Frequently Asked Questions

I’m new to Self-Directed Education (SDE), where do I start?

Our “What is Self-Directed Education?,” “Four Educative Drives,” Optimizing Conditions, “Why Choose Self-Directed Education?,” and “How Do People Practice SDE?” articles are great places to start.

You can also read and hear about the stories and experiences of diverse folks in the movement on Tipping Points, our online magazine.

And if you’re looking for resources, books, podcast, support groups, or SDE schools or learning centers, check out our extensive Resource Directory.

We are also here for any questions you have, so feel free to reach out.

Help! What are the laws around unschooling where I live?

Laws vary depending on where you live. and you can always look up your local homeschooling laws with a quick internet search for your country, town, province, or state. If the laws are confusing, we recommend finding a local unschooling group in your area and asking them about specific laws and how they relate to and play out in unschooling. These groups will know the best routes, supports, and tricks from their own experience. You can search for these groups in our Resource Directory, or oftentimes by searching Facebook (we realize Facebook is not the preferred platform for many. This is not an endorsement of Facebook, but it is true that Facebook is where many people are still gathering online in homeschool & unschool groups).

What Self-Directed Education (SDE) resources, communities, schools, or other groups are there in my area?

You can check out our Resource Directory for a comprehensive and ever-growing list of resources in your area. If you don’t see anything there, we recommend doing a quick internet search for “unschooling in X city” or perhaps find an unschooling group in your state (see previous question on ways to do this) and see if there are people there that are closer to your area. If you are an ASDE member you can also do a quick member search to find other members near you.

How do I open a Self-Directed Education learning center, school, co-op, or other model?

There are several organizations that have resources to support you in starting an SDE center, including the Agile Learning Center (ALC) Network and Liberated Learners.

For a helpful guide that can apply specifically to ALC models and to starting a center in general, check out the ALC Network’s Starter’s Kit. You can also connect with the network further to learn more and ask any questions you have, or learn more about ALCs in general on their website.

The folks at Liberated Learners also have many years of experience starting and sustaining SDE centers, and provide support to those looking to do the same. You can take their free introductory workshop, or check out their consulting page to learn more about ways they can support you.

Tipping Points Magazine posted a recording of a workshop during SDE Weekend 2022 with Dr. Sundiata called “How to Start a Tuition Free Unschooling Co-Op Unbusiness.” We also published a recording from SDE Weekend 2023 with Raj Kanani called “Starting a (Decolonized) SDE Center.”

The ASDE forums have a lot of people with varying expertise in starting centers and other areas. It may be helpful for you to post your questions there to crowdsource answers, and get support from people who have more experience. If you’re a member, you can post here.

If you are a member you can also browse the forums for previous posts on this topic. Here are some helpful forum topics with information about starting a center:

AMA with Tomis Parker

Got a place, got a few kids... now what?

Starting a Sudbury Model School

I want to help! How do I get more involved with the movement?

There are lots of ways to get involved. Before filling out an interest form, it may be helpful to take a look at our initiatives and projects, and recent strategic planning vision to get an idea of what we are looking to focus on.

‚Ä®Check out our volunteer page and see if there is anything on there that connects with you. You can also fill out our volunteer form to indicate specific areas of interest and we will get back to you to chat more. We are currently in flux in terms of how our working teams operate, so we may be looking for folks for more specific projects soon. If you aren’t seeing anything that connects with you right now, check back or share an idea on the volunteer form.

You can check out our local SDE group support program and see if starting a group is something you’d be interested in.

You can also join ASDE as a member to support the organization.