Blog - Page 2 of 8 - The Self-Directed Homeschooler

How to Help Your Child Make Meaningful Decisions

If I told you an 8 year old is perfectly capable of making her own decisions about what to learn, what would you think? I’ve gotta be nuts, right?  It’s crazy to give a child that much control, right?  Unschooling is educational neglect, right? A child that young is too immature to make such weighty decisions, right? Wrong. […]

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A Relaxed Homeschooler’s Guide to Unschooling

While they are not the same thing, relaxed, eclectic homeschooling and unschooling share some common traits.  A lot of families, myself included, come to unschooling through relaxed, eclectic homeschooling. As you relax more and more, straying further and further away from the sort of structure and style of a classroom, you realize loosening the reins […]

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6 Things Ridiculously Productive Homeschoolers Do

Ever had one of those days where you’re still in your pjs, the breakfast dishes are still in the kitchen sink, and you spent the last four hours binge-watching old episodes of Full House with your kids rather than accomplishing anything of any real value all day? In my house, we jokingly refer to those days […]

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3 Reasons You Don’t Need to Worry About Gaps in Your Child’s Education if You Are Homeschooling

A reader asked, “What do you do about gaps in your kids’ educations if you’re unschooling?”My answer, “Don’t worry about it.” If you’re already comfortable with a self-directed approach, you’re nodding in agreement.  Nothing new here.  But if you’re not, go ahead and pick your jaw up off the floor. Yes, I am serious.  Don’t worry about […]

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What About Classes, Curricula, and Teachers?

A reader asks, “What about classes, teachers, and curricula when you’re unschooling?”I know there are some within the unschooling community who are going to disagree with me on this.  They believe any teaching, any classes, and any curricula is antithetical to unschooling.  This is actually one of the reasons I prefer the term “self-directed homeschooling”. I […]

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7 Reasons You Need to Rethink Your Strategy If Your Kids Are Asking, “Why Do We Have to Learn This?”

If your kids are asking you, “Why do we have to learn this?”, it’s time to rethink your teaching strategy…because you’re missing the mark.  And here are seven reasons why:You’ve Effectively Put the Cart Before the Horse.You’ve given your kids the “what” – multiplication tables, spelling words, handwriting dittos, whatever – before they’ve had a chance […]

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You Don’t Have to Fear the Teen Years…and Here’s Why

“I still fit,” he says, in his 18-year-old man voice, as he sits his 180-pound man body on his mother’s lap and draws his knees to compact himself into a ball.   She’s squished, but she smiles anyway…enjoying the last few years she has with her boy before another woman will eventually replace her as Number […]

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You Want Your Kids to be Mediocre

“Why Our Parents Want Us to be Mediocre.”Yup, that was the subject line of an email I received from internet marketing guru Ramit Sethi the other day.  Of course, I had to read it, so good job with the interest-capturing subject line, Ramit.  Gotta give some kudos where kudos are due. And now onto the email.  You’re […]

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Rethinking Higher Education: How Isaac Morehouse and Praxis Are Expanding the Options Our Young People Have

Have you carefully crafted a rigorous, college prep high school education for your children?   Is every decision you make about their curricula, community service, and sports or clubs weighed against the holy grail of a letter of admissions from a prestigious university in mind? Are you dutifully making sure that they follow the scope and sequence […]

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  • Before you buy this booklet, you need to know that I am an unabashed proponent of self-directed learning and that will be reflected in everything I share about my own experiences as a homeschooler.

    I’m giving this disclaimer so you aren’t surprised by the clear bias I have toward unschooling.  

    I want you to know, upfront, what you’re getting and what to expect from me.  The advice I give and the questions I ask you to ask yourself are all valuable and valid no matter what style of homeschooling you ultimately embrace, though.  

  • About the Author

    Becky Ogden has been homeschooling since 2003, and graduated her oldest in the spring of 2017.  In her early years of homeschooling, she too struggled with feeling overwhelmed and inept. In trying to do right by her children, Becky found herself embroiled in battle after battle with them over their schoolwork.  Until…

    Until she found a better way.  One that empowered her children to self-direct their own educations.  One that respected their autonomy. One based in “right on time” rather than “just in case” learning.

    Without many veteran homeschoolers around to serve as mentors, Becky had to muddle through it on her own.  She spent hours of time in research and reflection.

    In the years since then, helping other homeschoolers find their own way and solve their problems has become a source of great joy for her.

    Contact email: