15 Interest-Led Learning Families You Should Get to Know

by ChristinaPilkington on September 21, 2011 · 14 comments

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Unschooling blogs usually read like a diary. A peek into other people’s lives.  It’s not that you don’t get that peek in more traditional homeschooling blogs, but unschoolers tend to live unusual lives….and I like unusual!

You get to see what resources and materials they use in the context of their lives. You get to vicariously travel with them when they take trips away from home…and see how much learning takes place along the way. You can get a million ideas just from reading what they’re up to.

Interest-led learning families approach life in so many different ways. You can’t duplicate one family’s life exactly like you would a boxed curriculum. But you can read about their interests, and if they match some of your own, it’s a great way to get new ideas for resources or travel. They also will introduce you to new ideas and interests that might be something you’d like to try for yourself.

So, here are 15 Interest-led Learning families to check out. Have fun taking a peek into their lives. Don’t forget to keep a computer document or notebook nearby, though. You’ll get so many new ideas you won’t know what to do with them.  Enjoy!

 1. Teachable Moments  Jessica is a mom to two girls, ages 10 and 13 I believe, living in northeast USA. I love her passion and writing about the amazingly cool things her girls do.

 2. Ordinary Life Magic  I’ve been following Stephanie and her family for a few years now. Her family is very artistic, creative, inventive and imaginative. She shares lots and lots of ideas and resources. Check it out!

3. Sparkling Adventures   A nomadic family of six currently traveling around Australia.

4. Mom in Madison  Denise lives and learns with her husband, and two sons (ages 6 and 8) in Wisconsin. They truly live a lifestyle of learning and adventure.

5. Learning All the Time  Susan blogs about her family of four, including her 9 and 10 year old daughters. I’ve just followed this blog recently, but love Susan’s passion for living a lifestyle of learning.

6. An Untraditional Home  Heather blogs about her family’s untraditional approach to learning. She learns everyday with her husband and three children.  A great example how Christianity and unschooling can go together.

7. Unschooling Lifestyle  Sarah McGrath shares a wealth of information and resources on her site as well as plenty of stories and ideas from her own family’s adventures.

8.  Journey into Unschooling  Amida and her family, including three kids, live a wonderfully creative lifestyle. She shares tons of ideas about art, science and much, much more.

9. Ramblings of an Unschooling Family Think your unschooling family gets a little crazy with all your different interests pulling you in a hundred different directions?  Check out Laura, her husband and their 8 children!  Lots of lots of fun ideas here.  

10. SwissArmyWife  This is a relatively new blog for me, but I just love this family’s sense of adventure and their love of life and learning (they have 3 children).  A lot of great stuff here.

11. bonafidemama  An unschooling mom of three writes about their unschooling adventures, including what it is like to have one child who is a leukemia survivor.

12. OnBradstreet  Maine mom Amy writes about her whole-life unschooling family, including her 14 year old daughter and 12 year old son. She combines stories of their life with thoughts about unschooling. A great blog to follow.

13. Classroom Free  A mama of 5 blogs about living and learning in the UK.

15. Ninth Street East  Sam write an awesomely, creative blog about the learning adventures of her two kids ages 6 and 8. Lots of great, creative ideas here.

 Photo Credit: Insomnia

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I’d also love to hear from you. Leave me a comment below or send me an e-mail at chris@christinapilkington.com.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/joanotto Joan Concilio Otto

    This is awesome – we’re new to interest-led learning (and to any kind of homeschooling!) and this has been a GREAT “reading list” for me as we work on this new way of “doing learning” for our almost-12-year-old daughter. Was glad to see many on your list with kids that age; I find an awful lot tailored toward younger kids and am so glad to see bloggers with children this age. :)

    • christinapilkington

      I’m so glad you were able to find some great new families to follow. My kids are still young, but I try to post a lot of content that will appeal to a wide range of ages. I also love following blogs of interest-led families with older children. It’s great to see the awesome things they are doing.

  • http://www.ordinarylifemagic.com/ Stephanie

    Hi Christina. Thanks so much for including Ordinary Life Magic in your list! I’ve just discovered this list (???) and get to find a few new, fun blogs! :) (Most I know about.)

    You’re right, and I love the way you presented it– lots of books, activities, ideas, creations, and joy to be had at people’s places who might have no idea what tomorrow’s gonna look like! :D
    Thanks again for sharing, and for including us.

    • Anonymous

      You’re welcome! I’ve found so many fun activities and games from your site as well as great inspiration that I wanted to share it with others, too.

  • http://respectlovelearning.blogspot.com Helena

    What a wonderful list, Christina! I found you through Jessica at Teachable Moments, and know a number of these lovely blogs. Now I get to explore some more—what a great gift! Reading blogs like yours and these you have mentioned make me feel more empowered and inspired, as we follow our own interest-led homeschooling path. Thank you. :)

    • Anonymous

      Thanks so much! I think it’s so important to stay connect to other families on the same learning path, even if you’ll never meet in person. I learn so much and get so much inspiration reading other blogs. I was so happy to share some of my favorites. I just checked you blog out, too. What an awesome family! You guys are so similar to my family, too. I love your latest post where you wrote about the hours of reading your kids did. Isn’t it great they have the freedom to do that?

  • http://www.infinitelearners.com Hillary13

    What a great idea! I’m familiar with quite a few, but can’t wait to browse some new blogs. sweet!

    • Anonymous

      I love learning about new unschooling blogs to follow. I always find great ideas and inspiration.

  • http://profiles.google.com/onbradstreet Amy Bradstreet

    Hey, thanks so much for including On Bradstreet! As a family that’s always unschooled, we more than ever, feel committed and certain that unschooling is the best path for us. Many thanks!

    • Anonymous

      You’re welcome! I haven’t been reading your site for a really long time, but I love seeing how your family learns without school. Your children are older than mine, so it’s refreshing to see older children who are just as excited about learning and life. I especially liked taking a peek into your home on your post about space. We live in a tiny 725 square foot home, and it’s easy to get frustrated about the lack of space. But the thought of moving somewhere else brings me to tears. Spaces become personal and you have a connection to them no matter how small they are. Thanks for sharing your family with us and your wonderful reflections about your unschooling life.

  • http://www.teachablemoments-jessica.blogspot.com Jessica

    I am honored. Truly. Thank you for mentioning my family. I feel like we embraced homeschooling the moment I made the choice to let my our interests guide our journey rather than a curriculum. I just put water on for a cup of tea and I am going to sit down and learn about the other families you mention.

    I learn so much from your site. You are always relevant and inspirational.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks! I feel like I learn so much from you! You’re girls are older than my kids, so I love seeing all the fun things they do and how they are still so excited about learning.

  • http://thegettys.blogspot.com Susan

    Thanks so much for this list! And, thanks so much for including our blog on it!! :) I can’t wait to check out a few of these that I haven’t read before…

    • Anonymous

      You’re very welcome! Thanks for sharing your family with us and the great ideas.

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