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The Unschool Files

The Unschool Files

By Meghan
on this podcast you will hear from the host, Meghan and other real life unschoolers and homeschoolers on a range of topics around self directed learning and living without school. this is not a “how -to” with experts but the lived experiences and some of the more nuanced and intersectional experiences in the unschooling and homeschooling community.
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1.34 mutuality and unschooling
In episode 34, Meghan takes to the mic alone to talk about mutuality, empathy, fearless listening and how it’s connected to the way we are raising children while unschooling. with a couple of F bombs because… language is powerful! Visit the website to connect with Meghan in various ways from being a guest on the podcast or supporting the zine to joining the Discord community - -as a reminder, the zine is limited print, deadline for this issue is April 15th,2022- The panel mentioned- on mutual dialogue with bell hooks, George Yancy and Harry Brod; philosophers of/by both formal education and in existence. Licity Collins on Fearless Listening Alok Vaid-Menon Instagram post Tammi Lenski on 5 bad listening habits
April 12, 2022
1.33 decentering school with Nikolai Pizarro
In episode 33 of the podcast, Meghan is talking with Nikolai Pizarro of @raisingreaders on the concept of decentering school, to center connection and relationship. this discussion touches on educational trauma, the pressure to uphold the school system and the values it thrusts into families. Nikolai is very aware that many families do not have the ability to leave school, and wants to empower parents and young people to know their humanity is priority. she gives real examples of ways folks can walk their children thru their agency while remaining in school. not focusing on the metrics that sort and divide children, and not letting schoolishness dictate how we see ourselves and our humanity. we talk about the great lie of school with our feet firmly on the ground and in truth for parents who just can’t stop sending their young people to school. find Nikolai on Instagram @raisingreaders and don’t forget to follow the backyard forest school @liberatorium and toss some funds toward the groundbreaking (literally) work here -> - subscribe to the zine over in follow @theunschoolfiles on IG support the work of the new zine production team by sending some loose change via PayPal ( or Venmo (@iamsilenth) visit to connect with Meghan - whether you’d like to be a guest or share your story privately / you are welcome here! Join the discord community, a place for Unschoolers to come together, while we prioritize the safety and well-being of people of the global majority; to find connection, answers, and reflect on schoolishness and how pervasive it can be. we also have a lot of fun, play games and support one another from afar!
April 02, 2022
1.32 the subtleties of colonization with Akilah S. Richards
in this conversation with Akilah Richards, we just feel our way through 5 different phrases. episodes of this podcast are never scripted, but this one is particularly vulnerable and off the cuff. i am so grateful for the time and space shared, and hope this conversation will help folks get a sense of what Akilah means when she talks about Raising Free People via unschooling and what our responsibilities are to the people around us. Connect with me- @theunschoolfiles on Instagram drop a me a coffee or buy someone a zine on Venmo @iamsilenth -Subscribe to the UNSCHOOL FILES ZINE! Akilah’s podcast Fare of the free Child Podcast ​​ Akilah’s Website Please become a patron of Akilah’s! Akilah’s writing for Everyday Feminism
January 25, 2022
1.31 community support
hello there, and welcome to the community check-in and support episode! here are the links to the few things i mentioned for support. i hope you know that you are loved, and not alone. xxMeghan Shawna Murray Browne Raising Readers Parent Support Line 404-737-1065 Join a compassionate community on Discord Subscribe to the z i n e on Patreon Email me at
January 11, 2022
1.30 neurodiversity + self-directed learning with Demetria
