Friday, April 30, 2010

Good Links for Unschooling/Homeschooling

Note made on 7/3/2014 - For more current information, please see my other blog "Maine Homeschooling Resources and Ideas" as that has all this and more broken down into various pages and is more current.  Click here to go to the "unschooling" page, then you can click on the other pages as you like.
Or feel free to look at this old post as some of the info is still current, but not all. - Laurie :)
Here is the email that I send out when people ask me for information about unschooling....

The first section contains the most helpful links that I think are best for beginning unschoolers. Find out what it is all about by joining the groups, watching the youtube videos, coming to the conference, reading books, etc.

The second section is a post from a yahoo group that I thought would be helpful for those seeking basic unschooling information or for those beginning to unschool.

The third section is the whole "Good Links and Books for Homeschooling and Unschooling." Hope it is helpful!

Laurie Wolfrum (mom to Katie 12, Li 8, Makana 4, and Kanoa 1)


Northeast Unschooling Conference (NEUconference -
End of August each year in Wakefield, MA)


AlwaysUnschooled (Danielle Conger, Meredith and others post
alot as well as many other insightful, respectful people - This is one of my favorite groups.)

If you want to look at what radical unschooling
is all are some good links:

*****"Parenting a Free Child" by Rue Kream (My ablsolute favorite book for parenting/unschooling! (I donated a copy of her book to our local it is available through interlibrary loan if you live in Maine and have access to that lending system!)
-Here's a link to her book...

*****Dayna Martin (from Vermont) has wonderful, honest youtube videos that discussing trusting our kids and unschooling and living joyfully. Here's a link to her web page. Click on whatever video you are interested in from there.

Check out Dayna's book also: "Radical Unschooling: A Revolution has Begun"


" does one go about unschooling? "
http://sandradodd. com/help

http://sandradodd. com/beginning
"I did attempt this once a few months back and felt like they would just play all day and not learn anything at all."
I find the above statement hard to believe. Children learn through play. Even schools know that. Did you have to teach your children to walk and talk? Read some more:
http://sandradodd. com/pam/ilive
-=-=-=-=-=-= -=-
"My hubby does want evidence that they are learning something so I feel I have to prove that we do "school". How do you let go and trust that they are learning or will learn what they need when they are ready?"
http://sandradodd. com/seeingit

http://sandradodd. com/trust
"I guess I am looking for suggestions on starting and record keeping. Is it okay to let one child build all day (tents, forts, club houses and tower from all sorts of stuff) and the other to do arts all day? Are they really learning anything? "
How could he not?
"What about math?"
http://sandradodd. com/math/
The last couple of days I have been pulling out different games to get a way from the workbooks yet still feel like they are getting something. Should I make them play games? "
Make them like force them? Unless you want them to hate games I would not force them ever. If you are playing with them for fun and they want and like them go for it.


However you homeschool, these magazines are great!!

Life Learning Magazine was started in 2002. In 2008, its print edition merged with Natural Life Magazine. However Life Learning Magazine is still being published in a digital edition.

If you subscribe to the online edition of Life Learning Magazine, then you will get password-protected access to ALL the issues of Life Learning in PDF.
To subscribe:

Free selected Life Learning Magazine articles can be read here -

Rethinking Everything Magazine - (online subscription)

Live Free, Learn Free
(This magazine is not being published right now due to family health
issues and it is now an online magazine. I probably would NOT order as I haven't rec'd an issue in some time due to their family circumstances. Maybe someday back issues will be available?)

From a post on 1/2010 - Allie (who staffed at Not Back to School Camp this fall 2009) is making a zine called School's Out! She could use some more readers. The issues are 2-5 dollars each and are about all sorts of things - fmi email Allie at alexandra.hendrick@ .

Idzie is a person who publishes a zine called DIY Life. In it there are articles about unschooling, reducing consumption, safe computer usage for those who don't want their activities monitored, self-defense, poetry and artwork. Contributors include Wendy Priesnitz, Eli Gerzon, and ps pirro, just to name a few from the unschooling community... If you want to find out more about the zine, you can check it out here: http://yes-i- can-write. blogspot. com/search/ label/DIY% 20Life%20Zine And if you want to download it, you can do so here: http://zinelibrary. info/diy- life-zine- issue-1 If you do decide to read it, Idzie would love to hear what you think!


Parenting/Homeschooling Bks/Links:

*****The Homeschooling Book of Answers by Linda Dobson
(Really good for beginning to homeschool because it gives great info on all those questions we have...) Here's a link to some of her other books

*****And the Skylark Sings With Me by David Albert
(He has 2 other good bks too, but this is my favorite David Albert book!)

