The Homeschooling and Liberty Summit
The future of education is THE conversation we should be having
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Regain your family`s freedom. Define your reality. Live a life of creativity and joy.
The Time Is Now
The system is broken. No one is happy. It’s time to look for alternatives to the outdated and harmful way we educate our children. The time has come to think critically about the world we wish to create, and outgrow the factory model of government schooling.
Inspirational Guest Speakers
In these short, inspiring interviews, leading lights in the world of Homeschooling, Alternative Education and Entrepreneurship guide us through the highs and hurdles of taking kids out of compulsory schooling, to a life of creativity and joy.
The Future Is Bright
For too long we have been told we cannot trust ourselves, let alone our children, to discover their natural ability to understand the world around them, through play, co-operation and imagination. Learning never stops, life is learning, and learning should be fun!
*1 Dr Ron Paul
Three time presidential candidate, founder of The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, podcast host and overall legend in his relentless pursuit of peace and broadcasting the message of liberty, Dr Ron Paul joins us to reflect on his family upbringing and how he feels the conversation of the future of education is the most important one effecting our freedoms. Dr Paul is an amazing speaker and we get a rare glimpse of how he feels his involvement in providing a Homeschooling Curriculum and his passion in promoting The Homeschooling Movement in general, will be his furthest reaching and greatest legacy in changing the intellectual climate.
*2 Pat Farenga
When a young, confident Pat Farenga entered the offices of the “father of homeschooling”, the late great John Holt, he had no idea of how this man would shape and influence his life. In this great conversation, Pat tells us of his first encounters and later deep appreciation for John Holt´s real understanding of how children learn (and fail). Pat tells us how he always felt there must be something more than the monotonous public schooling he endured and how parental fears and a lack of patience to let their kids explore are the main reasons stopping us enjoying time with our kids.
*3 Dr Peter Gray
One of the most renowned American educational psychologist (and always recommended as a great place to start any journey into the science behind how kids learn) Dr Peter Gray, who currently occupies the position of research professor of psychology at Boston College, takes a break from his winter skiing and joins us today. Dr Gray offers great insight into the importance of play for any child encountering the world and wishing to make sense of it. We get to understand how the role play had such an important influence in our biological evolution. Dr Gray goes on to enlighten us how the traditional school model is actually playing a major part in a "creativity crisis" we see prevalent in the world today, with students leaving university having no capacity to think for themselves.
*4 Kerry McDonald
In this great conversation, Kerry McDonald, a mom of four unschooled children, a writer for Natural Mother Magazine, and a Board member at the Alliance for Self-Directed Education, tells us how she first encountered a homeschooling family and was amazed at the contrast in the children compared to those attending public school in their confidence, articulation and curiosity. We discuss Kerry`s journey from Harvard University, where she obtained a Master's degree in education policy, to becoming a true self-directed learning advocate. We are also excited discuss her new book, "Unschooled". Kerry also writes at at Forbes, NPR and Education Next
*5 Professor William Boyes
The distinguished and respected Professor Boyes is the emeritus economics professor at the largest university by enrollment in the United States, Arizona State. He is a man of great principle and caused waves in academia when he openly called for an end to public schools. He expands on how he sees education (and forced government schooling) as the number ONE issue affecting personal liberty, how we have no idea of the impact technology will have on the future of learning, and how present day universities simply cannot survive in their current form.
*6 Dr Carlo Ricci
Professor of Education, author, and founder of the Journal of Unschooling and Alternative Learning, Dr Carlo Ricci joins us as we discover how he uses nothing he studied in school in his role as a Professor of Education at Nippising University. We also discover how he raises his two daughters, who have had complete autonomy in all their decisions from birth, from their diet, learning direction and decision to attend public school. Dr Ricci is a caring member of the Homeschooling World and with his contribution of many great articles, books and journals on the subject, is a rock to lean on when understanding that kids are naturally curious and endlessly creative in engaging and learning from the world around them.
*7 Pam Laricchia
In this beautiful talk, we get to know Pam Laricchia, a long-time unschooling mother from Ontario, Canada who hosts a weekly podcast “Exploring Unschooling”. The soothing tones of Pam`s insights take us back to her original fears about taking her kids out of school, to rapidly understanding and embracing the underlying philosophies of unschooling, and how it soon became apparent there is something even more fundamental that lies underneath the learning, and that`s our relationships with our children. Pam is a natural poet and reflects on how “learning isn`t about doing well at school, it`s about engaging with life.” She feels raising her kids at home has provided them with a lifelong love of learning, a deep level of self awareness and confidence in making choices.
*8 Dr Brian Ray
What a great gentleman to have grace us with his presence today, Dr Brian D. Ray. Dr Ray founded the Home Education Research institute in 1990 as a non-profit research organization and is the president. He is a leading international expert with regard to Homeschool research and renowned public speaker and expert witness in courts. In this expansive talk, we discover how much has changed since Dr Ray dipped his toe into the Homeschooling world nearly thirty years ago, what are the main reasons families choose to Homeschool and the fundamental question of whether government should have the responsibility of bringing up children or parents should do. So many great topics covered from an excellent speaker.
