Letter blocks spelling the word mentor.

5 Homeschooling Mentors You Need to Follow

How many of these incredible homeschool mentors do you know?

Today I'm going to share five of the homeschool leaders that truly changed my life for the better.

And by the end of the article, you'll discover why you really can leave grade levels and school metrics behind, and build an interest-led, completely personalized homeschool experience for your children based in your unique family culture.

A note: you'll see these mentors identify as unschoolers. This might seem like a scary/unfamiliar term – don't worry. What it means is simply that learning doesn't have to look like sitting at a desk with worksheets and learning all subjects at a certain grade level.

Instead, unschooling is about recognizing learning happens all day, every day. It's about diving deep into interests. It's about equipping kids to love learning. Here are some other ways of describing unschooling: eclectic, interest-led, strengths-based, and life learning.

Ready? Let’s dive in!

Homeschooling Mentor #1: Sue Elvis – Stories of an Unschooling Family


Sue has been writing her blog since 2011 and has 8 children, most of whom are now young adults. Her blog is a treasure trove. She's not only a homeschool mom of many, but a thoughtful and encouraging writer. She's written two books about homeschooling (and also writes fiction too):

What I love most about Sue is that she writes out the questions and thoughts that we all twirl around in our heads and lose sleep over.

  • If I'm not using a curriculum, how will they learn math?
  • What if my child wants to go to college?
  • Never mind college, how will they graduate high school?
  • How do I keep track of what they are doing?
  • How can I satisfy my state's homeschooling records requirements if they aren't doing worksheets?
  • How do I track what my kids are learning?
  • What do I do on the bad days?

All of those questions – and so many more – are answered in Sue's gentle voice, accompanied by beautiful pictures and stories of daily life. Sue also doesn't shy away from talking about mistakes, the hard days, the tired days, the days that feel like failure.

I consider Sue a mentor as I was part of the very beginnings of her online community, Stories of Unschooling Families, and she has become a friend. If you are looking for a kind, encouraging community of families exploring interest-led learning and living life together, come join.

I never cease to be amazed by the depth and breadth of Sue's insights on living and learning alongside our children. I learn more and have AHA! moments every time I read her blog!

Stories of Unschooling Families online community
Sue Elvis: Stories of an Unschooling Family blog

Homeschooling Mentor #2: Karen Morrison – A Spacious Life

A woman and her large dog in the snow. She is smiling.

Karen is a former therapist and business coach turned homeschool coach, specializing in gifted, emotionally intense, and atypical kids.

Therapist + homeschool mentor who understands out-of-the-box kids… what better combination could there be?

She is intuitive, understanding, and ready with practical steps to guide you in finding your family's unique homeschooling path.

Karen has a free Facebook group – A Spacious Life – that I highly recommend joining.

There, you'll get little snapshots of her wisdom and encouragement and also become part of a unique, compassionate community of homeschool moms. Ask your questions! Share your struggles! Get meaningful advice and steps forward.

Karen has been a personal mentor to me. I hired her as a homeschool coach in the summer of 2021, after our family had been through the depths of change and loss and more change, and my daughter was heading out of the elementary years and into tweenhood.

What is so special about Karen is that she has an intuition and ability to dig deeper into whatever struggle is happening – down to the root. Then, out comes her toolkit, full of reflective practices, practical helps, and action steps tailored specifically to you.

It's pretty magical. She has a gift!

Her guidance was priceless – and as she says, “it's never just about homeschooling.” We touched on all the frustrations and difficulties I was facing and working through as a mom: personal challenges, family life, all of it.

I can't recommend Karen enough. Go! Join her group! Hire her!

Homeschooling Mentor #3: Karla Marie Williams

Karla is an amazing homeschoom mom of 6, prolific author, conference speaker, and created her own publishing company, BeBold. She is also a global foster & adoption advocate and an expert in trauma-informed care.

Here are just some of her books:

Karla was really one of the first unschooling moms I discovered whose books talked about the nitty gritty of every day life as interest-led homeschoolers. Not just unschooling philosophy, but how it works out in the every day.

In her book Homeschool Gone Wild, she talks about how they have changed the functions of rooms in their house to make space for the kinds of learning their kids needed. When a local business held an event to give computers to 250 kids, hers were first in line. Then, she made a computer lab in what was the dining room! I love that so much – using the space in your home in creative ways to support learning.

