Welcome to Homeschool Group Hug. We are on a mission to explain and encourage learning from life, without school. I want to encourage and support you on your home schooling or any other alternative education mission. Homeschoolers, unschoolers, worldschoolers or home educators, it largely depends on what country you’re in and local word preferences. We’ve home educated in the UK, Australia, US and all over the world. I really don’t care what label anyone wants to put on us or themselves, the important part is, we’re free of school and we’re all learning from life.
I want to raise questions and get people thinking about the nature of learning, education and childhood. I want to make more people aware of homeschooling as a great option. I want to support and help our homeschooling community or those currently questioning if they should homeschool or not. That is why this website exists. Where do you fit? What are your needs in relation to homeschooling right now? Tell me in the comments.
My Homeschooled Children
I have 2 homeschooled kids, now both teenagers. One has never been to school, the elder son did briefly. He went to school from prep (age 4) to the start of year 2 (age 6 almost 7). He never went to the state Kindergarten and I was very glad he didn’t.
We didn’t homeschool kindergarten – we just lived our best lives instead, together, what’s sometimes called lifeschooling. I sent him to school because, like most parents, I thought I had to and well – everyone else was going, surely it would be best if he did too?
Things were intolerable, the school wasn’t meeting our expectations, so I pulled him out. A spur of the moment decision that I’ve never once regretted.
Since that day, years ago, he has flourished and our family has gone through big changes. I became a published author in the alternative education niche and one of the worlds biggest advocates of worldschooling.
My younger child has never been to school, was almost 100% unschooled to the point of reading and basic maths, and is doing just great.
About the Photo This is Luciano, he’s been handing out free hugs in Chiang Mai Thailand for many years. It’s a wonderful thing. The free hugs movement is global and I just want to reach out to all you homeschooling families and give you a virtual hug. You’re doing great!
Learning From Life Gave Our Family Freedom.
We’re not tied to the school calendar or to a brick building, we can learn wherever we happen to be. Once we saw that and grabbed hold of it tight, our lives changed for the better. We ditched our home and our possessions, my husband ditched his reliable job and I ditched my old identity. I wasn’t a no-longer-employed scientist anymore, my job became raising and educating my kids to help them forge their way in the world. I realised what my life to that point had been all about, it was preparation for this massively important job.
I had a dream to take them to the learning, wherever that learning happened to be. So that is what we did for many years.
Being a Homeschooling Blogger
Another product of our new life has been my new profession, I’m a professional blogger and published author, mostly in the travel sector, but this is our homeschooling blog. I made it happen and I love my work. It doesn’t pay so well, but our financial needs are modest. We’ve structured our lives and needs to be that way and we’re happier than ever.
About Me – My Education and Background
I did conventionally well in school carrying off plenty of qualifications which lead to a science degree. I have a Bsc (hons) in Biological Sciences. I then worked in medical science for 20 years. I am a homeschool science geek and you’ll find plenty of posts on that topic here.
I then changed gears and became a webmaster and writer, so I got geeky on a whole new level. All of these new skills were self-taught and my websites are our family’s income. I’m teaching the kids how that’s done and my elder son already has a good income. So yes, I’m a geek, a homeschool geek who loves to share ideas and information. If there’s anything you need, anything I can help you with in terms of content creation, reach out. I particularly like helping with science.
I’m a fairly well-known voice in homeschooling and worldschooling circles, with my words and thoughts being published in books, magazines, and online publications. You can find a book I co-authored here and my contribution to a global kids website here. It’s one of many. Worldschooling is something we cover extensively on another site. Find out “What is worldschooling?“, here.
Any Drawbacks to Homeschooling?
None that we’ve found so far ! We have a full post on the pros and cons of homeschooling along with one on how homeschoolers sit exams, if that interests you.
Do We Unschool?
Our learning style has changed month by month, year by year. That’s natural, as you see what works and what makes everyone happy. My first months were very traditional, classical school-at-home, most people go through that phase.
After the deschooling (for me more than the kids) came an unschooling phase, now we have balance, we’ve found what works for us and it’s a real mish-mash of styles and ways. My kids, as older teens, commenced formal study for exams, outside school.
I tended not to declare myself an unschooler, I’m certainly never going to be a radical unschooler. I mostly use the word homeschool. It’s an umbrella term to me, covering all modalities. If asked, I prefer to say “They don’t go to school.” As time goes on I’m more and more pulled towards the concept of just learning from life, for that is what really happens.
My partial unschooling sometimes uses various online learning programs (you can see which ones we use by clicking through) and we’re rarely without a few homeschool workbooks, but mostly I give my boys freedom to do what they like, with a little subtle manipulation and formal learning. It’s what works in our real-world setting.
Unschooling and homeschooling come in many shapes and sizes, everyone does it differently. You can find out more about how we used to roll educationally at this post, What Does a Homeschool Day Look like? a snapshot of our old, more conventional, life in Australia. In later years our learning looked more like this Learning in London, or Learning from Australia. Our latest adventure in Homeschooling in Romania, click-through to see why we’re now often found educating in a beautiful peasant village in Europe.
I mostly reject the school system, its schedule, assessment systems and the prescribed curriculum. In Queensland, regulations forced me to write a curriculum, my own, with a little help from the boys and various online curricula. We had to keep the Queensland HEU happy so applications and reports needed to be submitted and we had to be doing what they required. In reality we do much more. I hope I can offer you some help with that reporting process if you are in Queensland, many of my applications, curriculums and reports are on this site. Look in the tag cloud.
We Did a Lot of Learning Through Travel
We travelled the world full-time, for many years with the kids. We think travel provides an amazing education for everyone, not just the children. I write at our travel site about all things travel, how to do it, why we do it. Today we are settled back into life in the UK and the kids are past the school stage.
If you’re interested in travel please come and sign up to follow our journey over there. Some homeschooling posts make it onto that site, but I try to keep the majority on this site.
If you’re not into globe-trotting and just want the homeschool content, sign up to follow this blog here, You’ll get notifications of new content – not too often – I’m not prolific on both sites, but I try. We also have a Facebook group and community for this site, find it here. Likewise Twitter and Pinterest.
Homeschooling Around the World
This site isn’t just for homeschoolers in Australia, nor is it just for Londoners, Americans of worldschoolers, I would like it to be a global resource and community. Although we started our homeschooling journey in Australia, we are a British family and our travels took us, via 5 continents and 50+ countries, to London where we paused to suck all the learning we could out of the city for many months. Our other bases were our Romanian house along with a long-term rental property in Vietnam. Homeschooling is portable!
Every homeschooler, in every country wants the best for their children, an amazing education and a wonderful life. We can learn a lot from each other, no matter what our nationalities.
I’m in the business of raising global citizens. I hope you are too!
Any contact, information requests or advertising enquiries, please email me at homeschoolgrouphug ( @) gmail.com
That’s all for now, thanks for visiting and happy homeschooling!
Learning from life is the great ways of learning. Whether the people say them an unschooler or a homeschooler. What makes a difference, homeschooler should feel like they are practically learning out of the life experiences.
The Educational Tourist says
Could not agree more that learning takes place all day long everyday wherever you are! No need for rigid schedules or curriculum. Learning on the go is the kind that sticks the most!
I’m so happy to have contributed to your series. Thanks for having me!
Natalie, The Educational Tourist