Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.
- Mahatma Ghandi

Welcome to LIFE of Florida!

Our secular and inclusive Florida-wide Informal Education support group acts as a resource center and clearinghouse for homeschoolers, informal learners and alternative educators interested in enriching their learning environments and maximizing their learning opportunities, as well as an advocacy center for Curiosity Driven Learning.

There is no cost to be part of LIFE of Florida -- just join in at our email discussion and announcement list, Florida LIFE, where you can download your membership card -- good for educational discounts throughout FL -- and stay informed and updated on events, issues and resources, and connect with other informal learners throughout the state.

If you're just getting started in homeschooling, be sure to check out our LIFE of Florida Quick Links, our list of Useful Docs, and our enormous collection of resources in the side columns, and visit our Inclusive Homeschool Support Groups page to find a group near you.

If you'd like your regional inclusive support group to be networked with LIFE of Florida, drop us a line with a group description, contact and other relevant information and we'll add you, free of charge, to our directory. All your group members will be automatically considered members of LIFE of Florida, and are entitled to membership cards and all the benefits we offer. Virtual school families are also welcome to enjoy our resources, support and camaraderie.

We're all inclusive and free of charge, and we're here for you!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Un in the Sun Florida Unschooling Conference, October 5-9, St. Petersburg

Register now for special Early Bird discounts for the Un in the Sun Unschoolers Conference in St. Petersburg, Florida, October 5-9th!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

DaVinci's Faire at BarCamp Sarasota-Bradenton - April 12 & 13

Hie thee to the Manatee Technical Institute this coming weekend, to enjoy the DaVinici's Fair, at BarCamp Sarasota-Bradenton – April 12 and  13 (Sat and Sun). “DaVinci’s Faire” – is a weekend of learning, wonder, and amazement! Besides our traditional BarCamp “unConference” experience where YOU are the expert, there will be Makers, Inventors, Robots, Gamers and tons of fun. Best of all – BarCamp Sarasota-Bradenton is FREE when you pre-register. Register here for DaVinci’s Faire. There are also many interesting happenings outside BarCamp planned for the Bradenton 2014 event series!


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Curiosity Driven Learning

Learning is for Everyone has been focusing our informal education efforts on experiential learning opportunities like our upcoming TEDxYouth@TampaBay 2012 , and Tampa Bay Mini Maker Faire , as well as our community based STEM Education programs anchored by our award winning FIRST Tech Challenge team, Team Duct Tape.

All of these programs are natural extensions of our belief that homeschooling is not a limited end in itself, but one shining facet of Curiosity Driven Learning.
We no more want to create programs "just for homeschoolers" than we would want to see
programs just for public or private school students, or only for "experienced learners."  We create programs and experiences for everyone, regardless of age or ability.

We believe that feeding and inspiring Curiosity feeds and inspires both the intellect and the soul.  So you'll see some commensurate changes here on our LIFE of Florida blog, which has broadened its mission to be a "secular and inclusive Florida-wide Informal Education support group (that) acts as a resource center and clearinghouse for homeschoolers, informal learners and alternative educators interested in enriching their learning environments and maximizing their learning opportunities, as well as an advocacy center for Curiosity Driven Learning."

As always, there's no cost to be part of our support network, and you have firsthand access to a treasure trove of learning resources through our carefully curated Resource Directory, and  an open door invitation to any and all of our low cost programs from TEDxYouth to our Mini Maker Faire and more.

Happy Learning!



Friday, June 29, 2012

We're Still Here, and We're Better Than Ever!

Shamefully, I know, we haven't posted in six months.  That's largely because we have a lot of other active social media, like

And we're more active than ever - just not in what would traditionally be considered "homeschool" activities, because homeschooling has literally become a way of living and learning that transcends itself and what it means to be a "home" schooler.

Back in 2005 or 2006, we published a piece called Beyond Homeschooling:  A Whole New School of Thought  that observed that" Over the last three decades, homeschooling has swung from a grassroots liberal reform movement to greater identification with religious conservatism and, recently, towards more mainstream acceptance across the political and religious spectrum. Homeschooling now includes a wide range of methodology and resources, from correspondence programs and prepackaged curricula, to part time public school enrollment to cyberschools and “free-range” or “unschooling” designs.  " 

"The ongoing debate raises some questions," we noted at the time. "  Has homeschooling become an institution in itself, so mainstream and expert-riddled that it’s become as resistant to change as public education?  Has the label “homeschooler” been applied too firmly, or defined too narrowly?  And relevant to the issue of alternative education,  can homeschoolers free themselves to move beyond “traditional” homeschooling, as they moved beyond traditional public education, and embrace a whole new school of thought, like Learning Communities or a broader vision of Home Based Learning?"

