Birthing Our Selves, Our Children, and Our World

Growing into unschooling can be a bumpy, painful and lonely journey. It might surprise those new to the concept of unschooling, to hear that developing a life wholly based in freedom, trust and fun, often includes times of deep angst, shame and fear. Yet a majority of new unschoolers do describe their transition into unschooling […]

Family Bonding

Sandra Dodd and two of her cuddly cubs

Sandra Dodd and two of her cuddly cubs

Transcription What do families gain from unschooling that goes beyond providing a natural learning environment?

Today I asked Sandra Dodd about the differences between unschooling and other education alternatives. In her answer she touched on the parent-child bond, the parents’ learning, honoring human instincts, respecting the […]

“Bored” and “Lazy”

lazy is good

living the good life

Sometimes people say unschooling wouldn’t work (or isn’t working) because their kids are “too lazy” or because they are “always bored.”

But not only are boredom and laziness NOT reasons nor proof that unschooling doesn’t work – they offer great opportunities to learn new things and to have more bonding […]


The Best Day Ever

The Best Day Ever

Some people are afraid that if children don’t have rules, if they aren’t restricted, and if parents care too much about helping them get the things that they want- that the child will be “spoiled.”

But imagine this: What if a child could have 365 days a year of “best […]



If a child doesn’t go to school, won’t she or he miss out on “socialization?”


(Whatever that is.)


Thanks today go to:

Ben Hewitt – unschooling dad and author of a new book about unschooling, Home Grown

Renee Cabatic – unschooling mom living and playing in rainy and wonderful Portland

Sandra Dodd […]



Principles and priorities (rather than rules) create the framework by which unschooling can work.

When you’re saying Yes or No or Maybe – the big gigantic question is WHY. This can help with decisions about how to be with your kids and probably with decisions about everything else too.

And there is lots more […]

African Americans & Homeschooling

Ama Mazama

Ama Mazama

Ama Mazama, Ph.D., is an African American Studies scholar at Temple University. She has published 14 books, most recently African Americans and Homeschooling: Motivations, Challenges, and Opportunities.

She is also the mother of two home-educated children.

Today we hear why she believes homeschooling to be the best educational option for African American […]



Today we hear how unschoolers find and build community from veteran unschoolers Rose Sorooshian, Sandra Dodd and Sue Patterson.


Unschooling as Personal Growth

unschooling as personal growth

One of the hidden benefits to unschooling is that it can help parents learn, heal and grow.

Ben Hewitt (a “high school dropout” and author of many books including Home Grown) is gaining self-confidence and growing his patience.

Katie O’Connor (director of Talking Stick Learning Center) is unlearning old beliefs and expanding her curiosity […]

Unschooling as Global Change


Can unschooling make the world a better place?

Gillian Goddard says the way we treat children is the training ground for victim behavior and perpetrator behavior.

Teresa Graham Brett says “the children in my life have challenged me to live according to the values of liberation, freedom and respect as a parent and human […]

Sex Ed

Me, Rachel and our lovely  teenage (at the time) daughters

Me, Rachel and our lovely teenage (at the time) daughters

How do unschoolers do “sex education?”

Lainie Liberti “Sexuality is a huge part of our experience as human beings on this planet… there’s no reason to deny or be embarrassed or have shame around it…”

Robyn Coburn “It’s not one conversation that you have…”



amychilds upsidedown

Quitting and learning; learning and quitting.

Alex Polikowsky has quit lots of things and doesn’t consider herself a quitter. (Sidenote: even though her kids are always allowed to quit, her daughter Gigi has loved doing chores ever since she was one year old.)

Ben Lovejoy quit the military three times, which made it possible […]



Just to be clear, THIS is a picture of a SUPPORTIVE grandpa

What can unschoolers do about less-than-supportive friends, neighbors and relatives?


Alex Polikowsky gives Grandma something to brag about.

Pam Laricchia offers ways to prepare for family gatherings.

Sandra Dodd always has lots of tips and tricks for living more joyfully.

Sue […]

Single Parents

Miro and Lainie

Miro and Lainie

For many people, unschooling as a single parent would be way too hard.

But today we hear from some “solo mums” who are unschooling successfully with lots of joy, learning and partnership.


Katie O’Connor is co-director of the Talking Stick Learning Center.

Danielle Owens is on the board of DrMomma.org […]

Hard Times

north pacific ocean

What do unschoolers do when their lives are challenged in unforeseen ways? Are kids better off in school during times of hardship or crisis?


Today we hear from some families who kept unschooling through hard times.

April’s family dealt with mental health challenges and then the death of a son.

Marietta’s family unschooled […]

Gaps and Behind


If children don’t follow a set curriculum, won’t they have “gaps” in their education and fall “behind?”

Let’s ask some unschoolers what they think.


Colleen has many degrees AND many gaps in her knowledge.

Jessica’s 15 yo son is enrolled in UC Berkeley in spite of his education “gaps.”

Robin is glad her “late […]



How does unschooling affect sibling dynamics?

Daniele says unschooling helps her different children to get the different things that they want and need.

Sandra didn’t want to make a rule against hitting, and encourages parents to help siblings work things out.

Rose and her two sisters fought when they were little and now they’re […]


the childs family at mount rainier

yet again, Kayla says something funny…..

One of the biggest differences between my pre- and post-deschooling days was the amount of laughter I shared with my kids. While my kids were in school, we could easily go several days without laughing together. When we were unschooling, hardly an hour would go by without a […]



Unschooling can repair the damage done by traditional parenting and schooling approaches.

Today we hear stories of healing from Kayla Childs, Tanya Marinelli, Teresa Graham Brett, Sandra Dodd, Leah Rose and Janine D.


Extra Bits


Today’s show is made up of random bits and pieces that didn’t go anywhere else.


Abigail Larrison talks about her neuroscience research about emotional learning systems, dopamine, about the importance of daydreaming, and of making mistakes.

Ama Mazama talks about the challenges that homeschoolers (and black homeschoolers in particular) face.

Ben Lovejoy says […]

unschooling support

For many people, unschooling doesn’t come naturally.

This is because most of us were raised in ways that are in direct opposition to the principles of unschooling. Starting in infancy, we absorb beliefs like “my wants and needs are wrong,” “I don’t know what’s best for me,” and “people cannot be trusted.”

After assimilating these […]

Dar a luz a nós mesmos, aos nossos filhos, e ao nosso mundo

life learning

Desenvolver o unschooling pode ser uma jornada solitária, doída e turbulenta. Pode parecer estranho para aqueles que são iniciantes ao conceito, escutar que criar uma vida baseada em liberdade, confiança e diversão, muitas vezes incluem horas de profunda angústia, vergonha e medo. Mesmo assim, a maioria dos unschoolers descrevem a sua transição ao unschooling como […]