Natural Learning

TreasureBooks

Families spend time together, and children learn through everyday activities. Parents try to facilitate learning without “teaching,” to help children ask questions that develop thinking, to develop consideration for others without shaming or training, to give choices while guiding the children, to listen to instinctual cues, to honor emotions and desires, to allow development to take place in its own time, and to engender cooperation and harmony without manipulation. This might include the decision to pursue uncommon methods of education, such as alternative classrooms, home schooling, or unschooling.

To learn more about natural learning, take a look at the resources below. If you have specific questions about this category or know of additional resources that should be on our list, please contact us.

Natural Learning Resources Topic List
In General
Charter Schools
Homeschooling
Montessori
Sudbury
Unschooling
Waldorf

In General

  • “How to Make Your Home a Natural Learning Environment” by Suzannah Windsor Freeman for Zen Family Habits, a blog about simple happiness: Five steps with suggestions and examples to help children learn from their surroundings at home in a self-directed manner.
  • Natural Child Project: Articles, books, art, counseling, and other resources fostering the importance of treating children with compassion and respect so that they feel secure and loved.
  • Power of the Ordinary: Everyday Times—Ordinary Moments Become Extraordinary Learning Opportunities: Photos of everyday activities annotated with examples that parents can use to engage their children.
  • Smart Moves: Why Learning Is Not All in Your Head by Carla Hannaford: An examination of the body’s role in learning that promotes alternatives to traditional educational methods.
  • Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain by John J. Ratey: An investigative look at the impact of exercise on the brain.
  • Confessions of an Edu-Traitor, by Inside Higher Ed: Professor Cathy Davidson discusses the pitfalls of a “highly structured [educational] system that makes knowledge into a hierarchy with creativity, imagination, and the array of so-called ‘manual skills’ not just at the bottom but absent.”
  • What Einstein, Twain and 48 Other Creative People Had To Say About Schooling, by Psychology Today: If you’re being needled by people concerned about your child’s schooling or lack thereof, point them in the direction of this compilation of quotes by famous, successful, intelligent figures who had less than flattering things to say about their own traditional school experiences.

Charter Schools

  • US Charter Schools: “Innovative public schools providing choices for families and greater accountability for results.” This site offers information about the charter school movement and how to find or start a charter school in your area. They state that the three most common reasons for starting a charter school are to realize an educational vision, gain autonomy, or serve a special population.

Homeschooling

  • Eclectic Homeschool Online: The Magazine for Creative Home schoolers…Published from a Christian Perspective: Although many of the resources are tailored for the Christian home schooler, there are thousands of free resources that might be beneficial to non-Christian home schoolers. Check out the EHO Lite if you are new or just getting started with homeschooling.
  • Our Jewish Homeschool Blog: This mother of 5 recounts her adventures in homeschooling. Check out her Weekly Routine for Jewish Studies and other printable charts and also her list of links to Jewish curriculum resources.
  • Homeschool Stockroom: Large selection of curriculum for secular and Christian   that can be customized to meet individual requirements.
  • Muslim Homeschooling Resources: Home school support materials including Islam lesson plans, links to Muslim home school websites, blogs, and forums.
  • Secular Homeschool: This site includes a forum and groups for connecting with other home schoolers and links to curriculum, articles, and many other resources.
  • I Can Teach My Child: This website offers support for parents, empowering them to realize their potential as their children’s first teacher, by equipping them with learning activities and resources. Note: This site is Christian non-secular.
  • Creekside Learning: This blog chronicles one mom’s homeschool adventures and provides information on curriculum and ideas she has found successful.
  • Home School Legal Defense Association: A nonprofit advocacy organization established to defend and advance the constitutional right of parents to direct the education of their children and to protect family freedoms. Through annual memberships, HSLDA is tens of thousands of families united in service together, providing a strong voice when and where needed.

Montessori

  • International Montessori Index: Information and resources for the Montessori method of education as founded by Dr. Maria Montessori. This method can be applied both in the classroom and at home. Quoted from their site: “The child’s choice, practical work, care of others and the environment, and above all the high levels of concentration reached when work is respected and not interrupted, reveal a human being…who cares deeply about other people and the world, and who works to discover a unique and individual way to contribute.”

