Pages: 312 pages
Size: Paperback, 8.5 X 11 inches
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.
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.
Natural curiosity is the biggest catalyst to education. "Free Range Learning: How Homeschooling Changes Everything" is a delve into home education from Laura Grace Weldon, as she argues that a home schooled curriculum could lead to a more complete education for children, as parents and would be educators can help children learn through their natural interest in the world. It also notes how to encourage learning in less favored subjects such as language arts and mathematics. "Free Range Learning" is a thoughtful delve into education and the thoughts connected to it, very much recommended.
-The Midwest Book Review, March 2012
BLOGS AND ONLINE SITES:
Lilipoh Magazine winter 2012
Education Revolution: The Magazine of Educational Alternatives - Fall 2009
Laura Weldon draws on the experiences of diverse homeschoolers and her own insightful observations to show why learning rooted in the family and community makes so much sense. She demonstrates that when young people are allowed to learn freely and naturally, they gain extraordinary competence, self-confidence, maturity and wisdom. Free Range Learning provides a holistic overview of family-based learning, including teaching strategies (and resources) across many subjects and aspects of child development. The approach is inclusive and inviting---it is not argumentative but simply consists of Weldon and others sharing and reflecting on their own experiences.
Reviewed by Education Revolution editor Ron Miller
Life Learning Magazine - July/August 2010
More than anyone else, life learners know that children are naturally“free range learners.” We also tend to understand that interest-based, self-directed learning is a lifestyle – often accompanied by a desire to embrace values like simpler, slower living; cooperation; and conviviality.
Those are all things that Laura Grace Weldon embodies and writes about. She lives on a small farm (www.bitofearthfarm.com) with her husband and four home-educated kids. And she is an eloquent, articulate, wryly humorous writer. All of that comes together in her new book Free Range Learning: How Homeschooling Changes Everything (Hohm Press, 2010).
Although the book’s 8-1/2 by 11-inch format makes it a bit hard to handle on a full read-through, it has a lively format and is an eclectic and wise reference guide to learning without school. There is a useful and affirming mix of philosophy, comments from other homeschoolers, as well as how-to tips that cover everything from academic subjects like Science and Nature; Math, Business & Critical Thinking; and Language Arts to Field Tripping and Adventure Homeschooling.
There is really something here for homeschoolers of every persuasion, although Weldon’s bias is towards real-life learning, trusting children, and preserving their curiosity about the world. In fact, her first chapter is entitled “Natural Learning Happens Everywhere.” Life Learning Magazine readers might find some chapters more helpful than others. But I really like the suggestions for finding a mentor, building learning communities, and other sorts of collaboration. And the many voices of homeschooling families from around the world that are scattered throughout the book are positive and often full of friendly wisdom.
Details are available at Laura’s website www.lauragraceweldon.com.
Review by editor Wendy Priesnitz
Campaign for the American Reader, "What's Laura Reading?" promo - May 7, 2010
Coffee with a Canine (Writer's Read promo) - May 21, 2010
Radio free school post - June 9, 2010
Homeschooling freedom interview
Book promotion and giveaway on Parent at the Helm - August 2010
ONLINE ARTICLES (based on the book)
An article on homeschooling teens in Lilipoh winter 2012
An article on Mothering.com
An article on Kindred
Several articles on EducationRevolution.org
How the 10,000 Hour Rule Can Benefit Any Child
Several articles on Secular Homeschool.com
An article in Australia Parental Intelligence Newsletter
Several articles on Natural Parents Network
Several articles on Natural Parents Network
Home Education Magazine (column)
Pathways to Family Wellness (print only)
Several articles on Natural Parents Network including this one
Several articles on Secular Homeschool.com including this one
Culinate "A Child’s Place is in the Kitchen: How Cooking Advances Learning" - September 2010
New Awareness - June-July 2010 (and published in sister publication in France, L'Initianion July-Aug 2010 edition) "Innate Gifts"
Home Education Magazine "Fun Theory" - May-June 2010
Life Learning "Climb, Swing & Snuggle: Reading Readiness Involves the Whole Body" (Canada) - May-June 2010
Life Learning "Get Ready to Read by Playing" (Canada) - May-June 2010
Encounter: Education for Meaning and Social Justice "Helping Young People Establish Mentoring Connections" - Autumn 2010
Spaces of Love (international) spring 2010 "Growing in the Flow"