Hi there!

My name is Jenna and I have started a fan page on Facebook that is helping connect unschooled familes with unschooled au pairs/nannies.!/pages/Unschooled-Au-Pair/123863... I started this page because when I started looking for an au pair to help me with my son I realized that there wasn't anywhere to specifically find someone that had knowledge of unschooling.

What we do is we get some background information from both the families and people looking to be au pairs. We then send the family the potential matches we recieve and they can then contact the au pairs.

This is an amazing experience for both the families and the au pairs. The families have the opportunity to learn from the au pairs and their past experiences with unschooling while the au pairs get to travel, live in a new city (or country!), and have a new life adventure! In the end everyone gets to learn through the experience!

Please email me if you are looking for the adventure of a lifetime at jennamiller28@... or visit us on our fan page!/pages/Unschooled-Au-Pair/123863...

Have a wonderful day!


Sandra Dodd

-=-I started this page because when I started looking for an au pair
to help me with my son I realized that there wasn't anywhere to
specifically find someone that had knowledge of unschooling.-=-

We were in correspondence before the formation of that page, Jenna and
I, and I'm hesitant to say "great idea!" Not a bad idea, but not
necessarily a great idea.

The only person I know who's done this is my daughter Holly, and both
times it was "under the table," so more than anything it was an
agreement between me and the family she lived with. There was no
middle man, no 'site,' no one else to take responsibility or be a part
of the negotiations.

If someone knows the parents or the teen and invites them to stay and
offers them some compensation, there is much less legal liability
involved than if any third party brokers the deal, and more than if it
is officially like a hiring situation. I do worry about legal
liability in cases where the host family knows no one in that other
family personally.

I'm not trying to be totally negative on the idea of a match-up site,
but I'm interested in examining it in light of unschooling (as it was
sent to this list and all).

-=-This is an amazing experience for both the families and the au
pairs. -=-

This is the possibility for an amazing opportunity.
The experience isn't guaranteed to be amazing.

Sometimes teens are moody. There's the possibility that something
about the climate or environment won't be ideal for that person. The
teen might get homesick.

While unschooling is a small community, it's fairly easy to find
people through other people. This seems a jump, though, to me. And a
teen might say "I want to do that!" while other teens and adults would
be shaking their heads and thinking (or saying) bad idea. Not all
teens are Holly. Some are probably much swifter and better suited to
such a deal than Holly, but it's hard to know. I would hate to be
asked to endorse someone and gamble my reputation to her suitability,
and I wouldn't want to risk the friendship with the parents by saying,
"No, I don't think so; I wouldn't trust her." Eeek. I would hate
very much to be put in a position to need to "certify" teens as
qualified for this, nor to see anyone else put herself in a position
to be certifying or rejecting. Speak of tests!!! yikes.

As to having them as unschooling consultants, it's hard enough for
some adults to explain unschooling, and to expect a teen to explain it
to a family clearly is a lot to require. Kids who grew up with it
might not be analytical enough to explain it, nor brave enough to
object to parental practices. I've been asked directly, "SO! What do
you think?" about someone's parenting, and it's not comfortable for me
to say "There are some glaring problems, if you really want to be a
good unschooler."

Another potential problem is the normal opportunity for a kid to bail
out on a decision. Professional au pairs are unlikely to decide
against it a week and a half in, but if an unschooler isn't
comfortable, and wants to go home, will that "ruin her reputation" or
prevent her from staying with a family with whom she's more comfortable?

And another thought, about unschooling and learning. If a family
wants an au pair to keep confidences (as some family/servant
relationships traditionally do), that would be a problem for me.
Telling a teen not to discuss what they have done and seen seems
potentially dangerous to me. But I also wouldn't want a teen going
away and telling stories that could harm the ability of that family to
get a replacement teen.

It runs the danger of the teens being "certifying" the parents, or
covering for them. I neither want to certify nor cover for anyone. I
think things should be kept on a friendly basis, and not turn

There IS potential for it to be wonderful, if it's handled gently and


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]