The Living Joyfully Network is an online community for parents worldwide to explore unschooling with other like-minded parents who are also choosing to embrace lifelong learning and develop strong and connected relationships with their children.
We invite you to join our candid and wide-ranging conversations about living and learning through the lens of unschooling!
A private, dedicated online community platform that supports the deep, focused reflection that our unschooling journey asks of us, without the distractions of social media.
Curated monthly themes to help you dive deeper into important aspects of your unschooling journey, along with access to the amazing and ever-growing index of content from all of our previous monthly themes, including Nurturing Our Children’s Learning, Validation, Consent, Play, Self Care, Our Parenting Toolbox, and so many more.
Weekly focus topics and conversations to guide your exploration of the theme. Pam and Anna’s weekly videos dive into our themes through different lenses and focus on both ideas and putting ideas into practice. Weekly questions encourage conversation and reflection.
Live calls throughout the month for members to ask questions and engage face-to-face with other unschooling parents. If you can’t make it live, no worries! They are recorded for you to listen to at your convenience.
Access to our Resource Library, a growing collection of online resources, books, podcast episodes, and more about various topics of interest as they relate to unschooling, including Exploring Neurodiversity, About Sleep, Playing with Sensory Activities, What About Math, and Technology.
And a wonderful group of unschooling parents from around the world with a wide range of life and unschooling experiences who are happy to share their insights and perspectives with you!
I came to the Network because I was feeling some insecurities around our unschooling life and I wanted a place that would make me feel grounded and more confident in my choices. The Network ended up being the perfect place to help me feel reassured, but it is so so much more. If you want to be challenged and to deep dive into knowing yourself better with a wonderful and loving support team, this is the place. I have deschooled so much since I joined, and my relationships in my family have become stronger and deeper because of the Network. My only regret is that I didn’t join the Network sooner!
I am so grateful to be a part of this amazing Network of people from around the world. I love reading about what families are up to, finding support where I am trying to grow as a mama and a person, and sharing experiences that have worked in our family. I love when I need some hope, there is the zoom calls. I am grateful that we can show up in whatever capacity we are able. I always hear something I can apply in our unschooling journey! I also appreciate that we move beyond “curriculum” suggestions and focus on themes and living and learning as a family/community. Come join us!!!
Community Founder and Co-Host, Pam Laricchia
Pam is a long-time unschooling mom who loves exploring unschooling and sharing the fascinating things she’s discovered about learning and parenting along the way. She hosts the weekly Exploring Unschooling podcast and her writing has been published in various magazines including Toronto Life, Natural Parent Magazine, Life Learning Magazine, and the Journal of Unschooling and Alternative Learning.
She’s also written five books about unschooling, most recently, The Unschooling Journey: A Field Guide. Her first book, Free to Learn: Five Ideas for a Joyful Unschooling Life, has been translated into French, Spanish, Hungarian, and Portuguese.
My three unschooled children are now adults, but that hasn’t dampened my love for exploring the unschooling lifestyle. For me, that looks like embracing lifelong learning with the knowledge that we are always learning and growing, approaching my days with openness and curiosity, cultivating connected relationships with my family, and thinking critically and creatively as I continue to deepen my understanding of the world.
I love the information about unschooling I’ve shared in the books I’ve written, but walking with parents as they bring those ideas into their day-to-day lives is where the real work happens. It’s hard, it’s messy, but it’s so worth the effort. The Network community inspires me every day!
Co-Host and Community Advocate, Anna Brown
Anna’s two children were always unschooled and she has been an outspoken advocate for children and families for more than 20 years.
While my always unschooled children are grown, I’m here because I believe this is sacred work and that it ripples out into our communities and the world at large. Society often marginalizes and misunderstands children. I am passionate about helping parents truly connect with their children as the whole, amazing people they are today. The Network has proven to be a supportive, uplifting environment to peel back the layers of weight and expectations we carry into parenthood. As we peel back and focus on connecting with our children, everything changes. We see the world through a new lens and I love being a part of that! I love seeing relationships and families transform!
Community Moderator, Erika Ellis
Erika is an unschooling mom of two and she’s a scanner—interested in everything! She has organized parenting, unschooling, and wellness groups in person and online, and she loves exploring the world, learning together with her family.
This network has been what was missing in my life! I find that being a parent can be very isolating, especially since we’re unschooling and making different choices than most of the families around us. For me, the Network has become a place where I can be inspired, ask questions, get suggestions, share my ideas, and meet other like-minded parents from all over the world. Every month, we have a different topic to consider which provides a new way to examine our lives and brings different tools and ideas to try. The Living Joyfully Network is a social network that leaves me feeling uplifted, encouraged, and refreshed. I only wish that I had joined in sooner. I give so much love and thanks to Pam and Anna and all of the amazing people I’ve met on the Network for being so welcoming and making life feel more fun!
In the video below, we share a peek inside the Network!
