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Beyond School: Living as if School Doesn't Exist by Wendy Priesnitz

ISBN 978-0-920118-23-8
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Beyond School:
Living As If School Doesn't Exist
by Wendy Priesnitz

This is homeschooling pioneer Wendy Priesnitz's fourth book about life learning (also known as unschooling, radical unschooling, whole life unschooling, or self-education). Beyond School is a collection of seventeen essays about how families and individuals can live and learn without coercion or struggle, and with trust, respect, if school doesn't exist. Together, they create an impassioned but well reasoned case for a different way of helping children and young people learn about today's world while becoming equipped to live in tomorrow's world.

Priesnitz is a calm, clear, voice of advocacy and support for life learning, which is based on respecting the everyday experiences that enable children to understand and to interact with the world and their culture. She writes with a wisdom and certainty born of forty years of observation of the damage done by schooling, and from her own experience and that of other families living without coercion. Making the radical seem obvious, she shows that school is not only unnecessary, but can get in the way, as it turns children from active to passive learners, shuts down their curiosity, removes their autonomy, and damages their creativity and ability to think clearly. She provides insight, inspiration, and information about helping children learn what are considered academics as well as life skills while living from day to day, pursuing their interests and passions.

This book holds high the beacon of respect for and trust in children – not only to learn what they need when they need it, but to fully participate in the lives of their communities and to take their places in a democratic society. At the same time, it reassures homeschooling parents (as well as those other adults in their lives who haven't yet realized there are possibilities for education beyond school) that their chosen path is the inevitable way forward.

Essay Titles:

  • Introduction
  • The Words We Use
  • Learning in the Real World
  • Lazy Learning
  • What Children Need
  • Risking to Learn
  • Freedom or Control
  • Power to Control
  • Questioning Socialization
  • Restless? Go Climb a Tree
  • The Art of Inspiration
  • How Do They Know That?
  • Go Look It Up
  • Will Computers Warp Their Brains?
  • Education Inspired by Nature
  • Ready For A Changing World
  • Finding Success
  • No Such Thing As Unschooling Failure

Wendy PriesnitzAbout the Author:
Wendy Priesnitz and her husband helped their two daughters learn as if school didn't exist, beginning in the 1970s, when it was almost unheard of. In 1979, she founded one of the earliest unschooling support organizations and continues to share her experience and long-term perspective through workshops, speeches, articles, blog posts, and books. She has authored twelve other books, including Challenging Assumptions in Education: From Institutionalized Education to a Learning Society, about the dangerous misconceptions people have about public school and how home-based learning (aka unschooling or life learning) is the key to a prosperous, peaceful future; School Free, a bestselling homeschooling start-up guide; and Life Learning: Lessons from the Educational Frontier, which she edited. She is also an award winning writer and edits four magazines, including Life Learning Magazine and Natural Life Magazine.

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Natural Life Books specializes in adult non-fiction about ways that families and individuals can live and learn on Planet Earth in a healthy, socially responsible, environmentally sound, self-reliant manner. We are the retail division of The Alternate Press, an imprint of Life Media, an independent, family-owned book and magazine publishing house established in 1976. We are proud to publish books and other information products about homeschooling and life learning (also known as unschooling).

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