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Newsletter 23, 27.1.2016

Dear schulfrei-community members,

we welcomed our 900th member into the schulfrei-community this week! A heartfelt „hello“ again to all new members!

Please keep in mind that indicating your location on the home ed map does not happen automatically upon registration. If you’d like other members to be able to find you on the map, please go to “My Page”. You’ll find the tutorial how to announce your location in the „First steps“ which is where we also explain how you can upload your own individual profile picture – it doesn’t have to be a photo of yourself:
https://schulfrei-community.de/en/faq

I have been asked numerous times, if it is possible to get an email notification when you have received a private message within the schulfrei-community or when you have received a friend request for example. You’ll now find my explanation how to set these notifications up in the „First steps“ as well: “How can I set up email notifications about messages and other activities in the schulfrei-community?”
https://schulfrei-community.de/en/faq

There are four new titles on the list of “Books featuring Home Educators”:
https://schulfrei-community.de/en/books
By ordering books from the treasure chest using the title links, you support the schulfrei-community!

Our next chat session will be on Saturday, February 13th, starting at 8pm (CET). We will meet in the German chat room, but feel free to write in English, French or Spanish. If you are interested in doing a chat session in English, French or Spanish, please let me know and we’ll make it happen. In order to enter the chat room, click on the vertical orange tab at the upper left-hand edge of the screen and then choose “Deutsch”. Come and meet other home educators – not face to face, but still in direct contact – from the cosiness of your sofa. I look forward to connecting with you!

Best wishes,
Steffi, for the schulfrei-community team

Support the schulfrei-community by bank transfer, via paypal or through orders
with amazon.co.uk!
https://schulfrei-community.de/en/donate

Newsletter 22, 31.12.2015

Dear schulfrei-community members,
Christmas 2015 is over. I hope you spent a couple of wonderful days with your loved ones.

Why don’t we finish the year with some statistics? The schulfrei-community has been online for 294 days. We have invested about 1000 hours into its development and maintenance up to date. Right now, we have 868 members, 46 events are announced between now and August, there are 20 regional groups and in the forum there is a total of 659 messages on 133 subjects.

Have you ever, just for fun, looked at the “Wisdom of the Week” on the welcome page in a different language? You can read the same saying in German, Spanish and English – and hopefully soon in French as well.

Our next chat session will be on Saturday, January 16th, starting at 8pm (CET). We will meet in the German chat room, but feel free to write in English, French or Spanish. If you are interested in doing a chat session in English, French or Spanish, please let me know and we’ll make it happen. In order to enter the chat room, click on the vertical orange tab at the upper left-hand edge of the screen and then choose “Deutsch”. Come and meet other home educators – not face to face, but still in direct contact – from the cosiness of your sofa. I look forward to connecting with you!

I’d like to wish you all a good start into the new year. I hope we will be able to take many more steps towards freedom of education for our children in 2016!

Best wishes,
Steffi, for the schulfrei-community team

Support the schulfrei-community by bank transfer, via paypal or through orders
with amazon.co.uk!
https://schulfrei-community.de/en/donate

Newsletter 21, 5.12.2015

Dear schulfrei-community members,

over 50 new members registered since we sent our last newsletter. Again a warm welcome to you! Some of the new members have already uploaded their personal avatar and can thus be recognized at first glance. If you would like to swap the light bulb for an individual profile picture, you can do this any time. You’ll find the instructions in the “First steps”:
https://www.schulfrei-community.de/en/faq

A number of you have also not indicated their location in the home ed map yet. It’s far more likely that you’ll will find contacts in your region if you enter your location on the map. How to do this is also explained in the “First steps”. We have recently added the events to the map, so you can now easily check if there are any home ed conferences or gatherings happening where you live:
https://schulfrei-community.de/landkarte/

Are preparations for Christmas in full swing at your house? If you’re still looking for presents to relatives who are skeptical towards home ed or friends whom you have inspired to be as enthusiastic about home ed as you are, maybe you’ll find something for them in our treasure chest:
https://www.schulfrei-community.de/en/books

You don’t have all your Christmas presents yet? How about supporting the schulfrei-community by ordering from amazon, using the link on this page?
https://www.schulfrei-community.de/en/donate
And we would be absolutely delighted if you could give us 5 EUR for Christmas to cover the expenses for maintaining (hosting, domain, licenses, work hours) this site in 2016.