in episode 30 of the podcast, Meghan is speaking with an Austin based unschooling Mama named Demetria on raising Neurodiverse children without school. they discuss her transition from school to a restful home life, strategies for coping to be able to self-direct, and reflect on some vulnerable things as it relates to school and the harm it perpetuates. find meghan at on Instagram @theunschoolfiles and you can Email me at Demetrias Resources! Tik Tok @destini.ann @domesticblisters @oneausomemom @carringtonlbruton @ellaellaw @harrythompsonpda @unschooledandunbothered IG @makeba_celeste @prntgdcolonized @fareofthefreechild @theintuitivehomeschooler @neurodivercity @actuallyautisticalien @neurodivergentrebel @actuallyautistictiktoks @unschoolingmom2mom Podcasts Fare of the Free Child Honey I’m Homeschooling the Kids Exploring Unschooling Sage Family Use Your Outside Voice! unschooling podcast Audacious Autistics (YouTube & Spotify) ADHD Experts podcast ADDitude Strategies and Support for ADHD & LD ADHD for Smart Ass Women with Tracy Otsuka Self-Directed Learning & Neurodiversity, Terri Cox YouTube Lucy at Life Without School Books Ross W Greene, PhD: Raising Human Beings, The Explosive Child Alfie Kohn: Unconditional Parenting, Punished by Rewards Shefali Tsabary: The Conscious Parent, The Awakened Family Dumbing Us Down by John Taylor Gatto Free to Learn by Peter Gray Children Learn by John Holt Introverted Mom by Jamie C Martin The Highly Sensitive Child by Elaine Aron Differently Wired by Deborah Reber The Whole Brain Child by Daniel Siegel MD & Tina Payne Bryson PhD Unschooled by Kerry McDonald & Peter Gray Deschooling Gently by Tammy Takahashi **Demetria always emphasizes extracting what works for your family/lifestyle, and leaving the rest when it comes to any types of resources**
October 19, 2021
1.29 life update + reflections on unschooling
it’s been a while since i have jumped on and spoke alone. i refrain from doing this a lot, because i really value conversation with other people, and never want to seem to have any answers. i literally have none! in this episode i share an update on the journey to “school”, talk about the struggles of finding and building community (and remembering the ones we are in that don’t include Unschoolers), reflecting on what unschooling continues to ask of us, and a question for the community on the abolition or reform of schools! let me know if anything jumps out and you want to connect.
September 26, 2021
1.29 big mothering with Fran
in this episode, Meghan is sharing a candid conversation with Fran of @bigmothering. an Italian unschooling mama living in Dubai, who was finally able to take the plunge into self-directed education but only because the world shut down. we discuss what kept her from home learning prior, what came up during the year, and how things are going. you’ll want to grab a warm beverage and a cozy spot and listen to this one. Find Fran’s Blog here- Follow Fran on Instagram - Drop some change in my piggy bank or by me a coffee, if you feel called to share. I’m @iamsilenth on Venmo 🙏🏼
August 06, 2021
1.27 untigering with Iris
1.27 in this episode Meghan is speaking with Iris Chen, mother, unschooler, blogger and published author of the book Untigering. they discuss her journey to unschooling, tiger parenting and what it is, cultural overlap, and the emergent practice of self-directed learning while healing form family sounds and seeking co-liberation for all people. Where to find Iris- @untigering Podcast mentions- Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother (Amy Chua) All things from Akilah Richards can be found here Alliance for Self-Directed Learning Lucy Aitkenread’s YouTube - Life Without School Pam Laricchia’s Podcast - Exploring Unschooling Venmo Piggy Bank @iamsilenth 🙏🏼🫀
July 27, 2021
1.26 unconditional love with Shannon
in episode 26 of the unschool files podcast, Meghan is speaking with Shannon Loucks, an author and mother of 2 grown-ish unschooled “dudes”. they talk about the importance relationships with our children and being a love of unconditional love. they talk teens and talking less/listening more, GAMING, and some more of that critical unschooling AKA third wave unschooling talk we are always looking for on the pod. - Find Shannon on her blog Instagram @shannonbreakingdaylight 7reasons parenting teens doesn’t suck Buy Shannon’s book here - If you’d like to be a guest on the podcast, to talk about your life without school send an email, DM, or contact form via the website!
June 29, 2021
1.25 heading to junior high
in this episode Meghan shares some thoughts and feelings that have come up in her own family and others who have shared similar experiences - when things change, and school is on the table. how do we feel when our children may want something outside of us? how can we partner with them to achieve their self-directed goals?
June 23, 2021
1.24 raising wildflower kids with Nina Palmo
in this episode Meghan speaks with mother, blogger and sociology professor Nina Palmo about her approach to parenting and self-directed learning that she calls Wildflower Parenting. Find Nina at and @raisingwildflowerkids on Instagram Check out this blog post on how you can homeschool in less than 2 hours a day Thoughts on screen time and a screen sabbath
June 09, 2021
1.23 let’s rebuild
on episode 23 meghan rambles words of resonance sparked by intense bang-trimming level concentration and the many (off the mic) conversations with other parents swirling around in her head who are feeling... all the things, but mostly unsure of how to move forward. let’s connect. let’s rebuild.
May 25, 2021
1.22 examining unschooling with sue patterson
in this episode of the unschool files, meghan is speaking with veteran unschooling mom and coach, Sue Patterson. they discuss how she began, what that experience was like, from the pushback from the establishment in the 90’s to examining who and what has been left behind in the unschooling movement. she shares some insight on fear, and how we’ve been conditioned to think and to how the help with a reluctant parent/adult in the home. Where to Find Sue- Discount for all 20% off guides and courses to our listeners : UFDISCOUNT › unschooli...Unschooling Mom2Mom - Home | Facebook Clubhouse is a platform for live discussion via audio (apple users only at this time) - Sue hosts a Monday room to take questions and have room directed discussion For more information on Critical Unschooling, check out the paper below from past guest, Noah Romero For more information about unschooling and self-directed learning from a BIPOC perspective, please check out Akilah Richards of The Raising Free People Network! She has a book, podcast, courses, and provides so much. Please pay for her work.
May 05, 2021
1.21 shifting radical unschooling during the pandemic with sara
dusting off the mic after a LONG break during the pandemic! in this episode meghan is talking radical unschooling, shifting during a pandemic, creating rhythms, safety at home and intersectional parenting with sara of @_fen_cottages for help anchoring your days, find Sara's Rhythm Rainbow here - And here-
April 02, 2021
1.20 where do we go from here?
episode 20 is a mini-sode! a quick check in, as we all plan and plot the year ahead lots of folks are joining the ranks of life without school and that leaves us with much to discuss. •who does that leave behind? •what is our responsibility to the collective, and our smaller communities? •how will we integrate what we’ve been learning in this heavy season with our lives going forward? •are there practices or beliefs in your life that are directly contradicting the progress we need to move forward? the virtual round table i’m assembling will be discussing this and much more nuance around where we go from here. staytuned and thanks for listening to TWENTY WHOLE EPISODES 🙏🏽
August 03, 2020
1.19 child rights with lucy aitkenread
in this episode, meghan is speaking with unschooling parent, lucy aitkenread of @lulasticblog ; a british mama living life without school in new zealand with her partner and two children. she’s a community organizer, child rights advocate, a writer, a speaker and vlogger who’s very life is a form of activism. this discussion is all about autonomy, consent and the rights of children✊🏽please have a listen and give the podcast a rating a review wherever you tune in 🙏🏽 Lucy’s Instagram @lulasticblog Life Without School YouTube Lucy’s Blog
July 25, 2020
1.18 living academia with bridgett
in this episode meghan speaks with homeschooling mama of 4, Bridgett on raising young people abroad with her partner in an eclectic way. books, gardening, fermenting...books, baking, hiking, food adventures...books, music, anime and so many trains. did we mention books? you’ll hear about her lifestyle of learning, Black children in nature and unpack some language within the homeschooling communities around the topic, their joy and unapologetic way or existing and all things traveling and Japanese. you can find her over at @rootsofwonder on Instagram
July 12, 2020
1.17 in the margins with alicia lucas
in this episode, meghan speaks with alicia lucas of @brick_city_homeschool, mother of 5 free humans -on Black, queer unschooling, her deeply personal story of her children finding autonomy (some as young as 2) with the support of language, normalization and representation. We also discuss the ways she finds safety in community while living life on the margins and her pursuit of liberation. she explains how difficult it is to be aware of the lack of safety for Black children (especially LGBTQ) in public spaces while also pushing back on conformity and steadfast in her mission to live fully no matter what. FOTFC Teen Unschooling and Online Community Unconventionally Brown Frame of Reference podcast Patrion Brick City Homeschool Antiracism Resource List
June 16, 2020
1.16 black lives matter
Follow and Listen @theconciouskid @fareofthefreechild @latinxparenting @laylafsaad @rachelcargle @theunapologeticallybrownseries donate :
June 01, 2020
1.15 decolonized unschooling with noah romero
in this episode, meghan is speaking with fellow unschooling parent and Phd candidate Noah Romero, on how we can begin intentionally decolonize our thinking, and practices and center the stories and experiences of indigenous people and people of color for a more just and equitable society. Much love to everyone here, and wanting to do better. I see you, and I’m glad you’re here! RESOURCES: Article on Critical Unschooling Convention on the Rights of the Child- Sex Ed law- Brian Ray article compilation of homeschooling facts and statistics derived from empirical research- PODCAST on Self Directed learning for a socially just world - Yes Magazine, decolonizing issue - A MUST READ for all parents-
May 23, 2020
1.14 what do you need? + self direction with raegan
in this episode, meghan has a special message and invitation followed by a chat with her youngest unschooler on how the time at home during quarantine has shown her some needs of her own that need tending and how she self directs.
