Hello and welcome to Let ’em Go Barefoot!

I’m Missy, Mom to two kids, nurturer to all.

As a curious person who never bores of learning, I created this space to share my personal experiences, thoughts, and research around unschooling/self-directed education and healthy child development. I know I am not alone in feeling like punitive, coercive parenting and stressful, dominating educational systems are not ideal ways to create long lasting, positive relationships with our kids. There are better ways and I’m thankful you are here to explore, learn, and grow with me!

Why “Let ’em go Barefoot”?

As a young mom, I spent many days outside with my son, which included a lot of time on playgrounds and in parks in our hometown. Over and over I heard parents scolding their children for taking off their shoes. Usually an argument would ensue or a threat to leave would follow. It struck me as so odd. Why are parents that upset about bare feet? As I continued to watch kids play and reflected on my own childhood it became clear that it was much more than an argument about shoes,  it was about trust. Adults do not trust children to make independent choices. Because of this, rules and restrictions are oftentimes imposed and forced that have no real benefit for the child. Those barefoot toddlers and children were symbolically stripping off external control and living in the moment. “What is the big deal?” I thought to myself. Just “let ’em go barefoot!”.

What you will find here.

With a passion for unschooling/self-directed education, natural family living, peaceful (respectful) parenting, and mental wellness (which I believe are all connected) you will find a variety of articles and essays directly related to these topics. I highlight the importance of creating healthy relationships with our children and to give them the necessary tools to grow and develop as optimally as possible. Let ’em go Barefoot is a community to connect individuals who are seeking something other than authoritarian/punitive parenting practices and the teacher-directed, adult-knows-all schooling paradigm.

Who am I/Who are we?

We are an unschooling/life is learning, family of four with three pets underfoot. My husband and I have been (painfully) slowly updating our circa 1952 house for over 17 years. I have a knack for creating  projects and he has a knack for saying, sure. Neither of us has unlimited time, so there you go. I love to garden, paint, meditate and occasionally I withdraw from the world to watch a good TV series or documentary. My husband enjoys cooking, woodworking, car shows, and movies. Both kids enjoy adventuring, gaming, creating, being with friends and their own flavor of sports: one rides horses, the other runs and plays soccer.

My educational background (a degree in Psychology and a masters in Special Education) has afforded me unique experiences and jobs over the past 20 plus years in public and private schools and a few universities. However, my ‘on the job training’ as a Mom has been the most rewarding and the most enlightening.

Are we barefoot?


Come join the barefoot community on Instagram and Facebook too.

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