Unschooling Book List

Sometimes a simple booklist is needed for a parent interested in unschooling.  Some I've read long ago, others I've discovered more recently.

"How does unschooling work? There are many ways families can optimize natural learning in their lives, and find joy and laughter along with it. New unschoolers have had the same questions over the years, and experienced unschoolers go through some similar stages of nervous doubts. This book addresses and summarizes dozens of concerns and puzzlements about whether and how children can learn without schooling."

Free to Learn: Five ideas for a joyful unschooling life by Pam Laricchia, 2012

"Thinking about homeschooling? Curious about unschooling? Walk with me as I share the five paradigm-changing ideas about learning and living that freed my family from the school schedule. With over ten years of experience, I have come to see how key these ideas were, and still are, to our unschooling lives. With stories, examples, and clear language, Free to Learn explores the depth and potential of unschooling."

The Unschooling Handbook by Mary Griffith, 1998 
"Unschooling used children's natural curiosity to propel them into a world of learning. For unschooled children, learning becomes a natural part of life, an everyday means of exploring ideas, improving skills, and developing talents.  The Unschooling Handbook combines practical advice in Mary Griffith's usual down-to-earth style with plenty of real-life examples of how unschooling works from more than 2 dozen experienced unschooling families, as well as lists of resources for more information on each covered topic."

Parenting a Free Child:  An Unschooled Life by Rue Kream, 2005
"How do the principles of unschooling apply to television viewing, toothbrushing, and chores? How can we develop respectful relations with our children? How do unschooled children learn to read? Parenting a Free Child addresses these issues and more in an easily accessible question and answer format."

The Unschooling UnManual by Nanda Van Gestel, 2008
"Unschooling isn't a technique - it's living and learning naturally, lovingly, and respectfully together.  Through engaging personal stories, examples and essays, the writers offer inspiration and encouragement for seasoned and prospective unschoolers alike. "
Featured writers: Nanda Van Gestel, Jan Hunt, Daniel Quinn, Rue Kream, Kim Houssenloge, Earl Stevens, and Mary Van Doren.

Learning All the Time by John Holt, 1990
 This book "shows how children learn to read, write, and count in their everyday life at home and how adults can respect and encourage this wonderful process. For human beings, he reminds us, learning is as natural as breathing. John Holt's wit, his gentle wisdom, and his infectious love of little children bring joy to parents."

Teenage Liberation Handbook: How to Quit School and Get a Real Life and Education by Grace Llewellyn, 1998

"This book tells teens how to take control of their lives and get a "real life." Young people can reclaim their natural ability to teach themselves and design a personalized education program. Grace Llewellyn explain the entire process, from making the decision to quit school, to discovering the learning opportunities available." This book is written to the teens.

Dumbing Us Down, The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling
by John Taylor Gatto, 2002 (2nd Edition)
If you need to be convinced that bringing your children out of the school system is a good idea, this is the book for you!

A Little History

Growing Without Schooling - A Record of a Grassroots Movement

For those who don't know, John Holt was a school teacher in the 1950's & 1960's who first coined the term, "Unschooling." The word Homeschooling didn't exist yet. He had no children of his own but was fascinated with how children learn in a school setting. By the 1970's, he came to believe that an institutional setting such as school was not conducive to the real learning that children are capable of. In fact, he eventually believed it to be detrimental to children.  He was a social activist for children writing, lecturing and publishing until his death in 1985.

John Holt started a magazine called, Growing Without Schooling. It was a collection of letters, questions and answers, connecting homeschoolers /unschoolers from around the world. All of the issues are archived at the GWS website.  This book presents the first 12 issues of the original magazine.

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