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The following is a selection of the many inspirational essays about life learning (also known as self-directed learning or various types of unschooling) from Life Learning Magazine since it began in 2002. The article links are organized under the following topic categories:
 
Definitions + Reading/Writing + Math + History + Science + Arts + Teens + Learning Without School + Socialization + Play + Deschooling + Trust + Special Needs + Technology + Power/Freedom + Why? + Curriculum? + Humor + Adult Life Learning + Books


defining unschooling

Defining Life Learning

The Words We Use: Living as if School Doesn't Exist by Wendy Priesnitz

Life Learning Is Audacious Learning by Beatrice Ekwa Ekoko

Understanding Life Learning by Wendy Priesnitz

Free-Range Learning: A Dialogue by Rachel Johnson and Jane Van Benthusen

Taking Possession of Our Lives and Learning by Wendy Priesnitz

What You See May Not Be What You Get by Jan Fortune-Wood

Life Learning is About Process Over Content by Wendy Priesnitz

Always Learning from Life by Carlo Ricci

Explaining Home-Based Education by Marty Layne

Coercion, Compulsory Attendance, and Adultism by Wendy Priesnitz

Jack-of-all-Trades Learning by Anna Simmonds

Compulsory Self-Directed Learning? by Wendy Priesnitz

The Language We Use by Idzie Desmarais

No Such Thing As Life Learning Failure by Wendy Priesnitz

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Unschooling Reading

Learning to Read and Write

The Detective & the Navigator: How They Learned to Read and Write by Ellen Rowland

Reading With Grace by Becca Challman

Reading Aloud Together by Kate Greene

Eye-Opener: Changing Perspective on the Importance of Reading by Pauline Mary Curley

Life Learners Learn to Read Without Being Taught by Alan Thomas and Harriet Pattison

Unlearning Literary Analysis by Suzanne Malakoff

Writing as Sanctuary by Susannah Sheffer

How do Kids Really Learn to Write? by Patricia Zaballos

Reading for Pleasure versus Reading for School by Stephanie Williamson

Reading Late by Denise Leduc

Alphabet Soup by Rebecca Atherton

Twelve Reasons to Read Aloud to Your Children by Cathy Cuthbert

Acquiring Reading by M.H. Furgason

Journaling by Wendy Priesnitz

Learning to Write in Freedom by Susannah Sheffer

For the Love of Reading by Ann Lloyd

The Importance of Scribbles by Susan Rich Sheridan

I Can Read, You Know by Pam Laricchia

Never Too Late to Learn to Read by Jan Fortune-Wood

How to Encourage Our Children to Write by Kelly Sage

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Unschooling Math

Learning Math

One and a Quarter Pizzas: A Life Learning Math Adventure by Holly Graff

Math in the Real World by Rebecca McClure

Zen and the Art of Life Learning Math by Rachel Gathercole

How Life Learners Can Get Over Math by Anna Hoffstrom

Some Educational Superstitions of our Time by Roland Meighan

Low Marks For Good Grades by Tammy Takahashi

Algebra for the Six-Year-Old by Tracy Aitken

Graduation and the Great Shell Game by J.H. Raichyk

How Much Math is Enough? by Christy Severn-Martinez

Workbooks by David H. Albert

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Unschooling History

Learning History

Life Learning History by Eva Swidler

World History, Cricket, and the Eye of the Beholder by Nathanael Schildbach

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Unschooling Science

Learning Science

Life Learning Science by Wendy Priesnitz

Natural Fields of Vision by Robbie Hanna Anderman

How to Lose a Sense of Wonder by Debra Elramey

Living and Learning Science by Sidne Baglini

Learning Love of the Natural World by Beatrice Ekwa Ekoko

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Learning Music

Learning Music and the Arts

When I Was Very Little by Eric Nagler

Sticking With It by Katherine Michalak

Supporting the Battle by Melony Beens

Stickers by David H. Albert

Can Creativity be Taught? by Judy Alkema and Leonie Overbeek

Let Them Sing by Sarah Wilkinson

A Unique Education by Ben Riley

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Unschooling Teens

By and About Teens and Young Adults

Unschooled Teens Learning on the Job by Jane Van Benthusen

The Life Learning Journey: Grown-Up Unschoolers by Wendy Priesnitz

Time to Learn: Conversations with Adult Life Learners by Marty Layne

From Skipping School to Choosing School by Theresa Shea

Avoiding Teen Rebellion by Lainie Liberti

Interview with Grown Life Learners Idzie Desmarais by Camelia Jula

The Trouble With Potential by Lindsey Muscato

China Walks on the Moon: An Life Learned Teen Tries School by Bonnie Silva

Life Learning is Letting Go of the Fear by Carla Martinez

Life Learners Prospering in the Real World by Gaye Chicoine

Ready for a Changing World by Wendy Priesnitz

Interview with Grown Life Learner André Stern by Edith Chabot-Laflamme

College Stories by Susan Gaissert

I Liked It! A Grown Life Learner Writes by Kate Fridkis

On Expectations About Learning by Katherine Michalak

Daring to Drop Out by Monica Chen

To Learn In My Own Way: Rising Up From School to Life Learning by Laura E. Coldwell

A Week in the Life of an Life Learned Teen by Jim Strickland

Curriculum Schmiculum by Ann Leadbetter

A Life Learner in High School by Ann Leadbetter

Kate & Molly Go To College (After Life Learning) by Ann Leadbetter

Don't Worry About College by John Taylor Gatto

A Teen Learns to Balance Guiding Her Learning With Being Guided by Katharine Michalak

When Life Learned Kids Grow Up by Deborah Dyson

Life Learner Prom and Other Oxymorons by Erin Hughey-Commers

A Life Learning Mom Makes Peace With War Birds by Suzanne Malakoff

Tips from a New Teenaged Life Learner by Jeff Maxim

The Value of Knowledge: A Grown Life Learner on Why Aaron Swartz Mattered by Lauren Wales

A Life Learner's Path to College by Karen Hollis

Going to College After Life Learning...If You Need To by J.L. Kauffman

Attachment Parenting Our Adolescent Life Learning Children by Laurie A. Couture

Circles of Learning: Creating a Teen Discussion Group by Anne E. Hodge

Self-Education Comes Full Circle by Lara Kehler

Reading the Peach by Jasmine Lamb

The House That Heather Built by Deb Baker

The Necessity of Shakespeare by Idzie Desmarais

Mastering my Education by Zoë Dalton

Respect for Amateurs by Professionals by Kate Greene

What are Your Plans for the Future? by Suzanne Malakoff

A Unique Education by Ben Riley

Don't Worry About College by John Taylor Gatto

- Grown Without Schooling: profiles of adult life learners

- Ilana Ofgang, jazz musician, age 24 by Peter Kowalke

- Laura Brion, musician, urban agriculturalist, age 24 by Peter Kowalke

- Brian Walton, librarian, age 27 by Peter Kowalke

- Selina Hunt, industrial designer, age 26 by Peter Kowalke

- Zoe Blowen-Ledoux, translation business owner, age 26 by Peter Kowalke

- Ben Kniaz, college admissions officer, age 23 by Peter Kowalke

- Sarah Smith Seris, non-profit network administrator, age 28 by Peter Kowalke

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life learning

Learning Without School: What Life Learning Looks Like

Learning Informally by Alan Thomas

Learning Through Storytelling by Regina Cassidy

Happytown by Rachel Gathercole

Place-Based Education by Wendy Priesnitz

Seeking Peace by Suzanne Malakoff

Of Swimming and Schooling by Rachel Gathercole

Where Fascination Leads by Laura Grace Weldon

The Whole World is a Learning Community by Wendy Priesnitz

Spaces for Learning? by Wendy Priesnitz

Working Hard Like Peopleguys by Jennifer Casey

Learning, Without Any Embarrassing Side Effects by Ralph Hogaboom

The Art of Inspiration: The Role Parents Play in Life Learning by Wendy Priesnitz

