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Copyright 2006 Julie Shepherd Knapp
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Copyright 2006 Julie Shepherd Knapp.  All rights reserved.
about the book
The Homeschool Diner's Guide to
Holistic and Alternative Homeschooling

by Julie Shepherd Knapp, copyright 2006

Looking for a homeschool approach that addresses the mind, body, and
spirit of your child?  Looking for an alternative, holistic, contemplative,
global, earth-centered, Asian, or New Age approach?  There are several
programs that might meet your needs, or at least help you get started with
a basic framework of curriculum.  Because most of these approaches are
not (yet) very popular, you won't find a lot of ready-made commercial
materials to use in your homeschool -- you will probably end up having to
pull together most of what you use from a variety of sources.  

There are quite a few online support groups (I've listed some below)
where you can find out what other parents have used, and share your
own discoveries.  If you don't find what you're looking for here -- do a
Google search for your particular interest combined with the word
"homeschool" and see what is out there.  If you do find other great
resources, please let me know, and I will add them here, so those who
follow will have will have more choices.

There are other resources out there for teaching your children about
individual philosophies, religions, and concepts -- I have only included
those that address general education subjects, as well.

A Brief Introduction to Holistic Education by Ron Miller

Curriculum and Other Resources

Enki Education -- (K - 6) currently available, teaching guides, resource
guides of stories and activities, and full (or partial) curriculum for K - 2.  
Enki is a "Contemplative Education" that seeks human wisdom and vitality,
wherever they arise, "in all people, in all cultures, in all times."  An
approach that incorporates elements of many educational philosophies
and religions and integrates the skill mastery techniques of traditional
education and the integrated project learning of theme-based education.

Waldorf (or "Steiner") Philosophy - (K - 12) first formulated by
Rudolf Steiner in 1907 in his short book, "The Education of
the Child in the Light of Spiritual Science
", a child's learning is based
on prescribed developmental stages, with formal education being delayed
until age 7,  relies on lecture-based experiential learning - a subject is
introduced through experiences, then children are guided to explore a
subject, then the concept is discussed. Emphasis on arts and crafts,
music and movement, natural science, spirituality, and social skill.  
Children journal their experiences, thoughts, and conclusions, including
daily drawing and painting.
Oak Meadow - PreK - 12 Waldorf inspired curriculum
Live Education! - K - 8 Waldorf curriculum modified for home use

Montessori Homeschooling -- (K - 12) based on her observation
that children learn naturally when in a "properly prepared environment"
that is designed to promote independent learning and exploration by the
child, students often work on activities of their own choosing and are
allowed to work at their own pace,  Montessori principles are “...rooted in a
social movement intended to champion the cause of all children, in all
strata of society, of all races and ethnic backgrounds, within and beyond
the context of educational institutions...”

Nebel’s Elementary Education: Creating A Tapestry of
Learning covers K-5 for all subject areas, "... a flexible, child-centered,
hands-on, minds-on, logical systematic increments lead to broad,
integrated knowledge and understanding supported by self-directed
inquiry skills..."",  designed to foster critical thinking and a love of learning,
no religious focus, includes strong coverage of science.  There is a
Yahoo! Group,
K5science, for parent support.

Zen Homeschooling  -- (all grade levels) teacher's guide and
homeschooling starter manual available, advocates a "Natural Education"
approach to homeschooling, defined as "... the continuous process of
observing and protecting nature, finding ways to live in harmony, and
demanding truth in education..."  This is a reality based, secular approach
"... free from religious dictates with an anti-science agenda."  

Global Village School for Peace and Diversity Studies -- (K -
12) a progressive, customizable homeschool program using online
worktexts and text-based curriculum, students may work at their own pace,
accredited diplomas available, "...Our courses integrate peace, justice,
and diversity studies with the core subjects..."

Catalysta -- a Quaker-influenced high school curriculum, "promotes a
hopeful vision of humanity's most pressing social concerns, seeks to
inspire community service, and to encourage personal reflection", online
interdisciplinary content, project-based learning

Clonlara -- (K - 12) founded in 1967, "...Ours is as close to a "do it
yourself' program as we can get it, designed for those who want
assistance on the way. You, the parent, are "the expert", more capable of
establishing and maintaining a successful educational process for your
child than any school could. Clonlara School is your guide, coach,
shoulder to lean on, listening ear, records keeper, and all around
HELPER..."   provides record-keeping and optional achievement tests,
allows early high school graduation, has flexible curriculum requirements
using student chosen texts, etc., optional online program, issues
accredited diplomas,.

Goddess Moon Circles Academy - (preK - 12) a pagan-focused
curriculum with an emphasis on literature and the humanities, can be
teacher or student led, offers full package or partial "framework" option,  
uses online texts and packaged curriculum, uses Spectrum Math and
standard science texts in upper grades  

Uhura Homeschool Hut -- a collective of homeschooling parents
joining forces to educate their children in an  African–centered approach
towards a multi-cultural curriculum that will best fulfill the needs of our
children, our communities and our people in hopes to initiate global

Related Resources

Roots and Shoots -- a service learning program Founded by Dr. Jane
Goodall, a global program based on the principle that knowledge leads to
compassion, which inspires action.

Herb gathering and learning in an article by Kimberly Gallagher

Support and Discussion groups

Wonder Homeschool - resources and support in holistic homeschooling

Holistic Moms Network -- a support organization

Natural Parenting 101 -- an online holistic health support group

Weaving the Wisdom -- online support group for "personal healing and
spiritual growth as we move towards peaceful living"

GreenTaraMama -- online group for natural family living

Natural_Muslim_Mamas -- online support group

Unschooling Spirituality -- an online support group

Free Thinking Home Educators -- an online support group

Freethinking Unschoolers -- an online discussion group

NAHomeschoolers -- Native Americans homeschooling without a
Christian influence

Buddhist Homeschoolers -- an online support group

Vaisnava Homeschoolers and Holistic Educators --  a support group
fo educating with Krishna Consciousness