*9 Dr Thaddeus Russell
When asked what could have been done better in his school days, Dr Thaddeus Russell answers "everything"! In this far reaching conversation, Thaddeus goes back to the 1970s and his Berkeley home life, the boring and meaningless drudgery of school, how the podcast culture is changing paradigms of pretty much everything and his cautious optimism about the future of education. Thaddeus has launched his online university, Renegade University, to great success with students logging on from all over the world and truly understands the possibilities only now just coming to life, when, in today`s connected world, a bored student is able to drop out of school one day and log on to study Plato`s Republic the next.
*10 Tom Woods
We round off these first ten interviews with a true giant in the world of promoting Liberty, through his numerous best selling books and daily podcast, the great Tom Woods. Amongst many other roles, Tom is a senior fellow of the Mises Institute and has crafted a Homeschool Curriculum which offers students the history and economics you are not taught in school, Liberty Classroom. We get to understand the motivation for starting Liberty Classroom and how the courses are structured to correct the “educational malpractice” so many of us have suffered in attending government schools. Tom has a very rosy outlook for the continued rise of popularity in Homeschooling, as public schools to continue to worsen.
*11 Laura Grace Weldon
Welcome to the optimistic and inspiring world of Laura Grace Weldon! A “mother of the homeschooling community” and great joy to spend any amount of time with, Laura welcomes us to her farm, where we find a world of hope, laughter, bee song and reflections on her family’s life together in discovering the deeper meanings of life. Laura, coming from a family of teachers, tried for many years to change the system from within, but the day a gun was pulled on her son in school, that was it. In this chat that could have gone on for many hours, we discover how all children are “Free Range Learners”. Laura takes us on her own journey and the path of creative self discover her children have had the pleasure to wander, to become autonomous, content and fulfilled human beings.
*12 Jerry Mintz
One of the most prolific and respected figures in the alternative education movement, Jerry Mintz from Education Revolution and AERO, joins us to shine light on his grandfather`s great influence in getting him interested in learning. Jerry explains how government schools are clearly not meeting the needs of students and how he helps a multitude of parents get started on their journey into alternative education. Jerry has help set up 100+ democratic schools based on The Sudbury Valley Model, which he sees as brining back to life the fundamental philosophies of an Iroquois Democracy, consensus not tyranny. Jerry has a great grasp of history and points out this philosophy was the true essence of the founding of the United States, and has been lost in the 150 years we have seen the introduction of compulsory government schooling.
*13 Lainie Liberti
Lainie Liberti is what I am sure most kids dream of in a mother. Adventurous, inspiring and always curious, Lainie talks to us about her and her son’s decision to leave the US and travel the world. We get to see how their journey unfolded into developing Project World School, which inspires temporary learning communities around the world. With her Ted Talk and podcast, Lainie has prompted many families to look at life as more of an adventure and we are taught there is no goal or test at the end, and this thinking shows us how schooled we are.
*14 Isaac Morehouse
The overwhelmingly positive and bright light that is Isaac Morehouse joins us today to give a glimpse of his motivations to start Praxis, a modern day apprenticeship program placing creative minds in paid positions in “forward tilting” start-ups. Isaac was himself unschooled, although the word was far from ubiquitous as today, and now after trying to model the public school system at home (and failing) lets his children explore their own passions and interests based on The Sudbury Valley Model philosophies, of how kids learn through co-operation, play and imagination.
*15 Connie Allen
We had the pleasure of sitting down today with the Joyous Family Coach aka Connie Allen today to experience her empathy and warmth in her work of providing support to families and children "at risk" either attending public schools or already on their Homeschooling journey. Connie describes how she feels government schools are extremely limiting in the development of children, controlling kids natural curiosity to the point of extinction. From her vast years of experience within public schools, she explains how many kids live in constant fear of the endless testing and are simply living unfulfilled lives.
*16 Jeff Collins
Jeff Collins from Hudson Valley Sudbury School joins us as we delve deep into The Sudbury Valley School Model (Democratic Schools) to learn that life is the curriculum, there are no classes or exams, and people learn best when motivation comes from within rather than from an external source, whether it be parent, teacher or national curriculum. Jeff also gives us a valuable look back at how the current model of school was implemented to bring the farmers into factories and set-up as such, to create obedient, well controlled workers unable to think for themselves. Jeff expands on how the government mandated school model is no longer relevant and unable to provide students with the innovative and creative qualities needed to survive in today`s rapidly changing world.
*17 Ben Hewitt
Celebrated author and all round good fellow, Ben Hewitt joins us to take us through his journey of dropping out of school at 16, studying carpentry and subsequently building two family homes, living from his writings full-time and starting a small (!) 40 acre cattle and berry farm in Northern Vermont. Ben is uniquely equipped to be realistic about being 90% self-sufficient, the myth about ever being fully “self sufficient" and the fact that he would never want to be anyway. We learn of the freedoms his boys have had growing up unschooled and the importance of community and mentors in any family adventure into homeschooling. An always top ten great asset to have in the bookshelf of any Homeschooling family, Ben is the author of “Homegrown, Adventures in Parenting off the beaten track."
