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
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?"
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.

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.
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. 
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. 
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.

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.
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. 
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.

Freedom and Beyond (Innovators in Education)
John Holt looks at the role that schooling in society plays in education.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. ”
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.
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.
What is Unschooling & How Does It Work?
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.
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.
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.
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.
Unschooling or Homeschooling: What's the Difference?
Ask around at your next homeschool conference to compare what people answer when this question pops up: "What does it mean to unschool?" Some will answer that unschooling is homeschooling without using a pre-packaged curriculum. Others will say it's simply the degree of freedom that the parents allow the child in his learning. Still others will say that unschooling defies definition because each child is unique and will go at learning in his own way, in his own time. So what's the big difference between homeschooling and unschooling? In homeschooling the parents make decisions on how to best educate the child, while in unschooling the child somehow makes those decisions for herself.
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.
A Letter to Concerned Relatives
An explanation of natural learning and the reasons for pursuing this in a family.
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.
Unschooling Undefined
Unschooling is a word coined by negating the idea of schooling; it starts off with a negative definition. What, specifically, is it about schools that unschoolers want to do without?
Beware the Curriculum Mentality
One of the most important duties of parents is to help their children to discover and pursue new interests, retaining the love of learning that is almost universal in young children and almost universally extinct in conventionally educated adults. Standardised curricula, and the stultifying educational hoops that schoolchildren have to jump through, sabotage this aim. This can cause trouble for parents who have to satisfy other people ... that they are educating their children properly. Under pressure, they may slide into a "homeschooling" mentality that distorts and damages their children's education.
Unschooling from an African-American Perspective
A look at unschooling as a philosophy of life from an African-American perspective.
A Paradigm Shift
Abandoning the institution of school and taking a natural learning approach is really a paradigm shift. Most people will not understand that natural learning does not involve children following a curriculum, taking exams, being socialised (through peers), using textbooks, etc. At best they will think that you are a bit daring, slightly unusual, experimenters.... at worst they will think that you are dangerous, putting your kids at risk or should be reported.... How can you show them that natural learning is OK?
Support for Unschooling Families
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.
Unschoolers Network
The Unschoolers Network is a support group for homeschoolers in New Jersey
HEM-Unschooling
This list is for the broad-ranging discussion of unschooling. It is sponsored by Home Education Magazine.
Unschooling.com Email List
This discussion list is the companion communications forum for the Unschooling.com website.
Child-Led Christian Unschooling
This child-led learning group is for those unschoolers who are also Christians.
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.
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 Highlights
This list consists of a selection of posts from the UnschoolingDiscussion list.
NJ Unschooling
This list is for parents in New Jersey who are unschooling (or child-led, "relaxed" homeschooling)­.
FreedomQuest Alternative NJ Statewide
FreedomQuest Alternative is coordinating with the Unschoolers Network to provide NJ homeschoolers experiencing special circumstances (parents and/or children) such as chronic illnesses, learning differences, emotional/mental illness challenges, developmental delays and special needs, etc., networking opportunities. This list is a place where you can find support and companionship as well as share resource information.
Always Learning
Discussion for homeschooling fans of John Holt, whose books Learning All the Time, Never Too Late, and Teach your Own have made unschooling an option for thousands of families.
Homeschooling Creatively
This list is a place where parents can come to understand and give value to our creative children as we home/unschool with them. The focus will be on discussing alternative ways (versus public school methods) to help our creative children learn which best suits their learning style and respects their complex personality traits, taking a look at creating a success-based learning environment that draws on the strengths of our creative learners while providing support-based opportunities to gently guide their intense natures.
Unschooling Forum at vegsource.com
Unschoolers meet to talk and share ideas at this vegsource.com message board.
Sonlight Unschoolers
This email group is for those who use Sonlight curricula but also like the unschooling approach (and other compatable methods). Working out how to mix the two, curricula exchange/sales, and connecting with other eclectic Christian unschoolers is the object.
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.
Unschooling Resources
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.
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. 

Unschooling Magazines & Newsletters
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.
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.
Looking for Another State?
Featured Resources

As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. We get commissions for purchases made through links on this site.

Unclutter Your Home: 7 Simple Steps, 700 Tips & Ideas (Simplicity Series)
Hundreds of practical ideas for sorting, evaluating, and getting rid of all those material items that get in the way of a simplified lifestyle.
Catholic Home Schooling: A Handbook for Parents
Mary Kay Clark, the director of the accredited and successful Seton Home Study School shows parents why and how to teach their children at home, giving scores of practical examples and setting forth the spiritual, moral and academic advantages. The book includes chapters by several experts and covers Catholic curriculum, textbooks, Catholic family life, legal aspects, discipline, socialization, home management, using computers, children with learning disabilities, single-parent home schooling, t...
First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind
Parents can assure their child's success in language arts with this simple-to-use, scripted guide. First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind uses picture study and other classical techniques to develop the child's language study in those first two all-important years of school. Each lesson leads the parent, step-by-step, through the simple oral and written projects that build reading, writing, spelling, storytelling, and comprehension skills. Use this book to supplement school learning, o...
The Successful Homeschool Family Handbook
If you are thinking about homeschooling, or are struggling with a educational homeschooling curriculum that is difficult to use, let Dr. Ray and Dorothy Moore show you how to make homeschooling an easy-to-live-with family adventure in learning. This low-stress, low-cost program shows you how to build a curriculum around your child's needs and interests - and around a realistic family schedule. Instead of a cut-and-dried approach, you'll discover the freedom of a flexible program that encourages ...
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,...