Wild and Free
Sage Homeschooling: Wild and Free offers a natural learning path, for gentle parents who dream of living fully in joy and connection with their children while giving them all they need to be successful, with eight secrets to living a fulfilling unschooling life.
In this inspirational and secular guide, you will learn how to:
- deschool, shaking off all the educational programming that weighs you down
- maintain your relationship focus on connection beyond the early years
- trust in your children and their natural learning journey
- embrace the freedom that fosters meaningful productivity and independence
- utilize collaboration in respectful partnership to achieve self-directed growth
- fully realize the environment as a valuable tool for playful learning
- live a fun lifestyle of learning through rich, adventurous experiences
- set your compass for growth and success in all the ways that matter most
If you are ready to take the leap into a lifestyle of passionate learning with clarity and confidence, then read this book!
Book 4 of 4 in the Sage Parenting Series.
"Our job as parents is not to educate our children but to provide environmental contexts that optimize their ability to educate themselves. In this upbeat, fun-to-read book about her family’s unschooling practices, Rachel Rainbolt provides a multitude of great ideas about how to do just that."
Peter Gray, Research Professor of Psychology at Boston College and author of Free to Learn
Pam Laricchia, author of The Unschooling Journey and host of the Exploring Unschooling podcast
Start Reading Now
"This book is amazing! Wow! This is so much more than a homeschooling book, it's a how to live the life of your dreams book."
"Just the book I needed! Love her style of writing and one of the top books I would recommend after my personal “research” in the past 6 months on all things unschooling/homeschooling."
"I opened this book thinking I would just get the ins and outs of homeschooling and self-directed education. Now, don't get me wrong, I did get those things, but I also got so much more than that. I got a book that helped me delve deeper into my own programmed ways of thinking about school, learning, teaching, and how children are treated. I emerged from the book with more trust in my children, their ability to learn, and a profound sense of just how capable they are. This book is about homeschooling, parenting, connection, and life. After reading it, I realize how insane it is for one of those things to exist without the other. I plan to read this book again and again as a refresher as my children grow, and I will recommend it to everyone I know. It is truly a breath of fresh air, and reading it almost feels like a homecoming. Reading about how being a parent is the only qualification I need to homeschool my children gave me a confidence boost I didn't have before. My partner and I read some parts together and realized why one of us had so many "problems" with reading and one of us with math. We vowed together, to create a different way with our own children, and this book is such a huge part of that. I could go on and on, but do yourself a favor and get this book for yourself! Read it and I guarantee you will begin to feel the puzzle pieces come together as we did."
"Don’t you love those moments in life when you are struggling with something, and then suddenly - like lightning - the problem is solved? This book has been that moment of light for me. I seriously cannot thank Rachel enough for writing this gem of a book. As a struggling unschooling parent, I had read Sandra Dodd, John Holt, joined the unschooling communities but something still just wasn’t clicking for me. As a child who excelled in school myself, I couldn’t let go of the expectation, the “schooling”, the pressure...and it was making my anxiety run at an all-time high. I happened across @sageparenting on Instagram and found that this inspiring momma had written some books so I ordered this book immediately. I truly feel it was fate and the answer to some unspoken prayer I sent out into the universe. Rachel’s writing was literally the “aha” moment of everything I had read and researched just coming together in a way that I finally trust myself. Today was the first day in a long time that I truly relaxed and enjoyed my children with no expectation of “what are we learning today”. And it was also the first day in a long time that I truly sat back and listened and marveled at my two insanely intelligent, creative and wild daughters. "
"Sage Homeschooling is not just a guide for homeschooling, it’s a guide for life. It made me examine myself and realize that providing what's best for my child means providing what's best for me, too. It’s a lifestyle of love and learning to be adopted by the whole family, and it really makes you take a hard look at who you are as an adult, what you value, and how that affects the balance and nature of learning within your family dynamic. Organic, genuine, full of heart and respect for every stage of learning and life, it’s stellar. Really."