If you’d like to browse through previous newsletters since the schulfrei-community went online in March, you’ll find them here:
https://www.schulfrei-community.de/en/newsletter

Best wishes,
Steffi, for the schulfrei-community team

Newsletter 20, 22.11.2015

Dear schulfrei-community members,

we are very happy to announce that the schulfrei-community is no longer available in German and English alone, but you can now also switch to Spanish by clicking on the flag in the upper right-hand corner. We hope to soon welcome many new members from Spain and possibly also Central and South America.

Again a bit of statistics: at this moment, we have 761 members, there are 20 groups for regional exchange and 59 events are announced in our database. There is a total of 581 messages on 119 subjects in the forum. About 150 of our members have been online during the past two weeks.

And a short reminder: we will meet in the German chat room for our next chat evening on December 5th, starting at 8pm (CET). This time, Rosenrot Mireille Schülpke will be available to answer questions about the German Clonlara School program. Feel free to write in English, French or Spanish even though most of the conversation will most likely be in German. In order to enter the chat room, click on the vertical orange tab at the upper left-hand edge of the screen and then choose “Deutsch”. I look forward to connecting with you!

Best wishes,
Steffi, for the schulfrei-community team

Support the schulfrei-community by bank transfer, via paypal or through orders with amazon.co.uk!
https://schulfrei-community.de/en/donate

Newsletter 19, 5.11.2015

Dear schulfrei-community members,

announcing your location on the home ed map is finally working properly again. Could you please go to “My Page” and check if you have announced your location yet and if your avatar is still where you’d like it to be. Some avatars seem to have moved to the geographical centre of the country – for whatever mysterious reason. You’ll find instructions on how to announce your location in the “First steps”:
https://www.schulfrei-community.de/en/faq

Two of our members have set up a transfer order with a donation to the community. It would be fabulous if plenty of you were to follow that initiative. Please consider supporting our site with 2 or 3 or 5 EUR (or GBP) per month!

Don’t forget our chat evening this coming Saturday if you’d like to join in: we will meet in the German chat room, starting at 8pm (CEST). Feel free to write in English, French or Spanish even though most of the conversation will most likely be in German. In order to enter the chat room, click on the vertical orange tab at the upper left-hand edge of the screen and then choose “Deutsch”. I look forward to connecting with you!

Our next chat session will again be a “Clonlara chat”. On Saturday, December 5th, starting at 8pm (CEST), Rosenrot Mireille Schülpke will be available to answer questions about the German Clonlara School program. If you are interested in doing a chat session in English, French or Spanish, please let me know and we’ll make it happen.

Best wishes,
Steffi, for the schulfrei-community team

Support the schulfrei-community by bank transfer, via paypal or through orders
with amazon.co.uk!
https://schulfrei-community.de/en/donate

Newsletter 18, 22.10.2015

Dear schulfrei-community members,

unfortunately, we need to call off the maintenance work that was planned for tomorrow once again. There is still an issue with the multilingual mode of the community that we need to solve before we can upgrade to JomSocial 4.1.1. As a new date for the upgrade, we just set Friday, Oct. 30th, starting at 11am (CEST).

Since we sent out our last newsletter, we have received quite a number of orders through our German amazon affiliate program. We are also registered with amazon.co.uk, so if you are in the UK or order from the UK, this could be a way to support the schulfrei-community. Maybe we can get different companies to fund our community. 😉 Any ideas which other affiliate programs you’d like to see the schulfrei-community join?

