17 episodes

Unschooling isn't just an educational choice, it's a life choice. For most parents, embracing unschooling requires some serious unravelling of old paradigms around parenting, learning and childhood, and that can be both challenging and exhilarating. Join unschooling mother-of-three, Esther Jones, as she takes a look at the many opportunities for reflection that naturally arise in an unschooling home. She explores her own day-to-day life and talks to other unschooling parents and professionals who share their thoughts and experiences. From self-care, neurodiversity and mindfulness to how to live consensually and trust our children, this podcast is here to help parents navigate the everyday challenges so they're free to create a healthy, nourishing and enriching space for themselves and their family. You can find out more about Esther’s personal journey into unschooling at www.aplaceonahill.com

The Unschool Space Esther Jones

    • Education
    • 5.0 • 2 Ratings

Unschooling isn't just an educational choice, it's a life choice. For most parents, embracing unschooling requires some serious unravelling of old paradigms around parenting, learning and childhood, and that can be both challenging and exhilarating. Join unschooling mother-of-three, Esther Jones, as she takes a look at the many opportunities for reflection that naturally arise in an unschooling home. She explores her own day-to-day life and talks to other unschooling parents and professionals who share their thoughts and experiences. From self-care, neurodiversity and mindfulness to how to live consensually and trust our children, this podcast is here to help parents navigate the everyday challenges so they're free to create a healthy, nourishing and enriching space for themselves and their family. You can find out more about Esther’s personal journey into unschooling at www.aplaceonahill.com

    #17 The right environment and lots of trust - two essential ingredients for unschooling with autism/PDA, with Simon Crummay

    #17 The right environment and lots of trust - two essential ingredients for unschooling with autism/PDA, with Simon Crummay

    Today, I’m talking with Simon Crummay. Simon lives in East Sussex in the UK  with his partner Wendy, and their son Luca, who is 13. Luca is diagnosed autistic with demand avoidance and went to school on and off for some years. After almost two years out of school, during  which Simon and  Wendy adopted an unschooling approach to learning, Luca now attends a self-directed learning centre in the afternoons. We talk about the impact of a child’s environment on their mental health, how learning can look for a child with PDA and why trust really is the cornerstone to all of this.

    • 35 min
    #16 Intersectional unschooling in East London, with Naomi Clarke

    #16 Intersectional unschooling in East London, with Naomi Clarke

    My guest in this episode is Naomi Clarke. Naomi lives in East London and has two sons who are 11 and 6. Naomi is the co-director of Gamechangers, a self directed learning and democratic community which her eldest son also attends. 

    Naomi has been home educating since her eldest child was 5, and embraced unschooling after he was seriously ill in hospital. In her words, she decided to "choose happiness". Today, among many other things, Naomi talks about how she has experienced unschooling as a black family, with the added pressure she felt on opting out of mainstream education, and the lack of other non-white mothers and families in the UK who have taken that path. Naomi's younger son is autistic and we also talk about neurodiversity and why unschooling allows for the embracing of the whole child. And, how unschooling is challenging for low-income families. 

    And, of course, we talk about the many unexpected things that we learn about ourselves on the journey. You can connect with Naomi on Instagram at @intersectionalmotherhood.

    • 44 min
    #15 Holding space for our children and uncovering our limiting beliefs, with Nadia Joshua

    #15 Holding space for our children and uncovering our limiting beliefs, with Nadia Joshua

    Today I’m talking with Nadia Joshua. Nadia lives in Barry Island in Wales and has two daughters, who are six and nine. Until her daughter left school, three years ago, Nadia was working as a social worker. She took her daughter out of school when she was six years old and had just started year one, as she had rapidly become unhappy and self-critical. Nadia knew there had to be a different way, and could see that her daughter needed more agency over her own life. She discovered unschooling through the works of Pam Laricchia. Today, among other things, we talk about adjusting to an unschooling lifestyle, uncovering our limiting beliefs,  being authentic with our children and making sure we have what we need to hold space for them. 

    • 34 min
    #14 Letting go: from teacher to unschooling parent in Atlanta, Georgia, with Marta Obiols

    #14 Letting go: from teacher to unschooling parent in Atlanta, Georgia, with Marta Obiols

    My guest today is Marta Obiols. Marta is originally from Spain, but has lived in the US for 21 years. She now lives with her husband and three children in Atlanta, Georgia. Marta was a teacher when her children were small, but became interested in unschooling after taking her children out of school and coming across the works of John Holt. She quickly let go of being 'the dictator in the living room' and fully embraced unschooling.

    Marta's eldest son  recently turned 18, and Marta was inspired to write a book about her family's experiences, entitled 18: An unschooling experience. Today, among other things, we talk about facilitating the different needs of our children, trusting our children even when society around us says otherwise, and finding the unschooler in ourselves.

    You can follow Marta on Instagram at @unschoolingstory18 and on Twitter at @Unschooling1.
    18: An unschooling experience is available at major online book retailers. 

    • 36 min
    #13 The daily practice of unschooling, healing and gentle parenting, with Sarada Villeneuve

    #13 The daily practice of unschooling, healing and gentle parenting, with Sarada Villeneuve

    Today I’m joined by Sarada de Villeneuve. Sarada lives in Brighton, UK, with her husband and three children, who are 14, 11 and 8 . They began unschooling seven years ago, when their eldest son was seven and having a difficult time at school. Sarada had already felt some conflict around sending her children to nursery at a young age, and found her way to unschooling after seeing home educating families in her local park. 

    Sarada describes the daily practise that unschooling is. The deep work of getting beyond our own triggers and old parenting assumptions and engaging with our children in an authentic, respectful way. We  talk today about social expectations, building community, and learning to respect our children’s voices. Sarada also speaks to how unschooling can help us heal our relationships with our children, affected by early experiences of separation,  school or our own less-informed parenting. You can find Sarada on Instagram at @discovering.wonder.

    • 36 min
    #12 Living without school, from Dubai to Maine, with Fran Liberatore.

    #12 Living without school, from Dubai to Maine, with Fran Liberatore.

    My guest in this episode is Fran Liberatore. Fran has two children, aged 7 and 9, and has just moved to an island in Maine after spending three years in Dubai. Fran first came across unschooling some years ago when she discovered John Holt, and her intention had been to to home educate her children. For different reasons,  it took until the pandemic for her to finally take the leap.

    We talk today about how she and her children have adjusted to life without school, the importance of being able to set and maintain our own boundaries (both us and our children), and how we can rethink the power imbalances in traditional parenting. Fran also shares how unschooling has made her reflect on the choices she has made in life.

    You can follow Fran on Instagram and Facebook,  and visit her blog https://livingwithoutschool.com

    • 39 min

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