*18 Cassi Clausen
*19 Cevin Soling
Although a hard watch at times, the documentary that caused such a huge response throughout the world, from parents, teachers and kids, “The War on Kids” is a must see piece of art opening up the can of worms that is modern day public schools. The director and man of many hats Cevin Soling joins us today to discuss his inspirations to make the documentary, his biggest take aways and how it was received by the entrenched interests in government schooling. Cevin has two graduate degrees from Harvard University and writes articles and books in addition to producing documentaries, animations, short films, and feature films that engage in social critique. A great guest and eye opening chat.
*20 Zak Slayback
Today we sit down with LinkedIn's most influence voice, Zak Slayback, who dropped out of An Ivy League School to concentrate on his passions of writing and speaking about education, innovation, and philosophy. Looking back, Zak casts light on how he disliked the “One Size Fits All” approach to schooling, how the constant testing just got in the way of his learning and why nobody ever questioned why the school system was set up this way. We go down the rabbit hole of the future of education and Zak offers us a new perspective, liking the future of schools similar to the present day postal service, obsolete and bound to be replaced by something far more colorful and creative. Zak is also a leading voice and founding member of Praxis, where he spends a lot of his time, encouraging and providing support for the latest entrepreneurs entering the workplace.
*21 Carsie Blanton
Thoughtful, fun and inspiring (not to mention an amazing musician and songwriter) Carsie Blanton talks to us about her family home and growing up Unschooled in rural Virginia. We hear of her parents keen interest in letting Carsie being able to pursue her passions and how her home would always be full of inspiring adults attending her father’s retreat center. Looking back Carsie sees this as playing a large part in learning about the world and gaining curiosity and self confidence. We also learn of how Carsie sees her homeschooling background gave her two precious treasures that public schools cannot, time to explore her own interests and the ability to be self motivated and independent.
*22 John Wilkerson
When John Wilkerson was kicked out of an IT class for knowing too much, perhaps his pathway was set to becoming a leading voice in the advocacy of responsible and creative use of technology in any homeschool. John reflects on how schools can never adjust for the difference in pace individuals learn certain subjects, his family´s journey into homeschooling and what parents should look forward in any program or app they are thinking about using in their home education. With years of experience in researching the latest technology, we pick John´s brain about potential dangers of kids being on the internet, how he manages his own Wired Homeschool and the responsibility of parents setting an example.
*23 Erica Goldson
When a Valedictorian`s speech was posted on youtube claiming the Valedictorian title is only given to a school´s best slave, it is no wonder it went viral! Well today, a few years later, Erica Goldson joins us from her world travels to expand on how she feels school is so limiting compared to real world experience, that most classroom rewards are given simply for rote memorization and how schools should be seen as only one resource, when there are many more exciting options out there to learn, connect and discover who you are.
*24 Skyler Collins
In this open and honest conversation, Skyler Collins, a husband and unschooling father of three, tells us about giving his son the choice to Homeschool, who on realising it would mean more time to play minecraft, jumped at the chance. From Skyler’s staunch and well rounded understanding of Personal Liberty, he founded EverythingVoluntary.com, a great to place to understand how Homeschooling has at its heart The Voluntary Principle. We talk about how starting a journey into Homeschooling may bring up traits of how you were raised as a child and how his kids have complete authority over their own bed times and diet, which actually translates into them going to bed when they are tired and selling excess candy at Halloween rather than eating it! His published works include Unschooling Dads: Twenty-two Testimonials on Their Unconventional Approach to Education, and No Hitting!: A Short Guide on Why Spanking is Unnecessary.
*25 Scott Noelle
Scott Noelle is an author and life coach dedicated to supporting parents who have rejected control-based parenting and embraced an approach he calls PATH Parenting, based on Partnership, Authenticity, Trust, and Heart. He shares practical parenting wisdom through his blog, The Daily Groove, online at www.dailygroove.com. A father of two self-educated adolescents, Scott is also a founding member of the Alliance for Self-Directed Education.
*26 Shauna Reiseitz
Shauna Reiseitz is the founder of Pacific Sands Academy which celebrates interest led, independent learning by mentoring teens and setting educational goals supporting their inherent interests and passions. They build accredited transcripts by helping teens pursue individualized, self directed learning.
*27 Steven Horwich
Educator, writer and director, the world traveled Steven Horwich today gives us a damning look into the realities of California and the chaos that is the public school system. He offers his own unique insights into his journey into researching and understanding how kids learn, what a creative self directed curriculum could look like and the future of education.
*28 Martina Tyrell
Martina Tyrell joins us from Southern Spain to take us on a journey into how homeschooling looks whilst living on a boat and sailing the seas. Now a little settled in a small Spanish town, Martina offers valuable insights into how to start planning for such an adventures, the joys of being outside most of the day, and how her husband, a PhD physicist, may be the most over qualifies bar man in the world!