Episode 2: A Conversation with my Homeschooling Mentor, Barbara Dewey

My guest on this episode of the Art of Homeschooling podcast is my mentor and dear friend, Barbara Dewey, of Waldorf Without Walls.

Barbara holds an M.S. in Waldorf Education from the Waldorf Institute of Sunbridge College in Spring Valley, N.Y. and a B.S. in Elementary Education from the University of Rochester. She’s been teaching in various settings since 1960. Barbara consults with homeschooling families throughout the world, writes publications, provides training workshops, and spends her spare time enjoying her unique solar home, and developing her farmland. She is the mother of four and grandmother to six. Barbara’s work with children and families has been ground breaking in the homeschooling movement.

I met Barbara early on in our family’s homeschooling journey and she helped me so much to keep things SIMPLE & DOABLE. In this Episode #2 of the Art of Homeschooling Podcast, listen in on my conversation with Barbara about her journey as a mother, grandmother, teacher, and homeschool consultant.

Here in this episode, Barbara shares her story about her traveling Waldorf classroom and the frosty fall morning when she flipped her car on the way to teach her first homeschooling group in Cleveland. You can only imagine the chaos of baskets, pinecones, acorns, and crayons!

I also share my fantasy of becoming the librarian who drives the book mobile and how my mentorship community and online classroom have fulfilled that dream for me. 

Keep Homeschooling Simple & Doable

Barbara reflects on the advice she would give her younger self and the advice she would give to you over a cup of tea, as you travel along this homeschooling path. To encourage YOU to keep homeschooling simple & doable, to let go of the perfection of trying to do school at home, and to celebrate learning for its own sake.

“Barbara, I think that your gift to us is to help us remember as homeschoolers that family life has important lessons, too. And to keep things really simple.”


  • Keep Homeschooling Simple & Doable!
  • Think of your homeschool as a one-room schoolhouse.
  • Learning is not just about preparing for tests.
  • Look at the children themselves and bring them what they need (which is way easier in a homeschool setting).
  • Life is a learning experience, it all counts!
  • Trust your children and let them guide you.

Fun Facts

  • In the 1970’s, only two states had legislation making it legal to homeschool. Not until 1993 did homeschooling become legal in all 50 states.
  • The Taproot Teacher Training for Waldorf Homeschoolers began on Barbara’s Taproot Farm in Ohio 14 years ago. Participants shared KP duty (kitchen duty), bunked up together, and shared limited shower facilities. Oh, the memories!


You can find more about Barbara Dewey at her website, Waldorf Without Walls where she offers super simple guidebooks on a variety of homeschooling subjects.

The Taproot Teacher Training for homeschoolers happens every summer! Find all the details here: Taproot Teacher Training.

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About the Podcast

The Art of Homeschooling Podcast is for parents who are ready to thrive in homeschooling. In each episode, we share stories and strategies so you can drop the overwhelm and get in touch with inspiration. You CAN create a homeschool life you love. 

I’m your host, Jean Miller, homeschooling mother of three now-grown children. And here at the Art of Homeschooling, we keep it sweet and simple so you can focus on cultivating creativity and connection at home.

Check out all podcast episodes here.

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Episode 2 of the Art of Homeschooling Podcast, A Conversation with My Homeschooling Mentor

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