*****Dayna Martin (from Vermont) has wonderful, honest youtube videos that discussing trusting our kids and unschooling and living joyfully. Here's a link to her web page. Click on whatever video you are interested in from there.
Check out Dayna's book also: "Radical Unschooling: A Revolution has Begun"

To Listen to an interview with Dayna, Click Here
or go to http://www.freetobe parenting. com/Activities. html
(Scroll down to Replay section)

*****"Parenting a Free Child" by Rue Kream (My ablsolute favorite book for parenting/unschooling! (I donated a copy of her book to our local it is available through interlibrary loan if you live in Maine and have access to that lending system!)
-Here's a link to her book...
Another Rue site....
Rue has a yahoo group too:

Link to Danielle Conger's fabulous website/blog: (this link is the one to the "math" page, but chk out the whole site/blog)

2009 Good Vibrations Unschooling Conference audio files for FREE!!!!

Here is a youtube video (an hour and 15 min) - an interview with Astra Taylor, a grown unschooler and independent filmmaker. She speaks about the politics and psychology of education, and her experience as an unschooler and an overachiever.
http://tinyurl. com/yffpl7w or

"How I ended up as an unschooler": com/watch? v=v4RU04OqL6c& playnext_ from=TL&videos= 3c3KUQifPCw

A blog by a now 19yo unschooler (the same woman who does the YouTube video just above):
"I'm Unschooled. Yes, I Can Write.":
http://www.yes- i-can-write. blogspot. com/

Christine Yablonsky and Phil Biegler were on Good Morning America (April 2010 - here's the first piece - and GMA rec'd so many comments and emails about unschooling that the couple was asked to come back and answer some of the concerns and questions. I am putting this link here twice because it is that good! Thank you Christine and Phil!

Christine Yablonsky and Phil Biegler about unschooling were also on Joy Behar's program (news show)

And here is a blog where unschoolers respond to the Yablonski/Biegler/Good Morning America interviews and more:

Cameron Lovejoy's site for the Autodidact Symposium March 12-14, 2010 in Columbia SC:

Book by James Marcus Bach: "Secrets of a Buccaneer Scholar" (It is about how he left school because it was stiffling him and his way of learning and how he continues to learn and be successful ever since. He puts a postive spin on his ADD diagnose - he writes about how he DOES learn and how he controls how he does it so it works for him.)

Sandra Dodd's book: http://sandradodd. com/bigbook

Sandra Dodd's youtube videos re:unschooling: com/watch? v=DoG6j8eTjyY
Sandra Dodd Pt 1 : Path To Unschooling com/watch? v=iWOGCg4sHTI
Sandra Dodd Pt 2: Unschooling & Real Learning

Access all 4 parts (3 of Sandra and 1 of Holly, her teen daughter here):

To upload and put on an iPod or mp3 player. You can go to the
source of these and download them directly to listen to elsewhere.
They're Sandra Dodd. One has Sandra and Richard Prystowsky, and one is Ren
Allen and Sandra:

And this is a really old one (approx 12 yrs ago) that's not been announced because it's hard to understand and needs some notes and images to make better sense:

Unschooled teenager Holly Dodd:
and holly

Brenna McBroom (unschooled teen): v=H37T7o9u_ 2M&feature= channel v=gHBtjpQJp80& feature=channel

http://unschooling. info/video
various kinds of things, many with kids in, or some made by unschooled kids

"The Unschooling Unmanual" - exerpts by: Nanda Van Gestel, Jan Hunt, Daniel Quinn, Rue Kream, Earl Stevens, Kim Houssenloge, John Holt, and Mary Van Doren

"The Home School Source Book" by Jean and Donn Reed - Chock full of book recommendations on various categories/topics. Plus lots of interesting and thought provoking comments by the Reeds on life in general.

"The Adventures of Penrose the mathematical cat" - by Theoni Pappas (Theoni Pappas has some other interesting math related books as well.)

"Trust the Children" by Anna Kealoha - I love this book because the title speaks to me. Inside though, it does provide lots of fun activities for families to do and some commentary on the author's take on homeschooling. I haven't read the book in a long time, but I recall it not seeming very unschooly to me nor trusting despite the title. Having said that, it still has tons of great ideas in it, my favorite being this cool other way to play tic, tac toe on page 156 in the numbers section.

"Material World A global Family Portrait" - By Peter Menzel - This is an excellent picture book and shows families from all over the world with their "stuff" outside their homes. It really made an impact on me as to how much stuff we (and others) have and how little people in poor countries have. Good socialogy book (if you want/need to catagorize some of the things you learn/study)!

Love this site for general parenting stuff...

Scott Noelle's "The Daily Groove" (give inspirational words each day with regard to living with our loved little ones so that we enjoy parenting and our lives in general more.)

"Unconditional Parenting" by Alfie Kohn
Available in book or DVD. I got the 2 hr DVD from the library (inter-library loan). It was in lecture form and was absolutely excellent!!

FREE Online Magazine for unschoolers:
(Donations appreciated if one is interested, but it is not required and the articles are now totally free.)

If you want to look at what radical unschooling
is all are some good links:

Consentual Living (haven't looked into this too much although it looks somewhat up my alley..."taking children seriously" related? Think there would be things to take and things to leave from this group...)

Unschooling Collected Posts that might be helpful...(haven't read them all...)

Horrible Books: (excellent history bks and they even have math bks too...)

Here is the link for Laurie Block Spiegel (excellent math and english and history, etc ideas and links)

For Math....

Great Math books (request from your library):

This site by a non-profit group offers a multi-sensory approach for Spelling and English (Haven't used it as we unschool those things, but heard from traditional homeschoolers that this was worthwhile to check out)

Pam Leo's website:

Pam Leo wrote an excellent book (also available on cd or mp3 dwnld and read by her): "Connection Parenting: Parenting through Connection instead of Coercion
through Love instead of Fear" You can access a streaming audio interview from her home page too.


There are two Not Back To School Camps - one in Oregon and one in Vermont.
Here's a film about them made by a former camper! Wish there was one for adults!
Not back to school camp video:
This is awesome!!!!!

Byron Katie
Her book "Loving What Is" (has others)
The work for parents -

Naomi Aldort

Alfie Kohn

Good Yahoo Groups:

AlwaysUnschooled (Danielle Conger, Meredith, and others post alot as well as many other insightful, respectful people - This is one of my favorite groups of all.)
Cameron Lovejoy creaated this new group for parents (and other interested people) to ask unschooled children questions, to get the answers from the source.
Here's the description of his list: "Most unschooling message boards are for parents by parents. Usually both parties are speaking of their own children, giving or receiving answers regarding raising these children. Rarely are the offspring answering the questions and concerns of novice unschooling parents. This group is made exclusively for unschooling children, teens and young adults to answer questions about living in an unschooling household, socialization, learning to read and write, bed times and food choices, independence, and above all being an unschooler. This is an open, unmoderated list. Because of this we may get a little spam. If it gets out of hand I will being moderating."




Belfast (Maine) Area Homeschoolers yahoo group - Right now we meet at Point Lookout on Thursdays from 1-4pm or at Belfast City Park in good weather:


Central Maine Self Learners (CMSL)

Creative Partnerships

Discovery Center for Arts and Sciences in Bath, ME (DCAS) - They do group portfolio reviews for $20 or $25 per child in May (I am now certified to do portfolio reviews too!) Bambi Thompson runs this group.







Northeast Unschooling Conference (NEUconference - End of August each year in Wakefield, MA)

Live and Learn Unschoolers Conference (No longer happenning, but used to take place in North Carolina - you can order MP3 downloads of the conference to put on your hard drive or CD)
2008 was the LAST year for this conference

Life is Good Northwest Unschoolers Conference (State of Washington over Memorial Day Wknd - you can order DVDs of the whole conference for $43.00)


Peacefulpartnerships (how to apply peaceful and respectful philosophy that we try to use with our kids to our relationship with our spouses):

Radical Unschooling with Law of Attraction (Dayna Martin's list. She is
a beautiful person who is truly and sincerely joyful...talks alot about the law of attraction, Thework by Byron Katie and radical unsch)

RUL (Radical Unschoolers List)


UnschoolingResources: (affiliated with Live Free Learn Free Magazine) - I haven't been on this site in a long time. It may not be active.

Unschoolingpartnerships: This is a list for people who are already radically/whole life unschooling with their children and wish to take those tools and apply them to their relationship with their partner.*

Other Misc Yahoo Groups:

Unschooling through illness:

Alternative Kids Teeth:


AP_Doctor_Referral (helps those who practice attchment parenting to find compatable drs and other professionals)

FUNNews: (they sell great books)

Unschoolingaroundtheworld: (send/receive postcards from other countries)

For those in NJ: (Nancy Plent's new website The Unschoolers Network)

FlyLadyMentors:(The Fly Lady- house organization and cleaning)

Imagination Tribe: (art cards, etc)

New Atlantean Books: (good ref bks for family care and

Diet related issues (links between artificial color, flavoring, fragrances and behavior):

Great site for kids health to ck out:

An international site focused on natural healing and nutrition, Heal Thyself!
http://heal- thyself.ning. com/

Book Recommendations - need to add WAY more here. Have not chosen to update this yet. It would be a big project!:

Killing Monsters by Gerard Jones (makes kids feel powerful to kill monsters; talks about comics, etc) -I didn't get a chance to finish this book yet. Not sure what I think of this yet.

