In addition, there are more than 20 Sudbury schools -- private institutions that follow the same philosophy -- in North America. The unschooling philosophy is based on education pioneer John Holt's 1964 book "How Children Fail." Put simply, Holt wrote that living is learning.
He believed children should follow their innate curiosity and passions rather than being forced to learn hordes of information they will never use.
She learned to spell by e-mailing with friends; she uses math concepts while cooking dinner.
"You're told to take care of your children and that schools will give them a good education.
Suddenly, you're turning it around." But Sadofsky's kids flourished and are an example of unschooling's success: one is a mathematician, one is a software coordinator-turned-jam entrepreneur and the third is a geologist.
"I think our education system as a whole is, to me, in a very delicate and precarious place," Sudbury Valley staff member Mimsy Sadofsky said.
"It keeps trying to do what it can't do, which is make every child learn everything in the whole wide world.