I feel there’s been a shift in most online unschooling discussions recently, where more people have a greater respect for kids and parents who identify as autistic, adhd, or otherwise neurodiverse, and use those “labels” as personal identifiers that help them find community and respect. Some of the sites and comments that made me so lonely just a few years ago–and guilty for labeling my kid–have been critiqued as ableist. So while not all of these unschooling resources will talk about neurodiversity, I’ve found them excellent guides for unschooling my kid. A lot of people have favorite unschooling authors, like John Taylor Gatto or John Holt, but I haven’t found those as helpful as these parents practicing and discussing unschooling.
Pam Laricchia’s Living Joyfully
Pam has several books, and a new one to come out, that are accessible, friendly, and both practical and philosophical at the same time. She’s unschooled three children. Her podcast is hands-down the best resource I could recommend for new and experienced unschoolers, where she interviews hundreds of parents about what unschooling looks like for their families.
Sue Patterson’s Unschooling Mom2Mom
Sue Patterson is really good at admining facebook groups. She manages a great balance of focusing on unschooling advice–and sometimes deleting comments that aren’t based on unschooling so that readers can find the unschooling advice among more conventional ideaas–while also respecting and being kind and friendly to the original poster. Her groups have hundreds of unschooling parents and many of them parent neurodiverse kids, and they have great ideas about challenges that can arise. Search through the archives of the facebook groups, or check our the Unschooling Mom2Mom website for more resources.
Idzie Desmarais’ I’m Unschooled, Yes I Can Write
Idzie is a life long learner–grown unschooler–who is deeply interested in alternative education and has so much to say about the big educational questions that arise when people start unschooling. She also identifies as a queer feminist and has some great reflections on the unschooling community.
Akilah S. Richards’ Fare of the Free Child
Akilah talks, writes, and discusses unschooling and self-directed education for Black and brown families. She has so many great insights about the specific challenges and joys of unschooling for people of color, and especially about the personal and interpersonal process of deschooling for her family as well as great interviews with people trying to make self-directed education happen in democratic schools.
Unschooling Special Needs
I found this group and have been so grateful for it. It’s a support group for parents wanting to unschool neurodiverse kids or kids with physical disabilities. I know some neurodiversity advocates have been triggered by parents’ attitudes toward their kids here, have wanted to use the comments to correct ableist language and practices, and have felt shut down by admins who want comments to be supportive. I haven’t kept tabs on that tension too much, but I know this is a space I really needed for several years.