Connect: Find Your Tribe

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

Connect: Build Your Tribe • Explore: The City As Your “Classroom” • Register: Calgary-area School Boards  •  Shop: Area and On-Line Resources for “Stuff”  •  The Sister Blog: Nothing By The Book

2 responses to “Connect: Find Your Tribe

  1. Pingback: When grandparents actively lobby for school | Undogmatic Unschoolers·

  2. Greetings,

    My name is Mick Mergens. My wife and I homeschooled our son until the day he started college, at age 16! At that point, his math skills were so strong, he was hired on as one of the College Math Tutors. He went on earn three college degrees and today he is a full time engineer.

    My wife had her own unique way of teaching math and when I saw how well it worked for our son, I encouraged her to write her entire method in a series of books. I told her to write a curriculum so everyone could teach math the way she did.

    In 2010 my wife, JK Mergens, unveiled her math program and we named it the *Learn Math Fast System*. Since then, it has sold in all 50 US States and 10 other countries, and oh my word! You would not believe the feedback we are getting! People from across the globe are sending emails thanking her for this system! Children who were lost and in tears over math are now enjoying and understanding it for the first time. They tell how they have tried many other curricula, but none of them have worked until the *Learn Math Fast System*. Students are advancing several grade levels in just one year. Search the Internet for independent reviews! These books cover 1st to 11th grade math in a way you’ve never seen before.

    I’m reaching out to all Homeschoolers and Unschoolers to let them know that the Learn Math Fast System can teach an older child years of math in a matter of months. If you are struggling to teach or learn math, please visit our website for all the details.

    Also, be sure to read my wife, JK Mergens’ article, “Unlock Your Fidgety Child’s Ability to Learn and Focus” in The Old Schoolhouse Magazine to read why she feels the label ADHD should be replaced with a more positive name, such as Active Intellects.

    Thank you for your time,
    ~Mick Mergens

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