Cooking With What's in the Bag: A CSA Perspective on Life Learning by Carrie Pomeroy

Working on the Omelet: Thoughts on Cooking and Life Learning by Ellen Rowland

Taking Risks and Breaking Rules by Wendy Priesnitz

What Do Life Learners Do All Day? Nine Ways to Facilitate Your Child's Learning by Hope Nilges

Motivation for Learning by Wendy Priesnitz

The Flow of Self-Directed Learning by Amy Spang

Immersion Education: Life Learning on a Horse Farm by Melissa Johnson

Filling in the Dots: A Life Learned Child Learns About Tests by Suzanne Malakoff

Protecting the Spark of Curiosity by Wendy Priesnitz

The Building Blocks of an Autonomous Learning Environment by Jan Fortune-Wood

Learning Naturally at Home the Permaculture Way by Beverley Paine

Make It & Mend It: Real Life Learning Opportunities by Wendy Priesnitz

Shakespeare Through an Life Learning Lens by Karen Ridd

Supporting Children to Live and Learn Without Coercion by Jan Fortune-Wood

Learning From a Mentor by Wendy Priesnitz

The Myth of Experts by Jan Fortune-Wood

The Drive to Discover by Laura Grace Weldon

Curiosity: Honoring, Encouraging, and Satisfying It by Wendy Priesnitz

Unintentional Learning in an Intentional Community by Paul Rathgeb

“Un-Sanity" – Five Daily Practices of Unstressed Life Learners by Holly Tellander

A Toy-Free Learning Experiment by Saira Siddiqui

Lazy Learning by Wendy Priesnitz

Playing School by Angelica Mortensen

Learning from Dolphins: Life Learning at Sea by Martina Tyrrell

Flexi Schooling by Katrin Bain

Parenting With Abundance, Not Scarcity by Lori Pickert

Should Do Versus Want To Do by Beverley Paine

I Believe in Libraries by Cara Barlow

How our Life Learning Day Flows by Priya Desikan

Learning in the Real World by Wendy Priesnitz

Growing Wild by Kerry Estey Keith

Life Learning in Colombia by Erwin Fabián Garcia Lopez and Alejandra Jaramillo

A Life Learning Landscape by Danielle Conger

Yesterday by Wayne Swanson

Beyond Academics by Rachel J. Johnson

Experiential Learning is Children's Work by Wendy Priesnitz

A Grandparent's Perspective on Life Learning by Karen Ridd

Herding Cats? By Jan Fortune-Wood

What's Right With Being Wrong? by Theresa Willingham

Risking to Learn by Wendy Priesnitz

Home Learning Walden-Style by Theresa Willingham

Deep Learning by Freya Dawson

Life Learning While Making a Living by Dawn Falbe

Doing Their Best, Naturally by Rachel Gathercole

Summer of Discovery by Leslie Clark

Spinoffs, Not Outcomes by Jan Fortune Wood

The Big Questions by Robyn Coburn

Mindful Learning and Parenting by Wendy Priesnitz

The Wacky, Wonderful World of "Unpreschooling" by Celeste Land

Learning With Dinosaurs by Amy Kagey

The Over-Scheduled Family by Sage Justice

Timetabling Autonomy? by Jan Fortune-Wood

Education Inspired by Nature by Wendy Priesnitz

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unschooling socialization

Socialization

What About Socialization? by Theresa DeMario

Life Learning Socialization: At Ease With All Ages by Sara Schmidt

Community Engagement and Learning Via Volunteering and Activism

When You Life Learn, You Don’t “Unparticipate” - Community Engagement and the Value of Different Ideas by Idzie Desmarais

