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 […]

Emotional Challenges of Unschooling


I had the privilege of presenting a workshop at this year’s AERO Conference in New York. The workshop was attended by a great group of unschoolers, educators and others interested in alternative education. We had a fun, interesting, lively discussion – and hardly had a moment to get to the handout that I had prepared […]

Who Can Unschool?

natural learning


Just about any child will learn and flourish in a truly loving and educationally-conducive environment. So every child has the potential to be a successful unschooler.

The question is, what qualities and skills must a parent have, in order to be able to provide this environment?

Is unschooling for everyone?

Who shouldn’t unschool?

Thanks […]

“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 […]




A rich natural learning environment is not likely to be a spotless one.

Click on these links to find out more about joyful “lived-in” living from today’s unschooling superstars:

Alex Polikowsky Brie Jontry Nina Haley Sandra Dodd



Special Needs

special unschooling beach yoga

Austin and Alissa, unschooling twins

Can unschooling work for a child with learning problems? What about gifted children? Or children with health issues?

Today we hear from….

Ami Fountain – Awesomism Ambassador, autism advocate, and unschooling mother of two boys.

Nina Haley – yoga teacher, paddleboarder and mother of three.

Sandra Dodd – “teacher” […]

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 […]



Sometimes people say “Unschooling isn’t working for my child” or they say, “We tried unschooling but it didn’t work.”

I asked Sandra Dodd, Nina Haley and Sue Patterson: When, why and how does unschooling fail?



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 […]

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 […]