Unschooling
Unschooling is more than just not going to school. It is following your child's interests to get the most out of learning through living.
Links and Items
Freedom and Beyond (Innovators in Education)
John Holt looks at the role that schooling in society plays in education.
The Unprocessed Child: Living Without School
The Unprocessed Child is a work of nonfiction about a child raised with no coercion and no curriculum. Laurie Chancey spent her childhood immersing herself in topics of her own choosing. She was never forced to learn something simply because tradition and/or society said it was necessary. No one was looking over her shoulder to make sure she was learning the "proper" subjects.

Having never seen a textbook or taken a test, never used workbooks or any type of teaching techniques, Laurie scored in the top 10% of the state of Louisiana on her college entrance exam. She enrolled in college when she was eighteen, and graduated summa cum laude three and a half years later. Laurie is a bright adult, but her IQ is not why she did so well. She spent her life learning to learn and it’s something that now comes easily to her.

The Unprocessed Child was written by her mother and is full of examples of raising a child with respect and dignity. It is the first book written about a radically unschooled child who has now reached adulthood and is a responsible member of society.

Questions about the radical unschooling lifestyle are answered on topics ranging from socialization, parental responsibility, self-discipline, chores, bedtimes and much more. The book shows that it is not only possible to befriend your child, but that it is highly preferable to the struggles that so many parents go through with their children. It proves that school is not necessary for learning, socializing or motivation.

The Teenage Liberation Handbook: How to Quit School and Get a Real Life and Education
This classic homeschool resource is intended for teens who are ready to take charge of their own education. Written by Grace Llewellyn in the '90s, it is still relevant today. Teens will be empowered by claiming their natural ability to teach themselves and to fully personalize their education. Covers the decision to leave school, as well as many of the learning opportunities available to teens. 
Teach Your Own: The John Holt Book Of Homeschooling
The classic work on teaching children at home, updated for today's new laws, new lifestyles, and a new generation of homeschooling parents. Today more than one and a half million children are being taught at home by their own parents. In this expanded edition of the book that helped launch the whole movement, Pat Farenga has distilled John Holt's timeless understanding of the ways children come to understand the world and added up-to-the-moment practical advice. Rather than proposing that parents turn their homes into miniature schools, Holt and Farenga demonstrate how ordinary parents can help children grow as social, active learners. Chapters on living with children, "serious play," children and work, and learning difficulties will be of interest to all parents, whether homeschooling or not, as well as to teachers. This new edition is supplemented with legal advice as well as a guide to cooperating with schools and facing the common objections to homeschooling. Teach Your Own not only has all the vital information necessary to be the definitive reference for parents teaching their own children, it also conveys John Holt's wise and passionate belief in every child's ability to learn from the world that has made his wonderful books into enduring classics.
Real Lives: Eleven Teenagers Who Don't Go to School
Grace Llewellyn, author of the The Teenage Liberation Handbook, offers the stories of 11 teens who made the decision to reject traditional schooling methodologies and take their education into their own hands. The essays highlight offer a day-in-the-life look at teen homeschooling and unschooling, as the teens embraced self-education and increased in their self-confidence and motivation. 
I Learn Better by Teaching Myself/Still Teaching Ourselves
This new edition combines two popular books under one cover. How a homeschooling mother learned to trust her children-and herself-to learn in new ways. Covers elementary years through high school. These books are especially good for anyone wrestling with the question of "how much structure should there be in a homeschool?"
In Their Own Way: Discovering and Encouraging Your Child's Multiple Intelligences
Children learn in differing ways. Thomas Armstrong specializes in helping parents identify the unique areas in each of our children that enhance their special way of learning and expressing creativity. This work on multiple intelligences talks about the eight different kinds of multiple intelligences, showing you how to discover your child's particular areas of strength. 
Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling
This radical treatise on public education has been a New Society Publishers' bestseller for 10 years! Thirty years of award-winning teaching in New York City's public schools led John Gatto to the sad conclusion that compulsory governmental schooling does little but teach young people to follow orders as cogs in the industrial machine. In celebration of the ten-year anniversary of Dumbing Us Down and to keep this classic current, we are renewing the cover art, adding new material about John and the impact of the book, and a new Foreword.
Christian Unschooling : Growing Your Children in the Freedom of Christ
For too many years, the segment of homeschoolers that consider themselves "Christians" and "unschoolers" have been ignored. Many thought one couldn't be both a Christian and an unschooler. But Teri Brown with Elissa Wahl expose that not only to Christian Unschoolers exist, they are growing in numbers. Through Christian Unschooling: growing your children in the freedom of Christ, the authors support Christian unschoolers everywhere--letting them know they are not alone. For those Christian parents who are facing school-at-home burnout form a strict schedule, they offer another path to learning.

