Unschooled Adventures: A New Book Series

by Dr. Jessie Voigts /
Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture
May 08, 2014 / 0 comments

It's no surprise that with the the popularity of unschooling, worldschooling, and roadschooling, books written by unschooling families about unschooling would be published. And I've got two - the first two in a planned series of 5 - written by Julie Cook and her daughter, Genevieve. We had a chance to catch up with Julie to learn more about these books. Take a look...


The Unschooled Adventures of Amanda and Aidan: The Lost Watch


Please tell us about your books, The Unschooled Adventures of Amanda and Aidan: The Lost Watch, and The Unschooled Adventures of Amanda and Aidan: The Penpal...

These are fiction books for unschooled children between the ages of 7 and 10, and their parents. The lead characters are 8 year-old twins, Amanda and Aidan. Each book tells the story of a typical unschooled day for the twins, and shows how average daily events spark curiosity in the twins, and guide them toward learning opportunities.


The Unschooled Adventures of Amanda and Aidan: The Penpal


My daughter, Genevieve, helped with these books. She brought forward ideas for the plot and dialogue between the characters, as well as helping with the photographs.

All of the books in the series will have the same general elements:

  •     The twins will watch the neighborhood children getting on the school bus from the comfort of their couch, while in their pajamas.
  •     The twins will have before them a seemingly typical and uneventful day.  
  •     But, things happen during the day that will spark their curiosity. Their curiosity will lead them toward discoveries (learning). Sometimes their mom, dad or friends will help guide them toward answers to the questions they’re asking, but the twins will always drive their own interests and curiosities. (Mom never pushes – if she sees they’re interested in something, she may help guide them if they seem willing. But her main role is to provide an environment that allows natural learning to happen). I’ll have Dad take a day off work and join in the fun at some point, too.
  •     The day will always end with the twins having had a full day of life, fun and learning (hopefully the life, fun, and learning will be intertwined….I want them to appear inseparable).
  •     The twins will watch the school bus dropping off the neighborhood kids at the end of the day.
  •     Someone (a neighborhood kid or parent, etc.) will ask them some variation of “what schoolwork did you do today at homeschool” and they’ll answer with some variation of “we didn’t do schoolwork, but we did live and play and learn a lot”.
  •     Just for fun, all of the books will have an encounter with someone who says some variation of "oh - you two must be home sick from school today," since we get that question all the time when we're out and about during the day.



What inspired you to write these books?

I decided to write a series of unschooled children’s books because my own daughter is 9 and we have never found children’s books whereby the context isn’t somehow related to traditional schooling. I think it’s important that unschooled children see themselves reflected in books, rather than trying to relate to book settings they’re unfamiliar with. I’d like to help unschooling parents feel more secure with the path they’ve selected, which can be difficult when every book you read to your child seems to reinforce the notion that traditional school is the only acceptable path.

In addition, I wanted to have a fun, learning experience with my daughter. By having her write a book with me, she was able to learn that goals can be achieved by defining the steps and processes needed to get to the end. She worked through the steps and timeline with me.  She’s also very creative (and I am not), so I wanted her to have an outlet for her creative story telling.   


How does unschooling fit your family?

My family consists of myself and Genevieve, and unschooling fits in perfectly. I work full-time for a global technology and consulting company (out of my home office), but since I need to be in contact with people from Asia Pacific and European countries, my work has to be spread out from early morning through late evening. It allows for a nice balance, and I do have someone who comes in each day to spend time with Genevieve. We are able to do quite a bit together, and most of what’s in our Amanda and Aidan books reflect what goes on in our own lives.


What about your daughter - what is she passionate about learning?

My daughter loves learning but she doesn’t like forced learning. She likes to develop an interest and follow it through. She learns much more if I’m not forcing anything and just letting it all flow. 


Where can people find out more about your books?

The books are available at amazon:

Or you can learn more at my site, noregretspublishing.com


“With this book, and series, unschooling receives a new boost toward cultural acceptance as a perfectly normal educational alternative.  We see here two normal children and their mom living a normal day, and we see how learning inevitably happens.”

-- Peter Gray, author of Free to Learn:  How Releasing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life.


“This book presents unschooling as a seamless part of life and shows how conversation, getting things done together, and being playful are inextricably linked to learning. The Lost Watch is the first book in the series of The Unschooled Adventures of Amanda and Aidan; I look forward to reading the next ones.”

-- Patrick Farenga, co-author Teach Your Own: The John Holt Book of Homeschooling.




Interested in unschooling, worldschooling, and roadschooling? Delve into some excellent articles here on Wandering Educators, while you wait for Amazon to ship your Unschooled Adventure books:

Worldschooling with Eli Gerzon

World-Schooling, Road-Schooling or Home-Schooling

6 Worldschooling Tips for the Whole Family

Living and Traveling Around the World with the Sattvic Family

Raising Miro On the Road of Life

Princess Sea Dives into the Ocean of Knowledge

Worldschool Adventures

Changing Gears: A Family Odyssey to the End of the World

The Edventure Project: Education & Adventure

Life Learning Magazine

Family Travel & Roadschooling: The RV Lifestyle