About Us - The Self-Directed Homeschooler

About Us

I Am A
Self-Directed Homeschooling Parent

I value relationships over academics,
character over curriculum,
and flexibility over lesson plans.

I recognize that learning takes place better
when there's a personally compelling need or desire
for the information or skill,
when it is unhurried and unpressured.

I know I cannot predict
which knowledge and skills
my children will need
in order to become successful adults.

So I choose to focus on
preserving their love of learning,
helping them figure out how to ask the right questions,
and providing them with the resources they need
in order to learn what they need or want to learn.

I am a guide, a mentor, a cheerleader, a facilitator,
a resource provider and a fellow student of life.

I am a self-directed homeschooling parent.

-Becky Ogden

The Self-Directed Homeschooler is here:

  • ​to help new and struggling homeschoolers work with, rather than against, human nature to create the best possible environment for your children
  • to learn what they need to learn to be successful in our rapidly changing world
  • to bring peace to your homeschool
  • to improve your relationships with your kids in the process


The Self-Directed Homeschooler is for you if:

  • you've heard about the concept of self-directed learning and how important it is to success in the adult world, and you're wondering how it translates into educating and preparing children for that adult world
  • you're new to homeschooling and you're wondering how to get yourself and your children off to the best possible start
  • you're struggling with homeschooling, getting burned out, and tired of fighting with your kids about their schoolwork
  • you realize that conventional wisdom yields conventional results, and you're concerned enough that conventional results may not be good enough to insure your children's success anymore that you're willing to consider the unconventional



​I have been each of those kinds of homeschoolers at different points throughout the years I've been homeschooling.

Back in September of 2003, I was that brand new homeschooler, wondering how to get myself and my oldest child off to the best possible start with a trial run of homeschooling.  My son had missed the cut-off to start kindergarten that year, so it seemed like a pretty low-risk opportunity to see if I was cut out for homeschooling.

In my zeal to make sure my son didn't miss anything he needed to know, I had purchased a teacher's planner and way more curricula than I needed.  I'd diligently plotted several weeks of lessons.  I'd set up a special spot in our house to "do school".  With much excitement and anticipation, I'd jumped right into homeschooling...

...and it didn't go well.

Within a few short weeks, I was that struggling homeschooler, getting burned out, and definitely tired of fighting with my stubborn, defiant son over his schoolwork.  He was losing his natural love of learning.  He hated "school" and he wasn't a big fan of me while we were "doing school", either.

I was overwhelmed, feeling "behind" and totally inept.  If this is what homeschooling was going to be like, I was going to be enrolling my son into public school for the 2004-2005 school year.  That actually didn't sit well with me.  

I'd grown to really love the idea of homeschooling and being the one to see my son's "ah-ha" moments.  I figured there had to be a better way of doing things.


​If you're brand new, you can learn from my mistakes and get started on the right foot with my free, short e-course called "7 Steps to Becoming a Confident, Successful Homeschooler".  If you're already embroiled in the schoolwork battle, you can reclaim the peace in your homeschool with my free mini-report called "4 Steps to End the Homework Battle".

If you're brand new, you can learn from my mistakes and get started on the right foot with my free, short e-course called "7 Steps to Becoming a Confident, Successful Homeschooler".  If you're already embroiled in the schoolwork battle, you can reclaim the peace in your homeschool with my free mini-report called "​4 Steps to End the Homework Battle".


I became the homeschooler who was dissatisfied enough with the results of conventional wisdom that I was willing to look into the unconventional.

I became a student of learning.  I spent several years researching how people learn, which conditions create an ideal environment for learning, why people learn what they learn, and what children actually need to learn in order to become successful adults (Hint: a lot of times, it isn't what they're teaching in schools).  I came to something I later learned was an actual, real philosophy of education: unschooling.

Personally, I dislike the term "unschooling".  I much prefer the term "self-directed homeschooling" because I believe it's a more concise, accurate description of how unschooling works.  I frequently use the term "unschooling" because it's more familiar to those within the homeschooling community, though.

As I continued my own research and expanded into examining the beliefs and habits of very successful people, I started seeing the principles of self-directed education repeated over and over.  Gurus in entrepreneurship, self-improvement, and success seemingly could not overstate the importance of self-directed learning for their own rise to the top of their respective fields.

At the same time, I began noticing a disturbing trend.

We've all been giving our kids the same advice for several generations now:

Get good grades, so you can get into a good college, so you can earn a degree, so you can get a good job.

Get good grades, so you can get into a good college, so you can earn a degree, so you can get a good job.

We spend 12 years indoctrinating our kids with that end in mind.  It is very heavily ingrained into the fabric of American culture.

The problem is that advice doesn't work anymore for a large - and growing - segment of our kids.  Our young adults are dropping out of college or graduating from college bearing staggering amounts of debt and unprepared for the realities of the adult world where technology is evolving rapidly, demanding different skills to succeed in this era than in years past.  And different skills than the American brand of K-12 and higher education provide children.

If you're interested in ideas that challenge the sacred cow of higher education, you can access the 30 Posts That Challenge The Need For College.

By 2007, I was seeing the writing on the wall in the adult world. I was scratching the surface of this unschooling thing and began wondering how to reconcile the knowledge and skills needed for success as an adult with what could be done to foster those in children.

As I learned more, I confronted my own fear and anxiety about venturing so far off the beaten path of K-12 education.  I started doing things differently.  I empowered my children with the freedom and flexibility to chart the course of their own educations...

...and I held my breath.  Only time would tell if I'd made the right decision or not.

Ten years later, I can confidently say that fully embracing self-directed homeschooling was the single best decision I have made as a homeschooler.  And now it's my turn to give back to you, my beloved homeschooling community.

To encourage my fellow homeschoolers to look beyond the model of schooling most of us grew up with, to look well into our children's futures and realize we aren't doing them any favors to continue to replicate that familiar model at home.

To provide resources and support to those who are new, those who are struggling, and those who feel the same siren call of self-directed education as I did.  I've amassed a list of my favorite resources for unschooling, entrepreneurship, success principles, and more, which you can claim here.

​​I Am A Self-Directed Homeschooling Parent

I value relationships over academics,
character over curriculum,
and flexibility over lesson plans.

I recognize that learning takes place better
when there's a personally compelling need or desire
for the information or skill,
when it is unhurried and unpressured.

I know I cannot predict
which knowledge and skills
my children will need
in order to become successful adults.

So I choose to focus on
preserving their love of learning,
helping them figure out how to ask the right questions,
and providing them with the resources they need
in order to learn what they need or want to learn.

I am a guide, a mentor, a cheerleader, a facilitator,
a resource provider and a fellow student of life.

I am a self-directed homeschooling parent.

-Becky Ogden
  • Before you buy this booklet, you need to know that I am an unabashed proponent of self-directed learning and that will be reflected in everything I share about my own experiences as a homeschooler.

    I’m giving this disclaimer so you aren’t surprised by the clear bias I have toward unschooling.  

    I want you to know, upfront, what you’re getting and what to expect from me.  The advice I give and the questions I ask you to ask yourself are all valuable and valid no matter what style of homeschooling you ultimately embrace, though.  

  • About the Author

    Becky Ogden has been homeschooling since 2003, and graduated her oldest in the spring of 2017.  In her early years of homeschooling, she too struggled with feeling overwhelmed and inept. In trying to do right by her children, Becky found herself embroiled in battle after battle with them over their schoolwork.  Until…

    Until she found a better way.  One that empowered her children to self-direct their own educations.  One that respected their autonomy. One based in “right on time” rather than “just in case” learning.

    Without many veteran homeschoolers around to serve as mentors, Becky had to muddle through it on her own.  She spent hours of time in research and reflection.

    In the years since then, helping other homeschoolers find their own way and solve their problems has become a source of great joy for her.

    Contact email: becky@selfdirectedhomeschooler.com