Why do we keep going on about money? Quite simple: so we can keep the doors open. Money gives us the freedom to continue connecting home educators. The amount of hours that the maintenance of the schulfrei-community requires unfortunately surpasses our capacity of volunteer work. This means we depend on your financial support, either through donations or through your use of our amazon link:
https://schulfrei-community.de/en/donate
I deeply trust in our ability to make this work!

Our next chat session will take place on Saturday, November 7th, starting at 8pm (CEST), in the German chat room. Last time, we had a wonderful chat and exchange about a variety of topics. Come along and join in, meet other home educators, not face to face, but at least in direct contact and from the cosiness of your sofa. Feel free to write in English, French or Spanish even though most of the conversation will most likely be in German. You’re also welcome to write in other languages, I’m afraid I will not be in a place to reply in that case though. 😉 In order to enter the chat room, click on the vertical orange tab at the upper left-hand edge of the screen and then choose “Deutsch”. If you are interested in doing a chat session exclusively in English, French or Spanish, please let me know and we’ll make it happen.

I’d like to finish with some statistics: at this moment, we have 709 members, there are 20 groups for regional exchange, 70 events are announced in our database and there is a total of 518 messages on 108 subjects in the forum. We hope to serve you well with all of this and support you on your home education journey.

Best wishes,
Steffi, for the schulfrei-community team

Newsletter 17, 9.10.2015

Dear schulfrei-community members,

you might already have noticed that we had to postpone the maintenance work announced for today. The new date for the upgrade to JomSocial 4.1 is Friday, Oct. 23rd, starting at 11am (CEST). From that time on, the schulfrei-community will not be available for a little while. We will send out a message as soon as the site is up and running again.

We also would like to remind you that we offer another schulfrei-community chat tomorrow evening: we will meet in the German chat room starting at 8pm (CEST). In order to enter the chat room, click on the vertical orange tab at the upper left-hand edge of the screen and then choose “Deutsch”. You are very welcome to join us in a different language as well!

Would you all please check if your avatar is still where you want it on the home ed map? I have the feeling that a number of avatars – for whatever reason – have been automatically moved to the geographical centre of the country. How can you check this? Go to “My Page”. To the right of “About me”, you’ll find the “Geommunity Map Locator Profile application”. Unfortunately, this app is not working correctly after our upgrade to JomSocial 4. But if you click on the left-hand square at the bottom (see red arrow), the map will load and you can see where your avatar is located.

Many, many thanks to all of you who recently purchased something from amazon using our link and doing so supported the schulfrei-community financially. Those of you who would like to join in will find the link here:
https://schulfrei-community.de/en/donate

Best wishes,
Steffi, for the schulfrei-community team

Newsletter 16, 26.9.2015

Dear schulfrei-community members,

exactly 40 new members in a little more than two weeks! Yay! There are now 661 of us. I’m thrilled about every new member. I would be even more thrilled, though, if I could associate each of you with their personal picture. I still love our schulfrei-community lightbulb, but if several members are online who have the lightbulb as their avatar, I miss knowing at a glance who is online. So: may I invite you to upload a personal avatar? No matter if that’s a photo of you or of your hamster or favorite place or whatever strikes your fancy – but your own individual picture. You’ll find the instructions on how to do this in the “First steps”:
https://www.schulfrei-community.de/en/faq

Have you already spotted the new regional groups? In the past weeks, I have been asked to create the following groups:
“Freilerner Baden-Württemberg”
“Verein Feuerfalter – selbstbestimmt spielen und lernen – Tirol”
“Freilerner Niedersachsen”
and only today “Elsass und Lothringen”
These are all German-speaking. If you’d like to establish a regional group within the schulfrei-community for wherever you think it could be useful as a meeting place, just send me an email with the group name and the group description to kontakt@schulfrei-community.de and I’ll take care of it.

Our next chat session will take place on Saturday, October 10th, starting at 8pm (CEST), in the German chat room. Come along and ask all your questions about home education or about the schulfrei-community (Where can I find this? How do I do that?). Feel free to ask questions in English, French or Spanish even though most of the conversation will probably be German. In order to enter the chat room, click on the vertical orange tab at the upper left-hand edge of the screen and then choose “Deutsch”. If you are interested in doing a chat session exclusively in English, French or Spanish, please let me know and we’ll make it happen.

