What is Radical Unschooling?

Dayna discusses radical unschooling and living a life without limits – yet living a healthy, balanced life. Discover how to treat children with the love and respect they deserve. Dayna steps outside of mainstream thinking and into a mindset that’s natural, not forced – a partnership with our children. We’re not here to mold our children, but to be in relationship with them – to be their partner.



  1. Hi there! I love this … I am sad though and I feel that it might be too late for me as a parent of a 9 year old boy and a 6 year old girl. I recently put my son back in school because I thought he is now ready for it(I home schooled him for 2 1/2 years)…however I don’t exactly feel right about doing it…in one way I feel he will actually thrive more academically and socially and he does love that part of school (friends) , however he is not reading and shows no interest in it and I am quite slack on helping him practice (life gets busy) that I put him in school hoping they could do a better job. Then I come across your lifestyle and totally conect with it but feel as though its too late…help!

  2. I am very interested in really knowing what you really mean. I have a child with a persuasive development disorder and was wondering if this may work better for him. He hates not having a routine though and the more you give him the more he pushes and has more behavior problems. If this would work as apposed to me having to teach and teach and bore him, I would love it. I hate standing in front of him and saying well you just are not doing that the right way. You have to do it one way and only that way really kind of annoys me. We already live a out of the box lifestyle anyway so it’s not like we are worried what others think. He has high aspirations already at just 8 years old. He plans to be an archaeologist or an egyptologist when he grows up because ancient history is his passion. He is also passionate about helping the environment. Sorry to bore you with all of this but I just want to learn more about ways to help him get the most out of his life. Thanks

    • Shasta, I, also, have a 10 year old son with PDD-NOS. Because of the limitations placed upon him at public school, I’ve decided to home-school him. Unschooling is the method I have chosen because I truly believe that my son will find his way to learn. I’m not so sure that radical unschooling is the way for us because some routine is important to him.

      Thanks for sharing!

  3. Just had to stop watching to tell you that I actually do communicate with my spouse that way – not in a chipper, fake way, but by communicating my pleasure when he does something good, even if it’s little like doing the dishes when I’m too tired. He does the same for me, letting me know when I’m doing something he appreciates. Both of us need that kind of reinforcement or we can feel like the things we’re doing are invisible to the other person. You might think it’s condescending, but many marriage therapists (who have also written books on the subject) disagree.

    I love unschooling. I have a mixed approach with my sons where half is directed by me via a curriculum and the other half is child-led exploration. This works for us because, like Brenda above, my boys have attention issues and need routine to keep them grounded. On the other hand, they’re very creative and love to follow their passions. But I don’t believe that unschooling means not training your children. I think people have attached stigmas to certain words, but the truth is that we all train and manipulate each other to survive. It’s human nature. When you thank someone for opening the door for you (maybe your arms are full of groceries), you’re training her to do the same thing again next time someone is standing at a door with arms full. I agree with your premise, that we should respect our children and especially embrace our children’s choices and sense of self. I just disagree with the concept that verbal reinforcement is somehow wrong because we don’t want to “train” each other.

    Thanks for the work you’re doing in freeing people from the tired old system that’s stealing our children’s creativity!

  4. Thanks for the videos. I love unschooling when it comes to education but struggle with the radical approach so much because every time I try to really trust the kids they really push the boundaries and dig into the junk food, stay up way too late and sit in front of the TV for way too long. All of these then in turn cause behavior issues because their bodies are tired and filled with sugar. I can see older children being able to make better decisions but a 6 and 7 year old just push to no end.

  5. Vashti Merz Samuel says

    We practice radical unschooling, I feel a real connection when trusting our children and seeing what they love to do and discovering who they are. there is real freedom in loving unconditionally, although one has to learn to push through many fears of “what if I don’t have control?” I have found that they are so much wiser than people give children credit for. My just turned two year old knows exactly how to respond to her older siblings crying ie. yesterday our 7 yr old was crying she hugged her older sister first asked her what happened? and kept saying ” I know, I know,” they show so much empathy and responsibility just because they are not trying to defend themselves constantly or are not living in fight flight mode ( how I used to live as a child) I never even understood what I liked or wanted and only knew what my mother liked or wanted until I was about 26-27 years old. Which was many years after I’d left home. It is SO encouraging to see our children so mature and blossoming , my husband and I can see benefits of this unschooling every day, the only thing is I don’t have the guts to tell my immediate friends ( I’ve told only 1) that we do radical unschooling. Our children can all read and write etc., and they know so much more about money household costs, bills, and shopping etc than I ever did. Recently my husbands boss offered to pay for all our sons schooling at the poshest school in town ( the one where my husband’s bosses son goes to). We all discussed and talked about it, firstly our son (10) didn’t want to, even though he has been to school from 4-6 yrs old and to a democratic school for a couple of weeks, also I thought, no matter how amazing this school is meant to be, no teacher can care as much for your children as a parent does. How can a teacher be better to your child in a class full of 20 or so children, than their own mother who in my case has only 4 to look after?
    So we declined the offer, and I feel really good about it, although I would never tell my family. ( I don’t think)

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