She also talks about how she paid attention and watched each of her children to discover what they were interested in so that she could support them – and how this means that you have to let go of set of knowledge that the school system says every student needs to have to be well rounded.

For instance, one child is a gifted writer. As Karla watched and saw sparkles of this gift, she invested in summer camps for writing and together they self-published books and learned every step of the publishing process. As a teen, her child has now published multiple books, studies screenwriting, and is equipped to move forward in her passion and gifting.

The tradeoff? Letting go of that “well rounded” curriculum, including things like advanced math. Karla admits in the book this was a struggle! But when you read the stories of her children – thriving in their unique gifting – you see why that tradeoff is so worth it.

Karla also gives examples of how she sets up invitations to learn (strewing) and rotates resources in baskets to invite her kids to dig deeper into interests. They use the library heavily, and have safe and trusted online resources for the kids.

Karla's books are quick reads, but can provide you with a worldview shift and courage to step back from forcing curriculum into supporting your child's unique gifts and talents.

She also has a course called The Interest-Led Learning Bootcamp! It's a fantastic place to start if you're realizing that big-box curriculum isn't working for your family.

Homeschooling Mentor #4: Blake Boles

Yes! A male voice in the world of homeschooling!

Simply put, Blake will inspire you.

I first heard of Blake a couple years ago and was immediately sad that my daughter wasn't yet old enough to take part in one of his amazing in-person travel adventures for teens (she's almost there!). It's firmly on my homeschool bucket list to meet Blake and for my kiddo to meet him too.

I'm a big-time believer in mentors. We hear about them in the business and entrepreneur worlds, but not so much in homeschooling circles. Blake is an incredible mentor for teens and is living proof that you can build a fulfilling, purposeful life outside the mainstream.

But one of the biggest reasons I include Blake on this list is that reading his work and following his journey has been an incredible courage boost. He is a guy without a car or a permanent home/apartment/house. He lives, works, writes, and travels. He lives a completely non-mainstream life.

And he writes about all kinds of out-of-the-box scenarios in learning: going to college without high school. Having a great life and career without college. And questioning why we are still sending our kids to school in the first place!

Real talk? It's hard, sometimes, living life outside the norm of school. It's scary to take your kids' entire education into your own hands, and it's bewildering when your best laid homeschool plans crash and burn. Blake's writing (and podcasts, and interviews) have helped me breathe deep, drop my hunched-up shoulders and believe in this interest-led education journey all over again.

Blake's monthly newsletter gives updates on his events and adventures, as well as tidbits from all over the web about self-directed learning, interest-led learning centers, critiques of the modern school system, and more.

Plus, he archives all his past newsletters on the web. SO MUCH GOOD READING!

Blake's books:

Homeschooling Mentor #5: Sue Patterson, Unschooling Mom2Mom


Sue runs the largest unschooling support group on Facebook, Unschooling Mom2Mom, with over 39,000 members and counting. She also offers personal coaching, small group coaching in her paid community, and some really cool monthly offerings like fun strewing calendars, and mini courses.

One of the recent courses she released the Unschooling Transcripts Mini Course is about translating all the everyday learning your teen is doing into an official transcript, suitable to send off with college applications!

That's the kind of real-life help Sue can give.

As a mom of grown unschoolers, Sue is a former psych nurse, nursing school instructor, conference speaker and author. The Department of Defense even hired her as they were creating policies for US homeschoolers living overseas!

Sue has just a wealth of information for moms of kids of all ages. What I love about her is that she encourages truly making your home into a cozy nest of learning, with spaces for everyone to pursue their interests and for your family to enjoy living and learning together.

Her unschooling guides (scroll to the bottom for individual packs) are AH-MAZING and worth every penny. If you join her membership, you get the guides monthly as part of that package.

I was part of her membership at the beginning of our transition from doing “school at home” to interest-led learning. I wish I'd stayed – her prices have increased! 🙂

Where are you on your homeschooling journey?

Just considering homeschooling? Made the leap and feel overwhelmed? Been homeschooling a while and feel stuck? Wondering how homeschooling could work for your differently wired child?

Drop a comment below and let me know!

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