Updated 2022-07-12

True North

True North offers an alternative to school where children learn in the ways that suit them best. We serve unschooling and homeschooling families with children between the ages of 4.5 and 13 who meet 5 days a week in outdoor locations.
Santa Barbara, CA 
United States


We base our understanding of the rich landscape of self-directed learning from robust models such as Sudbury Valley Schools, Open Schools, Agile Learning Centers, and Unschooling communities. Having opened our proverbial doors in September 2020, we are just at the beginning of our journey of gathering our community, creating our home space, and defining our culture. We are thrilled for the learning adventures ahead!

SDE Optimizing Conditions

ASDE surveys all SDE communities/programs about how they provide, enhance, or align with each of the Six Optimizing Conditions for young people to succeed in SDE.  Survey answers:
  1. Responsibility(not answered)
  2. Youth Autonomy – At True North, we are actively cultivating the rich soil of safety and accountability, allowing each person, whether facilitator or child, a chance to show and express their full humanity and offer their gifts to the community.
  3. Access to Tools and Technology – ...crafting, storytelling, acting out plays, music, ninja practice, discovery walks, plant identification, singing, sewing, spinning yarn, painting, weaving, bird watching, dancing, swinging in a hammock, cooking projects, slackline, games...
  4. Adult Allies – By fostering connection with each other and our surroundings, a whole person can arrive and feel secure and confident.
  5. Free Age Mixing – By re-creating the village with varying age groups from participants to facilitators to junior mentors and guest teachers, we offer a place of learning and 'growing up' that honors the whole person.
  6. Community – Our Passion as a learning community is to sustain engaged play and the exploration of life. We do this by offering a space where trust, personal accountability, and relationship building are foundational to learning.

If any information about this resource is out of date, please let us know.