Unschooling for Social Change



The Freechild Project defines unschooling as the process of learning through life, without formalized or institutionalized classrooms or schoolwork.  Unschooling relies on interpersonal relationships and natural learning progression to have effect on learners, instead of textbooks and classroom teachers. Self-education is the liberating practice of... teaching yourself.


Freechild believes that deschooling is also anti-formalized and anti-institutionalized education of any sorts.  However, this process deliberately emphasizes the absence of the systemic approach to learning, and negates the need for schools. Some homeschoolers use a "deschooling" process to get ready for learning at home.


Point to Ponder

"Your life, time, and brain should belong to you, not to an institution." - Grace Lwellyn in The Teenage Liberation Handbook.



The following list of organizations, websites and publications identified by Freechild that provide a variety of information for young people and their adult allies to learn about unschooling and deschooling.  





Sponsored by the Home Education Network, this site provides support for unschooling, homeschooling, and self-directed learning. You will find newsletter articles, reviews, resources, web sites, books and lots of other information to help your homeschooling or unschooling efforts.



We are a resource for young people who are marginalized by the school system, such as young mothers, queer youth, youth of color, economically disadvantaged youth, and any other youth seeking alternatives to... corrupt school system[s].


Learn in Freedom!

This site is about learning in freedom, taking responsibility for your own learning. It shows you how to use your own initiative in learning, so you can use schools and teachers just when they are helpful to you, and voluntarily chosen by you.

Not Back to School Camp
A great gathering of unschoolers from all over the country, coordinated by Grace Lewellyn.

Saor Oilean
A collection of writing and information by unschooled teens.


Creating Learning Communities Online Resource Center

The Coalition for Self-Learning envisions and co-creates a world of cooperative life-long learning communities.


Self-Education Foundation

A nonprofit organization led by young people committed to supporting individual and community empowerment through self-education. To this end, we utilize the tools of grantmaking, community organizing and outreach. We believe that self-education is the practice of freedom.


Alternative Education Resource Organization
A non-profit organization founded to advance learner-centered approaches to education. AERO is considered by many to be the primary hub of communications for educational alternatives around the world. The site includes job and internship postings, message boards, searchable databases, links to many other important sites.



The Teenage Liberation Handbook: How To Quit School and Get a Real Life and Education

By Grace Llewelyn. Everybody who reads this book swears by it. Grace is the modern champion of unschooling, and her book bravely tells young people that "Your life, time, and brain should belong to you, not to an institution." In this book she explores several parts of unschooling, including what to do, where to do it, and most importantly, why unschooling should happen at all. She also importantly asserts that unschooling is not for everyone.


The Unschooling Handbook

By Mary Griffin. This is the very best book on the nuts and bolts of unschooling. If you are wondering just what unschoolers do all day, get this book.


What is unschooling?

By Earl Stevens.


Deschooling Our Lives

Edited by Matt Hern. This book is an anthology of essays devoted to looking at what education is and is not. A great book about how pervasive schooling is and how we can break free from that paradigm.


Teach Your Own

By John Holt. This is the quintessential "how-to" book, written by the renowned unschooling hero. The what and how of daily living and learning at home and from life. In the words of Joseph Chilton Pearce, this is "an intelligent answer to the question of how do we save our children from the tragedy of schooling."


And What About College?

By Cafi Cohen. This book shows how unschoolers can present their education and learning in a way to make it understandable for college admission officers.


How Chidren Learn and How Children Fail

By John Holt. These two books speak to Holt's experiences in the classroom and what he eventually found untenable about the system. Presented are reasons why families should pursue education outside of institutions.


Learning All The Time

By John Holt.  A look by Holt at his own life and how he never stopped learning. His writing about learning the cello at 50 will inspire you!


Growing Without Schooling

This is a magazine founded by John Holt.


Instead of Education

By John Holt (reprint 2004, Sentient Publications)


Unschooling articles

From NaturalChild.org


Homeschool Resource Centers

From the Alternative Education Resource Organization.


Northstar: Self-directed Learning for Teens


Live Free Learn Free magazine


The Unprocessed Child: Living Without School

By Valerie Fitzenreiter


Challenging Assumptions in Education

By Wendy Priesnitz (2000, The Alternate Press)


The Book of Learning and Forgetting

By Frank Smith (1998, Teacherís College Press)


Real Lives: Eleven Teenagers Who Don't Go to School

By Grace Llewellyn (1993, Lowry House)


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