Unschooling Resources: Discoveries of 2014

Curious kid by Mads Bodker(CC BY 2.0)

This week’s podcast is all about resources. 

I talk about some of the interesting things we discovered during 2014 and…

I answer the following questions:

  • How do I discuss at least 17 resources in only 30 minutes? Do I talk very fast?
  • How many free trial accounts can I sign up for?
  • Can I really find an alternative way of doing things by thinking carefully?
  • How many times can I say, “I Googled it”, in one podcast?
  • Has anyone ever become a successive pianist/composer without ever having a single music lesson?
  • Can an effective animation be made quickly and easily?
  • Is there a better presentation program than Powerpoint?
  • Is there a perfect method for keeping unschool records?
  • What’s a glog?
  • Can glogs be used for homeschool records or portfolios?
  • And what about mindmaps?
  • Can a computer screen image be projected onto a big TV screen?
  • What are historical reality series and where can they be found?
And for anyone following my learning-to-podcast adventure…

  • What new technique did I try this week?
  • And was it successful?

The answer to the last question can only be found out by listening to my podcast. Will you listen? I hope so!

Program Notes


Free Music Archive
Free Music Archive: Music for Video
Dexter Britain on Free Music Archive
Dexter Britain’s website
Dexter Britain on Bandcamp
Dexter Britain on Soundcloud
The Time to Run (Finale) by Dexter Britain, (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)
Opuzz: royalty-free music library

Videos and Video Making

Powtoon online animation software website

My Youtube Channel

My latest unschooling videos:
What Do Unschoolers Do All Day?
What if We Said, “Yes”?

Online presentation software websites





Evernote website

Evernote blog posts:
A Perfect Method for Keeping Unschooling Records
A Look Inside Our Evernote Unschooling Records Notebooks
Creating Evernote Unschooling Notebooks
How Homeschooling Children Can Use Evernote
Pondering Some Ideas on How to Prepare for a Homeschool Registration Visit
What My Girls Did This Week and How I Recorded These Learning Experiences
Chatting About Passions and Other Stuff
Unschooling, Strewing and Unplanning
Creating Evernote Reading Notebooks

My Evernote Youtube Videos
Evernote and Homeschool Records Playlist


Historical reality series

On Youtube:
Tudor Monastery Farm
Wartime Farm
Coal House

Edwardian Farm
Victorian Farm

And now onto this week’s podcast: Unschooling Resources: Discoveries of 2014…

You can also find me on my Stories of an Unschooling Family Facebook page. I often post photos, and links to resources and other interesting stuff on this page. I hope you’ll visit!

Looking at the clock, I’ve discovered 2014 ends in 2 1/2 hours’ time. It’s almost time to say…

Happy New Year!

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  1. Reply

    I was about to listen in, but after reading your program notes – I think I'll wait for the children to get up, so they can listen with me 🙂

    1. Reply

      I never considered my podcasts would be interesting for children! That's a nice thought. I hope they like the sound of some of the resources. I saw that one of your children was making a video the other day using Corel. I was using Corel too until my computer died and I lost my software. I shall have to get another copy because I like it much better than Movie Maker which is all I have at the moment.

      I hope you all enjoy my podcast. And thank you for your comment!

    2. Reply


      Thank you for listening to my podcast! I'm so glad you enjoyed it. My daughter Sophie is also 14. I love chatting to teenagers. You all have so many interesting things to say! I haven't made many podcasts recently, but I'm hoping to record one this afternoon with my daughter Imogen. We're going to talk about computers. I hope you'll watch out for it.

      Thank you so much for stopping by!

    3. Reply

      I love your podcast! My parents don't even listen I'm just so interested in what you have to say (I'm 14)

    4. Reply

      I will look for it! I've conversed with Sophie a bit because she is designing a new header for my blog (I won a giveaway on Imogen blog : )). I am really interested in your blog, podcast and youtube channel. I started this year mostly homeschooling, but it's turned into more unschooling. I'm still trying to figure out exactly how to explain it to my parents though. I send them to blog posts of yours whenever I can and I think they are starting to understand what I believe.

