You’ve heard of a homeschool co-op but what about a Learning Circle? It is kind of the same idea but with a much nicer name….
At the beginning of this year I was introduced to a group of families that have changed our lives. They are all unschoolers and life long learners. Parents that believe in the importance of preserving the family unit and pursuing child lead education. The children are free spirits and free thinkers who love to learn about the world around them.
I have found my tribe.
Our Learning Circle was set up as a non-profit society and we have received funding in the way of a grant. This grant money has helped us to hire mentors and buy supplies. We hire from within our community and families. The kids have a say in what they want to learn and the wonderful mammas set out to make it happen.
This year we have had mentors in so many subjects….yoga, art, hip hop, acting, power animals, native plants, bees, bluebirds, and soccer. We have gone for hikes, baked cookies, made crafts, had parties, picked up litter, visited museums, and celebrated holidays together.
It has been an amazing experience to be a part of and it has enriched our learning environment beyond measure.
Doing things that are outside of mainstream society can be lonely. Often, when people find out I homeschool they ask me the Dreaded Socialization Question. People have this skewered vision of homeschooling, believing in the stereotype that homeschooled kids are sheltered from the “real world” and become socially inept from spending too much time with Mommy. When I tell people we unschool I am met with blank stares and inevitably the question…How will they learn about insert subject here if you don’t force them/have a curriculum/ teach them from a book?
Unschooling can be a hard concept to grasp for those that don’t live it. Which is why being with other unschooling families is so refreshing to me. We can bounce ideas off of each other, ask for advise, bitch and complain, and hold space for each other.
If you don’t already, I encourage all of my unschooling/homeschooling readers to reach out into their communities. Find other unschoolers in your area and start your own Learning Circle. If you are unable to secure grant money then each family could pay a fee to join, thus pooling your money to hire mentors for your group that you could not otherwise afford on your own.
And if you are already involved in some sort of Learning Circle I would love to hear about how it works for you!