Podcast Episode #16 – Unschooling, Discovering No Differences Between Living & Learning

Podcast Episode #16 – Unschooling, Discovering No Differences Between Living & Learning
December 30, 2010 Lainie Liberti

Love, Laughter & Learning on the Road of Life

In the 1st half of Episode #16, Lainie & Miro share some of their funniest & most sentimental moments from their travels. Also in Episode #16, Lainie speaks with Theodora, another nomadic-single mum, traveling the world with her 10 year old son also schooling her son on the road of life.

“My mother said to me, “If you become a soldier you’ll be a general; if you become a monk you’ll end up as the pope.” Instead, I became a painter and wound up as Picasso.” ~Pablo Picasso

In Episode #16, you will not find your typical travel stories, rather  an intimate peek into Lainie & Miro’s lives together and their special bond.

Pillow fights, group dinners, 2 -1/2 hour shuttle bus rides that turned into 30 hours, puppy dog feet, numerous couchsurfers, 8 countries and many many card games. There have been so many things, so many memories (which would take days of storytelling)…. The past couple of weeks, they  began posting 500 of our favorite images from the 1st  500 Days of Travel. Lainie and Miro left on their journey in mid 2009 and (with the exception of  one trip back to the states for Burning Man a month later) there has really been no desire to turn back! Their 1st  500 Days of Travel span from July 1, 2009 to November 13, 2010, (which means they’ve really started on the second 500 days).

“It’s not easy being a mother.  If it were easy, fathers would do it.
~From the television show The Golden Girls

“We have spend close every moment of it together (with some exceptions of course) and as you can imagine, our relationship has grown stronger. The single most important aspect to this, has been our ability to laugh together. The games, sayings and interactions between us have become an important part of the journey.” ~Lainie Liberti.

Don’t forget to check out 34 Photos of Mom & Son moments taken on the 1st 500 days of our travels.

Also in the episode, Lainie & Miro answer your questions. Listen to the podcast and hear the answers to these questions:

Margaret from Chicago asks: What has been the biggest personal lesson to date?

Greg from California asks:  What about your love life? – They assumed this question was for Lainie, but she actually took the 5th on  answering this one.. Sorry Greg, nothing to report.

Dixie from Mexico asks: What has impressed Miro the most and what does he think of kids from other countries compared to American kids?

Dayle from California asks: What do you miss most, and least about your former living arrangements.

Dave from The Longest Way Home asks : Whats it like not having not having a “regular” group of friends. – mom, & people you meet in travel don’t count

Raymond from the United States asks: How are you financing your round the world travels?

Finally almost EVERYONE we meet asks: What about school?

Radically Unschooling

“There is no difference between living and learning… it is impossible and misleading and harmful to think of them as being separate.” ~ John Holt

Lainie & Miro are “unschooling”. In fact they have discovered there’s a movement and a name to describe exactly what they are doing. It’s called Radically Unschooling. The philosophy behind unschooling is that children will learn what they need to know when they are ready and want to learn it and this flows through every other aspect of life.

But there are exceptions, of course, but I’ve seen games spark Miro’s interest in mythology, quantum physics, history and culture. We’ve had an open platform to discuss humanity, violence, and choices because of video games. I’ve also seen Miro’s research skills improve as the internet and google are second nature to him. I didn’t like going to the library when I was his age to research because it was so overwhelming.. what a drastic change for this generation.

This is an excerpt from this article by Alison McKee:

Miro picking Einsteins’ brain

What is unschooling?

Unschooling is a term that the late John Holt coined in the late ‘70’s to describe learning that is based on a child’s interests and needs. Unschooling does not begin with a parent’s notion of what is important to learn and then turn the choices of how to learn the content over to a child. Rather, it begins with the child’s natural curiosity and expands from there. Unschooling is not “instruction free” learning. If a child wants to learn to read, an unschooling parent may offer instruction by providing help with decoding, reading to the child, and giving the child ample opportunity to encounter words. If the child is uninterested in these supports, the parent backs off until the child asks for help. The most important thing about the unschooling process is that the child is in charge of the learning, not the adult. Unschoolers often do no traditional school work, yet they do learn traditional subject matter. They learn it as a natural extension of exploring their own personal interests.

“I don’t think this lifestyle is for everyone, but one thing for sure is it works for us.”


Next, Lainie speaks with Theodora from the blog Travels with a nine year old.

Theodora is a RTW traveler, currently exploring Asia & Australia with her son, “Z” who was 9 years old when they set out on their journey.

