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Changing Our Minds: How children can take control of their own learning

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In this eminently readable book, Dr Fisher takes a wide-ranging approach to exploring and explaining self-directed education, from the philosophical to the practical, the pedagogical to the psychological. As the parent of a child that didn't fit a one-size-fits-all system, and the founder of an organisation set up to effect change, I am well aware of the level of anxiety which can be triggered by traditional schooling. It provides evidence of the arguments made and helped us to feel more confident about the steps we felt were necessary.

If Dave didn’t think I was working fast enough, he would come and turn up the machine: thunk-thunk-thunk-thunk-thunk-squirt. Quite scary to think about taking such an alternative route with your children but makes an awful lot of sense to me. Naomi expertly guides you through the wide world of learning, motivation, child behaviour, parenting culture, alternative schools and home education. I read every book about education and parenting I could lay my hands on to see how they structured their ideas. Otherwise I would find that my writing became stilted and boring, that I ironed out my personality from the words in case it offended anyone.Biography: Dr Naomi Fisher is a clinical psychologist who specialises in trauma, autism and alternative education. It is written for the growing number of parents who feel that 'school' is doing their children more harm than good. This enables children, including those diagnosed with special educational needs, to flourish in their own time and on their own terms. She gives courage to parents who conclude that enough is enough and who decide to withdraw their child - either to create a more self-directing environment at home or in a different kind of school. The time to reimagine education is now, and this book makes an important and valuable contribution to this conversation.

These cookies help provide information on metrics the number of visitors, bounce rate, traffic source, etc.I read the books which claimed that the problem in education today is that we don’t teach children enough facts, and the books which argue that children just need to be kept under control better. It's also shone a light on the fear and conditioning which keeps alternative education (with a small 'a') niche, and I sincerely hope that it fuels the current groundswell for change. I read all the books which argued for a tightly regimented, highly controlling approach to education, to see what their arguments were. Helpful to have been reminded of intrinstic motivation and the essential root problem that school turns us toward extrinsic motivation.

I thought it would be fine, I’d do the job, earn the money, go home and live my life outside work hours.

We are socialised to believe that schooling is synonymous with education, but it’s only one approach. It feels even more desperately important since families have been expected to recreate school at home during lockdown which for most has been traumatic and near impossible. Unschooling is really just doing what’s all comes naturally to myself and my children (especially my son), but without the added stress of tests and busy work and specific curriculums and subjects etc.

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