For the Love of Learning – Home Education Beyond the Bell Curve – Epi#68


Show Title:

For the Love of Learning Episode 68

Home Education Beyond the Bell Curve

Monday August 8, 2016  8:00 pm – 10:00 pm EST
Tuesday August 9, 2016 1:00 am – 3:00 am GMT


Brenda Ferns
Julie Bond Genovese
Kristen Lee Langelier
Christina Wester





Is homeschooling/unschooling possible or advisable for kids who don’t fit into the mold of the “typical kid?” How can a kid with neurological or sensory differences get an “interest led” education when their interests are intensely narrow or they are reluctant to try new things? What if a child has learning differences that make it difficult to grasp certain academic concepts?
Let’s discuss all of this with our amazing panel.

Julie Bond Genovese


Hi friends! I’m Julie, mom to two boys, 11 and 15, partner to my hubby Bill, author of my award-winning memoir, Nothing Short of Joy, an inspirational speaker, creative living coach, artist and life-long student of personal growth. In 2005 when I went to sign my son up for kindergarten, I was overwhelmed by the rules and underwhelmed by the love. The reality of giving up our previously unfettered life to the system was crushing. So we took the leap. Funny thing – the difficulties in being born a dwarf prepared me, in essence, to live and flourish outside the lines. Unschooling has inspired my family to unfollow the current educational Belief Systems (BS) and instead follow our own inner truth and the enthusiasm, wisdom and wonder within our kids. We’re learning how to use challenges as a springboard to spirit, to live a more wholehearted life and to create a joyful world we feel proud to call home. You can find me at


Christina Wester


Christina is an unschooling Mama of three: ages 15, 8 and 6. Empowering others to hear and follow their “Inner Voice of Wisdom” is her Life Purpose – which began with learning to hear and follow her own!

She is passionate about trusting children with the freedom to play and learn by following their interests and their own inner wisdom.

In 2009 Christina was presented with her most challenging opportunity yet for learning to trust her children and trust herself. Her middle child was diagnosed with “severe” Autism and so began her process of learning how to support his extra needs, communicate with him and practice radical acceptance. This continues to be the most surreal, powerful and awe inspiring experience of her life. It informs ALL areas of her life and has pushed her onto a “fast track” of shedding limiting beliefs, fears and doubts. As bumpy as this process has been, it has allowed her to enjoy previously unimaginable levels of freedom, connection and creativity both as a parent and as a human.

Christina spends her days ‘learning all the time’ alongside her five soul-mates:
her children, her husband Peter and her ex-husband Dave. (Long story – she’ll tell you if you buy her a drink.) 😉

When she’s not supporting her kids in their interests, Christina works on cultivating the Dallas Unschooling community, and helping individuals and groups to change their limiting beliefs and create the lives they desire.

In 2013 she created Radiant Living & Learning which presents workshops on alternatives in education, parenting and physical, mental & spiritual healthcare. Her newest project is a video workshop series called “Level Up” which combines ancient healing modalities with modern brain hemisphere research to facilitate mental and physical healing.

Kristen Lee Langelier


Kristen Lee Langelier has been facilitating learning through play, with over 1000 children, for over 15 years. Her broad experience ranges from 1:1 coaching, museum programs, camps, co-ops, curriculum design and enrichment programs with children, teenagers, adults and parents. In 2012, she founded Crayon Power, an alternative learning company that helps kids and families learn through exploration in environments that foster both independence and social skills. Her goal is to strengthen your children’s problem-solving skills and encourage their emotional intelligence through visual art, music, writing, and just ‘good old fashioned goofing around’ to inspire personal connection and familial intimacy. Her most recent project is Crayon Power Explorative Learning Labs, a new Microschool for registered homeschooling children, opening in Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn this fall. and

Brenda Ferns


I am an unschooling mama of 5 beautiful, talented, strong, loving, kind, and amazing children. I myself have my own set of special needs I am an Aspie and I live with bipolar 1 and PTSD. I had a very traumatic childhood. So this alone makes peaceful parenting and unschooling interesting. But what fun would life be if it wasn’t interesting lol.

My oldest daughter is 13 and has Dyslexia and hearing loss due to a delay in her tubes growing. She went to head start for two years which she loved and then she went to kindergarten and she hated it so much. She was bullied. During Christmas break we realized that school wasn’t the best fit so we pulled her out And she was so happy. We did school at home until 2009. Homeschooling wasn’t working for us so I did some research and learned about deschooling, which I then learned about unschooling. Her passions are horses, the walking dead, minecraft, and being outdoors. She is currently in the process of teaching herself how to read and it is such a beautiful process to watch.

My 11 year old daughter has a mood disorder, Aspergers and sensory processing disorder diagnosis. Unschooling has given her the freedom to listen to her body and do her self care. She learned to read at age 9 and within a month she was reading books like Ivanhoe and Gone With the Wind. No curriculum or worksheets she simply asked what certain words said and how to spell them. And when she really got interested in wanting to read She made herself some flashcards. Her passions are reading, crafting, being outdoors and history.

My 8 year old daughter is vaccine injured and has a form of epilepsy called syanotic syncope. And due to the amount of seizures she’s had in a short period of time and the lack of adequate oxygen to her brain she has developmental delays. We were told shed grow out of the seizures by age 2 but she did not and between ages 6 months and age 5 she had multiple seizures a day. At age 6 the seizures slowed down significantly and she has not had one in several months.
Her passions are crafts, being outdoors, and learning.

My 6 year old son has an aspergers and sensory processing diagnosis. The world is a very hard place for him. He has to wear noise cancelling headphones because of the sensitivity to noise. His passions are dinosaurs, animals, machines, and space.

My 2 year old son is curious, loving, playful, brave, outgoing, and a lot of fun. He makes is laugh with his silly facial expressions. He has a love for rocks, water, and animals.

We pursued a diagnosis for many reasons for each of our children. The diagnosis helped us know what each of them was and is going through. It helped us learn skills and tools that made our quality of life better. We talk a lot about labels and how they don’t define us and they aren’t who we are it is just a small part of us. Labels give us a direction to go in when we’re doing research and learning new ways to be in this world it gives a place to start and a name to describe what we live with everyday.

Unschooling has given my kids the ability to learn who they are as individuals. It has given them the space to learn how they learn and how their brains work. It has given them the space and freedom to learn at their own pace and focus on their interests and passions. I couldn’t imagine how life would be for them in school. We love watching our kids grow and learn on their own timetable. We love watching them figure themselves out and how to function in this world.



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.

For full archives of this show and programming schedule, please visit: 

Find us on facebook: For-the-Love-of-Learning-Voices-of-the-Alternative-Education-Movement

For comments, questions, suggestions or if you’d like to be guest on the show, please contact us here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *