Meet Some of Our Writers
Tracy Aitken and her husband Jeff unschool their three boys in Spencer, North Carolina.
Her article Algebra for the Six-Year-Old was published in
Life Learning Magazine's March/April 2006 issue.
H. Albert is a homeschooling father, writer and speaker
who lives in Olympia, Washington.
He is the author of a number of books, including And the
Skylark Sings with Me, Homeschooling and the Voyage of
Self-Discovery, Have Fun. Learn Stuff. Grow.
Homeschooling and the Curriculum of Love, and What
Really Matters (which contains some of his essays from Life Learning Magazine.) Some of his essays for
Life Learning Magazine include The Tenth Intelligence,
Socializing Remy, Parts is Parts,
The Curriculum of Beauty,
Acts of Enclosure,
Healing Trauma and School Disease,
The Average Giraffe,
and Feinting With Damn Praise. Check out David's
website for speaking engagements and books.
||Robbie Anderman could never decide on a career.
His father always told him “one must keep learning every day”... and so he
does. Educated to play the
piano and French horn, he moved over to
the 5-holed Shakuhachi bamboo flute. He cares for his organic pear orchard and
vegetable gardens, records flute and percussion CDs, promotes
industrial hemp as a boon for the environment and the rural
economy, shares an off-the-grid hilly rocky “farm” in Ontario, Canada,
enjoys his grandchildren, and is
learning the dance of life alongside his wife Christina. His article Natural Fields of Vision was published in
Life Learning Magazine in 2005.
Rebecca Atherton was raised on a horse farm by two teachers in Port Lavaca, Texas. As a child she would play school with her teddy bears: lecturing them, testing them, and even making report cards for them. It was while obtaining her degree in education that Rebecca decided she would
educate her own children. Her philosophy of education was turned upside down as she observed how much children learn the basics from everyday things. She and her husband Rodney live and learn from
their three children in Victoria, Texas.
Her article Alphabet Soup was published in Life Learning
Magazine in 2005.
Stephanie Bachmann Mattei
is a certified Trainer with the Center for Nonviolent Communication. She was born and raised in Florence, Italy,
where she earned her Bachelor in Languages and a Ph.D. in
Philosophy. She moved to the USA in 1993, where she and her husband are parenting their three
self-educated children. Stephanie's core intertwined themes in life are: spirituality,
parenting and healing. Her article Rocking the Boat Without Drowning Everybody appeared in Life Learning Magazine
Sidne Baglini worked in adult and child education in a previous life. She and husband Norm have three adult
daughters, two who went to school and one who never did until she started college. Now, she and Norm are nurturing their
sense of wonder with grandkids. Her article Living and Learning Science was published in Life Learning Magazine in
Katrin Bain is the author of the PocketRescue parenting
booklet series. She guides parents to confidently parent from
the inside out and offers them the tools to build strong
relationships with their children. She lives in London with her
husband and their two children. Her article Flexi Schooling was published in Life Learning Magazine in
2014. For more articles, visit her blog:
learns alongside her husband and children in Concord, New
Hampshire. Her poems and essays have appeared in journals and
anthologies in Japan, Europe, and North America. She sings in
the Songweavers a cappella women’s chorus, volunteers with a
refugee resettlement program and blogs about
her family’s reading. Her article
The House That Heather
Built was published in Life Learning Magazine in 2002.
||Melony Beens is a Canadian
military wife and mother to two boys. Her
family has been life learning since the day their oldest was
born. Melony spends her days supporting her two busy boys as
they follow what excites them. Right now, this means fostering
animals for a local animal rescue, setting up aquariums, and
discovering the history of the automobile. She also leads a
local naturalist club for home learners and has recently
reconnected with her love for writing and hopes to do more of it
as the boys begin to need her less. Her article Supporting the
Battle was published in Life Learning Magazine in 2013.
||Liadhan Bell passionately believes that nothing will stand in the way of the thirst for knowledge when the right seeds fall on fertile ground. She has seen this in her own life and those of her children. She knew from the age of seven that she was a writer and writing has been her passion ever since.
She surprised most people who knew her when she had lots of babies instead of pursuing a ‘higher’ education. Her interest in children and how they grow has provided her with plenty to write about! She is fascinated by the creative process and the synergy created when a family live and learn together.
Liadhan has seven children and four adult stepchildren. She and her husband Richard philosophize and write about life learning, nature play, their experiences parenting two deaf children, and their wobbly attempts at self-sufficiency at
www.outtherefamily.org. Her article Bicycles, Shoelaces, and ABCs was published in
Life Learning Magazine in 2016.
||Léandre Bergeron is a well-known French Canadian author and activist. He studied in France and taught literature at Concordia University in Montreal before moving to the Quebec countryside with his wife Francine to live a life of voluntary simplicity. His many works include the well-known
Dictionnaire de la langue québecoise and the best-seller
Petit Manuel d’histoire du Québec. He is a tireless champion for the underdog and has long advocated for educational, political, and social reform,
including learning without school. His article For the Sake of Our Children, published in Life Learning Magazine in 2014, is an excerpt from
his book of the same name, published by
Life Learning Magazine’s publisher Life Media.
||Blake Boles is an author,
entrepreneur, and educator. He is the author of books that
include Better Than
College: How to Build a Successful Life Without a Four-Year
Peak Press, 2012). He currently lives in Asheville, North
Carolina and travels widely. He owns Unschool Adventures,
a travel company for self-directed teens. His article Good
Reasons to Skip College was published in Life Learning
Magazine in 2012. Learn more at
||Jennifer Casey lives and works outside of Atlanta, Georgia with her
husband Brendan and their children, Ryan and Morgan. She spends
her days working on the family’s rental cabin business, blogging, answering dozens of eager questions from her children, and dreaming of a day in which she is caught up on all of her ongoing household projects (currently numbering approximately 349).
Her article Working Hard Like Peopleguys was published in
Life Learning Magazine in 2008.
Gina Cassidy began her education after leaving
graduate school. She rides her bike (most days) to her part-time
composition teaching job at the local community college. Her
most profound influences include John Taylor Gatto, Daniel
Quinn, her partner Ken, and her four amazing children. She and her family are busy dreaming about (and working on) turning three acres of farm wasteland into a self-sufficient, permacultured homestead, integrating the natural world with the best of human accomplishments. Her articles for Life Learning Magazine include Visual Thinking Strategies (2002), Who Owns English? Breaking the
Usage Rules (2003), Run Bus Car Broken (2004),
and Cherries in Winter (2005).
Becca Challman firmly believes that the most
important lessons she has ever learned, she learned from
experience. Those experiences have taught her that she would
rather live to learn than live to earn, that there is more joy
in helping a child discover her truest self than in making sure
she attends school every day and that if there were no other
reason to live, there would still be books. Becca and her
creative genius husband Scott reside in the present, reject
regimented education and embrace life learning, each other and
their daughter Grace Lillianna. Her essay Reading With Grace was
published in Life Learning Magazine in 2008.
Chicoine is a photographer by trade, mom to six
life-learning young adults and partner to husband Ed. She has
authored two books, loves to travel and after 18 years of
unschooling, still enjoys helping her children with their life
directions and family business when it is requested of her. Gaye
has published a book Living Dreams, the story about her family’s
South American journey and the learning that resulted.
Her Life Learning Magazine essay Prospering in the Real World is also included in the
Life Learning: Lessons From the Educational Frontier.
mentors homeschooling teens and their families around
the country through workshops, classes, conference calls, and
personal support. She also works as a "Happiness Consultant,"
helping clients uncover their true selves and create lives that
are authentic and fun. She lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
with her own three self-directed young people who make her laugh
all the time and who constantly remind her how precious and
amazing human beings truly are. You can find her at
Life Learning Magazine article
Birthing Our Selves, Our Children, and Our World was
included in the book
Life Learning: Lessons from the Educational Frontier.
Leslie Clark is a parenting coach and co-founder of a non-traditional private school. She is passionate about helping parents find out of the box schooling solutions for their children. She has been married for almost seventeen years to a wonderful man named Darren and they have two amazing kids. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies (Elementary Education) and a Master’s degree in Educational Administration. She taught in the public school system for almost ten years before making the leap to alternative education. For more about Leslie or to read more of her work, visit
Her articles The Winding Road to Educating My Kids
Summer of Discovery
published in Life Learning Magazine in 2016.
Robyn L. Coburn had to start calling herself an
“unschooler,” despite her daughter’s young age, in self-defense
against the numerous early academics pushers surrounding her in
her neighborhood and local support group. In her past life Robyn
has been a set, costume and lighting designer in the theater,
and a production designer and set decorator in film. Her
The Big Questions
was published in Life Learning Magazine in 2011. And
Unschooling is About Principles Not Rules was included in the book
Life Learning: Lessons from the Educational Frontier.
Marion Cohen is a grandmother with four
children who are now grown. The two youngest learned at home for
eight years and the family hosted a homeschooling support group
in Philadelphia. Marion is a writer and math prof, most recently
at the University of Pennsylvania. Some of her published books
are about pregnancy loss and chronic illness/caregiving. They
include The Days and Nights of a Well Spouse (Temple
University Press) and a poetry book about the experience of math
entitled Crossing the Equal Sign (Plain View Press.)
Her article The Many Subtle Faces of Authority was published in
Life Learning Magazine in 2007.
Michelle Conaway lives and
learns with her supportive husband Stacy and their three
children in the Houston, Texas area. She has many passions, one of which is experiencing this
wonderful life journey with her family and friends. When she’s not writing or playing Minecraft with her
kids, she works as a Master Gardener in her county, cooks,
reads, gardens, and supports her kids in all the things they are
interested in. She is
passionate about the unschooling philosophy and loves supporting
others on their journey to life learning. She founded the Texas
Unschoolers Yahoo and Facebook page, as well as the Katy/West
Houston Unschoolers Facebook group. Her essay Whispers is in Life Learning Magazine
in 2013. Michelle blogs about her life experiences at www.michelleconaway.net.
Danielle Conger is a freelance writer who has a
PhD only because she didn’t want to stop learning. She says her
three wonderful children Julia, Emily, and Sam have taught her
how unnecessary school is for learning and for thinking great
thoughts. The family has enjoyed a busy unschooling
lifestyle outside of Washington, D.C. with dad Jim, a puppy,
chickens, and lots of wonderful wildlife.
Her essay Rules vs. Principles was published in Life
Learning Magazine in 2004 and An Unschooling Landscape in 2005.
Laurie A Couture is the author of Instead of Medicating and Punishing: Healing the Causes of Our Children’s Acting-Out Behavior by Parenting and Educating the Way Nature Intended, a licensed mental health counselor, writer, artist, photographer, and voracious reader of attachment parenting and unschool theory who is passionate about human rights
and Nature and writes and speaks about children’s human rights
Laurie and her son live an active life in beautiful New Hampshire.
She has written a series of articles for Life Learning
about unschooling her adopted son as a single mother, beginning
with Freeing Brycen (Jan/Feb 2006); Attachment Parenting Our
Adolescent Life Learning Children was published in 2011.
Pauline Mary Curley is an Irish unschooling
mom, lucky enough to divide her time between the West of Ireland
and New Jersey. In a previous life in Europe (pre-children), she
worked as a structural engineer, a trade union representative
and an adult literacy and numeracy teacher, and co-founded a
Women’s Center in Luton, England. She offers “All About Ireland”
library programs and homeschool workshops, and one of her dreams
is to encourage North American life learning families to visit
and explore Ireland. Two of her essays for Life Learning
Magazine are Eye Opener: Changing my perspective on the importance of reading
and Passionate (About Unschooling) in New
Jersey, a profile of
veteran life learning advocate Nancy Plent.
||Norma Curry has pursued her own self-directed path most of her life, first choosing
to earn a degree in writing, then trying on many different career hats:
from teacher to astrologer, to clothing designer, to journalist, to bed
and breakfast owner, to homeopathic practitioner, and - when this
article was published - wholehearted cheerleader and support person for
her very self-determined 15-year-old figure skating daughter. Norma
founded CATCH, an inclusive non-directed community-based home education
support group in Cincinnati, Ohio. Her article The Dinner Party was
published in Life Learning Magazine in 2003.
||Freya Dawson is the mother of two
home-educated boys, ages 15 and 11 in 2016. Before she had children,
she spent fifteen years as a university lecturer in Law. Her life was turned upside down when she faced the intense challenges of raising two highly spirited children.
She found a willingness to explore her own inner world and applied her skills in research to finding a peaceful way to live with her children. She has developed an approach to communication and problem solving that make conventional parenting tools such as punishments and rewards completely unnecessary. She has recently published her first book
Joyful Parenting: The five skills to take your family from Conflict to Connection, available on her website.
Life Learning Magazine published her article Deep Learning in 2016.
||Theresa DeMario is the author of the book
Science Experiments: Homeschool Style. She enjoys a professional writing career and a life surrounded by her family of life learners. Life can get hectic when everyone stays home, but for Theresa and her family, there was never really any other choice that made sense.
Life Learning Magazine published her article What About Socialization? Learning the Rules and Roles of Society
Bassett lives in Seattle with her partner Doug and
their son Zizi. She was unschooled from birth
until college and has an MA in Education from Goddard College.
Her thesis was on contemporary homeschoolers in the Seattle
area. Aside from traveling, cooking, and wearing flip-flops, her
current projects include pursuing a doctorate in Education and
unschooling, establishing a haven of exotic edible plants in her
backyard, and continuing to practice life learning with her
family. Her contributions to Life Learning Magazine
include Free School or No School (2007) and Self Reliance in
Life and in Learning (2007) and
included in the book
Life Learning: Lessons from the Educational Frontier.
||Idzie Desmarais is an unschooler, cook, writer, and anarcha-feminist. She likes to spend her time making tasty food, reading
fantasy novels, blogging about unschooling, and going on road trips with friends. She dreams of someday living in the woods with friends and
family, growing tons of tasty food, and writing books. She lives in Montreal with her parents, sister, kitties, and a big shaggy dog. You can read more of her writing on
Among her articles for Life Learning Magazine are The
Necessity of Shakespeare (2010) and When
You Unschool, You Don't Unparticipate (2014). An interview
with her was also published in 2014.
Linda Dobson's family started homeschooling in
1985. Since then, she has coordinated support groups, provided
keynote addresses and advocacy, written dozens of articles, and
authored eight books, including the classic The First Year
of Homeschooling Your Child,
The Homeschooling Book of Answers, Homeschoolers'
Success Stories, The Art of Education, and Homeschooling
the Early Years.
She continues offering news, information, and resources via her
website Parent at the Helm. Her article Short But Sweet:
Homeschooling’s Lasting Effect was published in Life
Learning Magazine in 2002. She now runs
the Parent at the Helm website.
Sandra Dodd grew up in northern New Mexico, and now
lives in Albuquerque with her husband Keith and her son Marty.
She maintains a website and discussion list for unschoolers and
has a book, entitled Sandra Dodd’s Big Book of Unschooling. Her article Unexpected
Benefits of Unschooling was published in Life Learning
Magazine in 2010.
Tirzah Duncan, aged nineteen when she
contributed to Life Learning Magazine, is a thoroughly
unschooled fantasy writer. She spent her childhood dashing after
whatever fascinated her, which mostly consisted of online games,
books, Scotland, business, and martial arts. Then she fixed upon
writing, and has been working to make a career of it ever since.
You can check out her novels Ever the Actor
at her website. Her article Secondary was
published in Life Learning Magazine in 2012.
||Deborah Dyson is the mother of
six children. She lives and learns in Evanston, Illinois and any
other place that she happens to visit. All six children have
been unschooled from the start and that has been her life work
and passion. From the beginning, she was determined to learn
with them and that is what the family has done. She believes
that no one is always the student or always the teacher;
learning is, instead, an organic process in which we all
participate and thrive. Her article When Unschooled Kids Grow Up was published in
Life Learning Magazine in 2007.
Ekwa Ekoko lives, works and hikes in Hamilton, Ontario.
For seven years, she and her family (including three unschooled
daughters) produced Radio Free
School, a show by for and about homelearners. Her
Life Learning Magazine essay
Learning Love of the Natural World (2004)
also appears in the book
Lessons from the Educational Frontier.
Lehla Eldridge-Rogers is an illustrator and an author of books. But prior to that she
was an actress. She wrote The South African Illustrated Cookbook, The
Lovely Book for Wonderful Women and she illustrated a kid’s book
by M.J. Amani called Excuse Me, I’m Trying to Read. Above all,
she is a mother to three fast growing kids, and she juggles her
time between them and working on new books and projects. Her
unschooling book Jump, Fall, Fly has just been published.
Her article Unschooling Success: TED Talks,
Young Geniuses, Overwhelm, and Extreme Admiration was published in Life Learning Magazine in 2015.
Valerie Fitzenreiter is a radical
unschooling/attachment parenting mother and the author of the book
Child: Living without School. Her unschooled daughter Laurie,
who is the subject of the book, is now an adult. Valerie's
article The Unprocessed Child Goes to College was published in
Life Learning Magazine in 2004.
Angela Fitzgerald is a homelearning mom in
British Columbia. In addition to living and learning alongside
her husband and two daughters, Angela has been supporting
homelearning families as a Learning Consultant since 2004.
Previously a public school teacher, having children of her own
changed Angela’s perspective around optimal learning
environments and relationships for children. With the birth of
her first child in 1999, Angela began an intensive hands-on
‘training’ with a developing realization that all learning is
relative to the development of peaceful and healthy human
article On Socialization appeared in Life Learning Magazine
and works in Wales, UK as a freelance writer, poet, publisher, parenting
adviser and humanist liturgist (developing ceremonies and rites
of passage.) She is author of four titles on home education,
autonomous education, and non-coercive parenting: (Doing It Their
Way; Without Boundaries; Bound To Be Free, and With Consent,
all published by Educational Heretics Press). She unschooled
her own four children. She has written many articles for Life Learning Magazine, including
Beyond Common Sense Parenting (2003),
Never Too Late to Learn to Read (2004),
Spinoffs, Not Outcomes (2004), Living by Consent
(2005), Children Are Only Human (2006),
What You See May Not Be What You Get (2005),
and In the Meantime (2006).
M.H. Furgason is a life long unschooler despite 13 years of government education. She is the founder of Houston Unschoolers Group. She lives in Houston, Texas with her four children and husband.
Her article Acquiring Reading was published in Life Learning
Magazine in 2006.
Susan Gaissert lives in New Jersey with her
husband and daughter. She is currently working on the book she
feels born to write: a memoir of her mother's family and growing
up in the 1960s. Susan is passionate about life learning, books,
crocheting, walking, and New York City, which is her favorite
place to take a walk.
Her article College Stories was published in Life
Learning Magazine's January/February 2014 issue.
Rachel Gathercole is a freelance writer and the
proud mother of two delightfully autodidactic children. She is
utterly fascinated with children and motherhood, and can’t help
looking on in awe at the incredible, inscrutable learning
process that daily unfolds before her eyes. She is the author of
the book The Well-Adjusted Child. Her articles for
Life Learning Magazine include Zen and
the Art of Unschooling Math (2005), Happytown (2005), Doing Their Best, Naturally (2007),and Of Swimming and Schooling (2007).
Enrico Gnaulati is a psychologist in Pasadena,
California. In his book, Emotion-Regulating Play Therapy with
ADHD Children: Staying with Playing, he is critical of
medical approaches to the sort of behavior that gets labeled
ADHD in children. Instead, he views ADHD phenomenon as rooted in
children’s difficulties containing and expressing intense
emotion, and he offers a model of active play therapy to
healthfully intervene. In his forthcoming book, Back to
Normal: Common-Sense Explanations for Kids’ ADHD, Bi-polar, and
Autistic-Like Behavior, he strives to lay out the normal
human meanings, motives, and developmental glitches behind kids’
troubled and troubling behavior. His article
for Life Learning Magazine is entitled Mental Disorders
or Ancient Traits that Have Helped Kids Adapt for Generations.
Daniel Grego is the Executive Director of
TransCenter for Youth, Inc. in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. One of his
major interests is exploring the confluence of the ideas of
Mahatma Gandhi, Ivan Illich and Wendell Berry. He lives with his
wife Debra Loewen, the Artistic Director of Wild Space Dance
Company and their daughter Caitlin Grego on a small farm in the
Rock River watershed in Dodge County, Wisconsin. He has written
a series of three essays for Life Learning Magazine. The
Educator's Secret and Modern Stupidity was published in 2010
The Educator's Folly and the Shadow of the Future in 2011.
The third one, The Educator’s Dilemma and the Two Big Lies
also appears in the book
Lessons from the Educational Frontier.
Mette Guillaume, along with her French husband Eric, and their two
children – Freya and Silas – lives in
Denmark after spending ten years in France and around the world. In addition to living and learning with her
family, Mette is working on a book and a website
about sustainable consumption and living
on less. She was interviewed in Life Learning Magazine in 2007
and then wrote this follow-up Choices in 2009.
||Debbie Harbeson lives and laughs with her
family in Indiana. She planned on offering her book Okay Kids,
Time For Bedlam for a fee, but a renegade letter “r” on her
keyboard has forever doomed her to offering it up for free. An
excerpt entitled The Cardboard Box Theory was published in
Life Learning Magazine in 2005.
||Lill Hawkins began unschooling shortly after the sudden death of her eleven-year-old son. He had hated school and being away from home, as did his older brother and younger sister. Lill realized that making children spend time in a place that makes them miserable is no way to raise happy, healthy kids.
Because Lill is a writer, she began to put down on paper the – mostly – humorous aspects of being secular unschoolers in a small town in rural Maine. Now that her daughter is working on a degree in Wildlife Biology and Sustainable Agriculture and her son is pursuing an Art degree,
she has published a series of three humorous books. The Life Without a Field Guide Series contains Funny You Should Ask, Humor Me, and
Seriously? and is available on Amazon and other outlets.
Also check out her website. Her article Life Without a Field Guide was published in
Life Learning Magazine in 2016.|
||Charles D. Hayes is an Alaska
resident, now in his eighth decade of life. He has written five non-fiction books on the subject of self-education and a novel. Learn about them at Autodidactic Press
www.autodidactic.com.You can read his blogs at
His 52 Ways to Celebrate Self-University Week is part of the article
Celebrating Adult Self-Education, which was published in
Life Learning Magazine in 2002, and Teacher Inspire Thyself was published in
Jenn Head is a recovering academic who has
since embarked on a magnificent life learning adventure with her
young son. When not traveling, they are happily homesteading on
the Southern Oregon Coast. She hopes to inspire and empower
families to live more joyfully, sustainably, and simply by
requiring less and forming deeper connections with their
children as well as the Earth. Jenn is currently learning to
build sustainable houses from earth alongside her son and will
soon be further exploring her interests in Permaculture design
and practice. Among her articles for Life Learning Magazine
are Natural Learning: Seeing the Forest Despite the Trees and When
Our Path to Life Learning: A Personal Evolution From Montessori to Unschooling.
||Paul Henderson is a home educating parent living and working in Scotland. He resigned from teaching
physics in 1994 after coming to the conclusion that learning ought to be experienced in a convivial, voluntary,
and non-coercive environment. He has spent most of his working life performing music and teaching the guitar
to students from beginners to honors degree level in primary, secondary, and tertiary formal learning establishments. His articles The Learning
Sweet Spot and How to Find It and What is Successful
Learning were published in Life Learning Magazine in 2014.
review of Ken Robinson's book Creative Schools was
published in 2015.
||Anne Hodge lives in New York
State with her husband and three children. She has been a
support group organizer, workshop facilitator, speaker, and
writer on local and state levels but is really just a mom having
fun learning about the world with her kids. Her article Out of
the Box and Into the Carton? was published in Life Learning
Magazine in 2003 and Circles of Learning was published in
Kelly Hogaboom is
a writer, sewist, wife, and mother living in a semi-urban little
green coastal smudge of Washington state. She cooks, raises
kids, cats, and chickens, and spends her days joyfully living. Her articles for Life Learning Magazine
include Over-involved Parents?;
The Conversation That Never
Here Goes the Neighborhood (2011),
Reasons to Attend an Unschooling Conference (2012),
Putting Children in their Place
(2013), and Deschooling: Not an All or Nothing Experience (2016). You can read more of her writing and keep up
with her family at her website.
||Erin Hughey-Commers was
unschooled through high school in rural Virginia. She then
attended Piedmont Virginia Community College, where she was
selected as Student of the Year and named the Virginia
Centennial Scholar for being the top Virginia Community College
student in 2001. Erin graduated from the great books program at
St. John’s College in Annapolis in 2005, and has since earned a
Master’s in Education from the Curry School at the University of
Virginia. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, traveling, and
writing. Her article Homeschool Prom and Other Oxymorons was
published in Life Learning Magazine in 2014.
Melissa Johnson began homeschooling her daughters when they were small,
using Waldorf homeschooling materials. After a few battles of
will, she noticed that if she left items out from “lessons,”
they would use them as long as they were interested. A couple of
friends told her about unschooling and they were on their way.
Since then, they have also discovered and tried A local Sudbury
Valley School but both children have chosen to come back
to the unschooling way of life. Melissa
enjoys helping others understand curiosity-driven learning. She has a degree in
Elementary Education from Goucher College and
has been married to her husband David for 21 years. Her
article Immersion Education: Life Learning on a Horse Farm was
published in Life Learning Magazine in 2015.
Rachel Johnson writes poetry, children’s
stories, and narratives. She also teaches English as a second
language, tutors online, and unschools her two daughters. She
loves to read, explore Nature, and train for marathons. She lives in Kansas City, Missouri. Her
article Choosing to Participate was published in Life
Learning Magazine in 2004 and Beyond Academics in 2006. She also co-wrote
A Dialogue? for this website.
Sage Justice is a minimalist with two
storage spaces: a complicated woman of nuanced contradictions. She is in
her third decade of marriage with her BFF. When not being a beach
bum living and traveling in a broken down, old RV, she’s probably
fighting the good fight for patients' rights. She and her child live
with a rare life-threatening genetic disorder: Ehlers-Danlos syndrome
and its gang of disabling comorbidity hoodlums. She spends most of her
time managing their health and homeschooling through life learning
principles. She writes open letters to her daughter on her blog
www.sage-living.org, and is a
firm believer in gentle self-deprecation, poised authenticity, and puns
(well placed or otherwise). Her bucket list includes being a contestant
on Jeopardy, but her fear of not knowing a single answer in the form of
a question stops her from auditioning. Her articles
When Your Child Proves You Wrong and
The Over-Scheduled Family were published in 2016.
Amy Kagey is a life learning mom in Toledo, Ohio who
enjoys experiencing life and learning alongside her kids. Her
Learning With Dinosaurs was published in Life Learning
Magazine's January/February 2004 issue.
Lara Kehler is a self-described “grown up Homeschooler.” Her EZine featuring the work (poetry, stories, ideas, art and more) of self-directed learners was launched just as this article was being published in Life Learning Magazine's first issue in early 2002. She is now a mother as well as a designer, artist, and independent game developer based in Vancouver B.C. Her article
Full Circle was published in Life
Learning Magazine in 2002.
Luminara King is an educational activist, creative
learning mentor, youth “life path” coach, artist, writer, and
mother of two children who choose to not
go to school. As teacher, she witnessed how children’s creativity and
individual talents were ignored and their love of learning
corroded. Inspired by thinkers such as Sir Ken Robinson, John Holt, John
Taylor Gatto, and A.S. Neill, she is passionate in her role as an
advocate for the transformation of the current education system
of “One Size Fits All.” Her articles have been published in
Kindred Spirit Magazine, The Green Parent Magazine and on her
blog. Her article
Raising Children in a Digital Age was published in Life
Learning Magazine in 2015.
Peter Kowalke grew without schooling and now he
is a journalist and the producer of “Grown Without Schooling,” a
documentary about grown homeschoolers and the lasting influence
of home education. His Life Learning Magazine column Grown Without Schooling
featured interviews with many grown unschoolers, including
Laura Brion, Selina Hunt,
and Zoe Blowen-Ledoux.
Check out Peter's website.
||Rue Kream is living happily ever after with Jon, Dagny, and Rowan in Southeastern Massachusetts. She is a passionate advocate of unschooling and respectful parenting. Her articles have appeared in
a variety of publications, including Educational Freedom Press Newsletter and
Pandora’s Box Magazine. She is the author of the book
Parenting A Free Child: An Unschooled Life.
Her article of the same name was published in Life Learning Magazine
||Jasmine Lamb homeschooled and
attended numerous alternative schools while growing up. She
earned her bachelor’s degree at Vermont College. Besides reading and talking, her
favorite way to spend her time is at the movies. Her article Reading the Peach was published in
Life Learning Magazine in 2002.
