Taking the leap from status quo conventional schooling to Self-Directed Education can be difficult. Despite the well-documented dangers and failures of conventional schooling, and in spite of superior academic and life outcomes that are available via Emancipated Learning, those who venture away from conventional public, private, progressive, and alternative schools are often questioned and judged by family members, friends, co-workers, and neighbors. One day, our society will evolve enough that the average person will accept that Self-Directed Education free of coercion is the most humane and efficient way to learn, and provides the best long-term outcomes for individuals and society. Until that day, you can deepen your understanding of more liberatory, loving, and youth-centered ways to educate and support young people, and prepare yourself to defend your decision to free your children from the practices and structures of schooling by reading, listening to, and watching some of the following resources. Books with an asterisk (*) are books we give to families and highly encourage them to read and reflect on. Books with a carrot (^) are books all Facilitators read. Resources with a plus sign (+) are those that speak about the community or people of Abrome.


Getting started:

  1. Free to Learn, Peter Gray *^

  2. Hunt, Gather, Parent, Michaeleen Doucleff

  3. Raising Free People, Akilah S. Richards *^

Going deeper:

  1. Emergent Strategy, adrienne maree brown ^

  2. The Book of Learning and Forgetting, Frank Smith ^

  3. Teaching to Transgress, bell hooks

  4. Trust Kids!, carla bergman *^+

  5. Untigering, Iris Chen

Other reads:

  1. Changing Our Minds, Naomi Fischer

  2. Drive, Daniel Pink

  3. Excellent Sheep, William Deresiewicz

  4. Overschooled but Undereducated, John Abbott

  5. Raising Good Humans by Hunter Clarke-Fields

  6. How Children Learn; How Children Fail; and Teach Your Own, John Holt

  7. Neuroqueer Heresies by Nick Walker

  8. The End of Average, Todd Rose

  9. The Gardener and the Carpenter, Alison Gopnik

  10. The Self-Driven Child, William Stixrud PhD, Ned Johnson

  11. Troublemakers, Carla Shalaby

  12. Unconditional Parenting, Alfie Kohn

  13. Ungifted: Intelligence Redefined, Scott Barry Kaufman

  14. When You Wonder, You’re Learning, Gregg Behr and Ryan Rydzewski

  15. Why Are You Still Sending Your Kids to School?, Blake Boles +

  16. Wounded by School, Kirsten Olsen


  1. A Thousand Rivers,” Carol Black

  2. Changing the Context,” Antonio Buehler

  3. Unschooling as Social Change,” Zakiyya Ismail

  4. On the Wildness of Children,” Carol Black

  5. The Unschooled Life: Astra Taylor’s Story,” Astra Taylor

  6. Developmental Psychology’s Marriage to the School System: The focus on children in school distorts our understanding of childhood,” Peter Gray

  7. Children’s Risk of Suicide Increases on School Days,” Tyler Black

  8. The Side Effects of School: A Crisis in Mental Health Can’t Be Solved Through Therapy,” Naomi Fisher

  9. Learning. It’s Not About Education,” Laura Grace Weldon

  10. Education is Over…,” by William Rankin

  11. why we need to change schools (right now),” Chris McNutt

  12. School is a Prison — and Damaging Our Kids,” Peter Gray

  13. Teenagers need more free time, less “education.” We all do.,” Charles Tsai

  14. School’s out… Naomi Fisher considers the arguments for self-directed education,” Naomi Fisher

  15. Is Self-Directed Education Producing Model Workers For An Innovation-Based Economy?,” Ben Draper

  16. The Motivation Paradox,” Jessica Koehler

  17. Richard Elmore: I do not believe in the institutional structure of public schooling anymore,” Gary Houchens (video)

  18. Risky Play: Why Children Love It and Need It,” Peter Gray

  19. Let’s Talk About Screens; “Screen Time” and SDE, Matthew Gioia

  20. Becoming Yourself: Neurodiversity and Self-Directed Education,” Naomi Fisher

  21. Antonio Buehler, Cop Watcher,” Mark Henricks +

  22. The Many Shades of Fear-Based Parenting,” Peter Gray

  23. Four Transformations from 20th Century Education to 21st Century Learning,” Jaya Ramchandani

  24. How to Raise a Creative Child. Step One: Back Off,” Adam Grant

  25. Homework is Wrecking Our Kids,” Heather Shumaker

  26. Ten obvious truths about educating kids that keep getting ignored,” Valerie Struass and Alfie Kohn

  27. The Silicon Valley Suicides,” Hanna Rosin

  28. The Decline of Play and Rise in Children’s Mental Disorders,” Peter Gray

  29. High-Stress High School,” Alexandra Ossola

  30. College Admissions for the Alternative Schooled, Homeschooled, and Unschooled Applicant,” Antonio Buehler

  31. The Overprotected Kid,” Hanna Rosin

  32. Differences Between Self-Directed and Progressive Education,” Peter Gray

  33. Evidence Emerges to Support SDE,” Arthur Grant

  34. The Seven Deadly Sins of Schooling,“ Manish Jain

  35. How Dyslexic Kids Learn to Read When Removed From School,” Peter Gray