Read about Unschooling and Deschooling

Here’s my ever growing list of links to Unschooly authors, books, articles, blogs etc.
If you just want a definition of Unschooling, click here.

For the definition of Deschooling as it pertains specifically to Unschooling, click here.

Unschooling Authors
Books, Blogs and Websites

John Holt
He coined the term Unschooling and wrote so many great books as well as the newsletter Growing Without Schooling.
Here are his books:

Learning All the Time
Instead of Education: Ways to Help People Do Things Better
How Children Learn
How Children Fail
Escape From Childhood: The Needs and Rights of Children
Teach Your Own: The John Holt Book of Unschooling
(with Pat Faranga)
The Unschooling Unmanual
(along with 7 other authors)

Pat Faranga
Pat worked with John Holt before his death in 1985 and is now running the John Holt Growing Without Schooling Website.  Pat has his own blog and writes extensively about Self-Directed Learning.
He just contributed to a new book about John Holt:

The Legacy of John Holt:
The Man Who Genuinely Understood, Trusted and Respected Children

and this one is from 2003:

Teach Your Own: The John Holt Book of Unschooling
(with John Holt)

Peter Gray
Lately my favorite author on Self-Directed Learning is Peter Gray.  He’s a Psychology professor at Boston College and has been researching the topic of self-directed learning and forced schooling for decades.  He has compiled much evidence demonstrating the detrimental effects of compulsory schooling and the myriad of problems resulting from the decline of freedom in our children’s lives and their lack of opportunities to “just play” in our over-scheduled and performance focused society.  Click here for his Ted Talk on the decline of play in our society and it’s correlation with the rise of mental disorders in children.

This is an interview with Dr. Gray on the ways children learn best and his controversial assertion that schools are by definition prisons.

I like sending skeptics to his blog entries on Psychology Today and he has a new website with blog entries and other info:

And here’s his comprehensive book about how kids learn and the damage the “mainstream” model of schooling and parenting is doing to children’s development and mental health.

Free to Learn:
Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier,
More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life

Grace Llewellyn
Grace wrote The Teenage Liberation Handbook 1991 and it has become an Unschooling classic enjoyed by parents and teenagers alike. 

Teenage Liberation Handbook:
How to Quit School and Get a Real Life and Education

Mary Griffith
This book gives practical ideas and examples of activities in which Unschoolers might participate and ways Unschoolers learn that is out side the “school-at-home” idea of Homeschooling.

The Unschooling Handbook:
How to Use the Whole World As Your Child’s Classroom

Alison McKee
I haven’t read this one, but it’s often recommended by folks at our Unschoolers Park Meets so it’s on my list to read one day.
From Amazon: “McKee offers the reader insights on how children learn, plenty of illustrations and practical advice about how “unschooling” works, and thoughtful commentary on the state of education today. This book will reassure parents considering homeschooling that nurturing children’s natural desire to learn can empower their children to become enthusiastic life-long learners.”

Homeschooling Our Children:
Unschooling Ourselves

Rachel Gathercole
Although this book isn’t strictly about Unschooling, it’s written by an Unschooling mom and is backed by research into the “Socialization Question.”  Very well written and a good one to hand to your mother-in-law rather than have that discussion about socialization for the millionth time.  I refer people to it often, so wanted to park a link here.

The Well Adjusted Child:
The Social Benefits of Homeschooling

Unschooling Websites/Magazines:

Home Education Magazine and
Run by Mark Hegener and Barb Lundgren, parents of grown Unschoolers.  This site has tons of resources: articles, interviews, book reviews, links, Unschooling consultants and more.

Life Learning Magazine
Edited by Wendy Priesnitz, mother of grown “Life Learners.”  Her site, magazine offer information on Life Learning (her preferred term over Unschooling) and non-coercive parenting.  She has also written many books that you can buy at her website

Radical Unschooling Authors
Books, blogs and websites:

Radical here means “root.”  Radical Unschoolers take the root philosophy of trusting children to know themselves and their needs and extends Unschooling principles to all areas of life such as bedtimes and food and media consumption.
These are sites by parents of grown Unschoolers and they offer a plethora of info on the “how to” of just plain Unschooling as well as Radical Unschooling.  
Take what resonates with you and leave the rest!

Joyce Fetteroll
Joyfully Rejoycing

Sandra Dodd
Radical Unschooling
Sandra Dodd’s Big Book of Unschooling

Pam Laricchia
Living Joyfully
Pam has a free and easy to digest “Intro to Unschooling” email series.  Sign up at the Living Joyfully site.
Free to Learn: Five Ideas for a Joyful Unschooling Life
Free to Live: Create a Thriving Unschooling Home

Blogs from Unschooling Parents and Grown Unschoolers

I’m Unschooled. Yes, I Can Write.
Written by a kindergarten drop-out now in her early 20’s.
She has a post and ‘zine called Unschooling 101.

The No-School Kids
A collaboration between a grown unschooler and her mom.

Sue Patterson
Mom to 3 grown Unschoolers

Unschooling Blog Carnival
Many Unschooling Blogs gathered in one place as well as several from Grown Unschoolers


Home Education isn’t for everyone.  The following resources offer alternatives that are very Unschooly in approach, but focus on creating different kinds of “schools” rather than family centered education.

Sudbury Valley School has many resources both for creating a self-directed, democratic “learning community” AND for understanding Self-Directed learning.  Check out the blog for stories from parents and graduates of the school.  Sudbury Valley was founded in the late 60’s and now there are over 30 Sudbury style schools across the country and a few internationally.  There are also many other “Democratic Free Schools” that don’t follow the Sudbury model strictly, but use many similar principles.

Daniel Greenberg 
A founder of the original Sudbury school, his book Free at Last is an account of experiences from the school and is an inspiring look at what education COULD be if we truly respected children and honored their individual paths to learning.

Jerry Mintz
Alternative Education Resource Organization and their website
Jerry’s books:

No Homework and Recess All Day:
How to Have Freedom and Democracy in Education

The Handbook of Alternative Education is listed under Peter Gray above, but it probably belongs down here.

Here’s a great video on the Sudbury Valley School which offers an Unschooling type of education.  Sudbury Valley opened in 1968 and since then over 30 more schools have opened that follow the “Sudbury Model.”

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