Theodora blogs about their adventures at: Travelswithanineyearold.com and Zac also has two blogs at: The 9 Year Old Strikes Back and A Ten Year Old’s Travels

Theordora on Education on the Road: For anyone planning longterm travel with kids, anyone who would like to travel and is delaying having kids to do so, or any parents who would love to travel but feel they can’t because of the kids, probably the single biggest concern is what sort of education a child will get on the road. This is also a major source of anxiety for other family members, particularly grandparents. Honestly? Education, once you get the hang of it, is one of the easiest things about traveling as a family.

About Theodora & Zac of Travelswithanineyearold.com

“We are a single-parent family from London, England, and this is the story of our long-term round the world trip. Z and I have travelled since he was teeny-tiny. He took his first trip to Europe aged six months, and to Latin America at two. He rode an elephant at three, went to Africa aged five, and since he was small we’ve talked about taking time out to travel the world when he turned nine. Now, we’re finally doing it.” Read more about the dynamic duo here.

Links to  a few of Theordora’s articles on Unschooling and Schooling on the Road & Round The World Travel (RTW):

Our World School: An End of Year Report

Global Time = Quality Time

Unschooling. Or Learning as You Go.

Travel Tips: 10 Most Common RTW Planning Mistakes

Links & Resources for Episode #16

Unschooling & “Radical Unschooling”

Great Unschooling Article: Frequently Asked Questions About Unschooling High School and College with Alison Mckee

Unschooling Social Studies – You Can Not Escape History when You Are Living in the World
Great Article about Traveling and Unschooling

The Uschooling Journal

Radical Unschoolers Online Netowork

**Amazing video interview with Sandra Dodd on the Unschoolers Network. WORTH THE WATCH!

Sandra Dodd’s Blog – A former Educator and Advocate of Unschooling – Great Resource!

Wonderful Quotes about Unschooling

Info on John Holt, Educator

Seeking Intentional Community

Miro and Lainie are still in Panama and will remain there throughout the holidays. Sometime after the new year, they will venture into South America and continue their journey southward. They have been reaching out to all of our contacts and asking for references for conscious communities, eco- villages, sustainable farms and volunteer opportunities. Lainie loves working with children, Miro loves working with animals and neither of them have ever worked on a farm, but they’re open to whatever opportunities come their way. Their desire for the first few months of the new year is to participate , volunteer their time and energies. Lainie would really like to be part of an intentional community, one that practices mediation, lives consciously and gives back to the surrounding community, helping to make locals lives a little easier. They are putting it out into the universe and making it known. If you have any suggestions or contacts for us in South America, please don’t hesitate to send off an introduction. They plan on be posting all the organizations they are considering after the beginning of the year so you can participate with their decision making process.

Thank you!

We want to take a moment to thank a few peoplewho have contributed to our travels. Your donations have helped cover our travel expenses and for that, we are so grateful! The people who have contributed to Raising Miro are: Sashya Amee, Ivan Amador, Heather on Her Travels, Bradford Akerman, Tuan Vutran, Terrance O’Dowd, Eric Hammond, Chip Jacobs, Billy Horn and Sonia Kim. Thank you so much! Your support is heart-felt and much appreciated!

Support Raising Miro!

If you are interested in learning more about ways to support Raising Miro, including donating money or sponsoring our travels please click on this link. If you are interested in finding out about advertising opportunities for our podcasts or website, please on the site, please send a note here or use the donation form in the sidebar.


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Got Questions?

(Like how did Miro get stuck in his chair…) If you have comments or have a question you’d like to have answered in an upcoming podcast, please use send us an email using this contact form. We promise, we answer all of the questions we relieve and we love hearing from you.

Special Thanks

To those of you who have supported us so far on this journey, the donations we’ve received and the wonderful words of encouragement. Thank you all for your comments and feedback, and please keep them coming. Thank you Hanna for giving us a wonderful professional boost with the intro & outro, engineered by Hanna Jakobson, music “Multilayered Timbres” by Dr. Pimp courtesy of CC (creative commons) license.


  1. Anonymous 13 years ago

    really enjoyed listening to you guys this morning, so good to hear your voices! you’d be glad to know I’ve been spreading the ‘shake ya face’ craze wherever I go. nn-invisible flute.

    • Author
      ilainie 13 years ago

      Ha ha ha!!! That photo still cracks us up! Much love to you, Chris. We miss you like crazy.

  2. Ranela 11 years ago

    Hahahhahha just heard you talking about pointing with our lips… I mean I’m Filipina and we point with our lips coz it is considered rude to point with our fingers.

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