Joyce Fetteroll on Unschooling

and another thing or two

JOYCE OUT AND ABOUT, with over four million answer views on Quora

On unschooling, at Quora

Responding to questions about education in a broader sense, on Quora

Writing about Parenting, on Quora

Joyce's blog with questions and answers:


Ten Questions with Joyce Fetteroll, podcast interview by Pam Laricchia in 2016

Joyce interviewed by Sandra Dodd; longer version of what was published in HSC's HomeSchooler magazine in December 2012: A Rich, Supportive Environment


Unschooling Takeaway: Sound Bites—given at the December 2011 Always Learning Live Symposium in Albuquerque.

Products of Education
A description (new 10/18/04) of schools as factories, and students as products.
Fun, and a little scary, and a lot inspiring.

Transcript of Joyce's presentation at the 2002 Live & Learn Conference

Five Steps to Unschooling

"I'm Joyce Fetteroll. Unschooling mom. Writer. Artist. Computer nerd....I was born in Pittsburgh in 1956. I grew up hungry for what didn't exist: fantasy and science fiction for kids...."


Pushing vs. Allowing

Some reasons that "Follow Your Heart" can be very bad advice.

"Always say yes. Or some form of yes."

Logic and decisionmaking

That Balloon Analogy...
The lists are for help in letting go of fears, not for hanging on to them.


Being your Child's Partner
to questions about control and power struggles

"Look for the delight in life and it will infect your kids"
response to "What if they aren't interested in learning?"

Do Thoughts Count?—Response to a mom who said her son was lazy.

Can TV be "an addiction"? What about addiction?

"When Does Independence Arrive?" —a beautiful response to that question

Am I Homeschooling for the Right Reasons?
Joyce, in response to that question, quoted on a site for Christian homeschoolers in the U.K., South Africa and Australia

About the formation of friendships outside (and inside) school

Joyce's Own Page on Unschooling and Thoughtful Parenting:

Joyfully Rejoycing


(quoted in full with the permission of the author):
From: Santhy George
Date: September 13, 2011

Joyce, my name is Santhy and I'm from India. My husband and I have two lovely little girls (5 and 1) and we recently got introduced to unschooling. A couple of months back we didn't even know it was possible to homeschool, let alone unschool. Our lives are suddenly and unexpectedly in the midst of a revolution - to put it mildly. I have a long long way to go and am nowhere near where I want to be, but I do know where I want to be, and that is mostly due to you (and Sandra). The radical unschooling philosophy offers the best parenting advice I have ever come across in my whole life (though the most challenging). We are Christians and we are stunned at how all of it is so in line with the teachings of Jesus.We cannot believe it was all there in the Bible and we never really saw it before - we were too caught up in the conventional notions of 'disciplining' children. (Though of course many (most?) Christians will still hold on to that and say this is against the teachings of the Bible. We are in fact in the middle of a long discussion with family/friends over it).

I thought I'd wait a while before writing and thanking you but I can hold it in no longer. Your wise and insightful writing is a HUGE inspiration. I have been recommending your website to anybody who will listen. It is excellent for newcomers like me - neatly laid out with all the topics visible in one page, not at all overwhelming. It addresses most of the questions and doubts a beginner might have. But best of all is the way you write. There is something special about it, I'm trying to put it into words but I can't do it justice. Its non-threatening and soothing. And its so brimming over with wisdom and understanding and compassion and empathy that it makes me want to consider what you are saying, even if it so goes against all I 'know' is true.

I look forward to your posts on the unschooling lists, I know there will inevitably be something for me to take home, whatever the topic. Last week somebody expressed concern over their young children saying "sometimes its ok to murder", and I thought your reply was amazingly wise and so did my husband (and all the friends I copied and sent it to:)). I was wondering why no one on the list commented on it - or maybe they have come to expect it from you:-). I wanted to tell you to save it somewhere on your site, its too precious to get lost in the archives. Its not just what you said, its the way you said it, prefacing most lines with a calm and gentle "it helps to see/think/know....".

You must be so used to people writing and thanking you for the difference you have made in their lives, but I have to say it for myself - I hope you know what a blessing you are to us, and I'm sure countless others. I am so thankful for the internet - this is too radical a concept here and I would never have stumbled across your writing otherwise. And thank you for all the time and effort you invest in putting down your thoughts so that others may learn and benefit - I cannot tell you how much it means to me and my family. Thank you and may God bless you.


Brief interviews elsewhere:

The Relationship Factor: Joyce Fetteroll's Interview

Radical Unschooling Philosophy Illustrated

The King of Flour!

Costume Connecting

Have art. Will travel.

Yes, but ... No, but ... Unschoolers are not exempt from the laws of nature and man.

Other Voices—collections of writings by particular writers

Couldn't find a place to file this, from years ago:

Kat (14) is taking guitar lessons for the first time. Her teacher was impressed that she could read and play the notes without looking at the fret bar and wondered how she could do that if she'd never played before. Kat replied "Three years of playing video games!" She said he laughed.