When she wrote the article, she was working at Vermont
College as an admissions counselor and was a full-time Master’s
student studying poetry and literature.
||Jenny Lantz is an unschooling, knitting, crocheting, reading, gardening, homemaking feminist activist, and mother of three living in the Baltic Sea archipelago. She keeps busy reading and learning new stuff with her boys, cooking, running the family business, volunteering at her local second-hand shop, and finding out what else can be made instead of bought to keep her ecological footprint as small as she can. She also blogs about her unschooling life at
www.nattugglorokattguld.blogspot.fi and sells handmade products at
Her article Unschooling and Changing the World was published in
Life Learning Magazine in 2015.
Laricchia and her family live and learn joyfully in
Ontario, Canada. She loves seeing her kids living with such
intention. Choosing the best path for themselves from the rich
palate of life gives them so many opportunities to learn about
themselves: "It's not always easy, but it is incredible." Her articles
written for Life Learning Magazine include Everything I Need to Know I Learned from Video Games (2004),
I Can Read, You Know
Choices (2012). The article
Whose Goal is it Anyway?
(2006) was also published our book
Lessons from the Educational Frontier. She has
authored a number of books, including Free to
Learn and hosts a podcast about unschooling.
Marty Layne has four adult children who learned at home from k-12. She wouldn’t trade the years they spent playing in the park, at the beach, in the backyard, or in the house for anything. She wrote a book to answer people’s questions about why she chose homeschooling and started her own publishing company to publish
Learning At Home: A Mother’s Guide To Homeschooling, now in its third edition. She has also recorded a children’s music CD,
Brighten the Day – songs to celebrate the seasons. Among her articles
for Life Learning Magazine are Time to Learn:
Conversations with Adults Who Learned at Home (2003) and Play is Self-Directed Learning
(2007), which is included in our book
Lessons from the Educational Frontier. You can
learn more at her website.
Leadbetter homeschooled her daughters with her husband
Gig in Grand Junction Colorado. Her articles have also appeared in
Home Education Magazine and GWS. Her articles published in
Life Learning Magazine include
Curriculum Schmiculum: Kate and Molly Have Doubts, (2002) An
Unschooler in High School (2003), and Kate and Molly Go To College
is a writer who homeschooled her two daughters for
15 years using a unschooling/life learning approach. With her
children now grown, she continues her own studies online while
writing and traveling Canada for her husband's work. She is
currently working on a book based on her experiences and
reflections on homeschooling. Her article A History
Lesson on the Bus appeared in Life Learning Magazine in
2013 and Reading Late was published in 2015.
Lainie Liberti is a recovering branding expert, whose 18-year career once focused on creating campaigns for green/eco business, non-profits, and conscious business. In 2008, California’s economy took a turn and
she decided to “be the change” instead of a victim. She and her then nine-year-old son Miro began the process of redesigning their lives, with the dream of spending stress-free quality time together. After closing her business, and
getting rid of their possessions, the pair hit the road for a permanent adventure in mid-2009.
They continue to slowly travel around the globe, learning naturally.
Follow along and learn more about their new Project World School at Lainie’s blog.
Her article Avoiding Teen Rebellion was published in Life
Learning Magazine in 2013.
is an unschooling veteran and the author of two books:
Just 'Til I Finish This Chapter and Tips and Tricks
for Homeschooling Survival. She has completed
doctoral studies in Housing/Family Studies at VA Tech. Her work
has been published in a number of homeschooling magazines. Her
articles published in Life Learning Magazine include
For the Love of Reading
(2002) and two that were written with
her two unschooled teens: In the Blink of an Eye and
Walking a Tightrope
Claire Madgwick, her husband, and two home
educated children live in Johannesburg, South Africa. She has
been home educating for eight years; her oldest left school at
seven and her youngest has never been to school. Claire and her
daughter ran a social experiment for 365 days (January 1, 2013
to December 31, 2013). Claire's article The Importance of
Context appeared in Life Learning Magazine in
Susie Maguire is a
momma first and a traveller, writer, speaker, coach, and workshop
leader second. Her motto is “make more love” and she seeks to do
that in every aspect of her life - from raising her son to
follow his heart with love-based learning, to working with
businesses to help create more love@work and most recently
through her work with women as a one-to-one and group coach,
leader of the Wild Rumpus dance gathering, creator of the Mother
Nurture sessions, leader of the #lovebombyourlife - Epic day of
awesomeness workshops, and host of Sacred Space weekend
retreats. She believes that the most beautiful and amazing thing she has ever, or will
ever do, is to love and live alongside the beautiful being who
calls her mummy. Her article How Unschooling My Son Also Changed
Me was published in Life Learning Magazine in 2015. You can
read more at
Suzanne Malakoff and her husband are raising three
incredible kids who have always learned at home in their
community in the Pacific Northwest. She earns her living working
as a communications specialist for a non-profit research and
advocacy group focused on a clean energy future. In her spare
time, she enjoys writing, gardening, spending time with her kids
and animals, and getting outside whatever the weather. She has
published several articles and essays on a variety of topics
that include natural learning and parenting and is currently
working on pieces of fiction. Among her many essays for Life
Seeking Peace, Unlearning Literary Analysis, Filling in the Dots: What An Unschooling Family Learned From Tests, and Making Peace With War Birds.
Martin lives with her “radical unschooling” family in
the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Dayna founded the group
Radical Unschoolers New England and enjoys supporting others as
they walk the unschooling labyrinth. Her article The Unschooling
Labyrinth was published in Life Learning Magazine in 2006
and also included in the book
Life Learning: Lessons from the Educational
Matilsky is forever indebted to her parents for giving
her a free childhood. Twenty-nine years of adventures have taken
her many places, including on a cross-country bike ride where
she met her True Love, Jeff. Sarabeth and Jeff live in a
cohousing community in upstate NY, with their two boys, Ben and
Jem, who have unschooled since birth. Among the articles she has
written for Life Learning Magazine is
What is Education?, which was also published
in the book
Life Learning: Lessons from the Educational
earned an M.Div. and an M.A. in Clinical Psychology before
embarking on this life learning adventure with her
seven-year-old son, Micah, and her philosopher husband, Mark.
Her passion is exploring the intersection of gender and media,
culture, psychology, parenting and faith, especially on her
blog, Gender-Wise, at
susanmcleodharrison.wordpress.com. Her book is Saving
Women from the Church: How Jesus Mends a Divide (Barclay
Press, 2008). Her article Life Learning With Asperger's was
published in Life Learning Magazine in 2012.
Meighan, who died in January of 2014, was an “educational heretic” who believes that
mass compulsory schooling is an obsolete, counterproductive
learning system which abuses human rights and should be phased
out as soon as possible. Dr. Meighan believed that schools
should be recycled as part of a flexible learning system that is
invitational and learner-directed. Author of ten books, he was a
Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Director of
Educational Heretics Press, Director/Trustee of the Centre
for Personalised Education Trust Ltd., and formerly Special
Professor of Education at the University of Nottingham, UK.
Among his essays for Life Learning are Some Educational
Superstitions of Our Time,( 2005) An Education Fit for a Democracy, (2005) and
Restructuring Education, which was also published
in the book
Life Learning: Lessons from the Educational
||Chris Mercogliano worked with
children for thirty-five years at the Albany Free School, the
oldest inner-city alternative school in the U.S. He is the
author of Making It Up As We Go Along, the Story of the
Albany Free School, Teaching the Restless, One School’s
Remarkable No-Ritalin Approach to Helping Children Learn and
Succeed, How to Grow a School: Starting and Sustaining
Schools That Work, and In Defense of Childhood:
Protecting Kids’ Inner Wildness. His work has appeared in
newspapers and magazines around the world, and in seven
anthologies; and he has been featured on NPR’s “All Things
Considered,” CBC Radio’s “Ideas,” and many other nationally
syndicated radio shows. The father of two daughters, he lives
with his wife Betsy in Albany, New York. His article The Self
Organizing Child appeared in Life Learning Magazine in
Michalak, unschooled all her life, wrote On Expectations and
Learning for Life Learning Magazine in 2003, when she was seventeen. At the time, she wrote that she
was loathe to leave her garden, her friends (er, family
members), their beautiful home, and the tiny town of Crestone,
Colorado, nestled against 14,000 ft. peaks. College was not a
high priority at the time, but writing was. Her article Sticking
With It was also published in Life Learning Magazine in 2003.
Helen Michniewicz’s passion is to learn and inspire through curiosity and adventure. She is a corporate psychologist, wife, and mother to three girls. She runs her own consulting practice while joyfully facilitating her children's home-based self-directed learning. She has fifteen years of experience in Fortune/Global 500 companies where she’s led research on how people learn, how they perform, and how they are motivated. She uses the principles of natural learning to educate her children without school…..living and learning freely. Follow her on her blog and Facebook.
Her article Creating Curriculum the Natural Way was published in
Life Learning in 2015.
Charlie Morris and his family live in Chapel
Hill, NC. At home, he juggles the roles of home-based business
owner, writer, and unschooling, stay-at-home dad. He loves
sharing his passion for perspectives that may lead to open minds
and open hearts. Through being at home, he has had the
opportunity to ponder the less obvious aspects and impacts of
unschooling on life and society at large. He is an avid
practitioner of Tai Chi and Chi Lel and loves all outdoor
wilderness pursuits. Charlie is the author of two books,
including Voyage Home: One Family’s Experience of
Unschooling. His article Living for the Future appeared in
Life Learning Magazine in 2007.
Angelica Mortensen homeschools her two children all over the Midwestern USA – currently in Des Moines, Iowa. As she emerges from a fog of babyhood and multiple moves, she is getting back to writing regularly.
Her article Playing School was published in
Life Learning Magazine in 2015.
Lynn Marie Murphy is a teacher who has worked with Aboriginal youth in the north and youth-at-risk in Toronto, Ontario. She is involved in social justice issues, particularly those that relate to Aboriginal education and youth who are psychiatric survivors. She lives in Toronto with her partner Shawn and their three children Sabine, Simone, and Shea.
Her article Redefining Home was published in Life Learning Magazine in 2006.
Eric Nagler is a family and adult entertainer (perhaps best known as the star of the children’s television show Eric’s World
and his work with The Elephant Show), children’s recording artist, speaker, writer, and relationship counselor. Among his articles for
Life Learning Magazine is When I Was Very Little, published in our first issue in 2002.
Alan Oak is, first and foremost, husband to
Annette and stay-at-home stepdad to two unschooled children,
Kyle and Andrea. He is a passionate Dungeons and Dragons player;
a writer; and an activist for peace, unschooling, sustainable
living, and local foods. He lives in Richardson, Texas.
His article Giving Up the Gold Stars was published in Life
Learning Magazine in 2006.
Chuck Oberst is a retired engineer and a “September Scholar” living in the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina. He has five children living in various states throughout the United States.
He is a voracious reader of non-fiction with a great appetite for understanding, as guided by his imagination and curiosity. His article September Scholar was published in Life Learning Magazine in 2005.
Beverley Paine began home educating her
children, now young adults, in 1986. She’s an active and
inspirational member of
the Australian home education movement. As an author she’s
published several homeschooling books and writes fiction for
children and young adults. Her other passions include permaculture, alternative technology,
and web design. Her
essays for Life Learning Magazine include Learning Through Play
Learning Naturally at Home the
Permaculture Way (2011), and
Should Do Versus Want To Do
You can learn more about her and her work on her Educating Parent website.
Julie Persons lives on
a farm in rural Maine with her children, husband and various
pets. Her interests include unschooling, painting, photography,
gardening, reading, knitting and playing outside. Her article
Fear of the TV Beast: Unschooling -
Freedom, Trust and Letting Go was
published in Life Learning Magazine in 2007.
is Life Learning Magazine's
editor, an author, journalist, and change-maker. She and her
husband Rolf unschooled their two daughters, beginning in the
early 1970s, when she established the homeschooling movement in
Canada. She owns Life Media, which publishes Life Learning,
Natural Life, Natural Child and Child's Play
magazines. She has written thirteen
books, three of which focus on unschooling; her latest education
book is Beyond
School: Living As If School Doesn't Exist.
Among her many articles published in Life Learning Magazine are
A Life of Learning: Empowering, Trusting, Unschooling, Unschooling is
Education Inspired by Nature, Defeating Adultism,
The Dark Side of Competition,
Exploring the Assumptions About Kids and Electronic Media,
Ready for a Changing World. Visit her website.
J.H. Raichyk, Ph.D. is an author, professional
mathematician, and decision analyst with decades of applied
experience in both the insurance and retail industries, as well
as fifteen years of extensive reading and experience in
education trends as a homeschooling mother. Among her articles
published in Life Learning Magazine is Unschooling
Graduation and the Great Shell Game (2002).
||Paul Rathgeb is a writer and youth activist learning on a long stretch of road in the northwest, somewhere between Seattle and Olympia,
where he works with Olympia Community Free School.
On his weekly visits to Olympia, he occasionally stops off at an
intentional community, which was once his nest in the rural
outskirts of Washington state’s capital; it is the subject of
his article Unintentional Learning in an Intentional Community,
which was published in Life Learning Magazine in 2006. Paul plans to complete his first non-fiction book within the next year, while working to establish a media program for disenfranchised teens.
Reed is the parent of five successful home educated
college grads. She served for 14 years as Associate Dean of The
College at Brown University where she reached out to
homeschooled teens. After retiring, she began consulting with
primarily international and homeschooling families seeking to
attend college. She is the co-author, with David H. Albert, of
Really Matters (which contains essays previously
published in Life Learning Magazine. Some of those essays include
Workbooks, Parts is Parts,
and The Curriculum of Beauty.
Carlo Ricci teaches in the faculty of education’s graduate
program at Nipissing University and edits the journal JUAL. He
incorporates the spirit of unschooling, democratic and
learner-centered principles in his classes. He is the father of
two children. He says that everything of value that he has
learned, he has learned outside of formal schooling; he has
never taken a course in school connected to what he now teaches
and writes about. His personal schooling experiences as a
student and later as a teacher have inspired him to revolt
against institutional schooling, and he continues to heal from
the wounds inflicted on him by formal schooling. His articles
published in Life Learning Magazine include Always
Learning from Life (2006), Thanks for the Trust (2006), and The Value
of Unstructured Free Play (2007).
||Susan Rich Sheridan
is an artist, writer, parent, and teacher. She received her undergraduate degree in Classics and English from Harvard College and her MAT and doctorate in education from the University of Massachusetts. She has taught English and
art at the middle school, high school, and college levels. She lectures on her theory of education – Neuroconstructivism – and offers workshops on her cross-modal practice – Drawing/Writing – as well as multiple literacy strategies. Susan's books include one for parents entitled
The Scribble Hypothesis. Her article of the same name was published in
Life Learning Magazine in 2002. Visit her website.
is an activist, educator, retired
clown, and delighted unschooling mother. Her children Daniel and
Ben are responsible for the biggest growth curve in her life –
and she appreciates that! Karen lives with her partner Gord and
their boys near Winnipeg, Manitoba. She has contributed a number of articles to Life
Learning Magazine, including Shakespeare Through an
Unschooling Lens (2010). An interview with her mother about
unschooling and her grandkids, entitled
The Hardest Thing is the Unknown, was also included in the book
Life Learning: Lessons from the Educational
||Jessica Rodorigo-Dunican lives in
Connecticut where she enjoys sharing her days with her three daughters
and her husband, Robert. She is most joyful while writing, reading, or
walking outside. Her article The Evolution of a Life Learner was published in Life Learning Magazine in 2004.
||Ellen Rowland is an American
writer living abroad with her family. She writes about culture, family, things that are good for the planet, and life without school. A lover of all things edible, she can usually be found in the kitchen when she’s not writing or creatively encouraging her children’s interests.
