Innovative Homeschooling: Let’s Talk Learning

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Innovative homeschoolers know that learning never stops.

And they model this for their own children.  They pursue their passions, engage their interests, and follow their curiosities.  Perhaps this takes the form of a photography course, a stack of theology books, or a new blog.  Parents who never stop learning influence the next generation to do the same.

Let's Talk Learning

Of course, homeschool innovators also pursue a deeper knowledge in the field of education.  They continue to seek new, fresh and inspiring ideas to bring into their classrooms.  They keep themselves informed of new research and findings in the field of education.  Books, news articles, and blogs are their close friends.  Facebook groups and other forms of social media help foster their pursuit as they join with other parents with similar goals.

But it can feel overwhelming because trends in education are constantly changing.  It’s OK.  You don’t have to keep up with every single finding.  and every new technology.  or every latest trend.  and every new book.  or every theory and practice.

Just start with one thing.  Begin somewhere and see where it leads you. One book title.  One Ted Talk video.  One Facebook page or group.

I’d love to help you started today. Below are just a few of the books, Ted Talks, articles and facebook groups that have helped me along the way. Check a few out and then dig for more on your own!

{The following contains affiliate links. You can read my full disclosure.}


Educational Philosophies

Classical Models.  Charlotte Mason.  Unschooling.  Unit Studies.  Eclectic Mixes.  These are all excellent educational options for you to explore.   This post on the Pioneer Woman’s website has a very basic explanation of each type of schooling.  Once you get a feel for them, Education Book Titlesyou’ll want to dig deeper into options that are more intriguing.  But remember, you don’t have to choose just one.  The Modern Mrs. Darcy explained how she classifies her homeschooling efforts as classical unschoolers.  Yes.  You can blend the best of all worlds.

CAUTION: None of these books reveal the  “right” way to educate.  Each author explains different theories and practices that you can draw inspiration from. But remember, as an innovator you are not stuck following someone else’s idea of an ideal education for your kids. You take what works, update the approach, and leave behind what isn’t working in your home.

A Charlotte Mason Home Companion – This is one of my favorite resources for the CM approach.  This book totally shifted my way of thinking about homeschool.

The Well Trained Mind – If you want a deeper dive into the Classical Model, then this is a fantastic explanation and guide.  I love the trivium and the reasoning behind the three stages of learning.  We still do some memory work because of our classical background.

Radical Unschooling – one of the many resources available to learn about Unschooling.

Unit Studies Made Easy – includes four unit study books published into one volume.


Other inspiring educational titles

Dumbing Us Down – I read this one very early on in my homeschooling journey and loved it. The author was the recipient of the New York State Teacher of the Year award. He has several titles and any would be fantastic.

Better Late Than Early – This is another title I read in those early years of homeschooling. A MUST read for parents of little ones.

The Teenage Liberation Handbook – I haven’t read this one, but it is on my list.  Especially now that I have teens.

The Element – If you aren’t familiar with Sir Ken Robinson then you will want to be! (See the Youtube video below) His books are fantastic as are his talks.

Mathematical Mindsets. A best seller if you want to explore research about math education and learn practical ways to improve math in your homeschool. I have the kindle version, but I don’t see that as an option anymore.


For more book titles:  Google.  “Top Education Titles” or “Books Teachers Must Read”.   I recently discovered the current top choices in the field of education.  And this list of 7 must-reads on education.  I have added quite a few to my library list.


Education Inspiration

Sir Ken Robinson presents my personal favorite inspiring and thought provoking Ted Talks. This one was the first one I viewed and you’ll find his many others on the sidebar. They are all worth a listen. and then another listen.  and then another listen in the winter.

This Ted Talk is very inspiring and a reminder that education is about connection:

And because I was a math teacher, I have to include one to inspire you to rethink the way we are teaching math:

I love Ted Talks.  Love.  If you want to check out more, here is a list of 5 of the “best” educational Ted Talks . And another 15 talks from inspiring teachers for your enjoyment!

Now for my hands-down personal absolute favorite videos when it comes to homeschool inspiration:

The videos created by Julie Bogart at Brave Writer.  Without a doubt, Julie’s philosophies and thoughts have changed our entire homeschooling environment.  So yeah, I am biased.

You can find her YouTube Channel and select a video that looks intriguing.  They are all fantastic.  If you want to interact with her live while she speaks, then you can follow her on periscope. (@BraveWriter)

I have so many favorite videos, I don’t know how to choose, but I can tell you that her thoughts about educating teenagers have been amazing, so I will start you there.

She has published a series of daily reflection books for each season. I read them every season and they always provide encouragement and excellent reminders for the homeschooling journey.

This fall she will be sharing essays from “A Gracious Space: Fall Edition” on the Brave Writer Facebook Page using Facebook Live so she can discuss the essays with listeners.  The Brave Writer Facebook page is full of short, inspiring thoughts on a regular basis to remind you to be the innovative homeschooler that you are!


Web sites and Facebook

MindShift. According to their website, “MindShift explores the future of learning in all its dimensions.” Some of the most thought-provoking research based articles in the field of education come across my facebook feed because I follow the MindShift Facebook page.

Finnish Schools. Articles about the high performing Finnish schools are all over the internet because their approach to education is so innovative.

This article, explaining the way the Finnish schools begin their school year, came across my feed today. It was a great reminder that research supports CONNECTION as a key to learning. BAM! Homeschool Innovators can implement a soft start to their year TODAY without a ton of paperwork!

Here’s another article that advises anyone who wants to make improvements in the field of education should start with a look at the Finnish Schools.

Brave Schoolers. This is a facebook group started by Julie Bogart of Brave Writer. The group was originally a platform to discuss topics from her periscopes. There are now over 2000 homeschoolers in this group! Everyone I meet is eager to embrace the idea of being a homeschool innovator. You’ll find an ecclectic mix of styles and philosophies, but the main goal of everyone in the group is finding best educational practices for their homes.

The New York Times or any major newspaper has an education section.  You can scan headlines and find articles that challenge your thinking.  Recently, the homework debate is raging.  again.

Clearly, I could go on and on. Modern technology grants us access to an enormous amount of information and we can’t possibly absorb it all. But don’t let that overwhelm you to the point of paralyzation.

Start slow. Watch one Ted Talk a month OR read one book before Christmas. Maybe start with short daily selections in A Gracious Space for Fall. If you want to read one a day, you can join Julie Bogart live on the Brave Writer Facebook Page to discuss them.

Educational Innovators know the importance of keeping current on research, best practices, and theories in the field of education.  They know that learning never ends and they model this in front of their children.

What are your favorite videos, websites, and groups for research and encouragement in the area education?


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  1. Like you, I love the TED talks. I also love exploring the free courses and classes from various colleges online. Thank you for the great article and resources.

  2. Love this list (and Julie and Brave Writer)! Some additional Ted Talks and books I love:

    I also love and book by Dr. Leonard Sax. While his books aren’t specifically “education” books– they have helped me understand myself and my kids better so I can provide a better education to them.

    Also this book to help avoid homeschoool burn-out:

    1. Thanks for such a great list! I love sharing good inspirational and educational ideas for moms!

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