For the Love of Learning – Worldschooling – Epi#79

Show Title:

For the Love of Learning Episode 79


Monday October 24, 2016  8:00 pm – 10:00 pm EST
Tuesday October 25, 2016 1:00 am – 3:00 am BST


Nina Haley
Matheena Ismail
Jeff Watts
Jen Silver
Daphne Earley
Sharon Dziruni



The world is our classroom and each moment is an opportunity to learn something new. This is the philosophy of a growing number of families who  believe that combining travel with intentional learning their children can’t help but to learn from the world around them, amplified through travel. In simple terms, the world teaches. Tonight, we will explore the benefits and challenges of being a worldschooling family. We hope you join us for this fascinating conversation.


Nina Haley

Nina is a mum to three always unschooled, amazing children, ages 12, 12 and 5. She knew from the time she was pregnant that traditional school was not in the cards for her family, so when her oldest children were 6 months old they began traveling by plane and car around the US, enjoying road trips on a regular basis. In 2012, they made the leap to worldschooling, sold their house and cars, most of their belongings and they haven’t looked back. They have been exploring the Middle Eastern region of Asia and Europe since then. Currently, Kuwait is their home base and they travel to new destinations on a bi-monthly basis.

The world is their school and they really do live as if the school system didn’t exist, and for their family it doesn’t. Nina’s ex-husband and she co-parent; they have found it important to travel together as a family unit and also individually with their children. Unschooling and worldschooling has opened so many doors for Nina’s family, they’ve met people from different cultures and religions, they have had the opportunity to explore ancient civilizations and these experiences have led them to view the world in a different way. Happiness is a journey, and Nina’s grateful to be on this worldschooling path with her children.

Her son is a history buff who enjoys learning about ancient weapons and battles; his favorite museum is the Imperial War Museum in London. Her daughter is an artist who loves drawing anime, manga and creating her own characters with back stories; her favorite place is the Sea Turtle Sanctuary that they visited in Sri Lanka. Her youngest daughter loves playdough, painting and collecting stuffed animals from every single place they visit.

In her spare time Nina facilitates well-woman yoga, prenatal yoga and yoga for pelvic health classes. She’s a passionate birth and women’s rights advocate, child birth educator and doula, supporting mothers and moms-to-be in giving birth in their own way.


Matheena Ismail

I am a single Mum of an eleven year old unschooled son, currently living in India. I was born and lived in South Africa until the beginning of 2016. As a young adult I spent six years as a backpacker, living and working in various countries, before returning to South Africa. Thereafter, I gave 12 years to a career in the corporate world, which left me feeling stifled and stuck in life. I decided to fashion a new career that allowed me to incorporate my love for travel and to utilize my creative talent. This resulted in me traveling regularly to India, with my son in tow, to design and manufacture my very own clothing label, which retailed in South Africa for the last eight years.

The first challenge of being a single parent and running a business presented itself when my son started schooling. I found that when I took him out of school to go with me on my India trips, he was much happier, and learned all kinds of things he could never get in a classroom. I also realised what a farce the grading system was, since he would get the class average grade for the months he was away (which was always much lower than his actual grades.) Knowing that he was an A grade student, I had to explain to him that the grades meant nothing in reality and that traveling and experiencing India was far more valuable than the fake grade he had obtained in the schooling system.

At this point I started questioning everything about the schooling system: the subject matter, the rigidity, the control, and how it affected our lives negatively. I investigated home schooling and was fortunate to find the unschooling group along the way. Unschooling resonated so much more with our lifestyle and having being a backpacker for many years, I knew the value of life learning.

We were always happiest when we were out of the system, and eventually the schooling system could not deal with us being away so often. Our lifestyle and thinking did not fit into the schooling structure.

The journey of unschooling Sasha, has lead us to follow our dream, and live in India permanently, where we have freedom: of our time, to explore and discover, engage in a different culture and learn and grow organically. Living in a touristy part of India gives us an opportunity to connect with other travellers/unschoolers as they pass through and to use my experience and creative talent to grow my business globally. I’ve come to realise that unschooling is not just for our children, but a life philosophy that allows both of us to be free, to live and learn, to reach our best potential and to travel!

