Wild + Free Des Moines

Wild + Free Des Moines | Homeschool Community

When we decided to homeschool our children, I knew that finding a community of like-minded families would be so important for us. Not because I was worried about socialization, but because I knew that having deep connections with other people is so important. I knew that choosing to live life differently than the majority would mean I’d want encouragement, support, and friendship with those who understood our lifestyle. Enter Wild+Free. I’d been an avid follower of W+F for a couple of years and was drawn in by beautiful photos, great encouragement, and the feeling of “oh, you too!” I searched for groups in our area, but the closest one was in Ames, and I knew I’d never make the trip enough to build the community I longed for our family. I kept hoping that some brave soul would begin one in the metro, but after a year or so, I realized I should just start one myself if that is what I was wanting. So, once my third child turned one, I began the process of starting a Des Moines chapter of Wild+Free.

What is W+F exactly?

It’s an organization that desires to bring the community to homeschool mamas who enjoy the outdoors and nature. There is no required style of education, and it is open to all who home educate and love the outdoors. W+F gives conferences, has magazines, a blog, and many retreats, but they’re best known for their groups all over the world. Their website features a map that helps you locate a local group. We focus mostly on the outdoors, but W+F is meant to be a community and so, there are many events and many styles of groups. Each group is different, and our group here in Des Moines has grown from meeting twice a month to so much more in the last year!

We have taken group member interests and turned them into events. We currently have a monthly service project, two regular outdoor meetups per month, quarterly book clubs, monthly mom’s only events, poetry teatime, and other events. The regular twice-monthly meetups are the bulk of our group, and we visit an outdoor location almost every time, barring freezing temperatures. Some of the outdoor meetups have included antler shed hikes, pond exploration, fall foliage hike, a visit to the pumpkin patch, and just getting together to play, hike, and be together. Our current group is currently made up of mostly kids 11 and younger, but we are happy to grow and change and make space for older kids and events that work for them. We have grown to be a wonderful community and are happy to include more families who are looking for a W+F lifestyle! 

If you’re interested in joining please email kara.earhart@gmail.com to join our email list which is where all the details are shared. You can also join our Facebook Group: Wild and Free DSM and follow along on Instagram @wildandfreedsm. 


Erin Huiatt

Erin is a reliable resource and stepping stone for women and families to find support and make connections within our community. She wants families to feel confident to reach out and ask for help and advice to get pointed in the right direction. She enjoys traveling and exploring with her two children in tow!

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