Laurie Wolfrum's Certificate of Empowerment

Hi - I made my own version of your Certificate of Empowerment to hand out with my "Pass the Bean Dip" talk that I did at the mini conference. I wanted to share it with you.

Laurie :)
(November 19, 2013)


As bearer of this certificate you are no longer required to depend on or follow the advice of experts, friends or family members. You are entitled to have your own values and opinions, listen to your own inner voice and live according to what you believe is best for yourself and your family at any given time.

Henceforth, you are not required to please others, explain yourself, defend your decisions or provide information to anyone with whom you don’t feel comfortable.

You are relieved of any and all obligations and pressures and may instead choose from the many opportunities available to you from which you are free to participate in or not. You have permission to see yourself as capable and trustworthy.

You are authorized to set appropriate boundaries as you deem necessary to protect yourself and your family from physical or emotional harm.

You shall neither be required nor expected to finish everything you start, have the freedom to change your mind at any time and may choose how, when, how often, and with whom you spend your time.

You may take however long you like to discover what interests you and may delve into those interests in your own time and way, spending as much or as little time as pleases you. You have the freedom to start, stop and restart (or not) any project, hobby, book, movie, or experiment as you see fit.

Living life shall be utilized as means of learning and gathering knowledge. This includes learning from daily activities, physical exercises, hands on experiences, hobbies, libraries, trips, nature, volunteering, television, the computer, audio books, videos, movies, games of any kind, discussions, observation, analyzing, thinking (including deep thinking, pondering, and day-dreaming), experimentation and more. These learning experiences may take place at any time of the day or night seven days a week including holidays and vacations.

You are empowered to use all of the knowledge you have acquired to best meet each child’s individual needs.

You are free to say “I don’t know” and to find out if you so desire.

You may revel in your successes and learn from your mistakes.

You have leave to think your own thoughts, and to encourage your children to think theirs.

You are free to grant to others the consideration and respect that you wish they would give to you.

You have permission to feel good about your beliefs and choices, to trust and enjoy yourself and your family, and to dwell on the positive.

Each person who reads and understands this is authorized to extend these privileges to others, by reproducing and distributing this certificate or by creating another of his/her own design. Those who don’t feel that need to obtain approval to experiment, to think, or to do things they’ve never seen others do are exempt, as they didn’t need permission in the first place.

Other versions of the Certificate of Empowerment:

Some related links to read about unschooling and responding to family, friends, and criticism.
LIVING JOYFULLY NEWSLETTER, Issue #5, December 22, 2012—DECEMBER'S THEME: Unschooling and Extended Family

Some phrases to keep in mind:
Periodically we evaluate how things are going.
Nothing is written in stone.
For now, this works for us.
We’ll see how things go.

Original 2012 Commentary on the original Wonder, and other later ideas