Imogen Talks about Unschooling and University

Today I made my first ‘talkie’ video. We’d been discussing ideas for the last couple of weeks, and just needed a free moment to actually start filming.

“Why don’t you interview me this afternoon?” suggested my daughter Imogen. “I’ve got some free time.”

So I grabbed the video camera and Imogen hunted for the tripod. Unfortunately the tripod didn’t want to be found so I raided the bookshelf for a pile of encyclopedias instead. I placed these in a tower on a chair in front of the hot seat (an armchair in our living room!) I perched the video camera on top. We were all set.

We’d already discussed the kind of things Imogen could talk about once I had the camera running. 

“Start off by introducing yourself and we’ll go from there.”

So Imogen began talking. She spoke about unschooling, what she enjoyed about it, the benefits of unschooling, family life, her passions including writing and music, how she got into university, how unschooling prepared her for tertiary study, and finally what she’d like to do in the future.

We only did one take, although we stopped periodically to let my camera hand have a break. I then uploaded the clips into Movie Maker and stitched them all together. I didn’t do much editing. I was tempted to have Imogen speak at twice her normal speed. I thought about spinning her on her head so she was speaking upside down, but in the end, I behaved myself. To satisfy my creative urge, I added a couple of special effects near the end of the video. Oh yes, I had to add some welcoming applause at the beginning as well.

This video wasn’t nearly as much fun to make as my last ones. It’s all rather serious but I hope you find it interesting. Imogen is a good speaker. She spoke off the cuff without notes, just a spontaneous sharing. Without the tripod, the picture is a little wobbly in places but I hope you can put up with that.

Imogen talked a lot about her two passions, music and writing. She did however do a lot of other things while she was unschooling, including an advanced maths course, the complete Cambridge Latin course, science… She was involved with St John Ambulance for many years and was cadet of the year. I wouldn’t like to give you the impression she did nothing but indulge her two top interests.

There is only so much that can be fitted into a 12 minute video but if you have some questions you would like to ask Imogen, she’d be quite happy to answer them in another movie. Please ask!

12 minutes? It’s quite a long time to sit and listen. I’m sorry about that. I could have cut some of the interview out but decided not to. What I might cut, thinking it isn’t all that interesting, might be just what someone else wants to hear. 

So without further ado…

I present Imogen talking about unschooling and university…

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  1. Reply

    I love it! Great job, Imogen!!!! Here's a round of applause from me …… clap clap clap CLAP! Seriously, you are a very articulate speaker and I enjoyed this SO much. Good job from the film editor too (and I liked the blooper :)!)

    1. Reply


      I'm so glad you enjoyed the round of applause. I reckon that was the best bit… apart from the blopper! No, I'm wrong: Imogen did a great job. Maybe next time she'll have some more specific questions to answer and my video might be a little shorter. Thank you so much for watching. I probably wouldn't have got around to making this video without all your encouragement.

  2. Reply

    Cheers, Imogen! This was awesome!!! If you ever get tired of writing, you could definitely have a career in public speaking. Wow…so poised, and what a beautiful smile! I hope many people view this on youtube, because they really do need to know how successful homesch…excuse me UNschooling can be. Imogen is so mature for her age, so articulate. Love the accent…sounds somewhat British to me. Wish I wasn't in such a hurry….getting ready to go out for husband's birthday. I'd probably write a post length comment. Meanwhile, I"ll be thinking of other questions for Imogen…and the future stars to come πŸ™‚ Thanks so much, Imogen. I applauded too! You are amazing! Thanks, Sue…for sharing. I know you must be very proud of all the girls..and the guys too. Love and big hugs…….

    1. Reply


      Imogen is refusing to watch the video: "So embarrassing to listen to myself, Mum." But she smiled when I read out yours and Nancy's comments. Thank you! She's a good sport.

      You got to hear an accent at last! Yes, a bit British: "Must be Dad's influence." Everyone sounds just a bit different from each other. I think Callum has the strongest Aussie accent. He has volunteered to be interviewed too. Maybe he could talk about the transition from homeschooling to work. We'll see!

      You are so kind popping over to watch the video when you have more important things to do like celebrating your husband's birthday. I hope you are enjoying his special day!