Follow her family’s adventures at
www.amuddylife.com. Among her articles for Life Learning Magazine are
Reflections on a Day Dreamer (2012); The Detective and the
Navigator (2014; Working the Omelet (2013),
and Staying Afloat: Creating Unschooling Support in an Isolated Situation (2015).
Kenza Saadi holds a BA from Cornell University and a PhD from Columbia University. She has spent ten years working for the International Committee of the Red Cross in war zones. An accomplished photographer and author of various biographical accounts and poems, she now lives in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, with her seven-year-old son who is learning from life with joy. Her photography website is
CaramelCaramelo. Her article
Abstract Thinking was published in Life Learning
Magazine in 2016 and
Free Learning - The First Months was published in 2017.
Kelly Sage is a certified facilitator with Women
Writing for (a) Change and the Young Women Writing for (a) Change
Coordinator. She facilitates adult, young women, and homeschool writing
circles. In her former life, she was a middle and high school English
teacher. She writes about homeschooling and living with young children
on her blog,
Sagetribe. Her article How to Encourage Our Children to Write was published in Life Learning Magazine in 2017.
Nathanael Schildbach lives and learns in western
Massachusetts with his wife, children, dog, cat, and some
racing pigeons that are supposed to be breeding but haven’t got
around to it yet. His essays for Life Learning Magazine
include World History, Cricket, and the Eye of the Beholder, The Importance of
Leaping Before You Look (2008), Knowledge is Power: An
Unschooling Pet Peeve (2012), and What We Should Know
Sara Schmidt is a full-time writer, life learning mom, artist, wife, and activist from
Missouri. Before homeschooling her sister and unschooling her daughter, Sara taught in various capacities, from a European at-risk program and college support services to American Red Cross service corps. She has written for I'm Unschooled. Yes, I Can Write, Daily Kos, the Institute for Democratic Education in America and dozens of other publications. She also writes paranormal fiction. Sara is inspired by nonconformists, guerrilla learning, autodidacts, peaceful revolution, living outside the box, and above all, kids.
Visit her website.
Her articles for Life Learning Magazine are Because I Said So
(2013) and Unschoolers Are at Ease with All Ages
Christy Severn-Martinez is
first and foremost a mom, wife, sister, and daughter. She runs a
small business from her home, works
part-time out of the home, and loves to learn about life all over
again with her daughter. She lives in Tucson, Arizona with her
husband, daughter, and a multitude of pets. Her articles
for Life Learning Magazine include Saving Brianna (2011),
How Much Math is Enough? (2011), and Screen Time
Aline Shaw is wife to Robert, and mother to 4 children,
all of whom learned at home. The family has also fostered over 12 children since 1996. One foster son with special needs has resided with them since 1998. Her articles
and The Art of Educational Illusions were both published in Life Learning
Magazine in 2004.
Theresa Shea is the mother of three unschooled
children. Her poetry and non-fiction have appeared in several
magazines and anthologies in Canada. Her first novel The Unfinished Child deals with the
complex moral issues surrounding contemporary conception and
birth technologies. An amateur violinist, Theresa spends much of
her time trying to get her children to do their music practice. She lives in Edmonton, Alberta. Her article
Am I Giving Them Enough? When Unschooling Feels Like Unparenting was published in
Life Learning in 2008 and From Skipping School to Choosing School
appeared in 2015.
Susannah Sheffer edited John Holt's Growing Without
Schooling magazine for many years. Her books include
Writing Because We Love To: Homeschoolers at Work and
of Self: Listening to Homeschooled Adolescent Girls. She enjoys
mentoring young writers and is on the staff at North Star, a
program for unschooled teens. Among her articles published in
Life Learning Magazine are Learning to Write in Freedom,
which appeared in the first issue, March/April 2002, and Writing
as Sanctuary, in 2014. You can
learn more about Susannah and her writing at her website.
Anna Simmonds (Hoffstrom) is a life learner living in the UK with her husband. Until the age of fifteen, she went to public school, when she discovered homeschooling and then life learning/unschooling.
Among her articles for Life Learning Magazine are How Unschoolers Get Over Math
(2011), We Are The Web
(2013), and Jack-of-all-Trades Learning
Sinclair is the mother of two life learning girls.
After growing up in Germany where school is mandatory, she now
lives with her Canadian husband, her children, and her mother on
an acreage near Calgary, Alberta with lots of cats, a dog and
chickens. Her children have taught her more about people than
five years of psychology at university did. Her article Life Learning for a Child with Sensory Integration Challenges was published in Life Learning Magazine in 2003.
Spang and her husband Michael unschool their three sons
in West Shokan, N.Y. She is a certified teacher who has worked
in public schools and as a private tutor. She now lives and
learns at home with her family, cats, dog, chickens, fiber
rabbits and vegetable gardens.
Her essay The Flow of Self-Directed Learning was published in
Life Learning Magazine in 2003 and was also included in the book
Life Learning: Lessons from the Educational
Jim Strickland lives in Everett, Washington with his wife
and three children. He is a community-based educator in nearby
Marysville where he works to promote non-coercive learning and the
development of true learning communities. Jim invites response from
readers who are interested in joining the conversation on integrating
learning with the rest of our lives. He can be reached at
One of his contributions to Life Learning Magazine was
A Week in the Life of an Unschooled Teen.
Wayne Swanson is originally from New York, but
found the love of his life and made a home with his family in
Northern Maryland. Besides being a husband and father, he is an
avid motorsports enthusiast and participant. When he’s not
trying to teach his kids the three R’s (Responsibility, Respect
and Racing), he spends his time learning from them about life. His article Yesterday was published in
Magazine in 2006.
