24 Core Questions for Self-Directed Learners- ANSWERED

24 Core Questions for Self-Directed Learners- ANSWERED
October 10, 2013 Lainie Liberti

Self-Directed Learning is Unschooling


Miro is a self-directed learner. 

So am I.

We have both discovered the freedom to follow our passions as a result of our travel lifestyle.  I don’t believe that just because I’m an adult, learning has stopped for me either. In fact, it’s quite the contrary.  My role as an unschooling parent is to support my son’s passions and interests in “partnership” with him. But if I am not living by example, I have no credibility with creating such a partnership. In other words, I too, must be committed to following my interests and passions.


When  I read Lisa Nalbone’s 24 Core Questions for Self-Directed Learners and started to ask Miro these questions. He said, “hey Mom, you are a self-directed learner too, why don’t you answer them too?”

And he was right. So together, we present to you a mother and son’s exploration into the 24 core questions for self-directed learners must consider:



What do I want to learn?

Miro: I want to learn how to express my emotions, opinions, creativity and visions through creative writing.

Lainie: I want to learn more about the ancient history of humanity on this planet and beyond. This includes archeology, history, science, mythology, spirituality and extraterrestrial studies, all with the power to step outside of conventional academic teachings and explore new fringe ideas.

What are my goals?

Miro: Lead a happy life, and hopefully lead others to it as well.

Lainie: To be exposed to new ideas and concepts in order expand my world. I do not feel like I need to believe every fringe concept or theory, but simply through the exposure of them and through contemplation, my reality expands.

What are my next steps?

Miro: I truly don’t know what the future may hold, nor do I know where it will take me.

Lainie: Continue asking questions. Continue seeking answers within the clues left behind in the ancient sites, listening to stories told by the people, partaking in traditions other than my own and considering the work of researchers, who have been shunned by mainstream academics.

What problem can I solve?

Miro: Hopefully I can help break down the cultural barrier that separates us from our fellow humans, as that is a large problem at the moment.

Lainie: That there is only one truth. (I don’t believe there is.) If I can solve the problem of short sidedness and complacency by feeding my curiosity in myself and others, I’ve become part of the solution, not the problem.

What can I contribute?

Miro: I can contribute literature and art to the world, which, in my eyes, is one of the most important things man can offer.

Lainie: I can contribute by sharing our experiences, thoughts, contemplations and engage in dialogue with anyone who’s interested.



Why does this matter to me and the world?

Miro: It matters to me because I feel like I’m making a difference in the world, and it matter to the world because (hopefully) I’m changing it.

Lainie: It matters to me because I’m inspired to seek, search and explore. It matters to the world because I can share from the point of view of a single middle-aged mom-self-directed learner, what we’ve discovered and experienced in hopes to inspire others.



Who else is interested  in this?

Miro: I have a friend Luke who I am starting a large writing project with.

Lainie: Many are interested in this field of investigation. There are many social media groups and websites dedicated to these topics.

Who might have suggestions for learning?

Miro: My mother, for sure, but definitely people I don’t know too well, as I could learn more from someone I know nothing about than somebody I’ve known for years.

Lainie: Deeper learning is inspired by  every single person I meet, ever article that is shared with me and every in the field experience I have. All suggestions welcome, but ultimately, I’ll follow my own path.

Who can give me feedback?

Miro: Well, everyone’s opinions and ideas are important, so I’d like to get feedback from everyone who is willing.

Lainie: I accept feedback from everyone, and always urge people to engage in discussions about archeology, history and humanity.

Who can I connect with?

Miro:  I can connect with a teenage writing community (In fact I’m searching for one now).

Lainie: I love connecting with others who are interested in this topic and those who have similar and opposing points of views. I learn through all of it.

Who can I help?

Miro: Hopefully, eventually I’ll release a popular book which touches millions of people. There’s nothing like a good book.

Lainie: I hope I can help to open people’s  minds to consider ideas which are outside the box, like pushing back the chronology of our origin(s) . I am not an expert in any particular area or topic, nor would I ever promise to know the “truth”, but I can share alternative points of views from my investigations and experiences so far.



Where do I want to learn this?

Miro: I would like to go to India and learn more about the mysticism and lore, which, in turn would improve my writing.

Lainie: I’ve been exploring the ancient cultures mostly here in Peru, but hope to explore some sites in other parts of the world, specifically, India, Bosnia, Egypt and Mexico.

Where can I find resources?

Miro: The internet. Everything in existence can be found on the internet.

Lainie: The internet. I rely on the internet for most of my research and connections.

Where can I contribute?

Miro: I think I can contribute with my blog.

Lainie: I share our experiences via social media and our blogs.



How can I learn best in this situation?

Miro: The ancient ruins of Peru have taught me a lot and the mythology is fantastic.

Lainie: By being open minded and considering all  perspectives. I don’t need to believe everything I read, but I need to incorporate all possibilities into my reality in order to be open to even more ideas and possibilities. It’s called “expansion” and “learning”.

How do I know I have learned enough?

Miro: Once I’m happy with my knowledge, then I’m done, but that never happens because there’s infinite amounts of information for me to acquire.

Lainie: Never. But if my interest lead me in other directions I will focus my attentions there. But as I am going through this exercise with Miro, I proclaim that learning NEVER stops.

How am I doing?

Miro: I’m doing good. I’m very happy with my life, and writing definitely keeps it interesting.

Lainie: I  dig deep. Then I dig deeper. I’m still inspired, so I must be doing well.

How can I improve?

Miro: Practice. As with everything, experience is the majoring factor.

Lainie: Improve? Well for me, I’m not seeking a specific skill. Therefore, it’s not a matter of “improving”. It’s more about learning, discovering and experiences more things that ignite my passion for learning.

How can I learn more?

Miro: Immersion. I’ve found that immersion is easily the best way to learn on any given topic.

Lainie: Seeking, searching, asking, talking, contemplating, exploring and immersing.



When will I learn this?

Miro:  Learning through life, really.

Lainie: Now. It’s happening now. And it’s ongoing.

When do I learn best?

Miro: When I get 12 hours of sleep.

Lainie: When I’m  immersed deep within my interest and passions. I love walking around the Cusco (where I currently live). I love visiting the numerous ruins surrounding my home. I love exploring new sites. And I love sharing the experiences with others who have similar interests.

When will I finish?

Miro: When I die. The learning never stops in life, so death would have to be the end.

Lainie: I am committed to a lifetime of learning. Although the topics will shift from time to time, I have recognized that I am living passionately when I am learning and creating.

When will I self-evaluate and re-evaluate?

Miro: I do everyday. Looking at yourself and your accomplishments is the best way to make change.

Lainie: I do daily. As I am always seeking to learn more, expand my knowledge base, I realize I’m always challenging my base-line beliefs and making adjustment. I love this state of being. It’s called “expansion” and I feel it.

When can I help others?

Miro: Possibly when I get skilled enough I can mentor others.

Lainie: I am not sure if I would position myself in a space of “helping” other with regards to my interest in archeology, history, science, mythology, spirituality and extraterrestrial studies. But I am most interested in hosting a dialogue and community surrounding these topics in order to expand further.

Self-directed learners, we challenge you to make the same inquiries. Leave us a comment if you have any insights about your self -directed learning you’d like to share.


  1. Karen Lee 11 years ago

    Fascinating! I loved reading your answers! We are self-directed learners in our home, too, although we live a much more sedentary lifestyle than you! 😉 I have a question about the photograph at the top of the page, where Miro is using a spotting scope. Do you carry that with you on your travels, or is it a borrowed one? I’m interested because we have been wanting to get a good pair of binoculars for awhile, after which we’d like to get a good telescope. But when I asked at a store for advice about binoculars we can use for some basic astronomy, they suggested a spotting scope instead. How have you found yours? (And P.S. Sorry for the detour! But that’s how this self-directed-learning life works, hey! Following the rabbit trails…..)

    • Author
      Lainie Liberti 11 years ago

      Hello Karen,
      Thanks for the note! I appreciate you taking the time to reply. The rabbit hole…. oh yeah, one thing always leads to another. No, the scope isn’t ours. That photo was taken when we were visiting Panama and we went birdwatching with an amazing guide. We discovered the world of birds together and Miro even interviewed our guide for a podcast here: http://www.raisingmiro.com/2010/11/16/podcast-episode-13/
      We travel with computers but no other larger equipment like that. We think everything else can be rented as needed. But there are many times I wish I had a good pair of binoculars, so for sure, invest in that!
      Keep us posted!

  2. Lisa Nalbone 11 years ago

    Hi Lainie and Miro,

    I love seeing your answers to my set of questions! It is wonderful to seeing them used by folks who are really pros at unschooling.

    I agree unschooling is self-directed learning. I think that all humans are essentially self-directed learners and learn forever. Sadly, some folks seem to have forgotten or lost touch with their self-directed learning ability.

    When I was writing the questions I was thinking a bit about how someone new to thinking about self-directed learning might approach a specific learning project, hence the finishing and improving aspects of the questions. But I love seeing how you used them to define your learning more broadly.

    I try to help people reclaim that learning for themselves, no matter their age or learning situation.

    Thanks so much for using the questions and sharing your answers. I love how you share your journey and inspire others. Lisa

  3. Sandra Dodd 11 years ago

    Later this month I’m doing a presentation in southern California called “The five W’s,” and I’ll include a link to your post in my handout.

  4. winkswhite 10 years ago

    I am a lecturer in Education in the UK – and I was hoping to link to your blog as a starting point for thinking about self-directed learning. This is largely to benefit my student’s own learning, but hopefully may influence their ideas about education as a whole. I wanted to ask your permission first 🙂

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