"...Perhaps the better question is, “ Can we take the next natural forward step after the one we took out the school house door thirty years ago, and embrace a whole new school of thought? 

It seems, six years down the road, that we've taken that natural step forward.  Homeschooling is just as easily learning through Kahn Academy, or open source courseware, or TED-Ed, or makerspaces , and through mentor and apprenticeships, blended learning, dual enrollment and more.  At Learning is for Everyone, we've moved from homeschool conference type events, to whole learning celebrations like TEDxYouth@TampaBay and Tampa Bay Mini Maker Faire; to broad based news and information sharing, and community learning programs like our LI4E FIRST program and Makerspace Project .

That said, LIFE of Florida remains a stalwart support and resource organization for Florida home educators, providing a safe and reliable place to connect and network, and to stay informed any potential legislation, at the state or national level, that may affect the right to learn independently, outside of institutional educational environments. 

"As Home Based Learners," we wrote in 2006, " we have an opportunity to rise to the occasion and claim our inheritance not as education reform leaders, but as learning innovators, making independent home and alternative learning the rule rather than the exception.  If we can take that leap of faith and promise, the world really will be our classroom."

We've done just that, as evidenced by the proliferation of independent and individualized learning opportunities available to so many people today.  And we'll continue to showcase the wide, wide world of learning opportunities, and to provide information, support and networking opportunities for home learners in Florida for a long time to come!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Happy Holidays from LIFE of Florida!

Hope you're all having wonderful holidays! We know we've gotten behind on site updates, but hope to have the entire site refreshed in the next couple of weeks, with  updated links and resources.

We've been hearing from a lot of new homeschoolers lately and want to reassure you that LIFE of Florida is alive and well! Our main communications resources is our YahooGroup: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/FloridaLIFE with nearly 400 members, and an active Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/LIFEofFlorida .

Back in October, we enjoyed our Knowledge Faire 2011 gathering, and coming up at the end of January is our LIFE of Tampa Spelling Bee, serving homeschoolers in the eighth grade or below, in the Hillsborough, Hernando, Pasco and Pinellas County areas.

Increasingly, we're moving towards broader scale community learning events organized by our parent organization, Learning is for Everyone , like TEDxYouth@TampaBay, and our upcoming Tampa Bay Mini Maker Faire.  We also continue to provide broad based homeschooling support, with resources like our Homeschooling in Florida FAQ , our LI4E Resource Guide and support of mentoring programs and experiential learning programs like FIRST robotics. We're happy to help local support groups coordinate similar programs in their areas, and remain happy to help homeschoolers with homeschooling needs and questions, and to work with county school districts to help resolve most problems - all with no membership costs to you!

So get involved, stay tuned and keep watching our website for updates, news and resources, and Happy Homeschooling!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Knowledge Faire 2011 in Pictures

Knowledge Faire 2011 rocked!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Nutrition is in the Bag - Our Summer Project

Between July 24 and August 25, redeem this Learning is for Everyone voucher at any West Florida Sweetbay Supermarket for the purchase of healthy fruit cups.

Keep some for yourself, and donate some to our Nutrition is in the Bag partner, University Area Community Development Corporation, in Tampa, to help provide snacks for the kids in their great community and afterschool programs.

The nonprofit with the most redeemed coupons can earn cash and Sweetbay gift cards, that can be put towards their own programs. It's win-win-win!

Download from Connect Your Cause, or copy and print the image below. Print out as many vouchers as needed, share them freely and use them often through August 25!

Sweetbay Voucher

Donation Drop Off Locations

University Area Community Development Corporation, Inc.
There will be two labeled boxes placed on a table next to the Security Office in the rotunda.
Contact: Ms. Dale C. Felix, Event Planner
14013 N. 22nd Street, Tampa, FL 33613
Phone: 813-558-5212, X203 Fax: 813-558-5219
http://uacdconline.org/uacdc/complex.aspx

Spirit of Life Unitarian Universalists
Public drop off bin available after July 31, by front door
18412 Burrell Road
Odessa, FL 33556
(813) 792-1622
www.spiritoflifeuu.org