The Life Without School Podcast

Helloooo and welcome to the Life Without School podcast, where I help you and your children live the life you want to, not just the one you’re told you should. New episodes drop weekly, and you can subscribe wherever you prefer to listen to your podcasts:

Listen on: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music

Enjoying the podcast?

If it's bringing you the comfort and reassurance I hope it does, please consider making a donation to help me do more, and spread it further. Thank you, Issy.

11. You Are Not Your Child’s Teacher

Home educating parents often put a huge amount of pressure on themselves to perform the role of being a teacher, and in this episode I want to talk through why I believe the stress, tension, and feelings of failure that so often come from that are unnecessary.

First, we’ll talk through four reasons why I believe it’s a mistake to try and be a teacher to your home educated child. Then, we’ll talk through some different ways of thinking about the role you can play instead.

My hope is that by the end of this chat you’re able to free yourself of the pressure, expectation and tension that can come from trying to be both a parent and a teacher.

Episode details>

10. Every Child Has A Story To Tell

Asking our children to all learn the same things, at the same times, in the same groups, in the same spaces, with only the same ages…

…is effectively asking them to become the same as everyone else.

It’s asking them to think less about their true selves, and more about what the most accepted version of it might be. It’s asking them to see their uniqueness as a bad thing, and fitting in as good. No, more than that – critical.

And to me, this fundamentally undermines what being a human being is all about.

See, I believe every child has their own story. And in this episode, I want to make a plea to let more of them tell it.

Episode details>

9. Why Trusting Your Child Will Change Their Life

In this episode we’re looking at a philosophy that underpins how Kate and I approach life with our kids, their education, and our relationships with them. It’s very different to the way formal education is approached, and is based on the power of trust.

We’ll talk about the process of letting go of that complete control over a child’s education that is so engrained in us. About why it’s so important, how we might navigate it all, and what the results can look like.

About how putting trust in our children has changed our lives. And, how I believe it can change yours, too.

Episode details>

8. Monthly Q&A: On Growing Resilience / On Finding Time For Yourself / On Reluctant Dads

In this – the first of many episodes where I’ll spend some time answering listener questions – I talk through:

1) How do you respond to people saying ‘life is hard – if you don’t force your child to do things they don’t want to do, how will they be prepared for life’?

2) How on earth do you ever find time for yourself, and your own interests?

3) How do I get my husband to see how beneficial home education can be?

Let’s get into it.

Episode details>

7. A Week In Our Life Without School

A lot of you have asked for a day-in-the-life style episode, so…here it is! I think there’s a stack of important context that should always be shared as part of this kind of conversation, though, so this episode is made up of three parts (if you listen in, *please* make sure you go right through – taking any of this in isolation just…won’t be as useful):

Part 1 is some of the thinking we went through to arrive at the daily and weekly flow we have.

Part 2 takes you through what that flow looks like for our three older children – who are 6, 11 and 14.

And Part 3 is a few extra thoughts that I think should accompany any day-in-the-life style example. And yes – there is definitely some screen time chat in there.

If you’re struggling to find the right rhythm for your family, I really, really hope there are some things you can take from this!

Episode details>

6. Four Strategies For When Home Education Feels Hard


This week I want to talk about what to do when this home education path starts feeling hard, because what we’re doing here isn’t easy. As parents, we’re taking on a huge responsibility by choosing to live a life without school, and there’s not always the support we need, or would like. Either practically, or emotionally. There’s no…set playbook for this stuff.

Today, I’m going to talk through four things that have helped me when the journey has felt tough.

Hopefully they bring you some comfort, some reassurance, and the ability to make your way back to those good days when they start feeling hard to find.

Episode details>

5. How To Talk To Family And Friends About Home Education

One of the things we often underestimate when we decide to live a life without school – regardless of how excited about it we are – is how our family and friends will respond to it. How we’ll talk to them about it, and answer the questions that they’ll probably have. Because despite the growth and awareness in home education recently, we are still very much in the minority, and this path is still very misunderstood.

With so many families joining to this path, I want spend some time today building some tools to help with those family and friend conversations.

Episode details>

4. Designing Your Life Without School

In this week’s episode I want to talk about how a good home education lifestyle doesn’t just happen…it needs to be designed. Because it’s one thing to decide that a life without school is the right thing for your family, and the path you’re going to take…but it’s a whole other thing to work out, practically, what your days and weeks will actually look like.

The beauty of home education, of course, is that you get to decide how you want to approach it. But, that’s also one of its biggest challenges. And more often than not, you won’t find your balance and flow until you’ve experimented, and probably blended together a few different approaches.

You need to find what works for both you and your children, ebbing and flowing with your family’s energy and interests.

That’s not easy, it doesn’t just happen, and it takes some thoughtful work. Today, I want to help you with some starting points and strategies for that.

Episode details>

3. Busting The Two Biggest Homeschooling Myths

For this episode I want to dig into two of the biggest misconceptions about home education that I, personally, have experienced over the years that I’ve been an unschooling dad.

Despite it being a rapidly growing form of education, especially over the past year or two, homeschooling (or unschooling, hack schooling, home education, world schooling – whatever your personal flavour or term happens to be) – is still a widely misunderstood world.

The reasons for choosing to opt out of school and the approaches home educating families take have all broadened hugely over the years. How it’s all viewed by the wider population, hasn’t really kept pace with that. Common perception is as narrow as it was 50 years ago.

At best, this is causing awkward conversations in the playground.

At worst, it’s holding the world back from advancing how our children experience life (and that goes for their adulthood when they get there, too).

Episode details>

2. How We Became A Home Educating Family

The very, very squiggly story of how we became a home educating family, including:

  • How we ended up at financial rock-bottom as 30 year olds (with two young children).
  • How despite that we’ve made it possible to always have at least one of us not working and at home with the children.
  • How we found the experience of attending three different schools across two different countries.
  • How a serious chronic illness threatened to derail our life plans, but actually helped keep us on the right path.
  • How our first attempt at homeschooling was an exhausting mess.
  • How we started de-schooling ourselves, and eventually settled into unschooling.

You know how you look at those families online and say ‘wow, life has been so easy for them – no wonder they can make a lifestyle like that work’?

Yeah, that’s not us.

Episode details>