Unschooling, child-led learning, free learning, interest based education, child-delighted learning--whatever you choose to call it, this book explains what unschooling is (and isn't) in easy-to-understand terms while holding your hand as you walk the unschooling pathway.

Many essays of unschoolers are included--offering their viewpoints, "typical days", opinions on lessons and learning, how they are guided by the Lord and much more.

Additionally, comprehensive information on starting an unschooling support group is included along with plenty of ideas to inspire you in the subjects of language arts, history, math, science and more.

Guerrilla Learning: How to Give Your Kids a Real Education With or Without School
GUERRILLA LEARNING IS CREATING A HOME ENVIRONMENT THAT FILLS YOUR CHILD WITH THE JOY OF LEARNING

Let your daughter read her library books instead of finishing her homework . Ask your eleven-year-old’s beloved third grade teacher to comment on his poetry. Invite a massage therapist to dinner because your daughter wants to go to massage school instead of college. Give your child the freedom to pursue his interests, develop her strengths, cultivate self-discipline, and discover the joy of learning throughout life.

If you’ve ever felt that your child wasn’t flourishing in school or simply needs something the professionals aren’t supplying, you’re ready to become a "guerrilla educator." Revolutionary and inspiring, Guerrilla Learning explains what’s wrong (and what’s useful) about our traditional schools and shows you how to take charge of your family’s education to raise thinking, creative young people despite the constraints of traditional schooling.

Filled with fun and exciting exercises and projects to do with children of all ages, this remarkable approach to childhood, education, and life will help you release your child’s innate abilities and empower him or her in the wider world that awaits beyond the school walls.

Unschooling Information on the Internet
Radical Unschooling
Sandra Dodd expounds on how people learn. A great overview of unschooling with everything from real life examples, to chores, to learning math, to peace and harmony in the unschooling household.
What’s a Test? Why Unschoolers Test Scores Prove Nothing about Method
Most of us are familiar with the school perspective as so many of us have first-hand experience with it. It goes something like this: To learn, one must have a teacher dole out information. Your assignment as student, if you choose to accept it, is to work very hard to retain the information provided so you can score well on tests. When you score well on tests, you will be able to tack on four additional years of schooling by going to college. The better your test scores, the better the college you can attend. “Success” will ultimately be achieved when you getting a good job so you can make as much money as possible. Less familiar is the unschoolers perspective which goes something like this: “I would be against trying to cram knowledge into the heads of children even if we could agree on what knowledge to cram and could be sure that it would not go out of date, even if we could be sure that, once crammed in, it would stay in. Even then, I would trust the child to direct his own learning . For it seems to me a fact that, in our struggle to make sense out of life, the things we most need to learn are the things we most want to learn. ”
John Holt - Growing Without Schooling
This is the official website for John Holt's and Patrick Farenga's work. Includes a short biography of John Holt and numerous articles from Growing Without Schooling magazine. You can also access the speaking schedule for Patrick Farenga, who worked closely with John Holt before his death in 1985.
Family Unschoolers Network
The Family Unschoolers Network provides support for unschooling, homeschooling, and self-directed learning. Includes newsletter articles, reviews, resources, web sites, books and lots of other information to help your homeschooling or unschooling efforts.
African-American Unschooling
African-American Unschooling is the Internet resource for African-American homeschoolers with an Africentric approach to learning all the time. African-American Unschoolers encounter math, science, reading, writing, art and history in the real world because real living leads to real learning.
Learn in Freedom
This site is about learning in freedom, taking responsibility for your own learning. It shows you how to use your own initiative in learning, so you can use schools and teachers just when they are helpful to you, and voluntarily chosen by you. There's a specific page on this site to show you how to get started in learning in freedom, and there are plenty of other pages on this site about other subjects.
Unschoolers Online
Unschoolers Online is a website dedicated to providing detailed and helpful information on everything related to unschooling and homeschooling. You'll find local support group listings, news, articles, book recommendations, links, and more.
What is Unschooling & How Does It Work?
John Holt: Teach Your Own Children...at Home
An interview with John Holt from 1980 from The Mother Earth News. Holt discussed his own schooling experiences, how he discovered the key to real learning, and how the idea of homeschooling developed. He also discussed some concerns that parents new to the idea of homeschooling have. There is a short description of some of the legal issues that homeschoolers have faced and where the homeschooling movement is headed.
Unschooling or Homeschooling?
What is the difference between unschooling and homeschooling? At one time they were just two terms for the same thing, so the question was like asking what the difference is between a car and an automobile. Today, homeschooling has remained a generic term while unschooling has come to refer to a specific type of homeschooling. So now the question is like asking what the difference is between a Ferrari and a car. Just what is it about unschooling that differentiates it from other types of homeschooling enough to warrant its own term?
John Holt and the Origins of Comtemporary Homeschooling
Patrick Farenga's discussion of the role John Holt played in the evolution of the homeschooling movement.
Can a Christian Be an Unschooler?
Unschooling is an educational approach, an attitude towards learning. It refers to the ways in which we use books, materials, and experiences to learn and grow. The type of underlying structure you have inside yourself, your goals, value system, discipline, whether you watch TV or call parents by their first names, whether you use a patriarchal, democratic, or any other type of family structure, are not unschooling issues; they are parenting issues. Whether unschoolers or not, every parent must deal with these issues. Homeschoolers can agree on matters of how children learn and can even share a similar homeschooling style without agreeing on all of those personal issues; Christians can be unschoolers.
What is Unschooling?
There are as many different ways of defining unschooling as there are people doing it. Reading through what various people have to say about it may help you to a better understanding, or at least be interesting and make you think.
Unchores
A look at an unschooling family's approach to managing chores around the house. Although this approach may not work for everyone, the emphasis on flexibility and respect for each others needs and inclinations is enlightening.
Ten Signs that You Need to Find a Different Kind of Education for Your Child
Because our public school system has now considerably deteriorated, many parents, teachers, and individuals have taken it upon themselves to create public and private alternatives to that traditional system which is definitely failing. It is important for parents to know that they now have choices, alternatives to the neighborhood school. How do you know that it is time to look for another educational approach for your child? Here are some of the signs.
A Conversation with John Holt
In 1980, Marlene Bumgarner, a homeschooling parent, hosted author John Holt in her home while he was in California for a lecture tour. While he played in the garden with her two children, John and Dona Ana, she interviewed him for the bimonthly magazine Mothering. In this article, Holt answered such questions as, "What is your philosophy of learning?", "Why homeschool?", and "What about the child's social life?"
Against School
This essay was written for the Harper's Magazine forum, "School on a Hill." John Taylor Gatto discusses how public education cripples our kids and why.
Deschooling on the Road
A homeschooling mom travelled 3500 miles cross-country with her son and found educational experiences in some unexpected places. Drives home the point that learning can happen in many different ways and that we cannot always plan how our children will learn.
A Comparison of Traditional and Natural Learning
This is a chart that explores the differences between traditional and natural learning. It compares how the child and parent are viewed, how learning occurs, the role of textbooks and curriculum, how learning disabilities fit in, and how various school subjects are viewed.
Can a Single Parent Unschool?
These days, many parents find themselves alone, whether by choice or by circumstances. Many of these parents assume that homeschooling is not an option for them, but like many other assumptions, this can be self-fulfilling. Happily, homeschooling in single parent families is easier now than it has ever been. With commitment, creativity and support, single parent homeschooling can be not only possible, but very rewarding. Unschooling addresses the needs of both the homeschooling parent and the child in a single parent household.
Support for Unschooling Families
Catholic Unschoolers
The Catholic Unschoolers List has been created to provide a forum for those who consider themselves ‘Catholic unschoolers,’ and who wish to make connections with other like-minded individuals for discussion and encouragement.
West River Academy
West River Academy is a fully accredited independent private school in Colorado designed for families who desire the benefits of private school enrollment but minimal oversight over their educational activities. Families may follow the curriculum and/or learning style of their choice, or may receive assistance from us in designing or choosing a program that fits their needs. Grading of students is optional and if desired, it is done by the parents. West River Academy enrolls students of all ages, including adults who would like to earn their high school diplomas. They are fully accredited by the National Association for the Legal Support of Alternative Schools (NALSAS). Note that West River Academy caters to unschoolers.
HEM-Unschooling
This list is for the broad-ranging discussion of unschooling. It is sponsored by Home Education Magazine.
Unschooling.Info Forum
This message board is designed for unschooling parents to connect, ask questions, share information and ideas, and get support.
Unschool Kansas
This group is for those in Kansas who are unschooling their kids or are exploring unschooling. It is not limited to unschoolers, yet the focus of support will be to help each other unschool or be better at unschooling.
Crunchy Unschoolers
A list for unschoolers who are interested in moving towards a sustainable lifestyle. Topics for discussion may include how sustainability and unschooling complement each other, and how we resolve conflicting values.
Child-Led Christian Unschooling
This child-led learning group is for those unschoolers who are also Christians.
Unschoolers' Circle
The Unschoolers' Circle is an inclusive list for anyone interested in home education with unschooling leanings.
Secret Society of Unschooling Dads (SSUD)
This group is for Unschooling Dads, Granddads, and Dads-to-be who have attended one of the past 3 Live and Learn Conferences OR who have spouses who attended one of these conferences. Other unschooling fathers (et al.) can also join the group through invitation. Our intention is to keep a running dialog and passion for unschooling our children between conferences.
Poudre River School

Poudre River School is an independent, private school for homeschooling families in Colorado, also known as an umbrella school. PRS provides legal enrollment in a private school while parents direct the daily education of their children. Enrollment is open to students in kindergarten through high school. PRS believes that parents/guardians are capable of educating their children according to their individual needs and should be trusted to provide a high-quality education for their children. All styles of instruction are honored and accepted, including unschooling.  

