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How to Create a Family Environment of Learning

Jodi Chaffee is a homeschool mom of 4 kids. She takes an unschooling approach. Jodi says her role as a parent is to create an environment of learning and to provide resources so her kids can explore and learn. She trusts her kids to bring the desire to learn; she then helps them fulfill that desire by giving them the needed tools. This approach to learning is different than what we see in public schools but has provided a great education for their family.

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About Jodi Chaffee

Homeschooling mom of 4 kids, ages 4 to 9. They have been homeschooled their whole life. They take an un-schooling approach to their education.


Jodi always wanted to homeschool. Her older sister homeschooled her kids. She and them at home on 9/11 and they were living in Detroit.

All of the schools shut down there and they wouldn’t release the kids. Parents were panicked.

Her sister, while this was going on, she was home with the kids teaching them about what was happening. She was able to teach them about their beliefs and to help them understand what was going on.

Jodi wanted to be able to teach her kids about their beliefs and keep them safe at home.

Not Based on Fear

The more Jodi reads about things that go on at schools, the more she feels like she wants her kids at home.

But her feelings about homeschool have evolved.

Fear was an important reason to start, but now she feels more that she focuses on what she wants to accomplish not what she wants to avoid.

Leadership Based Education

Jodi likes a leadership based education, meaning that they are learning is geared toward a mission they want to accomplish in their life.

They need to listen to themselves to find what they want in their life. As a parent, Jodi’s job is to provide resources to help her develop those skills.

Leadership style education, up to age 8 or 9, education is geared toward play, work and developing a moral and value compass. She wants them to learn to value learning and education.

At age 8 or 9, they start to dive into study and academics and reading, filling their minds with knowledge. As teenagers, they focus on their mission and who they believe they are. This is also sometimes referred to as a heart education.

Heart Education

What is lacking in our society is heart education.

Our children are lacking in soft skills and recognizing and appreciating beauty and listening tot heir own hearts. That’s part of this whole process.


Thomas Jefferson education creator, Oliver DeMille says that we are in an innovation age.

Innovation requires a good education through studying the classics.

Classics can be defined as anything you can read repeatedly and get something out of it. It could be listening to music or looking at art, or even a textbook if it is inspiring to you and you keep going back to it again an a gain.

It also involves mentors- getting life experience.

Internship can be taking classes or having an apprenticeship- anything that moves you toward your mission.

Faciliate Learning

Her daughter has reached the age where she is diving deep into learning, and Jodi’s job is to facilitate that learning.

In institutional learning, there is a checklist of what kids need to learn when. But who decided that? Those were determined in the industrial age, when they wanted to raise people up to be factory workers.

We are ingrained in an old idea of what learning is.


Unschooling is not an open-ended, you can do whatever you want thing.

It means that the parent guides and mentors and makes sure kids learn important skills, depending on their age. It also means filling their life with things that are meaningful.

Kerry McDonald told her about a camp where kids can do anything, even be on their devices as much as they want.

But when they see all the things happening around them, they don’t spend much time there because there are so many other fun things to do. Jodi says she tries to put them in an environment where they have access to learning and fun activities. They are always working on things.

Often when people bring their kids home from a public school education, they have to have a detox period where they have to figure out what they want to learn. When you have a mission based education, they get an education around so many things.

Children are mentored and led to a meaningful education that inspires them.

Homeschool Parents

Be attuned to what your children need.

We need people who have institutional careers and a designed education. Be aware of what your kids want to do.

People can do just about anything they want in this innovation age.

Our culture is going toward joy and passion in their work.

Be open and alert to what your child is interested in and come from a nonjudgmental space.

Mentor them to what brings them joy and satisfaction.

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