"I never could have imagined that one book could set me so firmly on a completely different path from the one I was on just six months ago. Rachel elaborates beautifully on the ideas behind natural homeschooling, and it resonated with me from beginning to end. In June of this year I was bidding on items at an auction to benefit my 7 year old’s public elementary school, and by August I was mailing in my letter of intent to homeschool to the district. That’s how much Rachel has impacted our thinking! We’ve done an enormous amount of reading, researching, poking around and soul-searching since last spring, and it’s true, there is a lot of bad information out there about homeschooling. This is a source I trust and consistently return to. Everyone should read this book, whether or not you decide to homeschool. At the very least, it will open your mind and heart to a better way to connect with your children and bring balance to your family."
"To all the parents of little ones looking into learning about homeschooling, unschooling, deschooling, life learning, hack-schooling and all around creative living with your whole family. Even if your children are in a school or go part-time, this book helps you to reconnect with your little ones in the most basic way and say "yes" to adventure, curiosity, and experiential learning with your children.
There is so much information jam-packed into this book, from real-life examples from her families adventures to amazing quotes scattered throughout the book. Rachel has worked with families from all over the world through her email coaching and her Sage Parenting group is one of my faves. Rachel's knowledge on conscious attachment parenting is immeasurable, this book is amazing! Wow! This is so much more than a homeschooling book, it's a how to live the life of your dreams book.
'Learning is living and loving, together' - Rachel Rainbolt"
"Excellent view into unschooling and the importance of autonomy for children in their educational life. Would recommend to anyone curious about unschooling, or finding their way in a homeschooling journey. Especially great for families interested in the Wild+Free movement but practice secular schooling."
"Can I just say how much this book moves me??? I’m in the middle of Sage Homeschooling because my husband and I have decided to pull our older 2 children out of the public school system at the end of this year (5th and 3rd graders), and our younger 2 children will never have to endure it because of this decision (3y & 8m). I was scared to take the plunge at first, but this book has replaced all of my fears with excitement and ambition. My takeaway from this book thus far? “Quit being a lazy parent and give your kids all the positive Momming you have to offer!” We hardly leave our homestead in the sticks, but this weekend we will be starting our bi-weekly library adventures. My girls are excited to take control of their education via their interests. Thank you for writing such an inspiring series, Rachel! I look forward to backtracking a bit and reading Sage Parenting!"
"Every parent needs this book at their baby shower! There are no rules, judgements or regulations in this book. It's not saying any one way is right. She helps you navigate your feelings and fears so you can make an INFORMED decision that's right for YOUR family. To do what comes naturally but isn't always easy with a world full of opinions. If you even thought for a second about schools, any part, read this and I promise you'll feel informed and confident. So many great quotes by amazing people including John Taylor Gatto (dumbing us down), Ben Hewitt, Harper Lee (To Kill A Mocking Bird), Gandhi, Peter Gray (free to learn), John Holy, Albert Einstein and so on. It's a must!!"
"Perfect first book for your TBR list! (TBR List: to be read, as in books ya gotta get). Okay, let me start by saying that this author, as a human being, is such an intuitive, reflective individual. Not only an intellect, but one with a high EQ (emotional quotient), which is a necessary, admirable combinantion. She has other books (all relative to her Sage theme) and I strongly believe any new parent or someone on the path to parenthood could highly benefit from her message: be mindful. Okay, now on to this book. I have a Masters degree in Adolescent Education, graduated magna cum laude, and have eight years experience teaching in a classroom. I have a seventh grader who is a public school student, enjoys going, and whose marks every single marking period hover anywhere from 97-100. Let me say, this was not me. At all, at that age. I now have two young children, a year apart in age, who I stay at-home with and have known for a year now that they're likely not destined for the classroom. Full of energy, always on the go, constant playing, outdoors from sun-up to sun-down on good-weather days. And a quick learner, my older toddler can explain evaporation, how geysers work, and the life cycle of cicadas. Unfortunately, I am in much need of deschooling..and when I saw the various methods of homeschooling (Charlotte Mason, Waldorf, Classical, and so on) or realized we could unschool, I asked myself, "Hmmmm...what book to start with?" This is ABSOLUTELY it!" My favorite parts: the quotes, the peek provided of the Author's life (I am a memoir junkie), and her advice. Well-worth the price. And! She can be found onlin, with even more awesome contributions to the parenting world! This book made me feel that even I, one who worked so hard to be a teacher and loved it, could take my own children's educational journey into my own hands. And that the idea isn't "radical," but instead pretty common sensical."
"I love this book! I have found so many things in this book that are similar to my own parenting and homeschooling journey. I think most of the suggestions made in this book are excellent and are such a healthy outlook on education and how children learn. I was so excited after reading it that I'm now reading it a second time through to my children to see what they think and let them get a chance to have input in to what we may or may not like to add to our own homeschooling adventures. My daughter Jubilee, aged 16, says she hopes one day to follow a similar path with her own future family, cause she thinks this definitely is the healthiest and most natural way to learn. I would recommend this book to any parent from people with children not yet ready for school to parents who are seasoned unschoolers/homeschoolers who are looking for a way to try something new and get out of the traditional box."
"Reading Rachel Rainbolt's new book Wild and Free. Her words are straight speaking to my soul.
We have been ‘roadschooling' (homeschooling on the road) for 10 months now, as we travel the States in a trailer. One of the biggest reasons I debated going on the road was, I had to homeschool. I grew up attending public school in poor neighborhoods and didn't feel that I was smart enough to homeschool. Reading Wild and Free was awe-inspiring. It pointed things out that I feared and then gave me courage. This book isn't a book that tells you do x, y, and z and you can homeschool. It makes you reflect on yourself, your family goals and the many fears we have as parents and our ability to teach. With this reflection, we can narrow down what we want to change for our children, set goals and get it done.
One of my favorite quotes from Wild and Free:
'No interaction is neutral; you are always stepping in one direction or another. Every single experience is a step on your journey that provides a fresh perspective. Embrace a balance of confidence and openness as you move forward. If something makes you uncomfortable, don’t turn away. Face it, then work to change yourself or work to change it. Discomfort is an opportunity for growth.'
Even though it's daunting to think that every choice I make has an impact, it gives me the confidence to say I CAN do this even when I think it's hard or let the doubts creep in because it's what's best for our family and this too will be a learning experience.
'Like a house of cards, as you start pulling one here and there, the whole structure tumbles. A tumbling house of cards that represents your whole childhood and everything you thought you knew and was before you in life can feel scary. Be brave. Keep pulling. Let the cards fall. As you call them out or write them down, you are pulling them out of you and releasing them. We are moving from automation to intention. This baggage will no longer be the measure of your success.'
"I cannot praise this book enough! I feel like Sage Parenting has been there for my parenting journey every step of the way. My son is just now entering preschool age and I’ve been TERRIFIED. My own experience with school has been deeply traumatizing. I feel pushed constantly to put him in school. This book feels like I have a friend holding my hand saying “you can follow your heart. You can do things differently. Schooling can be fun and connected, and it doesn’t have to be hard”. I want to buy Sage Parenting books on bulk so I can share with every new mother that there is a different way parent and educate."
"Sage Homeschooling is a new favorite at our house! Rachel is funny, knowledgable and reading this has been like talking to a friend. And as a newbie in the homeschooling world, thats exactly what I was needing."
"Rachel Rainbolt has this amazing way of painting a picture of natural learning. For those considering this non-traditional lifestyle it can be intimidating, but Sage Homeschooling is a must-read that will leave you feeling inspired and confident about providing rich experiences for your family. I especially love how she uses both data research and real-life examples from her own family’s experience to validate the practices she discusses. I can’t wait to read the rest of her Sage series! Two thumbs way up!!"
"Rachel Rainbolt of Sage Parenting invites you to dance the dance of learning and education as it should be; learning, loving, and thriving! Old systemic and problematic learning have maybe you scratching your head, my child loves to learn, so why don't they always love school? If you are even thinking about alternative schooling or walking down the path on homeschooling with questions, this is the book and guide for you. And truthfully, even if homeschooling isn't right for you just yet, tap into the wisdom of child learning with joy and passion. This book is insightful and most helpful, and will be a guide that we as a family can refer back to. A most fantastic read for the parent (or caregiver) that is looking to support your child's natural love for learning through connection."
Melissa Lang Lytle
"We have been unschooling/worldschooling for about 6 years now. I have always felt like a sailboat in stormy seas, landing in ports where no one understands our language. In 'Sage Homeschooling: Wild and Free', Rachel has become my interpreter! Finally, someone has put in eloquent and humorous words, exactly what I've felt. Not only that, but there is some amazing advice and insightful questions to guide your thought process in finding what is right for you. This book will be on our gifted list this year for sure!"
"I started my Sage Parenting path with the Honored and Connected book (also amazing!) as I entered a challenging time parenting my toddler with an infant in tow. It literally changed my world!! So naturally I had to read Rachel's other books, including Sage Homeschooling. I've been asked on occassion if I am going to homeschool our kids and my answer has always been a quick NO! But again, this book has changed my world! For me, she broke down the myths about homeschooling (that scared me away from it!) and brought to life a way of learning that I didn't even know existed. I now see a different path for us as a family...together, connected, learning naturally♡"
"Sage Homeschooling is a well written book with deep roots that give its readers the confidence and wings to venture into the unschooling territory! Rachel filled this amazing guidebook with helpful advice, wisdom, and inspiring examples. I’ve been homeschooling my children since kindergarten and have read many “how to homeschool” books and I can confidently say this is one of the best. A must read."
"Sage homeschooling is one of those books that gives practical application to a homeschooling journey and not theory. It's a beautifully written narrative journey with the author that transports you to a place where you can visualize how this process would actually look. There are so many great examples of how to be successful in your family system without regret or without bringing on your own family drama. If your a first-time homeschooler or a veteran family there really is a lot to learn here. What an exceptional read that I highly recommend."
"This book is perfect if you are at the beginning of your children's schooling. I was casting about, trying to understand my own feelings and reactions to different paths that we can take as we enter "school years". Reading Rachel's book was like listening to a friend give me advice about how she respectfully navigated how and where to educate her children, as well as what it really means to educate in the first place. I read with a pen and paper, taking notes about decisions and conversations that my family will need to have as my son gets a little older. Highly recommend as an addition to an attachment parenting library!"
"Whether you are completely new to Homeschooling or you're a seasoned Homeschooler this book will provide you with tremendous insight and guidance. As a parent to a toddler and a therapist who has worked in both private and public school settings, this book peaked my curiosity and my desire to learn more about the homeschooling lifestyle. My assumptions about homeschooling were challenged with this book and I closed each chapter with a deep respect for the parent who chooses the homeschooling path for their family. The emphasis on connection, trust, community, mentorship, natural learning, gentle parenting were all music to my ears! I especially enjoyed how she addressed the idea "neurodiversity" which argues that "diverse neurological conditions are within the normal spectrum of human experience and might even be considered advantageous adaptations as opposed to pathologized disabilities." What an idea! How wonderful would it be if we looked at a disability as a potential advantage rather than a pathology! Thank you, Rachel for your thought provoking ideas and introduction to the world of homeschooling. While reading Rachel's book I felt as though I was sitting across from her in a coffee shop having a conversation. Her writing style is realistic, welcoming, entertaining and educational. If you have any curiosity or interest in exploring homeschool this book is for you!!!!"
"Rachel Rainbolt's Sage Homeschooling Wild and Free is a "must have" for all homeschooling families! Because homeschooling is in conflict with mainstream education, informational resources are limited and the journey into this amazing realm are often obscured and discouraged. Therefore, parents concerned about the numerous flaws in our public school system and looking for alternative educational methods are often left in the dark and confused. Ms. Rainbolt offers a glimpse into the many homeschooling options that are available providing readers with the keys to finding the best educational opportunities for their families. She does a wonderful job of enlightening and entertaining us as she masterfully weaves anecdotal stories of her family's journey into this world of autonomy, discovery and learning. She makes the reader feel that every parent, regardless of education, degrees, and experience, is the best "teacher" for their child(ren). She astonishes us with a "world classroom" approach that fills the reader with the knowledge that we are all surrounded with some of the very best educational opportunities in our daily lives that will allow our children to soar and excel and to become the best that they can be. We only need to say "yes" and let the fun begin!"
"Although not an unschooler, I am currently homeschooling and want to incorporate more a more unschool-y environment in my home and life. While this was written specifically about Rachel's journey into unschooling with her family, there was so much to take away even for someone who falls into a homeschool category. Rachel's writing is approachable, well researched, and humorous, and she is very much understanding of the many paths to education that families take. It gave me opportunity to step back and remember to trust my kids, trust the process, and trust life to be interesting and educational.
Even a family who has their kids in a conventional school but is interested in "wilding" their lives a bit would benefit from this book. It is a fabulous jumping off point for anyone in the "research" phase of their homeschooling journey, interested in dipping their toes into unschooling, or to reinforce your commitment to your homeschooling/unschooling choice. Read it with a pencil, you'll want to make notes in the margins!"
"If you are thinking about homeschooling or unschooling this is your book. Reading Rachel's book has inspired me in my journey with my kids. My favorite parts are when she gives us real life examples of how it works in her home. I highly recommend this book."
"Great reminder as to why we left the mainstream! I've been on the life learning path with my boys since the beginning (they are 2.5 and 6) but it is always helpful to read something that helps us to stay confident, dedicated, and relaxed in the choices we have and are making each day. That's what this easy to read book does for me. Its is also a helpful reminder that community is out there, you just have to put your feelers out."
"Love this book!"
"Beautiful glimpse into everyday life of a homeschooling / unschooling family. Wonderful suggestions for living a peaceful and engaged family life while trusting your children to learn at their own pace / their own interests."
"Uplifting and Inspiring: What an amazing resource. The way Rachel Rainbolt writes is like sitting down with a good friend for a cuppa tea wrapped in a warm blanket. Her philosophies tap into our natural insights as parents and lift us up to have a joyful life with our kids."
"Rachel is a joyful inspiration in the natural living community. I love all of Rachel’s ideas on all things AP and unschooling. This book in particular caused me to rethink so many assumptions I had about how children learn. It’s inspired me to pursue unschooling for my son. Thank you for your and enlightening and positive work, Rachel."
"You won't be the same after you read it! Every mother needs this book. It’s eye opening and SO informative. It encourages the natural flow of motherhood. So often we are told to hold back our instincts for several reasons, but we need to do what nature intended and that means connect, cuddle, encourage, and really enjoy our children. They are born learners and it’s not something that relies all on us. She list several studies and facts that help you truly see things differently. This book is golden. Get it!:)"
"Homeschooling with purpose. This book is worth reading, considering and reading again. Make a few changes, adopt a few concepts or two.. even perhaps disagree and hone in on what your family atmosphere should be."
"Loved every bit! I truly enjoyed this book and felt it gave great insight into the unschooling lifestyle. Rachel has been such an inspiration for our family! I would recommend this book to anyone curious about living and learning in this wonderful way!"
Vivian M Burnham
What readers said about the first edition
My sister-in-law recommended your book and I'm in love! I stayed up all night reading it!! And you do coaching!? I just want to let you know upon reading your book I felt so lost and helpless like there was no hope for my kids and last night you changed all of that!! I decided no holding back I'm going all in and my son won't be going to public school in the 1st grade! I'll take the summer to educate and prepare myself!!! Again, thank you so much for writing the book and the others that I must read!!
Chandra Marie Kubicek
"I found this book to be a great resource in beginning the homeschooling journey. It really broke things down and made it feel very manageable and not so overwhelming!"
Sage Mama Katie
"Ignite your passion to homeschool!