We cover the platform, the flow, who the Network is for, what makes it different, and why we love being members. Plus, we share one of our weekly focus calls to give you an idea of our approach. Each week, Pam and Anna discuss an aspect of the theme of the month as it relates to our unschooling lives. For this call, the theme is Navigating Conflict and we’re diving into the idea of No Set Outcomes.
Here’s the vision of unschooling that we’re walking toward in the Network:
- Learning happens all the time, everywhere, in all sorts of ways. Actively supporting our kids as they follow their curiosity and explore their interests and passions cultivates a lifelong love of learning alongside building a strong and personal web of knowledge.
- We don’t separate learning about academic topics from learning about life topics: it’s all learning. Sometimes this is described as “radical unschooling” or “life learning.”
- We are moving away from control as a parenting tool and toward connection. Developing strong relationships with our children is at the heart of our work here. Understanding consent and letting go of power struggles opens up new ways to be in relationship with our kids that bring a blossoming sense of joy, safety, and connection to our days. Not to mention, a whole lot of learning.
The Living Joyfully Network community has members at all points on their unschooling journey and is an amazing mix of parents with a wide range of life and unschooling experience. This diversity of perspective adds a beautiful richness to our conversations.
If you choose to join us, there’s no expectation of where you are on your journey, only that you’re interested in walking in this direction—conversations in the Network unfold with this destination in mind.
Everything we do in the Network, and beyond, is guided by our core values.
We share experience, not advice. Advice often creates the impression that there’s a right way and a wrong way to do something, shutting down conversation. Advice also has a way of creating a teacher-student relationship: it transfers power to the person who gives advice and takes power away from the person receiving it. Sharing our experiences and observations reminds everyone that we’re in this together—sometimes it’s most helpful to hear from someone who is closer to where you are on your path and sometimes from someone a bit further down the road.
Non-Dogmatic (No One Right Way)
Our collaborative approach grows out of our belief that there is no one “right answer” that applies to all families, especially when it comes to learning and parenting. Our families are unique. Each of our children is unique! We share our experiences and insights as more information to help you find what works for you and your family.
The Network’s strength is its members. Together, we contribute to—and celebrate—each other’s learning. By sharing our experiences and the resources we have found valuable, we help each other on our journeys to cultivate a safe and engaging unschooling environment in which each family member can thrive.
We welcome members from different communities, different backgrounds, and different experiences. The families in the Network are unique and beautiful in their differences.
Assume Positive Intent
When we approach situations and members assuming positive intent, we leave space to understand different perspectives, realizing that behaviors stem from underlying needs. Remaining open and curious, even in heightened times, allows us to understand ourselves and others more deeply and move to repair and resolution.
Meet People Where They Are
We know that everyone is on their own personal journey and that where they are and how they move through that journey is individual to them. If we can meet people where they are with understanding and compassion, we can offer possibilities for moving forward. In that safe space, people are often more willing and able to question long held beliefs and find ways to move beyond old baggage, dogma, and trauma.
We ask Network members to pay attention to their language. Using inclusive language allows everyone to feel welcome and comfortable participating. For example, it’s important not to assume that every family is made up of two parents, male/female, mom/dad. That assumption can leave those who don’t match that convention feeling excluded. Taking the time to be intentional and inclusive in our language creates a safe, welcoming environment for all.
We also welcome members to share their pronouns. This is a choice. Sharing or not sharing pronouns is equally accepted and valued in the Network.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Pam and Anna are on their own personal anti-racist and anti-oppression journeys. And while we know that we cannot lead another on their journey, the Network is a place for all of us to share experiences and resources to support each other as we do our work.
The work we do in the Network exploring adult-child power structures and how they oppress children gives us a running start in understanding how power dynamics play out in other areas of systemic oppression. We believe the adult-child power structure is one of the roots that keeps these different forms of oppressive structures in place over generations.
As a community with members who span the globe, we are also learning about decolonization issues that countries all over the world are facing and supporting one another on our journeys to improve the lives of marginalized communities.
Address Issues When They Arise
We take a hands-on approach to moderation and will not tolerate hate speech of any kind. Incidents that cause harm will be addressed immediately. We’re committed to addressing racism, ableism, ageism, and all forms of gender and sex discrimination with the goal of cultivating a safe, welcoming, and inclusive space from which we can all stretch and grow.
We are supportive of LGBTQ+ rights. We trust that parents are walking the path around sexual and gender identity with their children with thoughtfulness and love. We honor and support individuals on this journey.
The Network can be a place to make deep connections with other unschooling parents or a place to research and learn more about unschooling and how to develop connected relationships in your family. It can also be both! Make the Network work for you, wherever you are on your unschooling journey.
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Does The Living Joyfully Network seem like a good fit for you?
We’d love to welcome you into our community!
NOTE: The price is higher in the Apple app store due to their higher fees. Instead, join through the web browser and then access the Network on your Apple device through the Mighty Networks app.