Home Alive teaches boundary setting skills useful in our everyday relationships and interactions, as well as physical fighting techniques for use in life-threatening situations. Home Alive exercises, discussions and games were developed collaboratively over the last 18 years by a great many people. We honor the contributions of those who came before us, and we excitedly look to the creative energy of those now emerging and still to come. Our curriculum has received tremendously positive response from class participants, many of whom tell us they feel validated and empowered by their time spent with Home Alive.

Details, details
As we have been inspired by, adapted, and expanded upon others’ work, we now invite you to do the same.  Please look over the whole thing, and make use of what can benefit your community. Though of course we are making our curriculum freely available, Home Alive would appreciate being credited, verbally or in writing, for the exercises you use.

We have grouped the exercises thematically, but they are also mostly in the general chronological order from which we might select to present in a basic class. See sample class outlines for more ideas about how to structure a class.

Some of our framing appears in quotes, but don’t feel bound by that.  Think of our introductions and framing as a guideline for you to customize with your own style that meets the needs of your group.  The best way to get comfortable with the material, and make it your own, is to use it!

Expanding our reach
We know that our curriculum is in many ways a product of the identities and experiences of folks who’ve developed and taught it, as well as identities held by the audiences that we most commonly work with. Our curriculum is based on the core principle that self-defense techniques are for all people with a wide range of physical and mental abilities, as well as lifestyles, backgrounds, and experiences.  We have adapted our curriculum to work with many specific populations (for example, folks with developmental disabilities, youth in transitional housing, immigrant women, survivors of domestic abuse, homeless folks, deaf and hard of hearing folks, and deaf/blind folks).

We view our curriculum as a living document and that we’re always improving and adding to.While we think that we’re presenting a really solid and adaptable set of values and exercises in the hands of good teachers (see How We Teach), we also would love to receive resources that we can learn from and share on curriculum specifically adapted for particular populations. For example:

  • Our curriculum works well with youth starting around middle- to high-school age.  We’d love to share curriculum for younger kids.  (One example that we’ve found useful is the Kid Power curriculum.)
  • Curriculum specifically developed for communities with different types of physical and mental abilities.
  • Curriculum developed specifically for use with non-US-born communities, who may find some different cultural assumptions and safety planning more useful.
  • Curriculum involving the role of bystanders in a violent society.  Engaged bystanders — equipped with tools to interrupt both situations of stranger harassment AND ongoing dynamics of abuse — are central to the creation of safe and healthy communities.

We are excited to share our work, and to see it evolve and grow.  If you have any curriculum that addresses these or other topics and communities, please share it with us!  Let’s keep in touch.

thanks to  our team!
Big props and thanks for the work of so many folks that went into sharing this curriculum on the web, including our curriculum writing team (Ronni Tartlet, Stefanie Brendler, Janet Miller and Laila Suidan), our web savviness team (Sid & Ponyboy), our photo team (Eitan Isaacson and Lauren Jacobson Spokane), our models (Maria, Samira, Stacy, Yecelica, Ponyboy, Eitan, Lauren, Janet, Stefanie and Laila), our proofreaders (including Cleo, Ponyboy and Adam), and everyone else who helped out!