On Friday, Oct. 9th, starting at 10am (CEST), the schulfrei-community will be closed for maintenance. We want to upgrade the website to JomSocial 4.1 and hope that this will solve the issues with indicating your location in the home ed map. So, unfortunately, the schulfrei-community will not be available to you from 10am. We will send out a message as soon as the site is up and running again.

As you can see, there is always lots to do in the schulfrei-community, and we need your help in order to accomplish this. We are grateful for any financial support. Our bank account is:
Owner: Stefanie Mohsennia
Purpose: schulfrei-community
IBAN: DE35 1203 0000 1006 8569 81
BIC: BYLADEM1001
And you can find other ways to support us here:
https://schulfrei-community.de/en/donate
A very heartfelt thank you to our first 33 donators!

Best wishes,
Steffi, for the schulfrei-community team

Newsletter 15, 9.9.2015

Dear schulfrei-community members,

I have recently been asked how you could contact other members of the schulfrei-community if not through chat. There is now a new question + answer in the “First steps” explaining just that:
https://www.schulfrei-community.de/en/faq

The easiest way to be found and contacted by others is probably to indicate your location in the home ed map. You’ll find the instructions how to do that in the “First steps” as well. So far, there are entries for 362 of our currently 621 members in the map.

Our next chat session will take place on Saturday, September 12th, starting at 8pm (CEST), in the German chat room. Come along and ask all your questions about home education or about the schulfrei-community (Where can I find this? How do I do that?). Feel free to ask questions in English even though most of the conversation will probably be German. In order to enter the chat room, click on the vertical orange tab at the upper left-hand edge of the screen and then choose “Deutsch”. If you are interested in doing a chat session exclusively in English, French or Spanish, please let me know and we’ll make it happen.

A short reminder… if you would like to support the schulfrei-community and live in the UK, please start your next purchase at amazon with the link provided on this page:
https://schulfrei-community.de/en/donate
What is best: you can be the first person to test if this link is actually working and the schulfrei-community will indeed receive a percentage from amazon for your purchase. Thank you so much!

Best wishes,
Steffi, for the schulfrei-community team

Newsletter 14, 27.8.2015

Dear schulfrei-community members,

when I told a friend recently about all the tasks that need doing in the schulfrei-community behind the scenes (activate new members, respond to questions, research and create new events, daily backups, install software updates and much more), her spontaneous reply was: “Boy, you need to communicate that again more explicitly. I had no idea how much time you put into it every week!”

We are passionate about networking and we hope that the schulfrei-community will accomplish connecting many, many home educators, within each country as well as across the borders. But in the long run, we will only be able to do this reliably and well if we can dedicate sufficient time to working on the community. That means: If we don’t have to do it alongside a full-time day job. In order to reduce the hours in my day job, but still make ends meet, we will need financial support for the community.

If each member were to give a Euro or two per month (or 10€ – 20€ per year), the schulfrei-community would be on safe grounds financially. Of course, higher amounts are more than welcome as well, but all donations are a huge help. Every penny counts!

This past week, I have been to the „Encuentro de Verano de Alternativas Educativas“, the Spanish meeting for home educators, democratic schools and other educational alternatives near Madrid. There, I presented our schulfrei-community and found three volunteers who will help us translate the pages into Spanish. By the end of the year at the latest, we hope to be able to offer the community in a third language and thus expand even more. The next project will be a translation into French…

Our next chat session will take place on August 29th, starting at 8pm (CEST), in the German chat room. This will be a special chat session: Rosenrot Schülpke from Clonlara School Germany will be available to answer questions about the Clonlara home-based education program. In order to enter the chat room, click on the vertical orange tab at the upper left-hand edge of the screen and then choose “Deutsch”. If you are interested in doing a chat session in English, French or Spanish, please let me know and we’ll make it happen.