Unschooling in the Midwest
This group is for unschoolers in the midwest to offer support to other life learning families and to organize activities.
Shining Children with Radical Unschooling
This list is a forum for those either radically unschooling or learning how to radically unschool to discuss our "shining" children (Highly Sensitive, Out of Sync, Asperger’s traits, Explosive) and all the issues that accompany life with them--how we grow and learn ourselves thanks to our non-typical children and how unschooling frees their spirits and allows them to truly "shine."
Unschooling Discussion
Large traffic email list whose stated purpose is to move out of comfort zones and critically examine beliefs, ideas, and viewpoints about learning, and seek a deeper understanding of unschooling and more respectful relationships with one's children.
Unschooling Dads
This list is a place for unschooling dads. Whether you're an advocate, long-time unschooler, novice, or somewhere in the middle, you're welcome here. This list is for dads only.
African American Unschoolers (AfAmUnschool) Email Group
African American Unschoolers email group is for African-American homeschoolers who use the whole world as their child(ren)'s classroom.
Unschoolers Online Community
This is a companion list to the website UnSchoolers Online. It is a safe place to openly discuss anything related to unschooling and our children.
Unschooling Resources
A Little Way of Homeschooling

This book is a compilation of the experiences of 13 different homeschoolers and how they incorporated an unschooling style of teaching in their homes. This book addresses the question of whether a Catholic can happily and successfully unschool. This home education approach is presented as a sensible way to access the mystery of learning, in which it operates not as an ideology in competition with the Catholic faith, but rather a flexible and individual homeschooling path. 

Fun Books
To produce life-long learners, we need to show our children that learning is not just something that they get graded on or that only happens during certain hours of the day or certain times of the year. We need to help them hang on to the natural joy of learning that every child is born with, to help them see that learning new things is fun, and to help them realize that learning can take place anywhere and at anytime. Fun Books has put together a catalog of books, games, and other materials to help you in your efforts to produce life-long learners.
Unschooling Magazines & Newsletters
Live Free Learn Free
Live Free Learn Free is a magazine for unschoolers and relaxed homeschoolers in which to share ideas, stories, and experiences. All material is written by those who home educate – both parents and children. It is an inclusive magazine, not only for and by experienced unschoolers, but also for and by those just starting down the path. It embraces those who are radical in their unschooling methods and those who are less so. But mostly, it’s a magazine about children living life – really living life – unhindered by curriculums, by lunch bells and standardized tests, by schoolyard bullies and tedious homework. It’s about freedom. It’s about families growing closer than they ever dreamed possible. If you unschool, this is the magazine for you!
Home Education Magazine
Home Education magazine is one of the oldest, most widely respected, and most informative homeschooling magazines. Includes feature articles, columns by experienced and acclaimed writers, political commentary and analysis of events affecting homeschooling freedoms.
Life Learning Magazine
Life Learning Magazine is a bimonthly, reader-written magazine providing information and discussion about self-directed, life-based learning, sometimes known as "unschooling," "unstructured homeschooling," or "natural learning." Explores real-life experiences of people of all ages who have learned on their own. Article topics include discussions of how society's emphasis on compulsory schooling has imposed limits on learning, and how to overcome those limits.
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Featured Resources

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Perrine's Sound & Sense: An Introduction to Poetry
Perrine's Sound and Sense is a fantastic book for studying poetry with your children. It is a great resource for high school students. It includes clear and thorough explanations of devices, forms, how to analyze poetry, and more, as well as a huge variety of poems, both classic and contemporary.
Miserly Moms: Living on One Income in a Two-Income Economy
Save Thousands of Dollars a Year Jonni McCoy and her family are proof that you live on one income. The McCoys made a successful transition from two incomes to one while living in one of the most expensive parts of America: the San Francisco Bay Area. Her Miserly Guidelines will help you save thousands of dollars a year on everything from groceries to electricity to insurance and household cleaners—as well as reveal the hidden costs of holding a job and common money wasters. Her practical,...
Pattern Blocks and Boards
This set of 10 simply designed colorful wooden blocks and pattern boards includes 100 blocks in six different shapes and colors. They help develop shape recognition and spatial relationship skills. The contents store neatly in a durable wooden case. This games was awarded the Scholastic Parent & Child's 2004 "Top 22 Toys that Make Kids Think" award.
Cognitive Styles and Learning Strategies: Understanding Style Differences in Learning and Behaviour
First Published in 1998. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.
Home Schooling from Scratch : Simple Living, Super Learning
Parents learn what they really need, how to find or create materials and opportunities for less money, and how to organize their household for economical, happy learning.