Inside: Looking for unschooling podcasts to help you deschool yourself and become the confident unschooling parent you want to be? These are, in my opinion, the best unschooling podcasts out there, along with several others that just might become your new favorites.
I cannot underestimate how much listening to unschooling podcasts has helped me transition from relaxed homeschooling to unschooling.
If you’ve been around for a while, you already know that I love unschooling books.
But while reading them definitely helped me to feel more confident about relaxed homeschooling, they didn’t give me that last push I needed to embrace unschooling fully.
I needed the podcasts to do that.
What’s So Special About Unschooling Podcasts?
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So what do unschooling podcasts offer that unschooling books cannot? The only way I can describe it is getting inside the brain of radical unschoolers on a regular basis.
A book is a static and finite representation of unschooling perspectives and principles. Once it’s written, it’s pretty much done.
Sometimes unschooling books include stories of all kinds of unschooled children and their educational outcomes, like Peter Gray’s Free to Learn. Other times, a book shares the story of one unschooling family, like 18: An Unschooling Memoir or Homegrown.
What I love about unschooling podcasts is they let you hear in real time exactly how all kinds of unschooling parents are applying unschooling principles to their own unique circumstances.
Unschooling podcasts share interviews with more unschooling parents than books could ever share.
You’re far more likely to take in the vastness of the unschooling community through podcasts, to understand that unschooling doesn’t look the same.
In my opinion, books can only take you so far. Podcasts play a vital role in the deschooling process.
The Best Unschooling Podcasts for Radical Unschooling
I describe these unschooling podcasts as the “best” because many of them have helped me the most on my journey to unschooling, with one exception: you’ll find on this list a podcast I only recently discovered – Fare of the Free Child.
I’ve honestly only listened to one episode so far, but because so many others find her work essential, and there are so few resources for BIPOC unschoolers, I decided to include it so more unschoolers know it exists.
I hope to keep this list up to date over the years with new and emerging favorites. If you have a new unschooling podcast, or one not mentioned here, reach out to me, and I’ll listen in!
Here’s to an uninterrupted hour (or less) to enjoy these conversations! I know they are hard to come by.
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1. Exploring Unschooling
Exploring Unschooling is my go-to unschooling podcast, hosted by Pam Laricchia. Pam has been writing and working in the unschooling space for over a decade, and she has written her share of unschooling books.
She has also created an online forum to support unschooling parents, which I’m considering joining myself when I have more time.
With close to 400 episodes (some of which are flashbacks/re-runs), there are interviews with unschooling parents and advocates, solo episodes with just Pam, and my personal favorite Q&A episodes, where unschooling moms Erika and Anna join Pam to answer reader questions.
If you want to truly deschool yourself and transition fully into unschooling, you need to know how unschooling parents see the world and how they approach parenting and learning.
It took well over two years of listening to this podcast for me transition from relaxed homeschooling to unschooling, but every episode moved me closer to fully unschooling. I walk away from every episode with profound (to me) ideas and perspectives to ponder.
The best part? Pam emphasizes over and over again that she is not an unschooling expert and that every family and child is unique. “There is no one right answer,” is the refrain you’ll hear over and over again, which I love.
2. Unschooling Mom2Mom
I discovered Sue last year, and I really love listening to her podcast Unschooling Mom2Mom! Sue is an unschooling veteran, with three successful adult children who were all unschooled.
Besides the obvious wisdom a veteran unschooler can impart, the beauty of this particular podcast is in its brevity. Sue specifically chose a 10-15 minute episode length because, in her words, “I know you’re busy!”
So if you’re looking for a shorter unschooling podcast (many of the others on this list run 45-75 minutes long) from an unschooling mom who is on the other side of this whole homeschool journey, this podcast might just be your favorite.
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3. The Unschool Files
In The Unschool Files, Meghan brings a fresh voice to the unschooling space with a mix of solo episodes and rich interviews. A mom currently raising three unschooled kids, married to a former unschooler.
She introduces a wide variety of voices in the unschooling community as a whole, although you will see/hear some familiar voices. I also appreciate her periodic solo episodes where she shares about various decisions her family faces with self-directed education, including a child asking to enter a school environment.
Meghan prioritizes giving marginalized audiences a platform and a voice. You can’t miss her passion for working towards a more just and equitable society for all, including within the unschooling community.