    5. Reply


      It was good to hear from you again! It sounds like you have definite ideas about the way you want to learn. You said your homeschooling has turned into unschooling. Perhaps you can share some of what you are learning with your parents, maybe keep a journal of your learning experiences, research resources, tell them about all the things you are interested in, take an interest in what they like to do as well… I hope you work out how to explain unschooling, and I hope your parents understand! If there are any questions I can help with, please let me know.

    6. Reply

      Thank you for being so kind. There is one thing you might be able to help me with and that's math. I've talked a lot to my parents and my grandmother and they all get it, except for math. They really want me to do a math curriculum. But I tried that last year and I hated it! Do you have any helpful resources, articles, and just tips that might help them understand?

  2. Reply

    Hey Hey!! I just want to say HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! to you before it was too late, but then I realized that you are probably well into the new year in your part of the world ;). Here in the USA I still have a little over 3 hrs left of 2014. I sincerely do hope that 2015 has many joyous times for you, dearest Sue. Thank you so much for helping to make my year a good one. Much love, Virginia 😀

    1. Reply

      Virginia Sue,

      It is still New Year's day here! It's about 4.15 pm on a warm and sunny afternoon. Doing a little bit of mental maths… You are just about to celebrate the New Year! Happy New Year to you and your family. I hope this year is full of blessings for you. Thank you for your friendship during 2014. I hope we can continue sharing in 2015!! Much love to you too! xxx

    2. Reply

      I am not too late than! (haha) I am envious of your warm and sunny afternoon. It is the cold dark of the night with the temperature at 18 degrees Fahrenheit. It has been extra cold this week with more super cold days to come. Can I come visit you? Haha…oh, that would be fun. Well.. I am feeling old and a bit head-achy. I have to wait until my daughter gets home from a church youth dance than off to bed I go. Gone are the days of bringing in the new year with a bang. Oh well… 😉 Thanks for your sweetness xo

    3. Reply

      oh…and p.s. I do plan to listen to the podcast tomorrow…maybe with the kiddos also 🙂

    4. Reply

      Virginia Sue,

      Yes, it would be so much fun if you could hop on a plane and come and visit me! You could share our sunshine, take a walk down the trails through our bush, drink coffee with me and chat…

      We didn't bring the new year in with a bang either. We just went to bed at the usual time. Usually on New Year's Eve we're woken up by cheers at midnight as the old year turns into the new one, but this year all our neighbours were very quiet. Perhaps they're getting old too!

      I hope you enjoy the podcast!

    • San
    • January 4, 2015

    Another great job! We have watched all of the history videos and Ruth Goodman and co are just fab!

    I will have to re read your evernote pages and watch the videos again as I think they could be useful now that Benedict is getting older.

    Listening to your podcasts gas got me thinking about possibly using it as a vehicle for the ongoing project of my handmade business, so I have ordered from the library podcasts for dummies!!

    Hope you are enjoying these last few days of the Christmas Season.

    Love to you

    San xx

    1. Reply


      After reading your comment, I am thinking maybe I should have researched podcasting better before I began mine. I didn't even think about borrowing a book on the subject. Instead I'm learning as I go and making plenty of mistakes along the way! Listeners are proving to be very patient with my efforts which is just as well!

      Oh yes, you should try podcasting too! Podcasts seem to be very popular, and I'm sure you'll have lots of fun as you promote your business. I'd love to listen to you talk about your handmade business. Have you thought about what topics you could talk about? You must let me know when you have your podcast up and running. I want to share!

      We're having a very relaxed and enjoyable Christmas, thank you, San. It's good to take a break from the busyness of life and recharge again. Here in Australia, being summer, all the school kids (and teachers!) are having the annual long 6 week holiday. Lots of time to spend with my husband before he returns to school!

      Love to you too! xxx

  3. Reply

    Hi Larkin,

    It's lovely to hear from you again. You must be so happy being able to unschool. Maths is a tricky area. Many parents don't feel able to let go of a maths curriculum even though they are happy to unschool in every other way. We were the same. How would you feel about fulfilling this one requirement at the moment? Maybe things will change later, as they did for us.

