Life Hack Book Review #2 – Which is better: Schooling, Homeschooling, or Unschooling?

books on brown wooden shelf

{The following book review I completed last month, was first published on Reedsy Discovery. Also available on Amazon and Goodreads.}

A while back I wrote about being invited to join Reedsy‘s panel of book reviewers (see Thing #5 I learned after writing 200 blogs). As one of their reviewers, I get an exclusive peek at independent publications before they go on the market.

Reproduced below is my first book review with Reedsy, and the third “life hack” book review on my blog. (Click here for my previous life hack book reviews)

Synopsis of “18: An Unschooling Experience” by Marta Obiols Llistar. (taken from Reedsy Review)

Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

An unconventional book on educating kids outside the school system. Both breathtaking to behold and unbelievable in pacing and intensity.

“When early childhood and elementary teacher Marta Obiols Llistar became disappointed with her local school system, she took action. Disillusioned with the so-called normal life, she embarked on a journey into a new life of unknowns.

In her memoir, ’18: An Unschooling Experience’, Obiols tells of her endeavor to unschool her three children until the eldest turned 18.

My Book Review of “18: An Unschooling Experience”

18: An Unschooling Experience
Source: Goodreads

This is no ordinary book in the oftentimes extraordinary world of parents and homeschooling. Or as the writer calls her version of it, “unschooling”.

As parenting and education books go, this one’s pacing can only be described as “break-neck speed”! Page after page, chapter after chapter, the writer takes us on a whirlwind journey of parenting her children, while simultaneously “unschooling” them.

The writer, a stay-home-mom, makes it pretty clear from the get-go her purpose for writing the book. Her account of raising and educating her kids outside of the standardized education system in Atlanta, Georgia, where she resides with her husband and three children, is amazing to say the least!

Writer and super mom Marta Obiols Llistar’s account splendidly takes the reader into her world, and the years she spent raising kids in ways even most of us, in today’s sophisticated parenting world, would deem unorthodox.

From libraries to parks, Pizza Huts to Six Flags, this resourceful mom managed to sign her kids up for every free children activity she could find in Atlanta and beyond. All with the intent of learning from the “school of life”, rather than the schools in our lives.

To say it took unflinching Herculean effort would surely be an understatement!

white concrete statue of man
Photo by Gu Bra on

Written upon her eldest not just surviving, but thriving and turning 18, Marta’s book takes you through a decade of a roller-coaster ride on how to undo what structured schooling often fails to do for our children: give them a good education.

While certainly, this former educator is living proof homeschooling and unschooling are more than possible, her relentless energy and determination might not translate easily into every family’s circumstance.

And that is why this reviewer (also an educator and parent) is grateful Marta makes it clear at the start she’s not writing a “how-to” book on unschooling. She is merely chronicling her family’s exciting adventure into the fraught-filled but ultimately rewarding world of raising and educating children, on terms not dictated by societal conventions.

Still, every parent who finishes this book must put it down and decide: “Have I Marta’s stamina to last through such a marathon as ‘unschooling’ my kids?”

For this reviewer, it’s a definite “Errr…”! But hey, at least I know now there’s irrefutable proof unschooling can be done.

For that, I must thank and salute writer and mom Marta Obiols Llistar.

And other parents just like her!

One thought on “Life Hack Book Review #2 – Which is better: Schooling, Homeschooling, or Unschooling?

  1. I first entertained this idea of perhaps one day educating my own children when I watched the movie Captain Fantastic. I never did well in school though, so I’m not sure if I can handle that responsibility. Maybe that does say something about the education system though. That maybe it’s not meant for everyone.

    Anyway, I guess I accidentally hijacked your book review, lol, but this post sure did highlight just how hard it is to unschool your children. Thanks for this post!

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