Best wishes,
Steffi, for the schulfrei-community team

Newsletter 13, 30.7.2015

Dear schulfrei-community members,

on Saturday, Aug. 1st, starting at 10am (CEST), we will update the website to JomSocial 4.0.9, which means the schulfrei-community will not be available. We will send a message as soon as schulfrei-community is up and running again.

We would like to remind you that we’ll have a chat session tomorrow, July 31st, starting at 8pm (CEST), in the German chat room. In order to enter the chat room, click on the vertical orange tab at the upper left-hand edge of the screen and then choose “Deutsch”. If you are interested in doing a chat session in English, French or Spanish, please let me know and we’ll make it happen.

While browsing through our member list, I noticed that only about half of us have uploaded a personal avatar. Anybody who hasn’t done this yet is represented by our home ed light bulb. I would love to recognize each member at one glance from their special avatar. It doesn’t need to be a picture of you, you could upload a picture of your cat or a nice landscape or your kid’s artwork or whatever strikes your fancy. Please think about uploading a personal picture. You can check in the “First steps” how to do that:
https://www.schulfrei-community.de/en/faq

Since we sent out our last newsletter three weeks ago, 32 more members registered and we received another 7 donations. If you’d like to support us financially and with it give us a new boost of energy, you’ll find all the necessary information here:
https://schulfrei-community.de/en/donate
A heartfelt thank you in advance! And thanks again to all who have already donated!

Best wishes,
Steffi, for the schulfrei-community team

Newsletter 12, 10.7.2015

Dear schulfrei-community members,

at present, 533 home educators are registered with the schulfrei-community and there are entries for 52 events in nine different countries in the event calendar. However, only 273 of the members have indicated their location in the home ed map so far. A number of members only consult the map to check if there are other home educators in their town or region. This means others will find you more easily if you indicate your location on the map. Unfortunately, upgrading to the new version of JomSocial resulted in a bug with announcing your location on the map. The software company has promised to solve the bug in one of the next versions though. Until then, you’ll find the work-around in the „First steps“:
https://www.schulfrei-community.de/en/faq

Do you visit the home ed forum regularly? There are 10 categories in the English forum, the German forum has 11 categories. So far, 332 messages have been posted in 70 threads. Feel free to use the forum more actively!

A big thank you to the 15 community members who have made donations! Anybody else who would be willing to contemplate what our work is worth to him/her? We invest many hours of work into keeping the event calendar, the treasure chest and other content up to date and into generally providing this platform. We are very grateful for any financial help towards the maintenance and development of the schulfrei-community! You will find all information on how to donate here:
https://schulfrei-community.de/en/donate

I have added new books to the list of „Books featuring Home Educators“ in the treasure chest. You’ll find the list here:
https://schulfrei-community.com/books

We wish you all an amazing home ed summer! As for me, I’ll be at several home ed camps – this afternoon, I’m travelling to the Home Ed Summer Camp near Bremen/Germany, from July 24th to the 26th, we will be at the ToCamp in the Netherlands, from August 18th to 21st, we have been invited to the Encuentro de Verano de Alternativas Educativas in Spain and, of course, we will be at the Schulfrei-Festival in Klein Leppin/Germany from September 17th to 20th. It would be great to meet you in person on any of these occasions!

Best wishes,
Steffi, for the schulfrei-community team

Newsletter 11, 23.6.2015

Dear schulfrei-community members,

we have another reason for celebrating:
we just welcomed the 500th member of the schulfrei-community! I am overjoyed that we continue to grow and I hope that many more members will join us in the future. A couple of days ago, we were invited to the Spanish home ed summer gathering in order to present the schulfrei-community there. So, it’s totally possible that a few more home ed families from Spain might join us after that.

