For the Love of Learning – Documentaries About Life Without School – Epi#67


Show Title:

For the Love of Learning Episode 67

Documentaries About Life Without School

Original Air Date:

Monday August 1, 2016  8:00 pm – 10:00 pm EST
Tuesday August 2, 2016 1:00 am – 3:00 am GMT


Clara Bellar
Jeremy Stuart
Peter Kowalke




Tonight we will explore the inspiration behind three documentaries, each which explore learning without school. We’ll speak with the directors of each of the films, exploring the changes they’ve noticed from families / students as a result of their films.

Clara Bellar


Born and raised in Paris, Clara Bellar is an actress, singer, writer, director and producer. Clara’s film career took off when she met the French New Wave director Eric Rohmer after he saw her in a Parisian stage production of Sleeping Beauty. Mr. Rohmer cast her as the lead in his film Rendezvous in Paris. As an actress, she is best known for portraying the nanny robot in Steven Spielberg’s A.I., and for starring in Paul Schrader’s Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist. This led to other starring roles in films including Kill the Poor, Oranges Amères, Romance and Rejection, This Space between us, Sleepy Time Gal, and The Pharmacist.


She has released two albums, both recorded in Brazil, My Brazilian Heart et My French Heart, with arrangements by Dori Caymmi and appearances by Chico Buarque, Ivan Lins, Joao Bosco and Milton Nascimento.


After studying film directing at New York Film Academy, Clara wrote, produced and directed the short film Watermelon Man. The film was featured in several North American festivals, including: M.A.L.I Women’s Film & Performance Arts Festival; International Family Film Festival; Kids First; Carolina Film Festival; Buffalo Niagara Film Festival. Clara then wrote, produced and directed the documentary Being and Becoming, which was shot in France, Germany, the UK, and the US over the course of two years and documents the lives of various unschooling families.


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Jeremy Stuart

Jeremy Stuart_PIC

Jeremy’s involvement in the television and film industry has spanned over 25 years. As an editor he has worked on hundreds of music videos, commercials, and corporate projects, as well as award winning documentaries and short films for clients such as Lucasfilm, Dolby Laboratories, National Geographic Channel, Smithsonian Channel, Yamaha, Virgin America, Sony, Dave Matthews Band, Acura and GoPro.


Class Dismissed, his directorial debut has been screened in 7 countries and has received great acclaim in alternative education circles around the world. More information about the film can be found at


Jeremy is also the proud father of an unschooled 11 year old daughter.

Peter Kowalke


There’s a reason that the BBC World Service, New York Times, Wall Street Journal and other media outlets have written about Peter since he was young: Peter has always lived an interesting, uncommon life.

This interesting journey began when Peter was five years old and did not go to school like his peers. Before most people had heard about homeschooling, Peter began directing his own education at the age of five as an unschooling pioneer. He did not attend school until college.

Instead of school, Peter educated himself in rural Ohio and ran a small national magazine and an annual conference as a teenager. After briefly flirting with quantum physics as an undergrad, Peter embraced his media background and graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor of science in magazine journalism (BSJ). He’s been an editor, columnist and producer ever since.

Much of Peter’s early career was spent as an “expert” in the alternative education community. Peter was a columnist for many years with Home Education Magazine and Life Learning magazine, would speak regularly at education conferences in the U.S. and internationally, and both worked with the homeschooling community in India and was communications director for one of the pioneering schools in self-directed learning. He often would give interviews for major media on the topic of self-directed learning, and at the age of 22 he produced the first and only film about the lasting influence of home education, the critically acclaimed Grown Without Schooling documentary.

Later, Peter would go on to found and host the Unschooler Experiment podcast, a continuation of his work on the lasting influence of homeschooling.


(Strong relationships have always been at the center of Peter’s life, and this silent thread or love and connection can be felt by anyone who comes in contact with him. This focus on connection with others comes both from his lifelong spiritual practices with Vedanta, and his clear understanding that nothing is more important than strong relationships.)


In 2010, Peter recognized that sharing this capacity to love and build amazing relationships was not only his greatest strength, but also the most important thing he could do with his life. He spent the next several years restructuring his life for this calling and laying the foundation for his relationship coaching work while writing up to 1,200 stories a year as a freelance journalist to finance the transition.

This restructuring included lots of travel, and for the past decade Peter has spent up to half of every year living and working is Asia.


(He makes annual trips to India and Thailand, and has spent significant time throughout Southeast Asia and places such as Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Part of Peter’s restructuring also includes purification so he can deliver more complete service to others, free of personal motives. Laying the foundation has included a gradual renunciation of material possessions, goals and personal gratification for the service of others. Peter even seriously considered joining the Ramakrishna Order as a monastic and did some preliminary training with the Order, although he later decided that he could best serve others if he remained associated but outside the Order.)


Lainie Liberti

As always, you can find out more about your host, Lainie Liberti at her website and the alternative education & world schooling project she runs with her teenage son at: You can also connect with her on twitter @ilainie & facebook.

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