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At Natural Creativity, we are all about young people and families designing their own lives according to their specific needs and motivations.  We question the idea that someone outside of us knows what's meaningful to us or has all the answers...

Yet, it can be isolating and lonely to figure this out all by yourself!  That's why we exist as a community. Below are resources we find ourselves regularly recommending to families looking for some new perspectives.  Just as we encourage parents to offer educational opportunities with an open palm, we do the same to our families.  Take what you want and leave the rest.

Check out our FAQ page for even more!

Self-Directed Education (The Basics)

If you only do two things as a result of seeing this page...

1. Watch this video:

2. Then read this essay:

"A Thousand Rivers" by Carol Black (or, "What the modern world has forgotten about children and learning.")

Here's the legal stuff...

Philadelphia/ Pennsylvania Homeschooling Logistics

Standardized Testing

The law requires that homeschooled students take the statewide tests or other authorized tests in grades 3, 5, and 8. The results must be reported in the portfolio; they are not reported to the school district.


Special Education/Testing Services for Young People with Disabilities

More information from the School District of Philadelphia and Pennsylvania Dept of Education


Important Dates:

August 1: Deadline for declaring intention to homeschool​

June 30: Homeschool portfolio & evaluation due to your school district

Back to the fun stuff!


Blogs/Websites/ Thinkers


  • Fare of the Free Child by Akilah S. Richards. "A podcast that focuses on Black people, Native Indigenous people, and People of Color (BIPOC) families who practice unschooling and other forms of Self-directed, decolonized living and learning. Each weekly episode examines a particular way that we've accepted coercive, emotionally and physically damaging habits as a normal part of adult-child relationships..."

  • Off-Trail Learning by Blake Boles. "Interviews with innovative educators, self-directed young people, and others who think differently about learning, teaching, and schooling."

  • Deschool Yourself by Zak Slayback and Jeff Till. "An 8-part audio production on healing the 15000 hour affliction of public school. We explore the effects of school, its place in society, and practical tips for taking control of your life and education, both together and with experts on learning, school, and self-efficacy." 8 episodes, only on iTunes/Stitcher.

Life after Unschooling

Research about the Outcomes of SDE

Philadelphia-Area Allies & Organizations in the Self-Directed Education Movement

These organizations vary in their approach and models, but share a passion for making youth-focused education available to Philadelphia-area families. This work can change quickly, so please check out the sites yourself to see current status.

Looking for more?

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