We would like to say thank you to the three community members who acted on our request for financial support in the last newsletter! Who else would be willing to pitch in? We will need to spend 158 EUR for renewing a software license in the next few days. Apart from that, it would just be a great feeling to get some monetary recognition for the countless hours that we spend maintaining the community. You will find all information on how to donate here:
https://schulfrei-community.de/en/donate

On Sunday, June 28th, we will have another virtual get-together in the German Chat Room, starting at 10am (CEST). I have discovered for myself that I prefer face-to-face encounters, but since we are spread out all over Germany and beyond and the Schulfrei-Festival where some of us might meet is still another three months away, a virtual get-together like this is probably the next-best option for immediate exchange. We look forward to “seeing” you on Sunday!

Best wishes,
Steffi, for the schulfrei-community team

Newsletter 10, 13.6.2015

Dear schulfrei-community members,

the schulfrei-community is now up and running again. We upgraded to the current version, JomSocial 4. We still need to do some minor modifications, but hope to be done within the next few days. If you notice any errors in the new version, please send us a message.

And there is more to celebrate: our website went online exactly three months ago today!!! So far, nearly 500 members have joined the schulfrei-community! I am overjoyed that home educators and all those who would like to enable their children to learn autonomously can come together here to connect and share their ideas and their experience. As a community, we are so much stronger and can support each other!

I have found out over the last few years that networking seems to be one of my strengths. I enjoy bringing people together. What I’m not good at, however, is asking for something. I know that, in his Law of Giving, Deepak Chopra talks about the universe operating through dynamic exchange and through giving and receiving we keep the abundance circulating in our lives. But it was Amanda Palmer who finally convinced me with her TED talk “The art of asking” (I can really recommend watching it!) and her question: “Is this fair?”.

Is it ok to ask for financial support? There are some running expenses to cover for hosting, domain and licences. We have invested several hundred hours into the development of this community and since we have gone online, we have been devoting at least an hour per day (often more) to activating accounts of new members, researching and entering new events, filling the treasure chest, answering questions and much more. We love giving, but the time has come to practise receiving…

There is no membership fee in the schulfrei-community, because we would like all home educators to be able to participate. However, following the crowdfunding principle, we would like to ask you to support us. How much you would like to donate is completely up to you. You will be the judge of what this service is worth to you and how much you can spare and if you prefer to donate once or rather smaller sums once in a while.

You’ll find the information where you can donate here:
https://schulfrei-community.de/en/donate

We are very grateful for your support!

Best wishes,
Steffi, for the schulfrei-community team

Newsletter 9, 4.6.2015

Dear schulfrei-community members,

just a short reminder:
tonight, come to the German chat room at 8pm and on Saturday (June 6th) to the English chat room, starting at 8pm as well, for a virtual get-together.

In order to enter the chat room, click on the orange tab at the upper left-hand edge of the screen and then choose your language.

Best wishes,
Steffi, for the schulfrei-community team

Newsletter 8, 27.5.2015

Dear schulfrei-community members,

we now have 452 members and 13 regional groups. Currently, there are 52 up-coming events in 13 different countries announced in our calendar. So far, 204 of our members have indicated their location on the home ed map. If you would like to mark your location in the home ed map, please refer to the tutorial in the „First steps“:
https://www.schulfrei-community.de/en/faq

I’d like to announce our next two virtual get-togethers. We would like to invite you to the German chat room on June 4th, starting at 8pm and to the English chat room on June 6th, starting at 8pm. We hope to see many of you there: ask questions, talk about your home ed experience, chat with fellow home educators… anything is possible!

Best wishes,
Steffi, for the schulfrei-community team

Newsletter 7, 15.5.2015

Dear schulfrei-community members,

tomorrow (May 16), we will meet in the German chat room at 8pm. If speakers of English, French or Spanish are interested in getting together in the chat room with me, please let me know and we’ll find a date to make that happen. In order to enter the chat room, click on the orange tab at the upper left-hand edge of the screen and then choose your language.

If you are from the UK and occasionally order from amazon.co.uk, here is an idea… You could support the schulfrei-community by starting every purchasewith this link:
https://www.amazon.co.uk
It won’t cost you anything, but we will receive a percentage of your expenditure from amazon. We are very grateful for your support!

