This week, I’m sharing a conversation I had a few years ago with unschooling dad and filmmaker Jeremy Stuart. Jeremy directed and co-produced the documentary film, Class Dismissed, which was released in 2015. Since then, it has been screened in more than 60 countries and translated into five languages. His second documentary, Self-Taught, which explores the lives of grown unschoolers, came out in 2019. Jeremy’s curiosity about life and learning have led him to make some profound observations. We talk about expectations, trust, and lifelong learning, as well as diving into his experience filming the documentaries. It was an inspiring conversation!
Questions for Jeremy
Can you share with us a bit about you and your family?
How did you discover unschooling and what did your family’s move to unschooling look like?
What has surprised you most so far about how unschooling has unfolded in your lives?
In 2015, you released the wonderful documentary film, Class Dismissed. It’s the fascinating story of a family’s choice to pull their two children from school and the journey that follows as they take their children’s education into their own hands. What inspired you to tell this story?
I got goosebumps when, nearer the end of the film, the mom shared, “I think I’m starting to kind of let go and relax a little bit. I’m amazed at how much I’m learning now. It’s not that I have more opportunities to learn now, but I’m taking more opportunities to be part of learning and to engage with life in a more rich and fulfilling way.” It’s the return of curiosity for the parent, isn’t it? It’s like a re-awakening to the joy of learning and truly embracing that learning is not just for the kids—it’s a lifelong thing. Which, almost paradoxically, helps us better understand why this lifestyle is such great way for our kids to learn. That’s such a valuable step on the journey, isn’t it?
What is your favorite part of the film?
You’ve been working on a new documentary for a couple of years now, Self-Taught. Can you share what it’s about and the inspiration behind it?
You’re in the production home stretch right now and running a Kickstarter campaign to fund the final stages. Can you share a bit of information about the campaign and where people can check it out?
As an unschooling dad, what piece of advice would you like to share with dads who are considering or just starting out on this journey?
Links to things mentioned in the show
John Holt’s book, How Children Fail
Homeschool Association of California’s homeschooling conference
Jeremy’s documentaries, Class Dismissed and Self-Taught
Have a question about unschooling?
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The Living Joyfully Network community
The Network is a wonderful online community for parents to connect and engage in candid conversations about living and learning through the lens of unschooling. Our shared goals are to embrace lifelong learning, develop strong and connected relationships with our children, and cultivate a thriving unschooling lifestyle in our families.
This month, our theme is Pursuing Interests and we’re looking through the lenses of patience and trust.
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