Unschooling Blogs and Websites
There is an incredible variety of support for unschooling online and some writers have ideas that may not be helpful to you, though they might be to others. With that in mind, rather than act as a gatekeeper to maintain the purity of unschooling (whatever that might be!), I provide this inclusive, broad list to help you find the support you want for unschooling—namely, not doing school at home. This is just meant to be a starting point for your research, not an exhaustive resource. If you have suggestions for blogs and websites to add to these lists, please email them to me at pat farenga at John Holt GWS.com.
These are sites to inspire you to seek or create your own real-life activities, child-inspired fun, and camaraderie instead of striving for grades day after day.
"African-American Unschooling is THE Internet resource for African-American Homeschoolers with an Africentric approach to learning all the time. "
A fantastic collection of articles and links curated by veteran homeschooler Lillian Jones.
A film maker (Schooling the World) and writer whose work and studies with indigenous people deeply inform her advocacy for "what the modern world has forgotten about children and learning."
A simple site that describes in personal detail a family's growth into unschoolers.
City Kids Homeschooling
Kerry McDonald writes about learning with her three young children in urban settings, and brings her unique background as a corporate trainer, author, and education policy consultant.
Crunchy Domestic Goddess
Thought and wit about parenting and many other topics from an unschooling mother and environmental activist.
Do Life Right
Lisa Cottrell-Bentley is a publisher, speaker, and unschooler who offers one on one e-mail counseling services for people striving to live a vegan lifestyle and/or an Unschooling Lifestyle. Her family has written a fiction series featuring homeschoolers, which is available at her site.
Each One Thrives
Meredith Collins, a former editor of GWS, writes a fascinating blog about "what we can do for each child until school gets better—or in case it never does—so that every one thrives no matter what or when." Her thoughts about math are particularly helpful.
Free Range Learning
Laura Grace Weldon's website and book, Free Range Learning, will help ease your fears about letting your children learn naturally and introduce you to families and resources that advocate for a child's right to learn naturally.
I’m unschooled. Yes, I can write.
Idzie Desmarais is a 21 year old lifelong learner who lives in Montreal, Quebec and maintains this interesting blog about her life and learning.
Christina Pilkington writes about her family's exploration of the world through community-based learning. She also publishes a useful daily newsletter, The Interest Led Learning Daily.
News and information about the life and work of John Holt, self-directed learning, unschooling, and the complete collection of Growing Without Schooling magazine.
Learn in Freedom
A great resource for "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."
The Natural Child Project
Many articles and resources about compassionate parenting and natural learning.
Not Back To School Camp
Grace Llewellyn’s camp is a life changing and life affirming opportunity for many teenagers.
Radical Unschoolers Network
Support not just for unschooling, but for how to live an unconventional life.
Ideas and principles about unschooling that Dodd has developed.
A mother whose unschooled children are now adults writes thoughtfully on a variety of topics related to education and raising children. You can join the Unschooling Blog Carnival from her site.
The Unschoolers Emporium
Books, recordings, and materials made by and for unschoolers.
Connected to Home Education Magazine, this site is devoted to support all unschoolers.
Michelle Barone, a certified family counselor, offers support and ideas for unschooling.
Their site's tag line: "Where Catholicism and Unschooling meet."
Unschooling Circuit Riders
This Yahoo group lists all the state-wide and larger unschooling conferences currently going on.
Amy Brougher Milstein's musings and descriptions about learning in Manhattan.
A long-time publisher and author about unschooling, self-directed learning, and green family living. Her blogs contain much wisdom and many resources.
What To Do Instead of School
Blake Boles' newest site provides daily inspiration "a fun, productive, and meaningful suggestion for what you can do with your time instead of (or in addition to) going to school or college."
Magazines about Unschooling
Published by Wendy Priesnitz, an unschooling pioneer in Canada.
General Homeschooling Resources
Build Cool, Low Cost Toys at Arvind Gupta Toys
Arvind Gupta is a scientist, performer, toymaker, and education reformer. Be sure to visit the toy part of his site and scroll to the bottom to check out the science experiments. The whole web page tells, through pictures and minimal text, how to create some really interesting things that you and your children can use and play with. Not specifically for homeschoolers, but that's the point: the world is a giant learning environment already, we don't need to create special places or materials where only specially formulated learning occurs.
Best of Homeschooling
This site is jam-packed with good essays and information about homeschooling from all perspectives.
A to Z Home's Cool Homeschooling
Anne Zeiss’ wonderful creation. This is one of the friendliest homeschooling sites I know of, and one of the most extensive in terms of resources and free advice. The list of homeschooling laws and regulations is good, as is the list of state homeschooling support groups.
A commercial website with materials for sale. One of my favorites is a car magnet that reads: "Warning! Unsocialized homeschoolers on board!"
The resource page, linked above, is full of information to locate government, educational, and social assets (usually for little or no cost) that you can use as you need.
Against Corporal Punishment
Many educators and parents still seem to think that paddling is a time-tested, valid educational tool that is well-suited to our times: indeed, 19 states permit corporal punishment of students in school. These groups, some founded by homeschoolers, are good resources for finding gentler ways of nurturing good behavior in children. —PF
Norm Lee was an early homeschooling advocate and writer/practitioner about alternative energy, four-season gardening, and the back-to-the-land movement. He now operates this anti-corporal punishment site.
The website for EPOCH USA: End Physical Punishment of Children.
Parenting in Jesus' Footsteps has a nurturing, non-violent approach to living and learning with children.
Documentaries about Learning Without Going to Conventional Schools
In theaters starting October 15th, 2014. All across America, parents are becoming increasingly dissatisfied with the state of public education. The current state of our educational system & economy shines a spotlight on problems with traditional schools. Class Dismissed showcases a growing trend in alternative education strategies that are working for many families across America.
Peter Kowalke was unschooled as a child. Now an adult, he interviews 10 homeschoolers to find out how they managed to find work and to reflect on how homeschooling has shaped them.
Writer/director Carol Black's poignant and insightful documentary about poor village children in India who leave their rural areas for schools in the big city and what happens to them and the people they leave behind. It also examines the growth and influence of worldwide compulsory schooling as domination justified by "manifest destiny."
Jason Marsh created three portraits of unschooling families, each one featuring different backgrounds and ages. Parents wondering if unschooled teens will get into college will be inspired by the young man whose passion for blacksmithing and other non-school interests help him gain admission to the University of CA–Berkeley.
Cevin Soling's powerful examination of what life is like for students in public school today, what can be fixed, and what should be abolished.
A documentary film about the Danish free school, Ny Lille Skole, produced by John Holt. The writer/director, Peggy Hughes, writes about the Danish school system and this film in her essay in The Legacy of John Holt.