What does it look like?
Bright! colourful! fun! with easy-to-understand language, and university-level concepts that are set out in a way that will make you want to read more. Research indicates that our brains learn better when something is attractive, and interesting to look at. For example, when you have trouble learning a concept, and you draw a mind-map made up of colourful , squiggly lines, memorable and interesting pictures and diagrams, your brain (or the part of your brain that was busy sleeping all of the way through high school chemistry class) sits up and takes notice. We have taken this concept and applied it to all of our projects. Read more...
Is this busy work?
Absolutely not. The beauty of home education is having time with your children. I do not believe in any study that is just to keep children (or anybody!) busy. We want to make sure that they are getting the most of their study time and also have lots of time to do the other things that they love as well!
We are not a distance education school - and the use of the word 'Academy' refers to the model of higher learning used in our projects. All of our materials are supplementary, so you can download as many or as little projects as you like throughout the year, depending on your needs and other commitments.
Each project is based on finding answers and discovering information. There are places in the projects where your teen will be asked to go out in to the world and find information (just like you would in university). It is not like a book where you will be given one person's opinion or idea of a subject, and then questioned on it. These projects and materials are all designed for free thinking and free research (the exact same skills needed for everything from honours projects to managing businesses and life as an adult!). Teens will be challenged to look further than one book, talk to people who are experts, go out in to the internet, or the library and find information. Then come to their own conclusions. Critical thinking is developed continuously throughout each task and is something that you can use in university and far in to the future. Read more...
Who are you?
Welcome! I am so happy to have you here! I am a university tutor, social worker, writer and homeschooling-often-unschooling mother of 5 who has worked for the last 8 years tutoring and counselling hundreds of women from diverse ethnic and educational backgrounds.
As an over-achieving, nerdy, pro-academic (I read textbooks in my spare time) and also an avid unschool advocate, I have deep, long-term knowledge of the university system, academic study and what it takes to get in to university and thrive there. I also believe that childhood is something precious and fleeting, and that education should be something joyful and full of passion for what you are learning. It is the people who love what they do, and do what they love, who live the happiest lives - and that is what we all want for our children! Read more...
What is this all about?
When I started homeschooling/ unschooling our teens, I found that there was no curriculum that suited the type of learning that I was looking for. The type of learning that I was able to give my university students. Freedom of choice. Freedom to research and learn at their own pace, with topics they enjoyed, but also while giving them guidance on how to put all of their learning together to communicate their ideas to others. The ability to critically analyse, research, come up with your own opinions, and communicate them to others is critical to university entry. And even more importantly, encouraging critical, insightful thinkers is important for our world. We need more people like that, and I wanted to create resources that could give that opportunity to children before they went to university - whichever path they chose to take in life. Thus the Academy of Free-Range Learning was born! Read more...