Books

Since 1976, I have written thirteen books, contributed to many more, and have two more in the works. The ones illustrated below are still in print and available from my company Life Media, via our Natural Life Books website.

Books - It Hasn't Shut Me Up by Wendy PriesnitzIt Hasn’t Shut Me Up is my most recent book. It’s a memoir of mothering and daughtering that is presented as a tapestry woven with prose, poetry, and photographs. It is a personal piece of writing about overcoming our own oppressive and silencing parenting in order to offer our children a relationship that respects, honors, and trusts them to grow and develop with dignity. It is rooted in my childhood, but also in my growth as a woman and a mother who has learned to honor my mother while nurturing my daughters.

Books - Beyond School by Wendy PriesnitzBeyond School: Living As If School Doesn’t Exist is a collection of seventeen of my essays about how families and individuals can live and learn without coercion or struggle, and with trust, respect, dignity…as if school doesn’t exist. Together, they create a case for a different way of helping children and young people learn about today’s world while becoming equipped to live in tomorrow’s world. It holds high the beacon of respect for and trust in children – not only to learn what they need when they need it, but to fully participate in the lives of their communities and to take their places in a democratic society.

books - Natural Life Magazine's Green & Healthy Homes Going green doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. But there is so much information available that you might feel the need for a guide to cut through the spin and avoid the greenwash that accompanies the rhetoric associated with green living. Natural Life Magazine’s Green & Healthy Homes is that guide. By providing insight into some of the more common and/or controversial issues related to healthy, sustainable homes, I provide the tools that will help you live comfortably and mindfully, within your financial and ecological means, while having a minimal effect on the planet that houses us all.

books - Life Learning: Lessons from the Educational Frontier Life Learning: Lessons From The Educational Frontier is a passionate collection of unschooling essays from Life Learning Magazine that I edited and contributed to. It is the story of how children can personalize and control their own learning, and what adults can do (and stop doing) to help them. Sympathetic academics, parents, and young people describe why non-compulsory, non-coercive, active, respectful, interest-led, family- and community-based learning from life is displacing prescribed curriculum, standardized testing and the other regurgitation-based relics of our outmoded school system.

books - Challenging Assumptions in Education Challenging Assumptions in Education: From Institutionalized Education to a Learning Society discusses why progressively-minded parents might not want to send their children to school. It examines our outdated assumptions about how children learn and about what public schools are providing. It embodies my hope for an urgently needed revolution in education, which demolishes the one-size-fits-all, industrialized model of processing and warehousing students and creates a community-based, individualized learning society accommodating learners of all ages, interests, abilities and styles.

books - Bringing it Home: A Home Business Shart-up Guide for You and Your FamilyBringing it Home: A Home Business Start-Up Guide for You and Your Family presents hundreds of tips on how to research and start a successful home business and how to run it economically, efficiently and enjoyably. Stay at home with your children, start a second career with low overhead, freelance, downshift, or just economize by moving out of a high-rent office. Included is how-to information about generating business ideas, recognizing opportunities, conducting market research, writing a Business Plan, designing your home workspace, setting prices and managing finances, motivating yourself, juggling family and work, establishing a professional business identity, and marketing. It’s no longer available in print, but I recently revised and updated the e-book edition.

books - School Free School Free: The Homeschooling Handbook was first published in 1987; this is a newly revised, e-book edition. My husband Rolf and I unschooled our two daughters in the 1970s and 80s, and were pioneering advocates for home-based learning. This book resulted from my experiences helping other families to help children learn at home…and to understand the many ways in which self-directed learning at home differs from going to school. It has received dozens of enthusiastic reviews and hundreds of unsolicited testimonials from parents and has since been revised and updated five times.

These books of mine are now out of print:

  • Summer Love, Winter Fires (1976);
  • North York – Realizing the Dream (1988);
  • Markham: A Contemporary Portrait (1990);
  • The Natural Life Cookbook (1992);
  • A Kid’s Guide to Starting a Business at Home (1994);
  • The House Where I Grew Up (1999)

These are some of the books I’ve contributed to:

  • Recommendations for Action on Pollution and Education in Toronto for the Board of Education for the City of Toronto, with Bruce Small (1985);
  • Metropolitan Toronto: Working Toward the Future, with R. White (1990);
  • The Homeschooling Book of Answers, with Linda Dobson (1998);
  • “Nurturing Self-directed Learning” in The Unofficial Guide to Unschooling, by Kathy Ishizuka (2000);
  • “Education Can Lead the Way to a Sustainable Society” in Creating Learning Communities – Models, Resources, and New Ways of Thinking About Teaching and Learning, with Ron Miller (2000);
  • “New Study Links Monsanto’s Roundup to Cancer” in Strategic Management, by Hanson et al. (2004);
  • A Parent’s Guide to Home Schooling, with Tamra B. Orr (2002);
  • “A Life of Learning: Empowering, Respecting, Trusting, Unschooling Children” in Turning Points: 27 Visionaries in Education Tell Their Own Stories, with Jerry Mintz & Carlo Ricci (2009);
  • “There is Art in That Trash” in Global Viewpoints: Garbage and Recycling (2010);
  • “Rooftop Power” in Leap Advanced, with Julia Williams (2013);
  • The Legacy of John Holt, with Patrick Farenga (2013);
  • A Path of their Own: Helping Children to Educate Themselves by Lael Whitehead (2014);
  • Natural Born Learners: Unschooling and Autonomy in Education, with Beatrice Ekwa Ekoko (2014)

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