We often call Calgary the centre of the Canadian unschooling universe. There are unschoolers everywhere here. We all start out thinking we’re alone and unique… and then find each other at every Homeschool Day, in every school board, and half the city’s parks.
Looking for us? Do this:
• Baby step: Pick up a copy of Canada’s Homeschool Guide at local libraries, bookstores or online.
Its title may be Canadian, its location, origin and frequently focus, Calgarian. Check out the event listings, ads for school boards, and meet-ups. Then… call someone or go to something. Start a conversation. Make a friend.
• Bigger leap: Search for “Calgary Unschool,” “Calgary Unschoolers” and “Unschooling Calgary” on social media.
Start with Facebook, where there is an ever-proliferating plethora of groups, including the Indigo Unschooling Collective Group (yup, it’s a Calgary-based group) and Unschooling Calgary & Area. Individual Calgary unschoolers can also be found at Facebook’s Calgary Homeschooling Moms, Calgary Homeschool Activities, Calgary and Southern Alberta Homeschoolers, South Calgary Homeschool Group, etc.
Repeat the search on Yahoo Groups (key groups include CalgaryHSActivities and CalgaryHomeschoolers)–although many of these yahoo groups are very quiet now, as members and conversationsare migrating to Facebook. Join one, join them all—it will take you a while to figure out which one meets your social needs the best.
Being a big fan of not re-inventing the wheel, I now direct you to the collection of more general unschooling links and resources on Idzie’s I’m Unschooled, Yes, I Can Write, blog. Check out her blog roll too. Maybe you’ll find a kindred spirit?
• Bold jump: Create your own offshoot. Whatever you do, no matter what your own particular “unique” bent—don’t assume you’re alone. The homeschooling community in Calgary is huge and diverse—there are religious folks, and secular folks, and pagan folks, school-at-home people and radical unschoolers and everything in-between, people who dig Charlotte Mason and people obsessed with The Well-Trained Mind, people who live by The Continuum Concept and people whose bible is Raymond and Dorothy Moore’s The Successful Family Homeschool Handbook, and lots of people like us, who do nothing by the book. You’ll find your tribe; it just might take a while.
Non-joiner’s Confession: I’m more of a more-time-with-fewer-people kind of person. The early leg of my homeschooling/unschooling journey involved an awful lot of joining and searching… these days, I belong to very few groups and fora, and focus on building my tribe one real-life relationship at a time.
NOT FROM CALGARY? Your search terms will be different… but the strategy the same. Good luck!
Photo (Connection) by rent-a-moose