Jeff Watts

Jeff Watts has homeschooled his 4 kids in 33 different countries. He has stood next to the Great Sphinx, tobogganed down the side of the Great Wall of China, officiated a cherry-spitting contest on Mount Olympus, told the story of Theseus and the Minotaur while standing on Poseidon’s temple, seen 3 oceans and 6 continents, ridden a train across 7 time zones in 7 days through Siberia in the winter, & walked across an international border in central Africa carrying everything he owned on his back. He helps other worldschooling families with math on his website at


Free Math Help:

Jen Silver

Jen spent her early years in middle-class Indiana, high-school in the ghetto, college years in the Ivy League, and young adult years in the high-rolling worlds of Northern California tech start-ups and real estate investing. Jen is also an internationally shown conceptual artist and has written multiple books and a sci-fi screenplay. Such varied experiences, coupled with frequent work travel, a European backpacking adventure, and a fierce independent streak pretty much guaranteed that education would be based on compassion, creativity, interest, entrepreneurism, and global community-building.

Jen and her family became unintentional worldschoolers in 2005 when they moved to Tahoe for a winter. When they returned they started a consulting company with the eventual goal of becoming international nomads. In 2007 they left their home in Nor-Cal and spent several years living in multiple US cities for 6-18 months each. Just as they had planned to begin worldschooling internationally, two family members were diagnosed with complex health issues. Rather than give up traveling, the family sold 99% of their stuff, moved into a vintage RV and began exploring the US and Canada.

In 2016, as everyone’s health improved the family flew abroad and lived briefly in Italy, Greece, Turkey, England, Wales and Ireland and Canada. Jen also became an admin for the Worldschoolers facebook group.  In 2017 they will split their time between the RV and international trips, including Central & South America, Asia, and Montreal. – travel blog – conceptual art

Twitter: @SilverLiningLif

IG: Silver_Lining_Life


Daphne Earley


Daphne Earley is a wife and mother of three children ages 7, 5, and 16 months. Her background is in online marketing, but she has a passion for education, travel, spirituality, photography and healthy cooking. She runs a Facebook group called Wisdom Teachings where she discusses topics of interest and shares her methods for teaching her children. She shares her kitchen experiments on her food related blog, She also runs a feel good news website called, Her home base is currently in New Jersey, but she spent a total of 5 months traveling the world with her family this year alone. She hopes to continue to educate her children around the world.

Sharon Dziruni

Hi. I’m Sharon Dziruni from sunny (ha!) Kent in England. I LOVE traveling and our current location is Vietnam! I’m obsessed about world/home schooling, traveling and running.

Nearly 18 months ago I left my conventional life in England and embarked on an exhilarating new journey by traveling around the world with my kids. Since that day, quite a few things have happened. It was all very unconventional as I never traveled growing up, daring and scary at times but incredibly inspiring – and none of it would have happened if I hadn’t finally stopped trying to fit in! If I was still a conformist, I wouldn’t have given up the comfort of my home for the wild ride of traveling to unknown places with my children. And, frankly, if I had stuck with convention I probably wouldn’t be talking to you right now.

Before I started my journey to the lands beyond my home, I was already home schooling my oldest daughter and my work was online so it seemed a natural thing to do.

I was born in a small farming village in Zimbabwe. Growing up, we never had family holidays, I didn’t take my first trip overseas until I was 23 which is the day I immigrated to the United Kingdom.





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.

1 Comment

  1. This was such a great episode! Nina’s “18 summers” comment really resonated with me. I also just LOVE how Matheena noted that unschooling started out as something she was doing for her son, but it turns out that it’s very much about her too. So very true for my family as well. I’m so glad Nina (Downer) nudged me to watch this episode. Thanks for doing this work, Lainie!


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