My partner and I have two kids. As anarchists, respectful, non-punitive parenting has always been important to us, so we started out as an unschooling family. Unschooling, basically, is the idea that kids don’t need any form of of structured education in order to continue learning everything they need to know.
There have been some interesting moments! Kid one is fourteen now, and while she does spend a lot of time on her computer — a big concern people sometimes have about unschooling — she has used some of that time teaching herself things like digital animation (and even had her first job doing that for a while). Kid two is into lots of different things, but especially snakes.
A few years ago, both kids chose to start attending a democratic school (also known as a Sudbury school), and I now work there part time. The pedagogy is similar to unschooling: Students do what they want all day, and school government is also managed by kids and staff working together.
- Unconditional Parenting, my favorite book about parenting
- Playful Parenting, a book that taught me some really helpful practical tools for approaching consent-based interaction with kids
- What is a Democratic Free School?
- Living Joyfully, a site with lots of unschooling information.
- Three Rivers Village school, our local school (I also designed the website!)