If your curious about homeschooling this is the book to read first! I was unsure about reading a book right now about homeschooling as my son is only 2 years old. However, I am super curious and I have been surrounding myself with more and more information about it. I decided to jump into what I thought was the deep end of the pool. I was nervous about how much it seemed it was going to be to take on. Let me tell you, Rachel Rainbolt's book is brilliantly written. She shares her story of how her family came to homeschool their children, their struggles with the traditional schools, doubt and fear about jumping into the homeschool pool. She covers everything from curriculum to materials and resources. She talks about play spaces, organizing and what a day in the life would be like. Her list of references and resources is astounding! This homeschooling mother really does her research and it's all packed into one easy-to-read book! So here I am, I've jumped into the homeschooling pool, the funny thing is that I already knew how to swim and this is what I found out reading "Sage Homeschooling: A Lifestyle for a Connected Family". It's an extension of our daily lives and it can be a super fun experience. It's a way for children to be active participants and engaged in their own education and environment; creatively able to explore their own individual passions. This book has solidified my thoughts about homeschooling 100%. I hope you pick it up and read it today or download the digital version now! It will truly ignite your passion to homeschool!"
"My homeschooling questions answered!
I just read the Sage Homeschooling book cover to cover in two nights...with a two year old and a three month old baby! Ok, it's 81 pages but what I mean by that is that I was so excited to hear Rachel's journey and it captivated me so much to not want to put it down. I would read every chance I got, even while simultaneously nursing the baby and putting together puzzles with the toddler. As time goes on and I become a more experienced mother I find myself questioning the norm and really questioning everything I do and say. When I first heard of homeschooling I was quick to judge that it was for parents who wanted to shelter their children. The more I research about how important it is to learn through play for children and how much of a negative impact teaching to the test is having on students and teachers, the more comfortable the word "homeschooling" sounds and feels and I admit my initial judgement was uninformed. I was overwhelmed about where to begin researching homeschooling (hence why I'm already thinking about it when my first child is only 2), and I wasn't sure if I was smart enough or disciplined enough to do it. I was afraid that my children will miss out on the social aspect of traditional schooling. All of my fears have been wiped away, my concerns have been addressed, and I feel empowered to begin preparing for our homeschooling journey, whichever path we choose to take. Sage Homeschooling is an informative read if you are considering something different than the traditional school setting and easily breaks down the options you have and how to get started. Thank you Rachel for sharing your experiences and successes and empowering those around you with your knowledge."
"Rachel does it again
Every time I opened this book I walked away feeling inspired and informed. Whether you're on the fence about homeschooling or have already decided that's the path you want to take (like me) I highly recommend this book. I felt as if I was sitting across from a friend who's opinion I trust and respect, who was telling me about her experience and giving genuine guided advice. This book is well thought out, has tons of information, and will leave you feeling equipped and excited for this journey. As with Sage Parenting, I will refer back to this book many many times over the years."
"Rachel made the idea of homeschooling less daunting!
I read Rachel’s Sage Homeschooling book and I really have to recommend it because it laid things out in a very simple and achievable way, things that had never occurred to me. It made homeschooling bite-sized.
I’d always been teased that my education essentially made me the perfect governness but I didn’t know how to apply that to my child. So it was still a little scary. So thank you for this book. It gave me a starting point and a guide. I am very excited. I will absolutely, 100% homeschool my son. It’s funny because this is something my husband and I had always talked about before but I was really afraid of it because it was something that was super daunting. Where do you start? What does it mean? Do I have to get a map to pull down from the ceiling? I had no idea the things I had access to in my community. I am very excited."
"I'm going to be totally honest, when I picked up this book I was skeptical. Not only am I presently studying to be an educator, but I also was partially home schooled myself and I consider it one of the greatest disservices that my parents did for me. That sounds harsh, I know, but my experience homeschooling was really negative and before I dove into this book, I expected it to be a trip down memory lane.
All I can say is that I was pleasantly surprised! I think Rachel is knocking homeschooling out of the park and I really wish my own experience was anything like this! Much of what she says (the importance of play and how children learn) are things that I am learning in my Early Childhood Education classes right now and really makes sense.
While I don't know if homeschooling will be right for our family when the time comes (my son is only 19 months, so I have time to think about it), this book has really made me reconsider my feelings on homeschooling in general and made it something that I do not immediately cringe when I hear the word.
Christina Marie Wilson