Puberty/Sex Related Books:
UU churches recommend (and use) "It's Perfectly Normal" by Robie Harris
For younger kids: "What's the Big Secret?" (think by Marc and Laurie Brown)

"What's Happenning to My Body Book" - by Linda Madaras - My daughter and I both thought this was a helpful book. The author has one for boys (haven't read that yet) and for girls (just skimmed it so far, but wish to buy it. I have requested it from the library to make sure we like it first and that give me a chance to go through it more looked really good when we checked it out at the book store a couple wks ago.).

Changing Bodies, Changing Lives: Expanded Third Edition: A Book for Teens on Sex and Relationships (Paperback) by Ruth Bell (Author) "Sometime between the ages of nine and seventeen, your body will change dramatically..."

Website for teens on sex (suggested via a post on alwaysunschooled by Meredith around 2/19/2010): http://www.scarlete

"The Guy Book: An Owner's Manual" by Mavis Jukes

**"The Parent/Teen Break-through: the relationship approach" by Mira Kirshenbaum and Charles Foster. Excellent book (what I've read so far) for building relationships with teens (and preteens).

"And the Children Played... " by Patricia Joudry

"Everyday Blessings" by John and Myla Kabat-Zinn

"Living Joyfully With Children" by Bill and Win Sweet

"Child's Work" by Nancy Wallace

"How Children Learn" and "How Children Fail" - both by John Holt

"The Natural Child: Parenting from the Heart" by Jan Hunt
Faber & Mazlish How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids
Will Talk

Faber & Mazlish Siblings Without Rivalry

Fitzenreiter, Valerie The Unprocessed Child: Living without School

The Underground History of American Education by John Taylor Gatto

Ned and Luz Vare "Smarting Us Up"

"The Teenage Liberation Handbook" - Grace Llewellyn
(Graces home page:

Dr. Raymond Moore and his wife Dorothy wrote a lot about delayed academics. They suggested that reading and formal academics shouldn't be taught until 8 or even 10-12 in some cases. Age isn't as important as readiness. They wrote "Better Late than Early" which contains a lot of research an information in support of delayed academics such as reading. They also wrote "School Can Wait". They present information from the fields of optometry, neurophysiology, sociology and education to support their thesis.

"The Report Card" is a fiction book by Andrew Clements. It is about a girl named Nora who is in middle school and is exceptionally brilliant. Nora does not want to let others know because she does not want to be treated or thought of as any different from anyone else. In fifth grade, her friend Stephen becomes very anxious about grades as do most of the kids. To help show her friend that grades don't really reflect what one knows, she purposely gets all D's on her report card (and one C by accident). I won't give away the rest of the story, but it is a good read! My 12 yr old daughter asked me to read it and thought I'd like it. She was right! I was excited to read it when I noticed that the author thanked Alfie Kohn! Also, the librarian in the book advises Nora that there are always at least two choices to make and to pick the better one. Reminds me of Sandra Dodd's suggestions on her site! Below is a video link in which Andrew Clements talks about his son in Kindergarten who pretended not to be able to read because of the way his classmate treated him.

Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah by Richard Bach - awesome book that helps us look at the things we take for granted in life and question them!! Highly recommend listening to the cassette tape (doesn't come on dvd as far as I can tell)

Teenage Liberation Handbook by Grace Llewelyn

Guerilla Schooling by Grace Llewelyn - (Pam Sorooshian wrote "It will help you
deal with his being in school in an unconventional way" in a post on the always learning list around 4/7/2010)


  1. Great list! And thanks for including Life Learning Magazine. However, it was never called Natural Life Magazine; they're two separate publications. Natural Life was started by my husband and I in 1976 (partly so we could stay home to unschool our daughters) and is still publishing. We started Life Learning in 2002. In 2008, its print edition merged with Natural Life due to the recession. But it's still being published in a digital edition. Thanks for letting me clarify! Our publishing company Life Media also produces a small line of unschooling books:

  2. Thank you! I updated my list of resources! Laurie

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