Natural Learning and Participation: Seeing the Forest Despite the Trees by Jennifer Head

Does Well in Small Groups by Sandy Lubert

Redefining Home by Lynn Marie Murphy

What is Socialization and What Kind do we Want for our Kids? by Wendy Priesnitz

Life Learning and Changing the World by Jenny Lantz

Talking to Learn by Jan Fortune-Wood

Life Learning in a Multigenerational Home by Christina Nichols

Life Learning Culture & Community by Eva Swidler

On Socialization by Angela Fitzgerald

The Dark Side of Competition by Wendy Priesnitz

Here Goes the Neighborhood by Kelly Hogaboom

Socializing Remy by David H. Albert

Apples and Oranges: An Intergenerational Dialogue about Competition and Learning by Colleen Bagg and Jeanne Yardley

Reasons to Attend a Life Learning Conference by Kelly Hogaboom

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Unschooling and Play

Learning and Play

Play is Self-Directed Learning by Marty Layne

Learning Through Play by Beverley Paine

The Value of Spontaneous Play by Wendy Priesnitz

The Curriculum of Play by John Taylor Gatto

Life Learning and the Value of Unstructured Free Play by Carlo Ricci

Nurturing Creativity by Wendy Priesnitz

Worst Case Scenario: Parenting From Strength, Not Fear by Angela Doll Carlson

Benefits of Self-Directed Time by Wendy Priesnitz

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Deschooling

Deschooling Ourselves

For the Sake of Our Children by Léandre Bergeron

The Art of Educational Illusions by Aline Shaw

Re-remembering: Not to Burden Our Kids With Our Expectations by Kim Weaver

Bicycles, Shoelaces, and ABCs by Liadhan Bell

Decompression Time by Greg Reisser

Conquering Unschooling Fear by Katherine Jones-Greene

A Personal Evolution From Montessori to Life Learning by Jennifer Head

Re-educating the Inner Reluctant Life Learner by Suki Wessling

Giving Up the Gold Stars and Deschooling Ourselves by Alan Oak

Whispers: A Journey to Life Learning by Michelle Conaway

How Unschooling My Son Also Changed Me by Susie Maguire

Being the Life Learning Mother My Child Needs by Sarah E. Parent

Off the Beaten Path by Teresa Wiedrick

First Day of School: A Mom's Journey from School to Life Learning by Sacha Moore

Notes from our Deschooling Process by Rosie Sherry

Staying Afloat: Creating Life Learning Support in an Isolated Situation by Ellen Rowland

Putting Children in their Place by Kelly Hogaboom

In the Meantime: The Process of Living by Consent by Jan Fortune Wood

Life Learning Changes Our View of Success by Wendy Priesnitz

Take the Non-Linear Path to Learning by Amy Milstein

Deschooling a Parent by Darrin Dubowsky

Deschooling: Not an All-or-Nothing Experience by Kelly Hogaboom

What We Learned About Learning While Home Educating by Ross Mountney

Are There Holes in Their Education? by Sue Truscott

The Evolution of a Life Learner by Jessica Rodorigo-Dunican

The Winding Road to Educating My Kids by Leslie Clark

Limited by "Likes" by Naomi Fisher

Connections Are the Solution to Life and Learning by Wendy Priesnitz

When Your Life Learning Child Proves You Wrong by Sage Justice

Free Learning - The First Months by Kenza Saadi

The Guilty Life Learner by Jerritt Dayhoff

It's Not Important What School Reformers Think by Wendy Priesnitz

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Unschooling Trust

Trusting Children and Ourselves

Fear of the TV Beast: Freedom, Trust, and Letting Go by Julie Persons

Choices by Pam Laricchia

When Unschooling Feels Like Unparenting by Theresa Shea

Liberate Your Education: Unschooling Isn't One-Size-Fits-All by Susan Wight

Curriculum Schmiculum by Ann Leadbetter

Life Learning is About Process Over Content by Wendy Priesnitz

Unschooling Success by Lehla Eldridge-Rogers

The Many Subtle Faces of Authority by Marion Cohen

Children Are Only Human by Jan Fortune-Wood

How Do They Know That? (and why do we need to know?) by Wendy Priesnitz

Thanks for the Trust by Carlo Ricci

What I Learned in One Day at Kindergarten by Christine Williams

Guidance, Not Control by Wendy Priesnitz

The Ladder of Doubts by Marnie Black

Don't Let Your Children Learn! by Wendy Priesnitz

Visual Thinking Strategies by Gina Cassidy

Don't Praise; Celebrate by Lael Whitehead

Doing Our Best (When We Want To) by Wendy Priesnitz

The Kindest Mother in the World by Sheila Baranoski

Finding Success - Life Learning Children Can Define it on Their Own by Wendy Priesnitz

The Principle of Productive Failure by Wendy Priesnitz

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special needs

Life Learning With Special Needs

Life Learning With Asperger's by Susan McLeod-Harrison

Life Learning Kids With Chronic Illness by Katie Frampton

Mental Disorder or Survival Mechanism? by Enrico Gnaulati

The Right to be Odd by Jan Fortune Wood

Saving Brianna by Christy Severn-Martinez

Life Learning for a Child with Sensory Integration Challenges by Isa Sinclair

Focusing on Life, Not School by Simone Banks

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technology and unschooling

Technology

Everything I Need to Know I Learned From Video Games by Pamela Laricchia

Raising Children in a Digital Age by Luminara King

Unschooling Digital Natives by Wendy Priesnitz

A Lifestyle of Choice, and the Attraction of Video Games by Sara Norman-Politinsky

Life Learning in the Internet Age by Suki Wessling

Exploring the Assumptions About Kids and Electronic Media by Wendy Priesnitz

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unschooling freedom

Children and Power / Freedom

Power to Control by Wendy Priesnitz

Whose Goal is it Anyway? by Pam Laricchia

Rules vs. Principles by Danielle Conger

Principles Not Rules by Robyn Coburn

Learning and Living Without Schooling & Coercion by Jan Fortune Wood

Children and Power by Lael Whitehead

Freedom or Control: Who Decides? by Wendy Priesnitz

Kids and the Right to Vote by Deb Lewis

Living by Consent: The Life Learning Mystery Tour by Jan Fortune-Wood

Dabbling, Digging Deep, and Quitting by Lyla Wolfenstein

Choosing to Participate by Rachel Johnson

Rules in a Life Learning Family by Wendy Priesnitz

The $120 Swim Lesson: Taking Lessons or Quitting by Judy Arnall

Not Turning Our Children Into Products of Our Philosophy by Jan Fortune-Wood

When a Child Wants to Go to School by Mette Guillaume

What Fear Does by Wendy Priesnitz

Defeating Adultism by Wendy Priesnitz

Because I Said So - Adult Privilege and a Society Against Children by Sara Schmidt

The Hand That Rocks the Cradle Rocks the Boat by Wendy Priesnitz

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why unschool

Why Choose Life Learning

Blooming Beauties by Aline Shaw

Life Learning Helps Children Achieve Full Personhood by Tammy Takahashi

No Need for Training Wheels by Cheryl Bier

What is Successful Learning? by Paul Henderson

Reflections on a Daydreamer by Ellen Rowland

Free School or No School? by Gea D’Marea Bassett

Living for the Future: And Why I'm Glad My Family is Life Learning by Charles Morris

An Education Fit for a Democracy by Roland Meighan

Life Learning Lets Kids Control Their Own Minds and Environment by Wendy Priesnitz

The Self-Organizing Child by Chris Mercogliano

Benefits of Self-Directed Time by Wendy Priesnitz

The Learning Sweet Spot and How to Find It by Paul Henderson

Fostering a Child's Unique Gifts by Laura Grace Weldon

Cherries in Winter: Monocropping People for an Industrialized World by Gina Cassidy

Homeschooling as Redemption by Penny Tuggle

Secondary School’s Damaging Priority Paradigm by Tirzah Duncan

The Benefits of Boredom by Wendy Priesnitz

Restructuring Education by Roland Meighan

The Educator's Secret and Modern Stupidity by Daniel Grego

The Educator’s Dilemma and the Two Big Lies by Daniel Grego

The Educator's Folly and the Shadow of the Future by Daniel Grego

Individuality: The Dangers by Laura Schuerwegen

Abstract Thinking by Kenza Saadi

Scaling Up Life Learning by Wendy Priesnitz

Explaining Unschooling to Skeptics by Dola Dasgupta

I Want To Be With My Children by Heidi Haghighi

Whatever We Want by Janet LoSole

Willing to Try: Learning Without Fear of Shame by Wendy Priesnitz

Acts of Enclosure by David H. Albert

The Average Giraffe by David H Albert

The Tenth Intelligence by David H. Albert

Feinting with Damn Praise by David H. Albert

Parts is Parts by David H. Albert & Joyce Reed

Healing Trauma and School Disease by David H. Albert and Joyce Reid

Anarchy in Education? Life Learners Creating Change by Wendy Priesnitz

Nurturing Everyday Genius by John Taylor Gatto

We Need Experience More Than We Need Algebra by John Taylor Gatto

Breaking from the Herd by John Taylor Gatto

The Hall of Mirrors by John Taylor Gatto

What Really Matters? by John Taylor Gatto

Schools do Violence to Children...and Society by John Taylor Gatto

Knowledge & the Cult of Experts by Wendy Priesnitz

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curriculum

Curriculum?

What We Should Know by Nathanael Schildbach

A Provisional Curriculum for When Walking is Taught at School by Dave Butler

The Sky is Blue Except When It's Not: The Essential Knowledge Debate by Laura Schuerwegen

Curriculum Schmiculum by Ann Leadbetter

Knowledge is Power: A Life Learning Pet Peeve by Nathanael Schildbach

Creating Curriculum the Natural Way by Helen Michniewicz

How Do They Know That? (and why do we need to know?) by Wendy Priesnitz

The Curriculum of Beauty by David H. Albert & Joyce Reed

The Curriculum of Play by John Taylor Gatto

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unschooling humor

Life Learning Humor

A Provisional Curriculum for When Walking is Taught at School by Dave Butler

Algebra for the Six-Year-Old by Tracy Aitken

The Dinner Party by Norma Curry

Life Without a Field Guide by Lill Hawkins

The Cardboard Box Theory [of home education] by Debbie Harbeson

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adult learning

Adult Learning

Not Just for Children: Reframing Life Learning to Include Adults by Wendy Priesnitz

Learning to Build by Nathalie Zur Nedden

Teacher, Inspire Thyself: Self-Education and Inspiration by Charles D. Hayes

September Scholar by Chuck Oberst

How to Become an Elder by Renee Fuller

Learning by Doing: Lessons from my Inuit Teachers by Martina Tyrrell

Celebrating Adult Self-Education by Wendy Priesnitz and Charles D. Hayes

Homeschooling My MFA by Patricia Zaballos

Discovering the Importance of Life Learning as Adults by Valerie Jocums

Life Learning Languages by David Nance

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unschooling books

About Books

Creative Schools: A Commentary on Sir Ken Robinson's New Book by Paul Henderson

I Believe in Libraries by Cara Barlow

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Wendy Priesnitz

Editor Wendy Priesnitz

Interview with Life Learning Editor Wendy Priesnitz by Sandra Rakovac

A Life of Learning: Empowering and Trusting Children by Wendy Priesnitz

Learning from John Holt by Wendy Priesnitz

A Conversation with Pat Farenga about John Holt by Wendy Priesnitz

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