April 17, 2020
1.13 it’s a weird time
corona virus. ugh. It’s a drag and it’s making us behave weirdly. but it’s serious business. in this episode, meghan talks about how all our reactions, commentary and judgment of others is being seen by our children, and can shape how they come out on the other side of this pandemic. • if you have things you’d like to share to add to this discussion - because it’s ever evolving and our awareness is necessary - please send them to or over on Instagram @theunschoolfiles
March 18, 2020
1.12 muddy puddles, mess + honest unschooling with crystal
in this episode, meghan talks with crystal from about her experiences in unschooling her 7, 14 and (newly minted) 18 year old. she embraces the messier side of childhood after a shocking revelation that recreating school at home wasn’t going to work for her family! she’s one that makes ya smile as you listen to her talk, and is so relatable y’all! Find Crystal in all the places! -
March 10, 2020
1.11 deschooling + everyting is everyting with akilah
in this episode akilah breaks down deschooling and designing a new relationship with life and partnering with our children without old power structures. she helps describe the need for community and the push-hold that can be much needed while in relationship with our kids, and give us some tools to make that happen. You can listen to Akilah and her daughter Sage here College Admissions for Unschoolers A couple of Akilah’s Essays Connect closely with Akilah on Patreon!
March 05, 2020
1.10 peeling back layers and mindset
in episode 10, meghan talks a little about the upcoming guests and how it will really help answer many of the questions the unschool files is getting in feedback. she lays some ground work to understanding the mindset that is unschooling vs schooly paradigm. if you’d like to be a guest on the podcast, or ask any questions - find us on Instagram @theunschoolfiles
February 24, 2020
1.9 expectations + bathrooms
in episode 9, meghan talks about what can happen when our expectations of our loved ones aren’t met, and what might be standing in the way of that. also, a totally relatable bathroom schpeal that is actually her clear confession, not a hypothetical!
February 12, 2020
1.8 setting boundaries while unschooling
in this brief recording of some rambling thoughts and practices of setting boundaries with the people you love and live with, meghan talks about some ways she uses boundaries and why they are important. by no means does this cover it all, but as we’ve entered the new year and are learning to care for ourselves better, take time for ourselves and set boundaries (sometimes for the first time ever) it’s important to remember not to hurt the ones you love with the space you need. communication is key!
January 10, 2020
1.7 liberated learning with catina of embark center
in this episode Meghan talks with Catina, an unschooling mother and staff member at Embark Center where teen members are opting out of high school for an experience that is self-directed. with the help of staff and community volunteers, members are forging a path all their own to adulthood that may or may not include classes but is always their choice. @embarkcenter
January 03, 2020
1.6 language freedom and harmful language
in this episode, meghan talks a little about her own encounters with problematic language while raising a free thinking teen and how they came up with a working solution to acknowledge and discuss while still having choice. how are you unpacking harmful language that may come up? maybe it’s not even your child, but their friend. our language is important as it can perpetuate harm... let’s talk about it.
November 29, 2019
1.5 frankenstein schooling with mari
in this episode meghan talks with american mama, mari on their life without school in tokyo and her son’s immersion to various cultures in and around asia. @theunschoolfiles @enchantingages
November 27, 2019
1.4 what unschooling is and isn’t
in this episode, meghan talks about a handful of myths about unschooling and talks specifics on reading, classrooms and curriculum, and even a little on some of the judgment of this process. this is a quick debunking from experience and welcomes anyone to listen to try and understand a little more about what unschooling is, and isn’t
November 21, 2019
1.3 how unschooling unfolded with jason
in this episode, meghan has a conversation with her partner who was an unschooling “drop-out” who decided self-directed learning was a better use of his time as a teenager. they discuss some of benefits of living without school and also some of the struggles as a young man out in the workforce while his peers were in the classroom. @theunschoolfiles
November 13, 2019
1.2 finding balance in unschooling
in this episode, meghan speaks on some ways to personalize your unschooling experience to fit the members of your family best, and tools she uses to keep some balance in it all
November 01, 2019
1.1 meet them where they’re at
in this episode meghan discusses the periods we all experience where we begin to question our choice to live without school. old programming and how to get back to the reasons you chose this path. to meet your children where they’re at.
October 25, 2019
1.0 welcome to the unschool files podcast
in this brief intro, meghan shares the intention of this podcast and community. you can join the conversation over on Instagram @theunschoolfiles
October 24, 2019