Homeschooling and unschooling in the Northfield area

I saw this article in Sunday’s NY Times: Growing Cheers for the Home-Schooled TeamHome-school basketball players are now tracked by scouts, and some have accepted scholarships to leading colleges.

It made me wonder what the state of affairs is here in Northfield and surrounding areas when it comes to K-12 homeschooling and unschooling.


Our three boys unschooled for a year and half when they were in grades 6-9. We heard about Carleton College grad Grace Llewellyn and read her book, The Teenage Liberation Handbook: how to quit school and get a real life and education.  Collin (our oldest) and I wrote an introductory blurb for a review of the book that appeared in the 1993 winter issue of Whole Earth Review.

I poked around the web a bit tonight and found out that:

What else is going on? What are the issues regarding support from the School District?


  1. Rob Hardy said:

    I was pleased to see art by homeschoolers included in the all school art show at the Northfield Arts Guild. Although my own two sons attend the Northfield Public Schools, I do think homeschooling can be a great option for exceptionally committed students and their parents. I spent a year teaching in a homeschool cooperative in Minneapolis, and another year tutoring homeschoolers in writing and Latin. The best student I’ve ever taught was a homeschooler (and former Northfield resident) who is now a freshman in college and the recipient of a National Merit Scholarship. She is one of the best and brightest young people I have ever known.

    I know there are homeschoolers in Northfield. If any of you need a Latin tutor, let me know!

    P.S. Grace Llewellyn also runs a popular summer camp for unschoolers, Not Back to School Camp. My former students who have been to NBTSC rave about it.

    March 18, 2008
  2. Jane Moline said:

    I have heard of one issue–school district money for homeschoolers goes to the state, not to the school district–I’ll try to find out more, but one home-schooling mom told me that funds that should go to the Northfield school district are being retained at the state regardless of the level of support given the home schooler by the school district.

    March 19, 2008
  3. The Village is an unschooling homeschool cooperative that rose out of former Village School. Three of the former teachers of the Village School gather with about 15 kids three mornings per week. The kids are registered as homeschoolers with the district, but it’s a very “unschool” philosophy.

    Here’s a web link:

    Grace Llewellyn’s books are a gift.

    There is also now, the book, Un-jobbing – The Adult Liberation Handbook, by Michael Fogler. I picked it up at Monkey See Monkey Read a few weeks back and finished it in a day!

    March 19, 2008
  4. I have been teaching Spanish to a homeschooled youngster. She is very impressive, creative, bright, sociable, with committed, intelligent parents overseeing her education. They have really made homeschooling work for their daughter. I would hope all homeschooled children could be so fortunate.

    March 19, 2008
  5. Marcea Frazier said:

    I unschool our three youngest kids and wish I would have done it with our four oldest.

    If I remember right, I got about $70.00 per kid this school year (2007-2008) and that is all the support I want from them or need. We spend this small amount of money here, locally at River Cities Books. I take the kids in and they pick out $70.00 worth of books, it is a very fun day.

    March 19, 2008
  6. Gabriel Rholl said:

    One of my fondest memories as a homeschooled student was my parent’s response to the complaint of then-superintendent Charlie Kyte that we weren’t offering enough proof of our curriculum. My parent’s response was to photocopy the cover of every book we had in our home and turn the gigantic stack in to the school district, who, as I’m told, put it in their records. I wonder if it’s still there…

    March 20, 2008
  7. Betsey Buckheit said:

    And homeschooling can also be an adjunct to “regular” school. I homeschool my daughter in English, but she attends Northfield Middle School for all other subjects.

    April 23, 2008
  8. Donna Volkmann said:

    I see this forum is pretty old from 2008. Does anyone know if there are any homeschool co-ops in Northfield for social interaction? I see there are many in the cities but can’t seem to find any in Northfield. Also, do you know how the district responds to taking your kids out of school mid-year?

    March 25, 2013

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