18. Learning Without Schooling


June 22nd, 2022

1 hr 36 mins 48 secs

Your Host

About this Episode

The Essential School Sucks, #18 of 50

Theme Two: Leaving Institutional Schooling and Finding Educational Alternatives

Today, an Essential School Sucks compilation of two conversations with natural learning legends: Sandra Dodd and Pam Laricchia.

PART ONE: Sandra Dodd is a world-renown unschooling and natural learning advocate, and the mother of three adult unschooled children. Her website SandraDodd.com is one of the most comprehensive unschooling resources on the internet. She joins me for a fast-paced but fairly comprehensive discussion on unschooling and choice and her unschooling experiences, influences and philosophy.

Unschoolers and Reading

Sandra share the stories of her three children learning to read, and how there might not always be clear incremental steps.

A Mindset For Unschooling

  • "read a little, try a little, wait a while, watch" - patience
  • what are we watching for?
  • addressing problems a discomforts
  • appreciation of choice and projecting optimism
  • power-with, instead of power-over relationships, partnership
  • beware of blindly "supportive" unschooling communities

Full Show With Sandra: Sandra Dodd – On Unschooling and Choice [PODCAST #585]

PART TWO: Pam Laricchia is the creator of the blog livingjoyfully.ca - an amazing, well-organized resource for people exploring how to live and learn without school. She is also the author of several books on unschooling, including The Unschooling Journey: A Field Guide. Pam began unschooling with her three children back in 2002 and she has continued her enthusiastic exploration through blogging, podcasting and presenting at conferences.


  • What are the important foundations of unschooling?
  • Making the Transition to Unschooling - rule dropping vs. rule relaxing
  • How to nurture Curiosity, Being Open to Our Child's Wonder
  • How to foster an engaged mind, main three characteristics of real and effective learning (from the article Curious and Engaged)

Pam's 3 Characteristics of Real and Effective Learning

  • engagement: exploring and playing with an idea, topic, or skill
  • motivation: staying engaged in their exploration, even through challenges
  • thinking: creativity and analysis, and is key to the bigger picture understanding of how the idea, topic, or skill fits into their world


  • the process of deschooling
  • How to develop and maintain the patience and proper mindset for unschooling
  • Mediating conflicting needs, between parent and child/children
  • Plus A Listener question - Thanks Jahaira!
  • "The main idea that comes to mind is the topic of TRUST. As a parent, you want your children to have everything they need to thrive, and it's scary to leave it to "chance". It's scary to fully TRUST that they will learn what they need to learn of their own volition and of their own desire..."

Full Show With Pam: The Relationship Benefits of Unschooling – With Pam Laricchia [PODCAST #557]

The Ideas In Action Summit

The downloadable version of The Ideas Into Action Summit is now available.
Use the coupon code independence to can get it for 30% off now until July 5th
Learn more here.

Our Partners

Visit Praxis

Please Support School Sucks

School Sucks was one of the longest running liberty-minded podcasts on the web, and the only one completely devoted to the issue of education (versus public school and college).

Your support keeps the show alive, which keeps us at the top of the options for education podcasts and leads to new people discovering our work. Please help us continue to spread this important message further!

One-Time Donation Options:

Crypto Addresses:

ETHEREUM 0x3c5504CE3401C028832173506fa30BD4db4b7D35
LITECOIN LKNp24f5wwvZ2QzeDbvxXgBxyVwi1yXnu2
BITCOIN CASH 1AmqLVxjw3Lp9KT5ckfvsqfN2Hn3B1hCWS
ZCASH t1by1ZGJ63LoLSjXy27ooJtipf4wMr7qbu4

Recurring Options:

Support Us On PATREON
You support our mission, and you want to help us continue to reach new people with our message and media. Your contribution helps us maintain presence, and to further build the legacy of School Sucks Project.

And please bookmark and use this link for your Amazon shopping: Shop With Us

Our Private Community:

Visit The Uni-iversity

Both Shows Originally Released in 2018

Support School Sucks: Higher Education For Self-Liberation