Lael Whitehead tells how she took her children out of school and allowed them to learn from life in a natural, self-directed way, without curriculum, grades, discipline or rewards. Whitehead describes the various ways in which her three daughters each designed their own unique “educations.' She introduces her concept of “radical respect' as the cornerstone of compassionate parenting. Sharing stories from her own experience, she shows that when children are deeply respected - seen as they are, and not as we might wish them to be - they flourish, both emotionally and intellectually. Respectful parenting allows children to trust their own instincts and to pursue their individual passions and curiosities. They grow up to be creative, resilient and inner-directed adults who stay open and engaged with the world throughout their lives.
Lael Whitehead is a musician and writer who lives on Mayne Island, BC. Lael peforms and records with Jaiya (www.jaiya.ca), Banquo Folk Ensemble (www.banquo.ca) and the DanceHall Players. She has also recently published her first novel for children, Kaya Stormchild. Lael and her husband, architect Richard Iredale, raised their three daughters without formal schooling. Lael is a former editor of BC's Home Education News magazine. She has published numerous articles on alternative education, including one recently collected in Wendy Priesnitz's Life Learning: Lessons from the Educational Frontier.
A richly rewarding, life-affirming book. Highly recommended.   - Raffi author, children's troubadour, founder of Child Honouring.
As a homeschooling parent, I?ve always been curiously drawn to the idea of un- schooling, but have mostly stuck to conventional methods of teaching. This book challenged my ideas of education: how children learn and how to trust their interests. It got me looking at my kids from outside of the "school" box and questioning how I can encourage them to build upon their passions. - Lisa Marie Fletcher author of The Canadian Homeschooler