91 episodes

Honey I'm Homeschooling The Kids! - A podcast that steps into alternative education, parenting, and living a fun, fuller family life.

Honey! I'm Homeschooling The Kid‪s‬ Robyn Robertson

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    • 4.9 • 33 Ratings

Honey I'm Homeschooling The Kids! - A podcast that steps into alternative education, parenting, and living a fun, fuller family life.

    Unschooling with Dr Gina Riley

    Unschooling with Dr Gina Riley

    Gina Riley, Ph.D. is an educational psychologist, Clinical Professor, and Program Leader of the Adolescent Special Education Program at CUNY – Hunter College. Dr. Riley has over fifteen years experience working with teens diagnosed with learning disabilities and emotional/behavioural disorders. She is also a seasoned academic, with years of teaching, research, and supervisory experience within the fields of special education, psychology, school psychology, and mental health counseling. In addition, Dr. Riley has extensive experience in online education and distance learning at the college/university level. She is known internationally for her work in the fields of homeschooling, unschooling, and self-directed learning. Her book Unschooling: Exploring Learning Beyond the Classroom, was published by Palgrave Macmillan in July 2020. Dr. Riley has one son, who she unschooled.

    I was first introduced to the work of Dr. Gina Riley quite a few years ago through a study that both she and Dr. Peter Gray did on the challenges and benefits of unschooling. Little did I realize at the time that Dr. Riley was an unschooling parent herself. An unschooling parent, researching unschooling and alternative learning, that also worked in secondary education as a teacher to teachers. (You can see why I was excited that she accepted an invitation to the show.) I knew that the information Gina has to share as a researcher, professor and parent is more important than ever.

    Unschooling: Exploring Learning Beyond The Classroom

    In this episode Dr. Riley begins with sharing her own personal experience as a parent choosing to unschool over 20 years ago. We talk about why she made the decision, the fears she had to overcome and how that decision actually prepared her well for the world we find ourselves in today.

    In the academic arena, there is not a lot of work on unschooling. I think this is also why some have a hard time believing that unschooling is a valid way to learn and live life. Everyone always wants to reference the research and if there is not a lot of research to be found, people begin to doubt. This is one reason why Dr. Riley's new book, Unschooling: Exploring Learning Beyond the Classroom, is important. It is the first academic book published on Unschooling and self directed learning. Gina says that she wrote this book for "the 24 year old Gina (the single mom choosing this unfamiliar path) so that she could give it to her mom, who is also an educator, and say -here's the research."

    "The Kids Are Going To Be Fine"

    I also took the chance to ask Dr. Riley a few questions that I often hear from parents interested in unschooling but that are uncertain because it looks so different from school. How will they learn without school or if I don't teach them? How will they learn math or to read? What opportunities will be open to unschoolers when they become adults? Dr. Riley answered all of these but it was one statement that said it all for me. "It's not so much how do we do this, it's more, let's trust ourselves in doing this." She said, "The kids are going to be fine. Unschoolers know how to learn."

    We ended the episode talking about a question that for many are wondering because of the shift in our current world, whether they are in traditional education or not. That is, What is the future of education?

    I hope that you get a chance to tune in to the episode to hear what Dr. Riley has to say.


    Unschooling: Exploring Learning Beyond the Classroom published by Palgrave Macmillan

    The Journal of Unschooling and Alternative Education (published paper by Dr. Gina Riley and Dr. Peter Gray)

    Alliance For Self Directed Education

    Learning By Living Podcast- Gina Riley and Kevin Currie-Knight

    High Tech High

    Self Determination Theory- Richard M. Ryan and Edward L. Deci

    Rethinking Learning To Read: The Challenge From Children Edu

    • 1 hr 5 min
    Learning Math with Monica Robertson

    Learning Math with Monica Robertson

    Monica Robertson is a retired teacher, math educator, grandmother and former homeschool parent. She is also my mother-in-law! I asked Monica to come on the show as a special guest to talk about her experience homeschooling, learning math and the power of looking at the world through a math lens.

    Math always seems to be a topic that seems to give quite a few parents feelings of angst. I often hear questions like;

    I am not good at math, so how will I be able to teach it to my kids if I homeschool?

    How do unschoolers learn math?

    Can kids learn math without the drills, worksheets and curriculum?

    Can math actually be interesting?

    I also see many parents that love the idea of self directed education until it comes to learning math. Somewhere we learn this idea that math is the subject that must be drilled, memorized and come with a little bit of torture, unless you happen to be a math genius. If you have beliefs similar to this, have you ever reflected on why you think that is true? Is it valid?

    In This Episode

    In this episode my mother-in-law and I talk about her experience homeschooling my husband and her views on learning. We also dive deeper into the idea of looking at the world through a math lens and why this practice is the key. We explore;
    Deschooling and why it's an important part of homeschooling
    How can we learn to look at the world through a math lens when we are uncertain in our own understanding of math
    The difference between a good mathematician and memorizing math facts
    Measuring, Spatial Awareness, Subitizing and LEGO's
    Encouraging Risk Taking (and what this has to do with learning math)
    How do we introduce math in a joy driven way?
    Worksheets, drills and speed- is it really a true measure of a strong mathematician?
    Creating math anxiety
    Seeing math and mathematical concepts in the tools, toys and play we may already have in our homes

    I would love to hear your thoughts on this episode. How do you feel about stepping away from the worksheets and drills and encouraging a math conversation? What ways are you starting to see the world through a math lens? Or do you disagree? If you would like to explore more, here are the additional resources that we mentioned on the episode.


    If you would like to contact Monica you can reach her via email~ monie_rob@hotmail.com

    John Holt- https://www.johnholtgws.com/homeschooling-unschooling-resources

    How Children Learn (John Holt)

    Learning All The Time (John Holt)

    Teach Your Own John Holt Book of Homeschooling

    Jo Boaler- her math website can be found here- https://www.youcubed.org/

    James Tanton- Math Educator

    James Tanton- Exploding Dots

    Peter Liledahl- Simon Fraser University Math Educator (resources page)

    Alicia Burdess- Math resources

    Teaching Through Problems Worth Solving - Alicia Stone Burdess

    Teaching Through Problems Worth Solving Version 3- Alicia Stone Burdess

    Interview with Former teacher turned unschooling parent- Leah McDermott http://imhomeschooling.com/natural-learning-leah-mcdermott/

    Other ways to help support the podcast? Become a patron~ https://www.patreon.com/honeyimhomeschoolingthekids

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 1 hr 30 min
    Unschooling & STEM

    Unschooling & STEM


    Judy Arnall is an adult educator, certified in brain and child development, and master of non-punitive parenting and education practices.  Judy is the bestselling author of 5 books on non-punitive parenting and unschooling and has unschooled 5 adult children. 3 have graduated university, 1 is presently attending and 1 is a Masters student.

    Unschooling, Math and STEM careers

    We are talking about math in homeschooling and unschooling this month, a topic that comes up often in homeschooling and unschooling discussions. How can homeschooling support a love of math? Do unschoolers learn math? How will my kids learn math if I'm not confident in math myself? Will my kids get enough math knowledge from home? Judy addresses many of these fears through her own experience of raising unschoolers that found careers in the STEM field and learned math to very high levels.

    In This Episode

    In this episode Judy talks about her family's journey unschooling to adulthood. Having raised 5 kids, all unschooled, Judy truly has the gift of hindsight. We explored unschooling and STEM, how the non-traditional path supported her children's STEM careers and;

    Putting our doubts to bed
    The power of observation and the gift of hindsight
    "Walk and Talk"- engaging in meaty conversations with our kids
    Will kids learn multiplication tables if we don't teach them?
    Video Games and raising gamers
    Brain development and what happens in the adolescent years
    Self Regulation
    Math through play
    No worksheets until at least 13
    Careers in STEM
    How her children faired from no school to their first high school math class
    How her unschoolers adjusted to University
    Judy's recommendations for supporting math in the younger years
    Supporting unschooling teens
    Why trust is fundamental


    Unschooling to University


    Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE)


    Book- Unschooling To University

    FB Group- https://www.facebook.com/groups/UnschoolingSTEM


    If you are interested in hearing more about unschooling and STEM from a grown unschooler you'll this episode~http://imhomeschooling.com/why-self-directed-learning-is-important/.


    You'll also love this episode with Monica Truong, self directed learning advocate~http://imhomeschooling.com/why-self-directed-learning-is-important/


    Other ways to help support the podcast? Become a patron~ https://www.patreon.com/honeyimhomeschoolingthekids


    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 1 hr 6 min




    Deschooling is a process of letting go of the singular beliefs we have attached with learning and kids. Beliefs that learning has to be done in a certain way, within certain times, within a certain kind of environment. Deschooling means possibilities. It’s a time to deconstruct the expectations, concerns, worries, beliefs around school, learning, and education.

    In This Episode

    In this episode I talk about what deschooling is and why it is important. I also share ways that we can embrace deschooling more in our homeschooling life.

    I take the time to to explore the meaning of the words learning, education and school. Better understanding these words and how we use them (or misuse them) can influence our daily learning life. 

    This past year has brought a huge change in learning, schooling and education. I think many of us knew a shift was already happening but COVID certainly sped things up. The homeschooling community exploded in numbers and the shift to online learning has been extraordinary. Now more than ever, parents are beginning to better understand the choices they have when it comes to learning, education and schooling. 

