If there's not a Wild + Free group in your area (or you simply want to start one with your own unique bent), the first step is to sign-up below.
These groups are autonomous, all led by local volunteers, but we do have a few requirements for them to be considered an official Wild + Free group. You'll find these requirements on the application below.
Each month, we're delighted to see this beautiful homeschool community spread throughout the world, all because one brave woman after another steps forward to invite other mamas into her life.
1. Sign Up For Any Wild + Free Membership
Our groups map is only visible to Wild + Free members. You can become a member with a subscription to the content bundles or sign-up for a free membership.
2. Make Sure Your Group Fits Our Criteria
On the sign-up form, we include a list of requirements of being an official Wild + Free group. These core values will help ensure that we stay united in our mission.
3. Submit a Group Based on Affinity or Location
Once you're a member, you can submit a Wild + Free group. Our team will reach out to you with any questions or welcome you into the community of group leaders.
4. Promote and Share Your Group
Once approved, your group will be listed on our official groups map and you can start inviting friends online and in person to join you here on the Wild + Free site. If your group is public, other mamas in your area will be able to find you and join as well.
5. Maintain Your Group on the Wild + Free Website
Once your group is live, you'll be able to post stories, host discussions, schedule events, and message your group members - all through this membership site.
Our team is committed to supporting, encouraging, and helping you lead a thriving Wild + Free group wherever you are. Don't be intimidated, you can do this!
There are Wild + Free mamas all over the world who are looking to find community. And your group just might be the start of an incredible movement in your area.
Here are several tips to help you get started:
1. Get Started. Even if you meet with just one other mama, you're off to an incredible start. Over time, you'll find that more people will want to join.
2. Be Consistent. Whether it's once a week, once a month, or once a quarter, your group will take some time to grow. Be patient and have fun with it.
3. Be Honest. Running a group is too much for one person. At first, you might have to lead the charge, but as the group grows, share the needs you have.
4. Reach Out. We have two, amazing mamas who are helping to oversee and encourage Wild + Free groups. Reach out to them at the contact info below.
Jennifer Pepito sat down with Greta Eskridge to talk about what it means to build community and lead a successful group. Enjoy!
What is expected of a Group Leader?
1. Be Wild + Free focused
2. Be welcoming and focused on homeschooling mothers
3. Provide timely responses to mothers who contact you
4. Collect liability waivers from each member (we make this very simple)
Is there training I have to complete to lead a group?
Wild + Free does have a mandatory online training for brand new leaders. There are also various resources to help you get started. Additionally, there are terms and conditions you need to agree to as a first step.
Why are liability waivers necessary?
To protect ourselves and our group leaders from associated risks, we developed a system to collect liability waivers from every group participant. The system is simple, efficient, and entirely-online.
Is there a certain format our group gatherings must follow?
Leaders are free to create the type of group that they have vision and margin to lead. Your group has to serve you as much as you are serving it, so create a group that works well for you.
Some groups function like a co-op, others just meet for a hike a few times a month. This is entirely up to the leadership team.
How often do we need to meet?
You meet as often as you would like. There are groups that meet multiple times a week, once a week, twice a month, etc. Whatever you decide, make sure you are consistent. This will promote regular attendance.
Is there only one person coordinating and communicating to the group?
There are groups with only one leader, but we also have groups with several. We highly encourage having a co-leader(s).
Is there a limit or expectation for the group size?
You decide how many families you feel comfortable leading. Group sizes range greatly within the community. You can easily limit the size of your group by changing the privacy setting to “private” when it reaches your desired capacity. This hides the group on our group map.
What happens to the group if the leader moves or wants to step down?
If there is a change in leadership, we can send a request to the group members for a new leader to take over. If no one responds, the group will have to be removed from the website.
A group must have a designated leader who has agreed to the terms and conditions in order to be an official Wild + Free Group.
Why are men not allowed in Wild + Free groups?
Wild + Free has always been a community of mothers. The safe and sacred space of a “women only” gathering is worth protecting and one where our members say they feel most comfortable. That said, we encourage groups to host family events. Some groups make this a regular part of their meeting schedule. These gatherings need to be designated as such and clearly communicated to the group members ahead of time.
Is it okay for me to have a Facebook or Instagram group?
Yes, it is. We strongly recommend you keep the group private and have screening questions before you approve new members. Social media algorithms generate suggestions for an extremely broad audience. The dynamics of a group change dramatically when new members do not understand what it means to live and learn in a Wild + Free way. We have many leaders who only use the Wild + Free website along with apps like GroupMe and WhatsApp for communication.
Do members of my group have to be members on the Wild + Free website?
It is strongly encouraged and recommended that they have at least a free account. Those who are members on the website are more likely to know what Wild + Free is and share in the vision you are working to establish.
Am I able to require regular attendance?
Yes. Within reason, of course. Illness and life circumstances affect all of us, but we highly encourage you to have a set of group requirements that you communicate from the beginning.
How do we establish a code for behavior?
Setting clear parameters before admitting a new member is the best way to do this. Start with an email that you send to potential members. Communicate requirements and expectations that they agree to in order to join the group with an understanding that failure to honor these things will result in removal. If need be, this becomes something you can reference in the future.
What if a child or parent does not follow group requirements?
Be prepared to remind them of the commitment they made and the resulting consequence if that commitment is not honored. If you need guidance, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. This really helps us to support you as a leader if someone from your group contacts us or wants more information about our policies.
What kind of events should I plan? What is off-limits?
There isn’t a lot of oversight from Wild + Free regarding events. We do this because we know that each geographical area is different, and each leader brings her own gifts. We trust that you will utilize the resources near you. Many Wild + Free groups start very simply as a monthly hiking meetup, and grow to include book clubs, handcraft fairs, and cultural outings within the wider community.
Can I mention my faith in the description of my group?
Wild + Free groups are designed to be a place where everyone is welcome. The heart of the organization is to provide a place where the things that connect us are more important than the differences that could separate us.
However, some groups do have a faith statement or communicate that the group will be led through “X-worldview” on their group page. We support that sentiment but ask that leaders not ask potential members if they share that worldview in their screening process. Leaders should only make it known. You cannot have something that singles out a group of people as not being welcome in the group. We do not discriminate.