Swidler lives in Philadelphia with her husband and
their daughter who has never been to school. She juggles
spending time with her family, being part of an anarchist
bookstore collective, seeking out community and teaching history
at Goddard College. Her essay Culture and Community was
published in Life Learning Magazine in 2008 and also
included in the book
Life Learning: Lessons from the Educational
Frontier and the article Life Learning History was published in
lives and learns with her family in Southern California. She has had a number of essays
published in Life Learning Magazine, including Low Marks for
Good Grades (2007), and Achieving Full Personhood
||John Taylor Gatto
was New York State Teacher of the Year prior to resigning from teaching because he
didn’t want to do any more harm to children. He is the author of
the best-selling Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of
Compulsory Schooling, The Underground History of American
Education, and Weapons of Mass Instruction. Prior
to a recent serious stroke, he was a
popular speaker at homeschooling conferences around the world. Among Gatto's articles published in Life
Learning are Schools do Violence to Children in Society (in
the first issue, March 2002), The Hall of Mirrors
The Curriculum of Play
From the Herd (2005), Don't Worry About College
(2008), Nurturing Everyday Genius
What Really Matters (2006), and We Need Experience More Than We Need Algebra
||Holly Tellander is a former teacher turned
life learner with two children aged six and eight. Her family loves
hiking, camping, cooking, foraging, swimming, and all things Nature. You
can read more about her adventures and ideas on
blog. Her article “Un-Sanity" – Five Daily Practices of Unstressed Unschoolers was published in Life Learning Magazine in 2015.
||Alan Thomas is a developmental psychologist
with a particular interest in informal and conversational
learning. He has been a teacher at all levels, from primary school through to university in the UK, Holland, Spain and Australia. For many years, he has been a Visiting Fellow at the Institute of Education, University of London, researching home education, especially informal/autonomous/unschooling/natural learning. He has written three books and worked with hundreds of home education families in the UK, Australia, and Ireland. His articles for Life Learning Magazine include
Learning Informally (2007) and Unschoolers Learn to Read Without Being Taught (2009).
||Penny Tuggle and her husband
have mostly unschooled their children for more than fourteen
years. She hopes that one day her children will turn Star Wars:
Episode IV into a fully staged ballet. Her article
Homeschooling as Redemption was published in Life Learning
Magazine in 2012.
is an environmental anthropologist, writer, and unschooler. She lives aboard a sailing boat with her husband and two daughters, and blogs about
their life at http://carinaofdevon.wordpress.com. Her article about unschooling her
two daughters Learning from Dolphins: Unschooling at Sea was published in Life Learning Magazine’s
September/October 2014 issue and Lessons from my Inuit Teachers was published in 2015.
Jane Van Benthusen
led the Free Range Learners unschooling Support group, which is a
special interest group within the
L.E.A.R.N. (Let Education Always Remain Natural)
secular homeschooling support group in Kansas City, Missouri. Her article
Unschooled Teens Learning on the Job was published in Life Learning Magazine in 2004.
She also co-wrote
Free Range Learning: A Dialogue.
Kim Weaver is an unschooling parent of Zoey and Luke, living in Victoria, BC. She and her partner believe that children will find their passions and take flight when given the space to do so. She is finding her own wings through writing.
Her article Re-remembering (not to burden our unschooled kids with our expectations) was published in Life Learning Magazine in 2003.
Laura Grace Weldon's essays and poetry have been published in many magazines, including Christian Science Monitor, The Mother, Atlanta Review, and Geez. She's the author of
the book Free Range Learning: How Homeschooling Changes Everything. She lives on Bit of Earth Farm with her family, who ever cheerfully suggest she take her singing outdoors where the cows and chickens might enjoy it. Her articles for
Life Learning Magazine have included Expanding The “10,000 Hour” Rule; Climb, Swing and Snuggle: Reading Readiness Has to Do with the Whole Body;
The Drive to Discover (2013); and Where Fascination Leads (2013).
You can visit Laura online and learn about her book at her website.
Wessling is a writer and the homeschooling mom of two children.
She writes fiction and articles about parenting, gifted
children, and education. She is the author of the book
From School to Homeschool. Her article Re-educating the Inner Reluctant Homeschooler
was published in Life Learning Magazine in 2012 and
Life Learning in the Internet Age
2013. You can visit her website for more writing and to learn about her book.
Whitehead is a musician and writer, and the mother of three grown unschooled daughters.
She lives with her husband in the Gulf Islands of BC. Lael is the
author of A
Path of Their Own: Helping Children to Educate Themselves. Among the
essays she has had published in Life Learning Magazine are
Children and Power
(2006), which is also included in the book
Life Learning: Lessons from the Educational Frontier, and Don't Praise; Celebrate
Visit her website.
||Susan Wight is a homeschooling
mother, the coordinator of the Home Education Network in
Australia, editor of Otherways Magazine, and co-author
of the book Tales Out of School. She’s big on informing
and empowering new home educators but critical of anyone who
sets themselves up as a home education guru.
Among the articles she has written for Life Learning
Magazine are The Joy of a Reading Childhood, which
appeared in 2012 and Liberate Your
Education: Unschooling Is Not One-Size-Fits-All in 2013.
Sarah Wilkinson lives in the UK with her husband and son. Having taught in the education system for over ten years, she now focuses on vocal and performing arts coaching and writing. She is a passionate promoter of self-directed learning and writes her own
blog for her son, Miles.
Let Them Sing was published in Life Learning Magazine
Stephanie Williamson is a
modern languages student in Bath, UK with the ambition of
becoming a writer/journalist. She homeschooled through A Level
after reading Grace Llewelyn's The Teenage Liberation
Handbook and feeling like an explosion had just taken place
inside her head. She is passionate about alternative education
and learning, gender equality, and literature and likes to rant
about her ideas on her blog
www.typewritered.com. She also contributes to the Smart
Girls Group. When she is not writing or reading, she can be found
spending time with her family and friends in South East England
and Northern France. Her article
Age Segregation and Learning was published in Life
Learning Magazine in 2014 and Reading for Pleasure versus
Reading for School was published in 2015.
Theresa Willingham is a
Florida-based writer who, along with her husband Steve, unschooled their three children. She has written for
a variety of periodicals and websites. Her first book The Food Allergy Field Guide: A Lifestyle Manual for Families (Savory Palate Press) was published in 2000. More recently, she is co-author of the book Makerspaces in Libraries, for the series Library Technology Essentials (Rowman and Littlefield, 2015). She is also the Regional Director for FIRST STEM education programs in Central Florida, and a creative partner at EurekaFactory.NET, which specializes in the development of creative spaces and programming in public libraries and other institutions. She contributed What's Right With
Being Wrong (2002), Home Learning Walden-Style (2002), and The Language of
Learning (2003) to Life Learning Magazine.
||Jeanne Yardley lives with her
husband and family in a converted schoolhouse near Cambridge,
Ontario. Now that her two children, aged 12 and 16, have chosen
to explore the school world after seven years of unschooling,
Jeanne is keeping the life learning torch burning by pursuing
her interests in writing, pottery, and improvements to home and
health. Her articles published in Life Learning Magazine
Apples and Oranges: An Intergenerational Dialogue about Competition and Learning
(with Colleen Bagg) (2010); It's About Time; and Did Einstein’s Mommy Worry?,
which is also included in the book
Life Learning: Lessons from the Educational
Patricia Zaballos is a homeschooling mother of three
who lives in Northern California. Once upon a time, she was an
elementary school teacher, which has been as much hindrance as
help in her life as a homeschooler. For many years, she
has facilitated writing workshops for homeschoolers. She
has also written a book on
nurturing the voices of homeschooled writers. Her article How Do Kids
Really Learn to Write? was published in Life Learning
Magazine in 2012. You can learn more
about Patricia and her book at her website.
Nathalie Zur Nedden left her home in Montréal, Québec
and quit school at the age of 13. She has been learning ever
since, both through life experiences, including world travel and
university. Her Ph.D. dissertation at OISE/UT was the life
history of Life Learning Magazine editor and
unschooling / life learning advocate Wendy Priesnitz. Among
the articles she has written for Life Learning Magazine
are Home-Based Learning Inspiration From the Mocha Moms (2006)
and Learning to Build (2006).
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