50 Awesome Posts About Interest-Led Learning & Unschooling From 2011

by ChristinaPilkington on December 31, 2011 · 28 comments

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Happy New Year’s Eve! 

Now is the time of year when lots of bloggers, newspapers, and magazines put out their top 10 or 50 or 100 lists.  It’s the time when they highlight the best of the best from throughout the year.


 So, I thought, why not jump on the bandwagon?


 Here a list of 50 of my favorite posts about unschooling or interest-led learning from this past year.  These posts have brought me inspiration and great ideas this past year.

Have fun reading!


1.  There is no scarcity: Unschooling  by Amy at On Bradstreet

2.  Guest Post: The Future of Unschooling by Jeff Landale  @ I’m Unschooled. Yes,  I Can Write

3.  When the School Doors Close: A Midsummer’s Night Dream by Linda Dobson @ Parent At the Helm –AWESOME!

4. Why You DON’T Need a Curriculum for Learning by Linda Dobson @ Parent at the Helm

5.  Unschooling is not Hands Off by Joanne @ An Unschooling Life

6. The Real World with Unschooling by Kimberly Sharp Slage @An Unschooling Life

7. Yes, We are Unschooling, and Yes we have Plans by Stacey @echolage

8. What We Gain: Empowering Unschooling @ radiofreeschool

9. 10 Unschooling Mistakes You Want to Avoid @radiofreeschool

10. The Ultimate Self-Education Reading List by Jamie @ Self-Made Scholar

11. Practical Learning: Reuniting Thinking and Doing by Jamie @Self Made Scholar

12.  It’s Starting Again by Jessica @ Teachable Moments

13. Interest-Led Learning: Our Un-Plan for Science by Jessica @ Teachable Moments

14. Lessons Learned From the Waltons by Susan @ Learning ALL the time!  

15. Not the Day I Had Planned by Susan @ Learning ALL the time!

16. The Psychology of Self-Directed Learning by Blake @ Blake Boles

17. My TEDx Talk: The Unschooling Mindset by Blake @ Blake Boles

18. The Problem with Easy by Jen @ The Path Less Taken

19. Us Time by Jen @ The Path Less Taken

20. Six Reasons Your Should Save Time in Your Schedule for Field Trips by Tonya  @ The Homeschool Classroom

21. How to Encourage Writing With the Media Kids Like by Patricia @ wonderfarm

22. Love reading today! Love writing today! By Patricia @ wonderfarm

23. Moments by Denise @ MominMadison

24. Play  by Denise @ MominMadison

25.So…what? Unschooling by Stephanie @ Ordinary Life Magic (this one’s really, really good!)

26. Inventory by Stephanie @ Ordinary Life Magic

27. Biggest Homeschooling Mistake: Not Travelling Sarah’s More by Sarah @Simple Homeschool

28. Learning While Travelling: 5 Road School Abroad: 5 Best Reasons by Jeanne @ Soultravelers3

29. Learning Vacations, Educational Trips that Teach Kids by Jeanne @Soultravelers3

30. Mom’s Story: When School Left My Child Behind He Was Finally Able to Learn by Jo-Anne @ The Innovative Educator

31. Students Can Educate Themselves Without the Control of Adults By Peter Gray @ The Innovative Educator

32.Freedom by Darcel @ The Mahogany Way

33. My Kids Need Me @The Mahogany Way

34. Academics Are Extracurricular to Unschooling Life by Sara @ Unschooling Lifestyle

35. Make Your Own Course of Study Collection by Sara @ Unschooling Lifestyle

36. Raising Entrepreneurs: Making Things Happen @ Camp Creek Blog

37. The Rise of the Creative Class @Camp Creek Blog

38. Kids Learn Math Easily When The Control Their Own Learning by Peter @ Freedom to Learn

39. Why Children Protest Going to School: More Evolutionary Mismatch by Peter @Freedom to Learn

40. Reporter Asks About Unschooling and Tiger Moms @ Just Enough and Nothing More

41.Creating Lifelong Learners @Just Enough and Nothing More

 42. When an Interest-Blossoms into a Kid-Powered Project by Kelleigh @ Kidzinky

43. The Best of Both Worlds: Combining Real &Online Worlds in Kid-Powered Learning by Kelleigh @ Kidzinky  

44. No Force Necessary by Jennifer @ Little Homeschool on the Prairie

45. Different by Jennifer @ Little Homeschool on the Prairie

46. Joy in Learning by Pat @ Pat Farenga.com

47. Back to Playing, Not Back to School by Pat @ PatFarenga.com

48.Creating Space for Art by Sara @Walk Slowly Live Wildly

49.How to Be an Unschooling Family by Sara @ Walk Slowly Live Wildly

50. Feeling Overwhelmed @ Green-Mangoes


I wish all of you a very happy New Year full of new experiences, adventures and connections.

I look forward to writing more about interest-led learning and how you can create more of that in your home this next year. I also love writing about fun resources and activities you can do in your home.

Would you mind sharing with me what YOU would like to read more about here on this site this next year? Any topic or post ideas? Any activity ideas?  Please leave me any suggestions in the comments below or send me an e-mail at chris@christinapilkington.com.Thanks!


Photo Credit:adihrespati

What has been your favorite reading or audio about interest-led learning in 2011?


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  • Linda Dobson

    Nice list, Christina…lots of great reading to get everyone through winter, probably! I’m honored that you included posts from Parent at the Helm; thank you very much.

