Exploring Unschooling

Pam Laricchia

Pam Laricchia shares interviews, information, and inspiration about unschooling and living joyfully with your family.

All Episodes

This week, we’re finishing up my miniseries, In Celebration of Unschooling, sharing the draft of an as yet unpublished book I wrote a few years ago. The book looks at unschooling through the lens of parenting. In chapter 8, Childhood is Bigger Than School, I explore how we can choose to embrace the unschooling mindset […]

Nov 25

38 min 18 sec

I’m continuing my miniseries, In Celebration of Unschooling, sharing the draft of an as yet unpublished book I wrote a few years ago. The book looks at unschooling through the lens of parenting. This week, we’re diving into Chapter 7: Family Relationships. In this chapter, I explore moving beyond power struggles, the idea of fairness […]

Nov 18

38 min 18 sec

I’m continuing my miniseries, In Celebration of Unschooling, sharing the draft of an as yet unpublished book I wrote a few years ago. The book looks at unschooling through the lens of parenting. This week, we’re diving into Chapter 6: Exploring Character. In this chapter, I dive into some of the character traits being explored […]

Nov 11

46 min 28 sec

I’m continuing my miniseries, In Celebration of Unschooling, sharing the draft of an as yet unpublished book I wrote a few years ago. The book looks at unschooling through the lens of parenting. This week, we’re diving into Chapter 5: Cultivating Creativity. In this chapter, I dive into the widely accepted Geneplore model of creativity, […]

Nov 4

46 min 50 sec

I’m continuing my miniseries, In Celebration of Unschooling, sharing the draft of an as yet unpublished book I wrote a few years ago. The book looks at unschooling through the lens of parenting. This week, we’re diving into Chapter 4: The Joy of Learning. Things mentioned in the episode Pam’s Instagram, sharing highlights of the […]

Oct 28

51 min 18 sec

To mark the occasion of hitting 300 episodes, I decided to share the draft of an as yet unpublished book I wrote a few years ago. The book looks at unschooling through the lens of parenting and with an audience in mind who are curious, but maybe haven’t yet made the leap. And I was […]

Oct 21

39 min 46 sec

Episode 299! Wow. For the last few weeks, I’ve been pondering what I’d like to do to mark the milestone of 300 episodes. Maybe a compilation episode, maybe a solo episode. Hmm. I’ve been doing those regularly for the last while (which I’m loving), so I planted that seed and let it bubble around in […]

Oct 14

54 min 58 sec

Megan Valnes, an unschooling mom of six, joins me this week to talk about her unschooling journey. Megan was on the podcast once before, way back in 2018, and it was so fun to catch up and see how her life has unfolded since then. She shares some of the challenges of having a large […]

Oct 7

1 hr 5 min

Anna Brown joins me this week to talk about our theme in the Living Joyfully Network this month, Cultivating Trust. This has been such a valuable theme to explore because trust really is foundational to unschooling—I can’t imagine unschooling thriving without trust! We begin by looking at how we can develop trust with our children, […]

Sep 30

50 min 23 sec

This week, I want to dive into another question that I get pretty regularly, and that’s whether I have podcast episodes with unschooling parents that used to be teachers. It’s fun to ponder the why behind the question. Does it seem like a strange leap to make? To me, choosing teaching indicates an interest in […]

Sep 23

1 hr 19 min

Jesper Conrad joins me this week to talk about his experience as an unschooling dad. Jesper shares his perspective of their family’s decision to unschool, which began when their now 15-year-old son tried kindergarten. We talk about Jesper’s move from an office job to working from home and some of the paradigm shifts that he’s […]

Sep 16

54 min 39 sec

Cecilie Conrad joins me from Istanbul this week to talk about her unschooling, worldschooling life with her family. Cecilie shares about her path to unschooling, which started when her second child began attending school. We talk about how her family’s love of travel has enriched their lives and how the unschooling lifestyle fits so well […]

Sep 9

1 hr 23 min

Akilah S. Richards joins me again to talk about her most recent book, Raising Free People: Unschooling as Liberation and Healing Work. We talk about her definitions of unschooling and deschooling and dive deep into the far-reaching impacts of choosing an unschooling lifestyle. We also dive into some of the profound realizations she’s had about […]

Sep 2

58 min 55 sec

Anna Brown joins me this week to talk about our monthly theme in the Living Joyfully Network, Embracing Cocoons and Bubbles. It is part of the human experience to have periods of introspection, of pulling inward, processing, and integrating. Our children may lose interest in their usual activities while not yet knowing what’s next for […]

Aug 26

42 min 21 sec

This week, I have a solo episode for you! As the back-to-school energy hits its peak this month, I thought it might be helpful to re-commit to our choice to NOT go back to school. It’s completely understandable to feel a bit off-kilter as the “back to school” messages ramp up around us—be kind to […]

Aug 19

38 min 30 sec

Jae Williams recently decided to leave his teaching job and stay home to dive into unschooling with his two young children. Leading up to this choice, he spent the last year immersed in podcasts and books, exploring natural learning and questioning many mainstream paradigms about children, schooling, and success. We talk about his experience as […]

Aug 12

1 hr 42 min

Izaak Sibley joins me this week to share his experience as an unschooling dad. He shares about his own school education, how he saw his love of learning disappear over time, and how unschooling with Q has reignited it. We talk about trusting human curiosity and how he has seen Q’s learning naturally lead in […]

Aug 5

50 min 46 sec

Anna Brown joins me this week to talk about our theme in the Living Joyfully Network this month, Sitting with Fear and Discomfort. This is something that comes up on our unschooling journey pretty regularly because, not only are we challenging lots of cultural norms around learning and parenting, we’re also giving our children space […]

Jul 29

49 min 34 sec

This week, I have a solo episode for you! The idea to share why I focus on joy and the unschooling journey bubbled up a couple of weeks ago and it’s been fun to put this together. And for listeners who may be newer to the podcast, I share a bit about me before diving […]

Jul 22

28 min 10 sec

Roya Dedeaux joins me on the podcast this week to talk about her new book Connect with Courage. Roya is a grown unschooler, a marriage and family therapist, and an unschooling mom of three, so she has lots of experience to draw from as she considers how children learn and thrive. In her book, Roya […]

Jul 15

55 min 17 sec

Erin Rosemond, an unschooling mom of four, joins me this week to talk about her unschooling journey. Erin shares her earliest reflections on her own schooling experience and how they prepared her for embracing the idea of home educating her children. We dive deep into the ideas of interdependence, collaboration, and kindness, and how unschooling […]

Jul 8

1 hr 22 min

Lane Clark joins me this week to talk about her unschooling journey and to dive into what she’s learned through deschooling. Lane’s journey began when her family was living abroad and felt their best option was homeschooling. When their carefully chosen curriculum didn’t feel like a good fit, she discovered unschooling and has been questioning […]

Jul 1

1 hr 3 min

This week, Anna Brown and I talk about our theme in the Living Joyfully Network this month, Play! We dive into how integral play is for learning both about the world and about ourselves. We can carry a lot of preconceived notions about play, its value, its place in our lives, even the definition of […]

Jun 24

50 min 9 sec

This week, I want to dive into another question that I get pretty regularly, and that’s whether I have podcast episodes with unschooling parents that used to be teachers. It’s fun to ponder the why behind the question. Does it seem like a strange leap to make? To me, choosing teaching indicates an interest in […]

Jun 17

1 hr 23 min

Talia Bartoe joins me again on the podcast to update us about her family’s unschooling journey. We didn’t know it going in, but it quickly became obvious that the theme of our conversation was “going deep”! Talia generously shares so much about her inner work and the shifts she’s made as part of deschooling and […]

Jun 10

1 hr 25 min

This week, I am joined by 20-year-old Samantha Donndelinger, who has always been unschooled. Samantha shares some of her childhood stories and reflections on growing up unschooling. We talk about how her family’s lifestyle gave each child the space to make choices and figure out their own path, and how making choices and exploring her […]

Jun 3

44 min 5 sec

This week, Anna Brown and I talk about our theme in the Living Joyfully Network this month, Validation. Diving deep into validation flows beautifully from last month’s theme of Stories because practicing validation with the people in our lives is about hearing, understanding, and accepting their stories as their truth in the moment. Our connections […]

May 27

51 min 30 sec

This week, I’ve put together a compilation episode to dive into a question that I get pretty regularly: What does unschooling look like in larger families? As we learn more about unschooling, we’re encouraged to spend time with our kids, to say yes more, to connect with them more, to explore ways to meet everyone’s […]

May 20

1 hr 12 min

Sue Patterson joins me again this week for the second part of our conversation, diving into three more listener questions. Check out part one here! Question Summaries I feel like I should be finding more friends for my kids to play with, but I’m introverted and it’s hard for me to reach out. My 12yo […]

May 13

53 min 52 sec

Sue Patterson joins me this week to dive into listener questions! And I’m sure it’ll surprise nobody that our conversation went long, so I’ve split it into two episodes—three questions each. A quick reminder, these Q&A conversations aren’t about giving anyone a “right” answer. We can’t know that because we don’t intimately know the real […]

May 6

46 min 4 sec

Anna Brown joins me this week to talk about our theme in the Living Joyfully Network this month, Stories. Diving into this theme has been fascinating because there are so many ways in which we tell stories as humans, with really far-reaching impacts. We talk about the stories we tell ourselves and our families in […]

Apr 29

50 min 10 sec

This week, I’ve put together a solo episode. This episode is geared to parents who are newer to unschooling, navigating the paradigm shifts that come with questioning so much of the conventional wisdom around learning and parenting that we absorbed growing up. Spoiler alert: there are no unschooling “rules.” But I think more experienced unschooling […]

Apr 22

34 min 53 sec

Blathnaid Cantwell joins me on the podcast this week to talk about her family’s unschooling journey. Initially, it was science and research that inspired Blathnaid’s parenting, but she found over time that her lived experience, as well as that of other families, helped her more deeply understand unschooling in practice. We talked about peeling back […]