Fair Warning: she doesn’t shy away from potentially touchy topics (isn’t everything touchy these days?) that have come up during the pandemic.
4. Sage Family
Rachel has been gentle parenting and unschooling her three children from the time they were born, although she prefers the term “natural homeschooling” to unschooling.
Sage Family is a mix of topics, with more than half dedicated to unschooling, gentle/respectful parenting and education. Not feeling bound to niche down just to unschooling, Rachel covers all the topics that interest her, from money to simple living and minimalism to relationships beyond parenting and more.
Maybe I love this one so much because Rachel and I are so alike in our interests?
The episodes are not straight up interviews, but more like meandering conversations. She and her guests often have roughly equal talk time. I enjoy hearing her perspectives and responses to the wisdom her guests bring to the table.
If you want a podcast that touches on more than just unschooling (because let’s be real, sometimes you want to come up for air), the Sage Family podcast might become your favorite.
5. Fare of the Free Child
Fare of the Free Child is hosted by Akilah S. Richards, author of the book Raising Free People: Unschooling as Liberation and Healing Work. Her target audience is BIPOC unschooling families, but anyone could benefit from her content.
The podcast format is unique, at least to me, with episodes sometimes including poems, songs, affirmations, conversations and more.
While I haven’t listened to the podcast frequently, Akilah’s book is full of profound content on unschooling as decolonizing work. If that’s your jam or you are in her target audience, be sure to check out her podcast.
Language Warning: If you can’t handle cussing, this might not be the show for you.
Additional Unschooling Podcasts to Explore
I went back and forth about what I could honestly recommend as the “best” unschooling podcasts. Eventually, I landed on recommending the ones I return to again and again, or the ones that are one of a kind (Fare of the Free Child).
Does that make them the best? Possibly. But I suspect it could just be my personal preference.
For that reason, I wanted to mention additional unschooling podcasts out there. Who knows? You might think one of these is the best.
If so, drop me a comment to let me know which one and what you love about it.
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1. Honey, I’m Homeschooling The Kids
I heard about Honey, I’m Homeschooling The Kids years ago, but I didn’t know it was an unschooling podcast until doing research for this post. I just had a Tiktoker friend also recommend it and there are over 90 positive reviews, so there must be something to it?
I’ve listened to all of half an episode, featuring unschool mom Leah McDermott who I follow on Instagram. So far, I like what I’m hearing.
If this podcast is a favorite of yours, will you share with readers (and me!) why it’s your favorite in the comments? I’d love to hear from you.
2. Stories of an Unschooling Family
Stories of an Unschooling Family is hosted by one of my favorite unschooling authors, Australian unschooler Sue Elvis.
Her podcast “reads” much like her books, with a lot of questions, personal stories, and thoughtful insights. The pace is slow and methodical, and she has not posted often in the past year or two.
Personally, I prefer her books to her podcast. The written word seems a better match to her style, and Sue has so much wisdom to offer!
Especially if you are an Australian homeschooler, or unschooling mom to many, Sue’s podcast could be just what you need.
3. Life Without School
Life Without School is hosted by Issy, New Zealand unschooling dad to four. I would describe Issy as an strong advocate for self-directed education and child-led learning.
However, he doesn’t necessarily embrace radical unschooling (he’s admitted that the label “unschooling” doesn’t fully fit their homeschool style), which is why it didn’t make my “best” list. He approaches educating and parenting his kids more as a coach than a partner.
Life Without School still has fantastic homeschool content, and it’s always refreshing to hear from a homeschool dad in this space.
4. The Unschool Space
The Unschool Space is an unschooling podcast that I haven’t had a lot of time to explore yet.
It seems to stick to an interview format almost exclusively, so you’ll find dozens of conversations with unschooling parents and advocates.
Unlike other unschooling podcasts, where you see a lot of similar names/faces, I only knew one name on the list of guests! So if you’re looking for variety, this could be the podcast for you.
Jesper and Cecilie Conrad have been unschooling for years, and they recently decided to start a podcast called Self-Directed where they interview some of the biggest names in the unschooling and self-directed education movement.
You’ll hear from unschooling thought leaders like…
- Sandra Dodd
- Mary Griffith
- Lucy AitkenRead
- Peter Gray.
You’ll find a lot of wisdom, honesty and insight in these long conversations that cover every aspect of the unschooling lifestyle.