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Our Family

Hi! We're the Barwells

—Andrew and Ashlee—and we're turning our passion for Self-Directed Education into a family business. Early in our parenting journey we discovered SDE and the Unschooling movement through the work of scholars and parents such as Peter Gray, Rachel Rainbolt, and Pam Laricchia. We decided that SDE was the right choice for our children, Amileah (almost 5 years old) and Andrew Junior (1 year old), as it aligned with our family values and hopes for the future.

Our respective experiences in public school were largely negative and it was only as adults, outside of formal institutions, that we found our passions and began to reach our intellectual potential. 

We have witnessed the magic of SDE with Amileah over the past year as she blossomed at home rather than being sent to kindergarten. Even though the research is compelling and our instincts told us she didn’t need schooling, like so many other parents embarking on an SDE journey we wondered, “how will she learn without school?” The answer is, simply: the way she has since birth. Her brain was biologically designed to learn through natural selection: playing, watching. listening, discussing, questioning, hypothesizing, practicing, experimenting, and, contemplating. Amileah is joyfully cultivating her intellect without worksheets and her love of learning without lessons. There is no curriculum and, thus, no coercion.

She plays. She learns. She thrives.

She is a liberated learner.

And your child can be one too!

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