    You said you hated your maths curriculum, but do you hate maths? Sophie used to say she hated maths, but what she really didn't like was the way maths was being presented to her. Perhaps you could find some maths resources which might make maths more enjoyable for you Maths is actually a very interesting subject. At least I think so! How about keeping a maths journal where you note all the maths you encounter in your everyday life? You might be surprised (and your parents might be too) how much maths you are using.

    Did you listen to my podcast about unschool maths? Sophie joined me for part of that episode. I talked about why we decided to let go of maths curriculula and unschool maths instead. Not doing a formal course doesn't mean we don't learn maths. I look out for interesting maths experiences which I think my daughters might enjoy. Perhaps your parents are worried you aren't going to learn any maths. It might be reassuring to them if you take an interest in the subject, but not in the traditional way. There's lots of good books, games, websites, videos etc on the topic of maths.



    I added a couple of links to maths posts on this blog. You could look at the Yummy Math website. If you are required to do some formal maths, that site might be a lot more enjoyable and relevant than a traditional curriculum.


    Or how about maths and coding:


    I hope some of that helps. Let me know how you get on. I'd be interested!

  4. Reply

    I love math! (or maths) It's just so interesting! Just the other day I got a book out of the library called "A Tour of the Calculus." I can't wait to read it. And yesterday I was reading one of my favorite math books. I also love to watch Vi Hart videos and play DragonBox.

    I'll look into your links. I read those posts and I definitely got some resource ideas. Last year I took a coding class which I found incredibly boring. I realized recently that it's kind of put me off coding entirely. I feel like I would like to explore it more though, just maybe in a different way

    I really like the journal thought, that may do it for my parents. We could at least to a trial run like that. Tonight I'm going to discuss with my parents my plan for next year, so I'll let you know how it goes. Thanks you so much for helping me through this.

    I listened to that podcast episode, but it was quite a while ago (I think it was the first one I listened to) so maybe I'll listen again.

  5. Reply


    I love maths too! We've enjoyed Dragon Box and Vi Hart, but I haven't seen the book "A Tour of the Calculus." I shall have to watch out for a copy! I'm glad you like the journal idea.

    Maybe with coding there has to be a reason for learning it. For example, I am fascinated with some of the artworks people have produced using coding. I'd love to make something similar so I have considered learning coding to do this. I don't know how much maths is involved. It just looks interesting for its own sake. I'll give you a link in case you're interested.


    There's a link in the side-bar for the tutorials.

    Have you seen the book 'Alex's Adventures in Numberland"? I haven't read it all, but I enjoyed the chapters I did read. It was written by someone associated with the Numberphile team.


    The Kindle copy is only $2.64

    If I have any other ideas I'll let you know. Please share all your interesting maths resource discoveries too!

    1. Reply


      I was so excited when I discovered Numberphile. We especially love all the Pi videos!

      I'm so pleased to hear you have the go-ahead to unschool. I think you'll really enjoy learning this way and you'll make a success of it because you're very self-motivated. You know what you want to do and it sounds like you love learning.

      Thank you for stopping by today. I hope you'll continue to share updates on what you're doing!

    2. Reply

      Thanks! I love Numberphile. I'll definitely check out that coding art. I talked to my parents and though they are a bit apprehensive, they are willing to give unschooling (including math) a try. We are going to check in every once in a while and look through my journal. I also I decided that I want to finish the math program I'm doing, so I think they are glad I'll be doing some "real" math for a while.

    3. Reply

      I definitely recommend Go Figure: A Totally Cool Book About Numbers. I got it when I was about 8, loved it then and I just recently read through it again, to great enjoyment! My whole family passed much of a car trip working out the riddles!

    4. Reply


      Thank you so much for your book recommendation. It sounds good! There are some Johnny Ball videos on Youtube. I haven't watched them yet but I'm going to! I hope all is well with you.

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