Unschooling my Children from Birth to College
Pages: 200 pages
Size: Paperback 6 x 9 inches
Consequences of the ongoing pandemic have seriously affected educational systems in the U.S. and around the world. School closures and the opportunities (or nightmares) of remote learning have caused many parents to reconsider options for schooling their children. Alternatives to going back to conventional school are currently hot topics, strongly motivated by growing racism and the social bullying that confront many youngsters and teens in today’s school environment. (New Yorker Magazine, June 21, 2021, "The Rise of Black Homeschooling.")
Jean Nunnally’s memoir of her trials and triumphs in unschooling her two children from birth to college provides an enlightening insight into the innate learning ability of humans, showing how self-esteem, trust and personal responsibility were preserved and strengthened for herself and her kids. "Unschooling," the author says, "is the way we have learned throughout time and the way adults learn when they are free to pursue their interests."
Her book gives an overview of unschooling or self-directed learning, but so much more. Jean not only did the work, but her son and daughter are proof that unschooling works. They were each accepted in and graduated from prestigious U.S. colleges and testify, in personal reflections at the end of the narrative, to the happiness and fulfillment of their elementary and high school years following their passions, their hobbies, their music, their dreams, often in stark contrast to the struggles with traditional forms their peers were required to submit to.
Those unfamiliar with this unique educational approach, a subset of homeschooling, often argue from misunderstandings of the process. “What about socializing with their peers?” “Do I have to be a trained teacher?” they ask. Success Without School offers Nunnally’s disputation of these and other popular myths surrounding the subject.
In this compelling memoir, along with disposing of many popular myths surrounding the subject of homeschooling and unschooling, Jean points out aspects of her own transformation from a traditional background and a corporate career to the less traveled path of alternative education. She explains how her view of school changed and changed her as she proceeded in this task.
She leaves the reader with an encouraging description of the three jobs of an unschooling parent―exposure, facilitation, and modeling; and offers her unique approach to preparing an unschooled teen for college, and the specific challenges that required.
"Full of practical advice about living and learning with young children at home, how to present untraditional academics to college admissions officials, and thoughtful reflections upon parenting and learning from one’s experiences."
—Patrick Farenga, co-author of Teach Your Own and publisher of Growing Without Schooling.
“Jean Nunnally—veteran unschooling mother of two children—will take you
on her family’s journey of self-directed learning from discovery to practice to
success. Her honest stories of meeting doubts, challenges, and fears are both
compelling and inspiring. “
—Dr. Carlo Ricci, author of The Willed Curriculum, Unschooling, and Self-Direction: What Do Love, Trust, Respect, Care, and Compassion Have to Do with Learning?
“In this part-memoir, part how-to, author Jean Nunnally has written a heartfilled, vulnerable and frank accounting of her transition from straight-A, big corporate finance executive to full time unschooling mom, learning to trust her children’s natural drives to self-direct their own educations, from toddlers to college bound. Her journey deeply inspired me.”
—Barb Lundgren, founder/producer of international Rethinking Everything” conference.
“Success Without School shows another way to approach education that is both
alternative and highly effective. Sharing powerful insights, wisdom and lessons
learned along the way, the book can provide inspiration and empowerment to
parents seeking to keep or rekindle the spark of learning in their children.”
—Nichole Connell, M.Ed., Educational Therapist and Mentor.
“Offers a glimpse of one family’s wonder-filled learning journey. Jean shares
her route from concern to confidence with warmth, reassurance, and solid
—Laura Grace Weldon, author, Free Range Learning.
Fare of the Free Child – Akilah S. Richards
Liberty and homeschooling www.homeschoolingandliberty.com
Exploring Unschooling Podcast– Pam Laricchia
TED and TEDx Talks:
Homeschooling or Whole Being Living – Urmila Samson
Do Schools Kill Creativity? – Sir Ken Robinson
Learning Through Unschooling – Callie Vandewiele
No School for My Son – Shantanu Gupta
New experiments in self-teaching – Sugata Mitra
Alliance for Self-Directed Education www.self-directed.org
Alternative Education Resource Organization
A-Z Homeschooling: laws by state, province, or country
Consent Parenting www.consentparenting.com
Education Otherwise www.educationotherwise.org
Enjoy Parenting www.enjoyparenting.com
Euro Home Ed www.eurohomeed.org
Freedom to Learn www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/freedom-learn
John Holt/Growing Without Schooling www.johnholtgws.com
Living Joyfully www.livingjoyfully.ca
National Home Education Research Institute www.nheri.org
Raising Free People www.raisingfreepeople.com
The Natural Child Project www.naturalchild.org
Unschooling Dads www.unschoolingdads.com
Unschooling Mom2Mom www.unschoolingmom2mom.com