced (although there are a fair number of typos), and talks about unschooling in a way that is perhaps less threatening to some. I don't think it's essential for all collections, but I'm buying a copy for WPL's.

  • Melanie
    2018-12-31 08:42

    This is the first book I've read that makes any sense of "unschooling." It actually sounds a lot like toddler-educating. I'm not actually seeing how kids will learn things like reading/writing/arithmetic without a bit more structure though. For everything else it makes at least some sense.I was pleased to see a sidebar in this book comparing public education to factory farming. It wasn't an image I'd considered before, but I can see how it fits.The book itself is kind of annoying to read, since it's just acres of text on huge white pages, and is a bunch of articles and anecdotes strung together instead of one cohesive work. Also, there are mountains of typos, and many of the resources listed are either no longer valid, incorrectly identified, or not useful. The main gist is to get to know people around you and use them to help you learn. There are some good ideas in here but the idea that a kid can learn everything they want to learn naturally and without curriculum is a bit hard to swallow.

  • Kate
    2019-01-09 06:58

    This book is more of a reference as it is divided into sections covering reasons to homeschool and then ways to tackle different subjects and enrichment areas. Weldon offers a lot of resources and has some fun recommendations (like letter boxing.) I didn't really consider this a curriculum book, more of an enrichment book. One of the other authors commented on the school that did not teach formal math to its youngest students. I enjoyed that story. I'm still going to give my daughter math training, but the story gives me the courage to step back and not force worksheets or introduce equations too early. Like a couple of other reviewers, the testimonials tended to annoy me. There is also no Christian pressure in this book. While Christian myself, I grow weary of the Christian thread woven through most homeschooling books.

  • Shannon
    2018-12-26 09:56

    This book is chock-full of ideas and encouragement for homeschooling. It does tend to lean towards the child-led/interest-led/"unschooling" end of the homeschool philosophy spectrum, but there are plenty of possibilities for any homeschool family (or any family interested in enhancing learning outside of the traditional school environment).It is NOT a book you can sit down and read in one shot. The first half of the book focuses on different aspects of homeschooling, why it's beneficial, and in what ways. The second half of the book is more practical, discussing ways to enhance the homeschool experience in different (content) areas.It would probably be overwhelming for a parent considering homeschooling or new to it to read as a starter, but it is a great resource!

  • Lisa
    2018-12-26 08:51

    This book was much better in the second half, with a great deal of ideas and resources to offer. The first half was hard to get through. It felt like one of those people at a party that is so excited about hearing themselves talk that they become unaware of how they are boring those around them. It was too long- winded and self-righteous for my taste and I homeschool. She could have made her point in fewer pages. But I did appreciate her ideas and resources in the last half which helped make this book worth reading after all was said and done. More of her creative ideas and this would have been one of my favorite homeschool books.

  • Tom
    2019-01-19 02:58

    I enjoyed the first half of this book. I greatly appreciated that it avoided some of the more "overzealous" anti-school ideas and statements made by many other pro-homeschooling books. The emphasis on play and independence struck a chord with me, and I've began subtly changing the way I parent and educate based on it.The book has a huge number of personal stories submitted by homeschooling parents and children. At first I found this to be inspirational but they eventually became a drag on the flow. The whole second half dragged a bit and... I don't know: it just wasn't very interesting. So: first half gets 4 stars and second half gets 3?

  • Heather
    2019-01-09 05:45

    I would recommend this book to all parents and teachers, whether or not you are homeschooling. It has both practical and theoretical insights into how children learn, and it has so many recommendations for learning activities (not involving worksheets) that I had to skim over many of them. My children are not old enough yet for most of the activities, but it is very encouraging to begin their education with the attitude that they can learn what they need to learn through play and active projects.

  • Ruth
    2019-01-18 04:36

    Probably what I would call unschooling-lite. While I am too structure to be a true unschooler, this philosophy appeals to me, especially for older children. This book is packed with resources for all sorts of topics, and I can see me turning to this over and over again in the future. Definitely a top book for any parent involved in homeschooling on the less authoritative side of the teaching spectrum.

  • Jennifer
    2019-01-21 03:54

    Lots of great nuggets--I actually filled several notebook pages with quotes and ideas. However, it does suffer from a semi-chaotic organizational setup; which, as it promotes an unschooling framework, may be intentional. While we do not plan on unschooling, there are definitely aspects that would prove beneficial no matter what methodology is used. I do recommend this book, just know going in that the flow is a bit choppy.

  • Vicky
    2019-01-18 09:38

    I love the ideas and philosophy of the book. I love the idea of letting the kids' enthusiasm lead what they do. I did have a hard time with all the amazing stories of the kids who saved the wolves or started teas with Grandmas at nursing homes or started a successfull business, etc. I need to see what normal, average child-led learning looks like, and this book didn't really help. Or maybe this is average, and my kids will soar when we get there.

  • Deanna Annaed
    2019-01-13 03:52

    I really liked how this book was laid out and I loved the quotes from actual homeschoolers throughout the book. I mostly skimmed the last half because this book seems geared towards people who want to start homeschooling when their kids have already done public school for awhile. My oldest is five and I found there were few ideas for starting out at this young age. I will pick up this book again in a few years.

  • Stephanie
    2018-12-24 04:54

    Excellent book about the many ways we all learn and how to teach kids on a daily basis. It's mostly directed to those homeschooling, but also a great resource for those looking for additional enrichment ideas for their kids. Great lists in each section for additional resources on the web, clubs, and books. This book excites me about the possibility of alternative education.

  • Elaine
    2019-01-07 02:42

    I agreed with alot of what this book says, but I just found reading it not very engaging. It tends toward the 'unschooling' philosophy, and I can see some benefits of that, and it talks about alot of the benefits of homeschooling in general, but it's a lot of anecdotes from other people, interspersed in the chapters, which made it long, and I just ended up skipping alot of it.