      If you do think of some questions to ask Imogen, please ask! Elvis Productions is quite prepared to make another video. We just need some more ideas.

      Love and hugs to you too!

  3. Reply

    Thank you Imogen, I do so love to hear from "older" homeschoolers as it helps me to help my children plan and get ideas for their future. My 13 year old son is very interested in writing, so your video is relevant to him. Ilove the idea of my children doing further study from home when they're older (then we all get to stay together for longer!)

    1. Reply


      Thank you for watching! Maybe your son would enjoy NaNoWriMo. Or blogging? There's so many opportunities for young writers these days.

      It is lovely to have Imogen studying from home. When she started uni we didn't actually notice much difference. She still joins in with a lot of what's going on around here. I will miss her when it's time for her to leave home. But that probably won't happen for a year or two yet. I will make the most of that time while I have it!

      Thank you for your comment!

  4. Reply

    This is a great idea. There is this saying "A picture is worth a thousend words." I would now say, a video is worth a million words! Thank you so much. Looking forward to more!

    1. Reply


      Thank you so much for watching. I agree: a video provides an added dimension. They reveal more than photos. You are kind wanting to see more. I'm enjoying learning how to make videos. Each time I make one, I learn something new. This time I learnt I need to use a tripod and I have to be careful of the lighting!

  5. Reply

    My question to Imogen: how do you think did your parents contribute to make your unschooling/homeschooling a positive experience?

    1. Reply


      I've given your question to Imogen. It's a great one! She'll think about it and I'll make another video soon. It's good to have a specific question. It'll give the interview more focus. Thank you!

  6. Reply

    What a wonderful video!!! It looks like Imogen has very much enjoyed her years of homeschooling!
    I LOVE her accent by the way! Do all your children have that accent?

    God Bless

    1. Reply


      I'm glad you enjoyed my latest video! I'm sure Imogen would tell you she had a lot of fun homeschooling. She still considers herself an unschooler. What about you? I bet you enjoy being a homeschooler too!

      Accents… We hear our voices all the time so don't think about how we speak or compare. No doubt I will film everyone in the family eventually, and then you can tell me if we all sound alike!

  7. Reply

    I love being a homeschooler! Its so much fun! I enjoy the freedom of being able to do things at my own pace. And if I am getting frustrated with something, I can push aside and do something else, and then work on it later. I also love social activities such as, singing, piano and ice-skating, or even just playing sport with my brothers. Its great Imogen considers herself as an unschooler still. It looks like you guys have a LOT of fun each day, shown by your first video.

    I noticed Imogen sounded like she had a British kind of accent. I was pretty amazed at how she can speak. I have quite a thick Australian accent, and family does as well, so if I ever filmed myself speaking, and then put on maybe Google+ I am sure you would notice it.

    God Bless,

    1. Reply


      It sounds like you are involved in a lot of interesting activities. When you start your blog, you'll have to write about all you do.

      I guess our accents depend a lot on those around us. We tend to pick up and imitate what we hear every day without realising. Andy and I have both lived in England and Wales and this has influenced our accents. Our children of course hear our voices all the time so, although they were born in Australia and have lived here all their lives, their accents aren't as broad as they could be. I look forward to hearing and seeing you if you ever make a video!

      God bless!

  8. Reply

    Absolutely found this fun, interesting and just plain informative. Imogen has such a lovely personality. I need to come back for part 2!!!
    Thanks so much. Great idea!

    1. Reply


      I was surprised we didn't need to do multiple takes. Imogen was easy to film. I'm sure I would have ummed and ahhed my way through the whole interview!

      Part 2? Coming soon! Thank you for watching. I do appreciate it.

  9. Sue and Imogen, thank you both so much for making and sharing this. I watched it through and then called my 9 year old daughter in to watch some. You uplifted both of us! Imogen talks so gracefully and confidently about her educational experiences. It's very inspiring. Thank you, again! We liked the blooper too πŸ™‚ Lucinda

    1. Reply


      Thank you for watching. It was rather long, but we hope to make our next video more concise and shorter. I know it's sometimes difficult to find the time to watch videos. The blopper… I couldn't help myself! I had to add a fun touch. Thank you so much for your kind words. I hope you'll return to watch our next effort!

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