Apr 15

1 hr 1 min

The Beck family of five—Angie, Darren, Josh, Rylie, and Ellie—are back to continue our conversation about their unschooling journey. We had so much fun chatting and sharing stories that our conversation flowed for about two hours, so I split it across two episodes. Check out part one here! This week, we talk about each of […]

Apr 8

1 hr 13 min

The Beck family of five—Angie, Darren, Josh, Rylie, and Ellie—joins me this week for a wonderful conversation about their unschooling journey. As you can imagine, the six of us had so much fun chatting and sharing stories that our conversation flowed for about two hours, so I’ve split it across two episodes. In part 1 […]

Apr 1

1 hr 1 min

This week Anna Brown and I talk about our theme in the Living Joyfully Network this month, Supporting Our Partners. We chose the word “partners” to represent any important adults in our family’s lives who have active relationships with our children—spouses, co-parents, significant others, grandparents, and so on. Our partners are an important part of […]

Mar 25

48 min 58 sec

This week, we’re diving into a question that comes up pretty regularly, not just from people new to unschooling but also from extended family and friends when they see our parenting choices in action: Won’t unschooling spoil a child? We look at four examples of parenting behaviours or actions, the typical conventional and unschooling motivations […]

Mar 18

37 min 14 sec

Karen Matthews joins me this week! Karen and her grown son, Tyler, own a furniture and wood craft business together. We talk about how their unschooling journey began and how following Tyler’s interests has not only been a rewarding path for him, but also for her. Karen shares some of the big a-ha moments she […]

Mar 11

1 hr 3 min

Siblings Laura and Allen Ellis join me this week to talk about growing up unschooling. They share how their childhood interests and experiences connect to the work that they currently do and some of the realizations they made along the way. We talk about the role their mother played in supporting their interests and providing […]

Mar 4

1 hr 15 min

Anna Brown joins me again this week! This month in the Living Joyfully Network, our theme is ‘Finding Our Guides.’ As I wrote about in The Unschooling Journey, our children can serve as our most valuable guides, helping us move through our fears towards joy and connection. Anna and I talk about how handing our […]

Feb 25

48 min 52 sec

Pam shares her essay, Unschooling Passions. Unschooling is about learning through living. As unschooling parents, we want to open up the world for our children to explore. But what if your child is passionately interested in just one thing? Doesn’t that close off his access to the world and limit his learning? I have two […]

Feb 18

50 min 57 sec

Julia Triman joins me to share her family’s unschooling journey. As a mom of two young children, Julia reflects on how her understanding of parenting and learning has changed through observation and being present with them. We talk about the incredible depth of her children’s play and how powerful it is that they can choose […]

Feb 11

1 hr 19 min

Susan Walker, who lives in the Patagonia region of Argentina, joins me this week to talk about her family’s unschooling journey and the major paradigm shifts she made along the way. We talk about her discoveries about being highly sensitive and introverted, how diving into unschooling resulted in so much personal growth, and how her […]

Feb 4

1 hr 9 min

Anna Brown joins me again this week! This month in the Living Joyfully Network our theme is Nurturing Our Children’s Learning. We are getting back to the basics of unschooling by observing how children learn through following their interests. Exploring learning through the lenses of curiosity and creativity, we talk about what to do when […]

Jan 28

50 min 23 sec

Joss Goulden, who lives in Western Australia and is mom to two kids, joins me to talk about her family’s unschooling journey. We talk about how she was inspired by her son’s brief time in kindergarten to make the choice to try unschooling, what her deschooling process looked like, and how she sees learning happening […]

Jan 21

51 min 18 sec

Betsey Tufano, an unschooling mother of two living in Barcelona, Spain, joins me this week! Betsey shares many details about her unschooling journey and about the importance of the internal work that she did along the way. We also discuss how her relationship with her partner has changed and deepened through their choice to unschool, […]

Jan 14

1 hr 25 min

This week marks the five year anniversary of the Exploring Unschooling podcast! To celebrate, I decided to dig into the podcast’s rich treasure trove of unschooling stories and highlight a handful of the many beautiful nuggets of wisdom that guests have shared over these five years. It’s been such a treat to revisit episodes as […]

Jan 7

1 hr 9 min

Anna Brown joins me again this week! This month in the Living Joyfully Network our theme is Seeing the Magic. As we move into the re-invigorating energy of new year, we are turning our attention to connecting with our children and finding the joy in our everyday lives with them. Anna and I talk about […]

Dec 2020

51 min 4 sec

This week, I’m joined by Ali Walker, an unschooling mom and primatologist living in New Zealand. I have gotten to know Ali on the Living Joyfully Network, where she has shared some incredible insights about parenting and unschooling through her lens as a primate researcher focusing on the mother/infant bond. Ali details some of the […]

Dec 2020

1 hr 6 min

Marta Venturini joins me this week! Marta lives with her husband and daughter in Portugal. We dive deep into her unschooling journey, which began when her daughter was an infant, and discuss her deschooling process and how it continued to evolve as she grew as a parent. Marta also shares how much she values the […]

Dec 2020

1 hr 11 min