The mission of The Natural Learning Network of South Dakota is to enable area unschoolers, relaxed home learners, and world learners to meet and build connections together. We respect each family's individual choices in educating their children while looking for learning we can experience together outside of a prepared curriculum. Our focus is on gentle parenting and alternative, child-inspired education.

All individuals who are supportive of, interested in, or looking into unschooling are invited to "like" us on Facebook.  We also utilize a private Facebook discussion group. For the privacy of everyone involved, personally knowing someone in the discussion group will be required to be allowed to join, and individuals requesting membership must have a genuine interest in unschooling their children (at least to some degree) on a long-term basis.  If you don't know anyone who is a member, but are wanting to join, please email us or message us at the Facebook page, so that we can make plans to meet up and get to know you (over coffee, at a park, etc.).

Our group is nonsectarian in nature, and is non-discriminatory on the basis of race, religion, ethnic background, political or sexual orientation. We have formed for the sole purpose of providing support to unschooing families in and near South Dakota. 
Principles of Unschooling
By Pam Sorooshian

Learning happens all the time. The brain never stops working and it is not possible to divide time up into "learning periods" versus "non-learning periods." Everything that goes on around a person, everything they hear, see, touch, smell, and taste, results in learning of some kind.

Learning does not require coercion. In fact, learning cannot really be forced against someone's will. Coercion feels bad and creates resistance.

Learning feels good. It is satisfying and intrinsically rewarding. Irrelevant rewards can have unintended side effects that do not support learning.

Learning stops when a person is confused. All learning must build on what is already known.

Learning becomes difficult when a person is convinced that learning is difficult. Unfortunately, most teaching methods assume learning is difficult and that lesson is the one that is really "taught" to the students.

Learning must be meaningful. When a person doesn't see the point, when they don't know how the information relates or is useful in "the real world," then the learning is superficial and temporary - not "real" learning.

Learning is often incidental. This means that we learn while engaged in activities that we enjoy for their own sakes and the learning happens as a sort of "side benefit."

Learning is often a social activity, not something that happens in isolation from others. We learn from other people who have the skills and knowledge we're interested in and who let us learn from them in a variety of ways.

We don't have to be tested to find out what we've learned. The learning will be demonstrated as we use new skills and talk knowledgeably about a topic,

Feelings and intellect are not in opposition and not even separate things. All learning involves the emotions, as well as the intellect.

Learning requires a sense of safety. Fear blocks learning. Shame and embarrassment, stress and anxiety - these block learning.