Exploring Unschooling

Exploring Unschooling

EU213 Flashback: Unschooling and Math with Marcella O’Brien

October 06, 2022

This week, I’m sharing a popular episode from early 2020 with unschooling mom Marcella O’Brien. Marcella’s grown sons, Jack and Sean, have also joined me in Growing Up Unschooling episode 181.

Marcella’s experience as a public school teacher and math tutor gives her a unique perspective, which led to an interesting conversation about math in school versus unschooling. Because she’s participated in both worlds, Marcella was able to share some amazing insights about math, a common sticking point for many new unschoolers.

I hope you find her thoughts helpful on your journey!

Questions for Marcella

Can you share with us a bit about you and your family? What is everyone into right now?

How did you discover unschooling and what did your family’s move to unschooling look like?

You’re also a math tutor, so I’d love to dive into that topic with you! First, let’s talk about the conventional way math is taught in schools. You have a unique perspective as a tutor to see how that teaching process plays out for students trying to understand math concepts. What have you seen?

Now let’s dive into exploring math through unschooling. In unschooling circles, we talk about how kids can learn math concepts through everyday living. I’d love to know how you’ve seen that play out.  Has that been your experience as well?

Your two older sons, Jack and Sean were on the podcast last year and I really enjoyed hearing about their experiences growing up unschooling, especially through the teen years and college. I’d love to hear your perspective on those years! What strikes you as you look back on them now?

You’re still unschooling with your youngest. What’s your favorite thing about the flow of your days right now?

Things mentioned in the episode

EU181: Growing Up Unschooling with Jack & Sean O’Brien

Mary Griffith’s book, The Unschooling Handbook

Paul Lockhart’s essay, “A Mathematician’s Lament”

Episode Transcript

Read the transcript


Watch the YouTube video

Have a question about unschooling?

Submit your question here for an upcoming Q&A episode!

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 It’s Not the Unschooling! and we’re looking through the lenses of curiosity and relationships. If you’re curious to learn more, click here!

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I deeply appreciate all my patrons! Your generous support allows me to keep the podcast archive freely available to anyone who’s curious and wants to explore the fascinating world of unschooling. If you’d like to join my community of patrons and scoop up some great rewards along the way, check out the Exploring Unschooling page on Patreon.

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