    Why We Try To Replicate School At Home

    That being said, a large amount of homeschooling this year looks a lot like trying to make the home into the classroom or school. That has brought frustration on the part of some parents. Why? The home is not the school classroom and as much as we try to replicate school at home, we cannot. Many parents deciding to try homeschooling for the first time have done so in a time of massive change. Trying to control change as much as possible is a natural human process. Our survival mechanism kicks in during times of stress and our pre-programmed routines take over. 


    So when we start out on the homeschool journey and face life change, we try to do what is safe. That means safe replicating what we know, which in this case is the pattern and structure of education in school.


    Deschooling can help us to take a step back and slow down, giving us time to better understand our children, ourselves and how the learning process works. Then instead of trying to copy and put in place what may not work in our home, we can have a fresh slate to create and reinvent a space that better supports each individual's learning process.

    References and Resources



    Britannica on Education~ https://www.britannica.com/topic/education


    What is Learning? Queens University, Canada~ https://www.queensu.ca/teachingandlearning/modules/students/04_what_is_learning.html


    School Free by Wendy Priesnitz


    How Children Learn, John Holt


    If you would like to hear more about deschooling, listen to my episode with Unschooling mom, author and business owner, Pam Laricchia~ http://imhomeschooling.com/hihtk-005-exploring-unschooling/


    Or to my interview with Jo Watt, former teacher turned Unschooling mom and blogger ~ http://imhomeschooling.com/deschool-the-adult-mind/


    Disclosure: When I recommend a product that I believe will add value, it may contain an affiliate link, and when you click the link and decide to make a purchase through that link, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you. If you do, Thank you for your support.


    Other ways to help support the podcast? Become a patron~ https://www.patreon.com/honeyimhomeschoolingthekids


    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 31 min
    Why Learning Is Happening Everywhere: Jenn Sutherland

    Why Learning Is Happening Everywhere: Jenn Sutherland

    Jenn Sutherland and Beyond School

    I am joined by Jenn Sutherland, worldschooling mom, entrepreneur and CEO of Beyond School. In addition to homeschooling her own four children, from birth to university entrance while traveling the world, full time, for over a decade, Jenn has a degree in education and over 20 years experience in helping families build world class educations for their children outside the four walls of a classroom. Now the CEO of Beyond School, she's focused on building a school of the future for families of the future and creating a third path in education, acknowledging that learning is happening everywhere.

    What You'll Find In This Episode

    In this episode Jenn and I explore the meaning of why learning is not an occurrence that happens only in school, within a certain timeframe of life. We talk about why and how learning is happening everywhere and learning is happening always. And why it is up to us as parents to shift our perspective on how and where learning can happen and let go of the fact that we have to control and measure every form of learning. This conversation included;

    Living A Life Of Adventure & Worldschooling
    Living a life of adventure and worldschooling- How her family went from a year of travel in 2008 to a life of travel and why it was the best decision they ever made
    The crash of 2008 and losing it all while on the road- How tragedy can be a catalyst to step back and re-evaluate what you really want out of life
    Travel full time? What Jenn and her husband did to be able to travel full time and recreate their careers.

    Learning & Homeschooling
    Learning and homeschooling-Does having credentials make you a better homeschooler or is it a liability?
    Prioritizing needs, wants and dreams. What is the difference between needs and wants? Who do you want to be in 1 year, 5 years? How do we make that happen for you?
    The most valuable things to teach in homeschooling
    "Everything I thought I knew about education from a classroom perspective had almost no bearing on getting the job done at home."-What Jenn had to learn to let go of in homeschooling
    Deschooling- unlearning and then re-learning
    Shifts in in beliefs and perspectives

    The Joy Of Teens
    The shift in our view of teens that needs to happen in our world
    Teenagers- why we need to start saying YES to their dreams
    Trust, failure and raising capable children to become capable adults

    School Of The Future- Beyond School
    The ways that COVID has shifted education and perspectives in education
    School of the future, Third Path education- why Beyond School began
    Child centred, learner centred and unique to each individual
    How Beyond School is cradle to grave learning over a lifetime, supporting young kids to adults

    "Homeschooling is not about teaching your children from a top down management perspective. It's about Celebrating the fact that learning is happening everywhere, learning is happening always and we are in it together. Everybody at a different stage." Jenn Sutherland

    If you enjoyed this episode and would like to hear more about alternatives to traditional school, I suggest you also check out these episodes:

    A Case For Self Directed Teens: Why Are You Still Sending Your Kids To School? with Blake Boles

    Self Directed Learning- Blake Boles

    Village Home Learning Community- with Lori Walker

    Alternatives To School- SHINE Together Holistic Learning Center- with Mandy Spiczka

    Resources Mentioned In This Episode

    Beyond School website- beyondschool.co

    The Teenage Liberation Handbook- Grace Llewellyn

    Not Back To School Camp

    Disclosure: When I recommend a product that I believe have will add value, it may contain an affiliate link, and when you click the link and decide to make a purchase through that link, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support.

    Other ways to help support the podca

    • 1 hr 2 min
    Homeschooling Your Differently Wired Child with Colleen Kessler

    Homeschooling Your Differently Wired Child with Colleen Kessler

    Homeschooling Your Differently Wired Child

    "Adapt and let go of the stuff that doesn't bring you joy and bring your kids a love of learning. Switch it to make it fun and make learning the goal, not the product the goal"

    Divergent thinker? Twice Exceptional? Gifted? Dyslexic? Differently wired kids? Are you homeschooling your differently wired child? Feeling overwhelmed, beaten down and just not sure what to do? This episode is filled with guidance and inspiration from a mom that has been raising and homeschooling her own four uniquely wired children.

    Collen Kessler~Raising Lifelong Learners

    Colleen Kessler is an explorer, tinkerer, writer, educator, creator, and a passionate advocate for the needs of gifted and twice-exceptional children.  The author of more than a dozen books for parents, teachers, and children, Colleen is an award-winning educator, educational coach and consultant, with a B.S. in elementary education and a M.Ed. in gifted studies. She is the founder of the popular podcast and website, Raising Lifelong Learners and has launched a vibrant new community for quirky families called The Learner's Lab, full of creative lessons, problem solving activities, critical and divergent thinking games, and the social-emotional support differently-wired children and teens need most. Her newest book, Raising Resilient Sons: A Boy Mom's Guide to Building a Strong, Confident, and Emotionally Intelligent Family will be released this December by Ulysses Press.

    What you will find in this episode
    From the classroom to home- Why homeschooling her differently wired kids was not originally in Colleen's plan
    The difference between teaching in a classroom and homeschooling
    How their family's homeschool has evolved over the years
    The pervasive myth of being gifted
    What is the difference between a high achiever and a gifted person?
    What to spend your homeschool budget on
    The unique tools that Colleen uses to support the flourisher writer in her daughter
    Helping your differently wired child thrive
    Cherishing the intrinsic desire to learn, resiliency and emotional intelligence

    Colleen offers so many golden nuggets of wisdom in this episode; from building resiliency, raising our kids to be who they are and not who we want them to be, to what a typical day looks like in their household. Let me know if you have any lingering questions that you would like answered after this interview.


    The Learner's Lab | A Raising Lifelong Learner's Community https://raisinglifelonglearners.com/the-learners-lab/

    Colleen's new book- Raising Resilient Sons: A Boy Mom's Guide to Building a Strong, Confident, and Emotionally Intelligent Family


    Amazon Echo

    Disclosure: When I recommend a product that I believe have will add value, it may contain an affiliate link, and when you click the link and decide to make a purchase through that link, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support.

    Other ways to help support the podcast? Become a patron~ https://www.patreon.com/honeyimhomeschoolingthekids

    Other Episodes you may enjoy:

    Listen to a Rad Educator trying to make a difference within the system~ http://imhomeschooling.com/kate-weber-rad-educator/

    Akilah S. Richards of Fare of The Free Child Podcast talks about their journey into unschooling their gifted daughters, social justice and self liberation work. http://imhomeschooling.com/educational-freedom-akilah-richards/

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 1 hr 22 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
33 Ratings

33 Ratings

Ashanne1984 ,

Love this podcast!

I’ve listened to several episodes now and have many more on my ‘need to listen to list’! Robyn is so enjoyable to listen to and asks the questions I want to hear the answers to from her guests. I’m currently listening to her episode where she interviews Peter Gray, author of one of my fav books! Earlier I finished the episode with Judy Arnall and it was fantastic! Such a reassuring episode to listen to as a newer unschooling family. Robyn thank you for all you do for the homeschooling community!

method_money ,

Informed, engaging, and encouraging

Such a great podcast. Robyn shares not only from her personal experiences, but brings in tons of great guests as well. I loved the entrepreneur episode where she talked about high-giving failure. Especially liked how she talked about failure being critical in learning.

Podcast shows that when kids have a personal connection to their learning, magic happens.

Keep up the great work!!

rejoicing rachel ,

Wealth of experiences

This podcast is vital in my new homeschooling journey. 3 of my 4 kids have recently started homeschooling after many years of public education. The hardest part I’ve encountered so far is the “de-schooling” process. I’m beginning to see how robust and unpredictable this journey is!

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