    • Anonymous

      You’re very welcome! I’ve really enjoyed reading your site this past year. And you’ve personally inspired me a lot through the wonderful ideas your share in your books.

  • Radiofreeschool

    Thanks for including Radio Free School posts! We are honoured.

    • Anonymous

      You’re welcome! I’ve really enjoyed listening to your podcasts, too.

  • http://profiles.google.com/kacagle Karen Terry Cagle

    I can’t wait to delve into these articles! As usual AMAZING lists. I do love your lists. :)

    • Anonymous

      Thanks so much, Karen! There’s some great stuff here.

  • http://echolage.wordpress.com/ Stacey

    THank you for including my post in your list. I hope this New Year is full of wonder and adventure.

  • Grace

    What an inspiring list! I don’t see much in the way of suggestions in the comments, so even though I’m not normally one to comment I’ll toss in a few of my favorites.

    One of the best is Peter Gray’s blog Freedom to Learn http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/freedom-learn and in particular, a good introduction to him is in this post about trustful parenting: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/freedom-learn/200908/routes-toward-trustful-parenting-and-children-s-freedom-in-our-time

    I also get a lot out of the links provided by Parental Intelligence Newsletter http://www.parental-intelligence.com/ (no specific posts because it’s a best-of sort of thing).

    My all-time favorite is the blog by Free Range Learning author Laura Grace Weldon. Her blog is http://lauragraceweldon.com/blog-2/ I always come away with something big to think about after reading this. I couldn’t pick a favorite post but here’s a recent one about how to help kids connect with adult mentors throughout their childhood years http://lauragraceweldon.com/2011/11/09/mentor-fancy-name-for-grown-ups-kids-need/

    • Anonymous

      Thanks so much for adding these! I was hoping for more suggestions. I really like Peter’s and Laura’s blogs, too. It was hard to narrow down my 50 top posts and there were quite a few from Laura’s blog that I really liked, too. I just started reading it about four months ago, so I look forward to what she’ll write this coming year. Also, if you’re looking for a great book to read with lots of really fun activity suggestions, her book Free Range Learning is really, really good!

      I also just subscribed to the Parental Intelligence Newletter. I hadn’t heard about it before, so thanks for listing it here :)

  • http://www.campcreekpress.com/ Lori

    thanks for the mentions! :)

    happy new year!

    • Anonymous

      You’re welcome! I really like your thoughts about project-centered learning :)

  • http://www.littlehomeschoolontheprairie.com/index.html Jenn

    I can’t wait to read each one of these posts that you’ve mentioned- such wonderful food for thought in the new year. It looks like an awesome list, and I thank you for including me in it:)

    • Anonymous

      Jenn, I hope you have fun reading some of these posts. They’ve really inspired me or given me lots of great ideas. And I’m so glad to have come across your blog this year,too!

  • http://twitter.com/MahoganyWayMama Darcel

    This is an amazing list. Thank you so much for including me in this list of amazing unschooling blogs! I can’t wait to read through it. Some of the post I read last year when they were posted.

    • Anonymous

      You’re welcome! I’ve been reading you blog on and off for a few years now (I have to get better at commenting!) and it’s been fun watching your girls and now your son grow up. They’re such creative kids!

  • http://www.sattvicfamily.net/ sattvic Family Travel blog

    Great list Chris!!! I can’t wait to read them all. But that blog Self Made Scholar is calling me..

    • Anonymous

      I know! Some of these blogs can really be addicting, especially the Self Made Scholar. It’s easy to just read for hours, if you can, that is!

  • http://www.teachablemoments-jessica.blogspot.com Jessica

    It is New Year’s morning, and my whole family is asleep. I have my coffee brewing and I am going to curl up on the couch with my cup of Joe and my two dogs and read these posts! What a wonderful way to begin 2012. Thank you for including my words in this list. I am honored.

    • Anonymous

      There’s nothing like reading early in the morning when the house it quiet :) I really hope you enjoy these posts. And of course I had to include you,too! I’ve really enjoyed reading your blog this year and look forward to seeing that you have a new post.

  • http://patriciazaballos.com/ patricia

    Thank you so much for including me in your list. What a thrill! Looking forward to digging into other posts which are new to me. Linking this page for my readers too! Happy 2012!

    • Anonymous

      You’re welcome! I really need to comment more on your site because I really enjoy reading it. I like how you write about homeschooling and writing, my two top passions :)

  • http://thegettys.blogspot.com Susan

    This is an amazing list, Chris…I can’t wait to read the posts I haven’t read before (and re-read some I have!) Thanks for putting this together, and thank you for including me in it!! :)

    • Anonymous

      You’re welcome! I always look forward to seeing that I have a new e-mail from you letting me know you’ve posted something new. Have a great New Year :)

      • http://thegettys.blogspot.com Susan

        And I feel the same about your posts :) Happy New Year to you and your family!!

  • http://twitter.com/thehscoop The Homeschool Co-op

    I can hardly wait to dive in!

    • Anonymous

      I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

  • http://www.ordinarylifemagic.com/ Stephanie

    What an honor to be included in your list, Christina. (and surrounded by so many of my favorite people!) Thank you so much!

    • Anonymous

      You’re welcome! I don’t comment as much on your blog as I should, but I really,really love reading it. I always come away feeling more joyful and you’ve introduced me to so many great resources.

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