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Learning in Freedom

Welcome to Learning in Freedom, a blog all about the learning adventures (and mishaps) of the Allen family. My four children are unschooled, following their interests and passions every day and living the lives of their choosing. The purpose of this blog is to share our every day lives (and my not-so-humble opinons) with anyone interested in stopping by. We hope this will give a glimpse of how natural learning unfolds from day to day......

Sunday, May 14, 2006

PEOPLE Magazine

Finally.....three hours of having our pics taken, many, many questions via phone and the article is OUT!!:)

Our family was featured in the latest People Magazine for an Unschooling article. You can find us in the May 22nd edition on page 141. I was not thrilled with the choice of photo only because the kids look unhappy. It was really bright out and they were having a hard time with the intense light. He took SO many photos of us playing and walking and having a grass fight, but the one they chose is sorta boring. Oh well...the article was fairly well-balanced, even the quote by someone leery of unschooling was something I agreed with.

Now I can talk about our "secret" from a former blog. The photographer asked me not to blog about it until the article broke, hence the "secret". He shot some photos of kids drawing on the driveway in sidewalk chalk that are probably really cute. The boys were so not thrilled about the whole process and at one point Michael (the photographer) says "C'mon guys, you're going to be in PEOPLE MAGAZINE!"
They just looked at him like he just fell off another planet. I laughed and said "they aren't impressed by fame"

And they aren't.
It's pretty cool actually, they really would have been much more interested in Michael if he'd been a gamer and could talk shop with them. Sierra was into the camera equipment and wanted to know about getting something similar. I told her you should probably be making money with a camera if you have his set up or it's a bit of overkill!

Overall, it was a positive experience. Interestingly enough, the writer (Wendy Grossman) is originally from the Tri-cities area and we could talk about Jonesborough (which they spelled wrong in the article) and all the little shops she remembered here.

Get a copy and let me know what ya think!!:)


Blogger Beth said...

Oh, Ren I just about fell over when I opened my People Friday and saw there was an article on unschooling, of all things! And then that it featured a family from one of my favorite blogs ... It's a funny world. LOL I've been waiting for you to post about it so I could comment!

I liked it in that it was an overall positive article and that was great to see in a mainstream magazine. I didn't like the title though! I was worried what the tone was going to be like, based on that, and was relieved that it didn't stay with that line of thinking.

Thanks for helping to spread the word about unschooling! :-)

12:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I loved the article. I subscribe to a lot of mags, both mainstream (People) and not so much (Life Learning and Live Free, Learn Free) and thought of them as separate and distinct reading categories, so I was a bit stunned to see that unschooling was written up in People, and THRILLED that it was so positive. I can't wait to see the letters section next week- I'm picturing irate teachers but maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised again. I actually liked the picture of your family... I didn't think the kids looked unhappy, I thought they looked like they were tolerating the photo shoot so they could get back to their amazing lives. :-)


11:57 PM  
Blogger Ren said...

"I thought they looked like they were tolerating the photo shoot so they could get back to their amazing lives. :-)"

Mostly it was squinting from the bright sun I think...but yeah, they were finished long before the photographer was!!

11:59 PM  
Blogger Joanne said...


My husband just came home with issue of People magazine with the story on your family.
Thank you SO much for putting yourself out there in order to bring unschooling into the mainsteam. Having done a few interviews myself, I know that it can be frustrating to not have the finished product not come out exactly as you would have wanted it to, but when you look at the big picture, it's always worth it to get a message out.

It was ironic that I had just showed Jacqueline your reply to me on unschooling.info (the one about dust and bananas) this morning and then when Billy came home with the magazine, I showed her. She thought it was very cool!

A Day in Our Lives

6:45 PM  
Blogger Rosalind said...

This was my 2nd time buying People magazine (1st time my sister was in it!). It was really amazing to see unschooling profiled in such a mainstream publication.

We've unschooled since the kids were born, and I've sometimes had difficulty expressing what it is that we do to people who aren't familiar with homeschooling (and especially unschooling).

Overall, I felt that they put unschooling in a positive light and tried to help people understand the concept, so it was "successful" in my mind. I was disappointed by how short the article was, though!

12:29 PM  
Blogger Vicki said...

I thought it was great! Even my boys recognized your two youngest from the conference last year, so that was pretty cool for them. I hated the title! But loved the picture. OK the electric tools were a little over the top, but you guys looked great! :)I'm glad it was such a positive article, and I too agreed with the nay sayers comment..it isn't for everyone. If they want to follow a book someone else wrote for them, let them..for us, we'll be free! I just wish the article could have been longer and gotten into some more fabulous benefits of unschooling. Oh well, at least it's out there now. Can't wait for next week and see what letters to the editor they get. Kudos to you guys for putting yourselves out there!

4:09 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

Ren, I think it is fantastic that People chose your family for the article. Your family truly represents unschooling. It's great People did an unschooling article. I wish there would of been more to the article and had some unschooling links and books added for curious people. I bet unschooling is getting googled like crazy!!

7:25 PM  

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