Best wishes,
Steffi, for the schulfrei-community team

Newsletter 6, 7.5.2015

Dear schulfrei-community members,

we now have 413 members and 12 regional groups. Currently, there are 52 up-coming events in 13 different countries announced in our calendar. So far, 186 of our members have indicated their location on the home ed map. If you would like to mark your location in the home ed map, please refer to the tutorial in the „First steps“:
https://www.schulfrei-community.de/en/faq

Have you discovered the forum yet? You can ask your questions and enter into a dialogue with other community members in a number of different categories:
Newbie questions
Everyday life
Everyday learning
Learning materials
Home educating communities
Roadschooling
“schulfrei-community” experience
For Kids & Teens
Forum Café
Classifieds

So far, there is only one single entry in the English forum. Feel free to start a thread! There is also a search function within the forum – not to be confounded with the search function in the schulfrei-community menu where you can find other members! If you would like to know, for example, if somebody has ever posted anything about Portugal, enter “Portugal” in the field “Search by Keyword” of the forum search function, click on “Search” at the bottom of the page and you will get a list of all postings where Portugal is mentioned.

In the future, we would like to offer regular moderated chats. We are going to start with a virtual get-together in the German chat room on Saturday, May 16th, from 8pm onwards when you will have the chance to ask me (Steffi ) all questions to which you think I might have an answer. 😉 This could be questions about our time in Canada or question on our recent experience with the podium discussions following screenings of the film “Being and Becoming” in Germany or questions about the legal situation in different countries (my answer, depending on the country, might well be: “I don’t know.”) or or or. In order to participate in the chat, click on “Chat Room” in the upper left-hand corner of the screen and then select “Deutsch”.

If you would like to offer a group chat, maybe about a specific topic or in a different language, please contact me. Of course you are very welcome to use the chat rooms outside of any announced times to talk amongst each other! I look forward to even more interaction in the schulfrei-community!

Best wishes,
Steffi, for the schulfrei-community team

Newsletter 5, 24.4.2015

Dear schulfrei-community members,

they are up and running!!! Freddy, our „server tamer“, has successfully resolved the problem, so the chat rooms are finally working. Thank you, Freddy! 🙂

You will find them at the upper left edge of the screen. We have set up several chat rooms for conversation in different languages. You could join me tonight after 8pm (CEST) for testing purposes. Of course you don’t need to wait, you are more than welcome to go and check the chat rooms out right now. You can use the chat rooms anytime. We might announce certain times for moderated chats with specific topics. I’m very curious to see what use we will make of the chat rooms…

Best wishes,
Steffi, for the schulfrei-community team

Newsletter 4, 21.4.2015

Dear schulfrei-community members,

after more than two weeks, here comes another newsletter. Not that much has happened in the meantim. We now have 371 members, 152 of which have indicated their location on the home ed map. This does not happen automatically upon registration. If you’d like other members to be able to find you on the map, please move your avatar where you’d like it to be! You’ll find the tutorial how to announce your location in the „First steps“:
https://www.schulfrei-community.de/en/faq
I think it would also be fabulous is more members would upload an individual avatar – it doesn’t have to be a photo of yourself. You’ll find the instructions how to do this also in the „First Steps“.

As many of you have probably already found out, you can change your Account Information and Account Details easily – but you cannot change your user name! Should you be really unhappy about the user name you have chosen, you still don’t need to register again under a different name. Just let me know what you would prefer as your user name and I’ll change it in the backend of the schulfrei-community software. A word of caution though: I’d like to ask you not to make use of this extensively, because otherwise, we would all need to keep getting used to new names all the time!

I would have loved to announce that the chat rooms are now finally working, but they are not. 🙁 The communication with the programmer in India is interspersed with longish periods of silence on his part, but we hope to be able to solve the problem soon. This would take the schulfrei-community to a new level of interactiveness!

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to write to us!

Best wishes,
Steffi, for the schulfrei-community team

Newsletter 3, 5.4.2015

Dear schulfrei-community members,

have you noticed that the „Wisdom of the Week“ on our welcome page actually changes every week? We replace it on Sundays or Mondays. Should one of the sayings inspire you or speak to you in a special way, I’d be happy to hear about
it.

The schulfrei-community has now grown to 309 members who live in 17 different countries. 123 members have indicated their location on the Home Ed Map. You’ll find the tutorial how to announce your location in the „First steps“:
https://www.schulfrei-community.de/en/faq
By the way, other members will find you more easily if they can see your avatar on the Home Ed Map!

I just added two new questions and answers in the „First steps“ – talking about how to find home ed events that take place in your area and how to find detailed information about events. You might want to take a look! The „First steps“ will also give you answers about questions like „How do I change my avatar and my cover picture?“ or „Where can I change my email address and my password?“

Have you discovered the „treasure chest“ yet? In it, you’ll find books on home education in English and German and also a list of books featuring home educators. There is also a compilation of films and research on home education. A big “thanks” again to home educator Sophie Weimer for drawing the treasure chest!

Wishing you all happy Easter, happy Passover celebrations or just a recreative spring weekend!

Best wishes,
Steffi, for the schulfrei-community team

Newsletter 2, 21.3.2015

Dear schulfrei-community members,

there are a couple of innovations in the schulfrei-community! I’m particularly happy to announce our new chat feature that Freddy – our „server tamer“ – has just installed with us watching and learning. You can now chat with individual community members. Have fun trying out this new feature!

The newsletter archive is also new. You can find it in the member menu on the left-hand side between the „Treasure Chest“ and „Donate“. The newsletter archive will hold all messages that I will send out irregularly – whenever there is something to announce. 🙂

The address https://www.schulfrei-community.com is finally working and will guide you directly to our English pages.

If you like the schulfrei-community and think it could be a valuable tool for home educating families, please spread the word and invite others in your local, regional, national groups to register as well.

Some statistics to conclude this message: at this moment, we have 219 members, 7 regional groups and 76 events, 19 of them in the past. So far, about 80 members have indicated their location on the home ed map. I’d love to see more avatars on the map – that way we could deliver visual proof that home education is very much alive and growing all over Europe! You’ll find the tutorial how to announce your location in the „First steps“:
https://www.schulfrei-community.de/en/faq

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!

Best wishes,
Steffi, for the schulfrei-community team

Newsletter 1, 16.3.2015

Dear schulfrei-community members,

so here comes the first schulfrei-community newsletter. We are thrilled that our website is now online after many weeks of hard work!!! The framework is there and now, it’s up to you to fill the schulfrei-community with life and to shape it together.

We officially inaugurated the schulfrei-community on Friday, the 13th, in the afternoon. A little more than three days ago, we started with 53 beta tester and „previewers“, 4 regional groups and 67 events.

Right now, we have 160 members, 6 regional groups and 71 events announced. Most of us are still in the process of arriving. It’s like the first hours of a home ed camp. Everybody is getting oriented, setting up tent or finding their room, exploring the grounds. Many new members have already uploaded a personal avatar – that’s terrific, because then everybody can immediately recognize who is online.

Sadly, only 60 of the 160 members have announced their location in the home ed map yet. I would love for these numbers to rise, so we can see at one glance where everybody is from. You don’t need to indicate your exact location if you choose not to reveal it for privacy reasons. You could position your avatar in a neighbour city for example, so others get an idea which area you are in, but will not know exactly where you live. You’ll find the tutorial how to announce your location in the “First steps”:
https://www.schulfrei-community.de/en/faq

We are also very happy to create regional groups for you. Just send us an email with the group name and the group description to kontakt@schulfrei-community.de and we’ll take care of it.

Have you discovered the treasure chest yet? The second to last menu item takes you to a compilation of books, films and studies on home education.

And now, we wish you a great time exploring the schulfrei-community and connecting with other home educators. Hopefully, our community will keep growing!

Best wishes,
Steffi, for the schulfrei-community team