Community-schooling

March 10th, 2015 by Dionna | 20 Comments
Posted in Carnival and Special Series, Carnival of Natural Parenting, Eclectic Learning, Just for Fun/Miscellaneous, My Family

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Welcome to the March 2015 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Day in the Life

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have given us a special glimpse into their everyday.

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We tell people that we homeschool, but a lot of what we do is more like community-schooling. We participate in two weekly co-ops (classes meet every week on a set day with set subjects), a third quarterly co-op (a variety of one-time classes, taught by different people, planned quarterly), we do team sports (soccer, basketball, baseball, gymnastics, and trampoline), and we regularly get together with friends for fun and frivolity.

Today I’m sharing some small pieces of our community.

zoo class
Enjoying a class given by the Kansas City Zoo.


I got Kieran scoring on video!

Immersed in acid base reactions
Immersed in acid-base reactions.

Crazy kids at first school
Learning about nature with friends at “forest school.”

Kieran and the blubber experiment
Testing whether “blubber” keeps animals in the tundra warm at a weekly Animal Adaptations class.

library story time
Enjoying bubbles (and a book) at our library’s weekly story time.

animal adaptations class
Learning about adaptations in the desert at co-op.


Kieran doing a back flip at trampoline.


Ailia doing bar work in gymnastics.


And of course community-schooling includes family! This is Tia Tammy getting her groove thang on with Ailia. What better dance instructor could there be?!

How does your family “school”?

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Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

(This list will be updated by afternoon March 10 with all the carnival links.)

  • A Day as Mama and Data Manager — Becca at The Earthling’s Handbook explains what she actually does as data manager of a social science research study, as well as Mama to a baby and a fourth-grader.
  • Pictures of a Day — A photo montage of a typical day in the life of Life Breath Present! You can see how she wakes up and spends her time in quiet, to Baby Boy sleeping at dinner, making natural products, and so much more!
  • Escaping a Mekong cityscape for a slice of rural life — It’s often necessary for Nathalie of Kampuchea Crossings to escape the heady concrete jungle that Phnom Penh is rapidly becoming, for the calmer environment of rural life.
  • Community-schooling — Dionna at Code Name: Mama and her family don’t *home*school, they *community* school!
  • A day in the Life in La Yacata — Read how Survivor and her family at Surviving Mexico Adventures and Disasters spend their Sundays off-grid in rural central Mexico.
  • Day in the Life of the Cole FamilyStoneageparent details the everyday life of her family through twelve photos taken over twelve hours
  • The Days Are Just Packed — Holly at Leaves of Lavender talks about the beauty and simplicity of daily life with a toddler.
  • A Day In The Life of a Heavily Pregnant Naturally Parenting Mama — At 37 weeks pregnant, Sam Vickery of Love Parenting shares her current reality as she naturally parents her four-year-old and awaits her sweet baby.

20 Responses to:
"Community-schooling"

  1. Looks like a great assortment of activities! My son attends a great public school and in the summer spends many weeks at day camp at the art and natural history museums that share a building near my office. I’m thrilled that in this convenient location, he can try such a variety of different things. A funny thing about it is that, much as he enjoys the structured art or science program that ends at 3:00, what he talks most about is “post-camp”, where the kids whose parents work full-time hang out in the basement lunchroom with some college students in the late afternoon. This is where he learns new card games and has long conversations. I think that “down time” is valuable, especially for kids who are away from home 9 hours a day.

    • For sure!! Last semester one of the classes Kieran took at our weekly co-op was called “Math Games,” and the kids basically just hung out playing math/board games. He LOVED it!!

  2. Marija Smits   MarijaSmits

    Thanks so much for sharing your day. I love the idea of community schooling :-)

    I loved too the basketball video. That took me back to the years when I used to play basketball. Happy days!

  3. This is how I eventually dream of doing school for my son. I don’t want to put him in a “regular” school, but I do want the structured classes (not all day, but I do want some!) and community aspect you’re displaying in these pictures. I love how the Internet makes it easy for us all to share ideas and get together to make these kinds of things work! Thank you for sharing.

  4. Survivor   survivorSurvivorinMX

    What a fabulous school set-up!

  5. Life Breath Present   LB_Present

    Wow! Such interesting and exciting ways to learn and be involved in the community at the same time! I’d eventually love to do some schooling like this with Baby Boy (and any others we may have). Right now, we simply involved Baby Boy in everything and he seems to learn through basic observation and doing. He mostly roams around and I’ll talk about the colors or shapes or letters or numbers that we see. We do very few actual directed learning activities so far. :)

    • You’re doing just the right things :) Kids soak up so, so much just by being involved and interacting with others!!

  6. Donna @ Eco-Mothering   EcoMom_DeForbes

    How cool. I like this concept of community schooling more than homeschooling, which seems a bit isolated to me (and would for my social butterfly of a daughter). She goes to an all-girls private school because we were not happy with the public schools in our area.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Honestly, I don’t know many “homeschooling” families who spend a lot of time at home ;) It’s a misnomer for sure!

  7. All Natural Katie   allnaturalkatie

    We are close to turning 2, so there is no official schooling, but we try to do as much free play (and some sensory structured play) as we can. I am trying to avoiding “academics” for now (like learning the alphabet or counting), though I do point out letters and numbers to get him familiar. And of course, spending lots of time outdoors! I will get my son involved in gardening this year.

    Homeschooling co-op is an interesting concept. I always enjoy reading about your homeschooling efforts. Thank you for sharing!

  8. Lauren @ Hobo Mama   Hobo_Mama

    How fun! You’ve definitely got a great community there.

    But all I really want to exclaim is, My goodness, Kieran’s getting so BIG. He looks so much older all of a sudden! I’m sure this isn’t news to you.

    • I know!! I thought the same thing about your two (well, the two I’ve met). Also, Mikko’s hair is so long! Kieran was trying to grow his, but you probably heard how that went . . . ;)

  9. Sam @ Love Parenting   love_parenting

    What a fun packed day! Looks like a great community to be a part of. We are really lucky to have some great home education groups, activities and classes nearby which we dip in and out of as and when we feel like it. I imagine we will get more involved in some of these in a few years time. We like to call our education style “Natural, Waldorf inspired, interest led learning,” but I must admit that’s a bit of a mouthful! Our basic philosophy is minimal technology, lots of hands on child led learning and lots of free play. We don’t follow a curriculum or a schedule and this works really well for us. I’m amazed how much he learns each day!

    • We do a lot of free play too. In fact, “Forest School” is mostly “free play amongst the trees and creek” ;) We’re definitely taking advantage of the extra time to play since we’re not in a structured educational setting!

  10. Nathalie   nabejero

    I love the photo with everyone playing and one kid’s standing with them but reading a book!
    I’ll be exploring the unschooling route soon, so I’m looking forward to reading through more posts. Thanks!

    • Heh – that would be my kid ;) He goes to story time in support of his sister, but usually he just ends up reading his own books the whole time.


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