Sudbury

Unschooling

Waldorf

  • Waldorf Answers: This website explores the Waldorf philosophy of education founded by Rudolf Steiner. Check out their extensive list of resources and links to further information on Waldorf education both in the classroom and at home.
In General
•    “How to Make Your Home a Natural Learning Environment” by Suzannah Windsor Freeman for Zen Family Habits, a blog about simple happiness: Five steps with suggestions and examples to help children learn from their surroundings at home in a self-directed manner. http://www.zenfamilyhabits.net/2009/10/how-to-make-your-home-a-natural-learning-environment/
•    Natural Child Project: Articles, books, art, counseling, and other resources fostering the importance of treating children with compassion and respect so that they feel secure and loved. http://www.naturalchild.org/
•    Power of the Ordinary: Everyday Times—Ordinary Moments Become Extraordinary Learning Opportunities: Photos of everyday activities annotated with examples that parents can use to engage their children. http://www.poweroftheordinary.org/et/index.php
•    Smart Moves: Why Learning Is Not All in Your Head by Carla Hannaford: http://www.amazon.com/Smart-Moves-Learning-Your-Head/dp/0915556375/ref=pd_sim_b_5
•    Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain by John J. Ratey: http://www.amazon.com/Spark-Revolutionary-Science-Exercise-Brain/dp/0316113506/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1287119359&sr=1-1
Charter Schools
•    US Charter Schools: “Innovative public schools providing choices for families and greater accountability for results.” This site offers information about the charter school movement and how to find or start a charter school in your area. They state that the three most common reasons for starting a charter school are to realize an educational vision, gain autonomy, or serve a special population. http://www.uscharterschools.org/pub/uscs_docs/index.htm
Homeschooling
•    Eclectic Homeschool Online: The Magazine for Creative Homeschoolers…Published from a Christian Perspective: Although many of the resources are tailored for the Christian homeschooler, there are thousands of free resources that might be beneficial to non-Christian homeschoolers. Check out the EHO Lite if you are new or just getting started with homeschooling.  http://eclectichomeschool.org/
•    Our Jewish Homeschool Blog: This mother of 5 recounts her adventures in homeschooling. Check out her Weekly Routine for Jewish Studies and other printable charts and also her list of links to Jewish curriculum resources. (http://jewishhomeschool.blogspot.com/search/label/Printable%20Charts) http://jewishhomeschool.blogspot.com/
•    Homeschool Stockroom: Large selection of curriculum for secular and Christian homeschoolers that can be customized to meet individual requirements. http://www.homeschoolstockroom.com/store.html
•    Muslim Homeschooling Resources: Homeschool support materials including Islam lesson plans, links to Muslim homeschool websites, blogs, and forums. http://www.yemenlinks.com/Islamic_Resources.htm#Muslim%20Homeschool%20Egroups
•    Secular Homeschool: This site includes a forum and groups for connecting with other homeschoolers and links to curriculum, articles, and many other resources. http://www.secularhomeschool.com/content/
Montessori
International Montessori Index: Information and resources for the Montessori method of education as founded by Dr. Maria Montessori. This method can be applied both in the classroom and at home. Quoted from their site: “The child’s choice, practical work, care of others and the environment, and above all the high levels of concentration reached when work is respected and not interrupted, reveal a human being…who cares deeply about other people and the world, and who works to discover a unique and individual way to contribute.” http://www.montessori.edu/
Sudbury
•    “Education: Class Dismissed”: Psychology Today article by Hara Estroff Marano that explores the Sudbury model of education.
Unschooling
•    Joyfully Rejoycing: A site about unschooling and parenting peacefully.
•    Life Learning: Personalized, non-coercive, active, interest-led learning from life: An online magazine devoted to unschooling.http://www.lifelearningmagazine.com/about.html
•    Life Learning.org: Unschooling, Homeschooling and Joyful Living Resources and Blog http://www.lifelearning.org/
•    Radical Unschooling: Official site of Sandra Dodd- unschooling mom
•    Radical Unschooling Network: A forum for unschooling families and those who would like more information.
•    Unschooling.com: A site about unschooling.
Waldorf
Waldorf Answers: This website explores the Waldorf philosophy of education founded by Rudolf Steiner. Check out their extensive list of resources and links to further information on Waldorf education both in the classroom and at home. http://www.waldorfanswers.org/

Photo Credit for Graphic: Pineapples and Artichokes

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