Free Range Learning

Free Range Learning is born from the idea that a child learns best naturally. If one is able to harness a child’s natural bent toward learning then one can instill not only a love for learning but a curiosity about the world. Children and teenagers blossom academically when the restrictions are lifted and they are free to learn. This book also emphasizes how homeschooling takes center stage in allowing this type of academic freedom. While the author does an excellent job explaining her position she is backed up by an array of experts from neurologists, historians, child development experts and more. The book is filled with hundreds of stories from the experience of homeschoolers around the world.

So what did this homeschooling mom think? Well, let me start off by saying that I ascribe to a Charlotte Mason/Eclectic method of homeschooling. I am by no means an unschooler or a free range parent. I am a bit of a free spirit and a rule breaker yet it is tempered by a desire for organization and routine. I also believe in a firm hand of discipline when raising children.

I was not sure what to expect from the idea of “free range” learning and if it mirrored free range parenting I was not sure I would stand in agreement with the concept. When I opened the book and read an explanation of how a child learns and how to encourage him to retain a curiosity and a love for learning, I was hooked. My background in educational psychology confirmed the notions set forth in this book. This book promotes the freedom to learn and express oneself naturally and creatively. A child set free from traditional restrictions of learning which has been proven to be less than educational.

This book teaches you how a child learns and how to nurture a child through his learning experiences. However you categorize your homeschooling style you will benefit from this book as an educator. This book is not intended to take you off your current path but to guide you to a deeper understanding of how to educate your child. You may find yourself prompted into an unschooling direction or simply challenged in your though process on how to conduct your child’s education. The information is presented, examples given, practical exercises given, and stories to read from other homeschoolers’ experience are there to encourage you to teach and learn freely not to indoctrinate you into a new method.

This, my friends, should be required reading for those who consider themselves teachers. Once you understand how a child learns you will better understand how to teach. You will find this book lifts the restrictions from the teacher as well as the student. Learning is a journey, an experience, a lifestyle, and this book shows you how to grasp it all. I have found a wealth of information in this book which is well written and presented. Free Range isn’t for chickens anymore!

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About Richele McFarlin

Richele is a Christian homeschooling mom to four children, writer and business owner. Her collegiate background is in educational psychology. Although it never prepared her for playing Candyland, grading science, chasing a toddler, doing laundry and making dinner at the same time.