Not Going Back to School is an Option

Contact: Wendy Priesnitz (416) 260-0303 or

Not Going Back to School is an Option

It sounds like every kid’s dream: not to go back to school in September! But it’s reality for an estimated hundred thousand Canadian families who have chosen to educate their own children outside the school system. And, although it can still be controversial, it’s a reality that has, over the past 30 years, moved from the fringes to the mainstream.

Toronto-based Wendy Priesnitz is one of the few Canadian experts on the subject, and an excellent resource person. As a passionate and eloquent spokeswoman for the movement, she has been featured on television and at conferences across Canada and around the world and in numerous magazine articles for three decades.

In the mid-1970s, she and her husband began to homeschool their two young daughters. In 1979, she launched the Canadian homeschooling movement, and founded The Canadian Alliance of Home Schoolers, Canada’s first homeschooling support group. In the mid-1980s, she conducted some of the first research on homeschooling in Canada. She is a trained elementary school teacher, an award winning journalist and editor, and the author of nine books, including School Free: The Home Schooling Handbook, a bestseller that is now in its third edition; Challenging Assumptions in Education; and Life Learning: Lessons from the Educational Frontier. She is also the founder and editor of Life Learning Magazine, which has subscribers around the world. In an article in Today’s Parent magazine, she was called “the high priestess of homeschooling in Canada” and “the leading Canadian organizer in the field of homeschooling”.

Priesnitz favours a learner-directed style of homeschooling that is sometimes called “unschooling” or “life learning,” although she is well positioned to discuss the whole spectrum of homeschooling types. Her philosophy centres on the need for a complete paradigm shift about how we view education – public or otherwise. “I am convinced of the importance of fostering independent, student-directed learning – from an early age, rather than just in the post-secondary context,” she says. “I see home-based education as an exercise in self-reliance that allows students to learn and grow at their own speed, and to exercise their curiosity about exploring the real world while developing independent learning skills and the attitudes that are so important to success in an ever-changing, information-based society.” In fact, in a seminal article recently published in Life Learning Magazine, Priesnitz wrote that young people who are self-educated will be well-positioned to thrive in the new economy.

The website is an excellent free resource for families who are researching homeschooling in Canada. A number of articles (including the above-mentioned one) about self-directed, home-based learning are available for free at he website And information about Priesnitz’s books are available at Finally, her personal website is Feel free to use this material as a resource for not-back-to-school coverage, or to contact Wendy for an interview or background.

About the author

Comments are closed.

Powered by WordPress | Two Thirds Design