The economic crisis of 2008 was a catalyst for so many of our interviewees to up sticks and hit to road. Lainie Liberti’s marketing business worked with green entities and non-profit organizations who were among the first to feel the pinch. With her business struggling and her 9 year old son Miro not enjoying his school environment Lainie decided they would hit the road for a 12 month adventure through South America.
8 months into the trip they both realized they were loving it enough to continue but savings were starting to dwindle and Lainie knew she needed a more permanent means of educating Miro. She discovered unschooling and became an instrumental advocate for children being world schooled from the environment in which they travel.
8 years on she and her teenage son are still loving their South American adventure. We caught with Lainie in Mexico where she shares the experiences of what made her hit the road and how their unique partnership and approach to education has provided Miro with an environment in which to thrive.
What I learned from this interview:
- Whether you believe in life outside the education system or not this interview is worth listening to. Lainie has not only gone against the normal approach to education – what she calls radical unschooling – but has thrown the normal mother/child relationship on its head with the partnership arrangement the two have to travel. Everyone has their own opinion on what is right for them but there is little doubt, in Lainie’s case, that she considers it has been a success in raising Miro. Other interviewees such as Talon Windwalker and Alyson Long can vouch for the benefit that unschooling and world schooling has offered.
- A blonde woman and a child in South America sounds like a recipe for danger and many people warned Lainie before leaving that she was taking a large risk. In most cases these people were well meaning but were not speaking from personal experience. In 8 years of travel the pair have had one break in – something that may have happened just as easily in Los Angeles.
- Unschooling is becoming more accepted by colleges and universities and doesn’t mean children have to turn their back on higher education if they go down this path. Even ivy league schools are starting to look at unschooled enrolees who often approach their higher education with more enthusiasm and better background knowledge than their mainstream counterparts.