is a book author, award winning journalist, editor, former broadcaster, business owner, and mother of two adult daughters. She is the owner of Life Media
, which she co-founded with her husband Rolf in 1976 as The Alternate Press
to publish books and Natural Life Magazine
Wendy is an agent of change who, when she was barely out of her teens, recognized the need for rethinking how we work, play and educate ourselves in order to restore the planet's social and ecological balance. For the last forty years, her mission has been to help people understand the interconnections within the web of life on Earth and to encourage them to challenge the assumptions inherent in the often conflicting choices we make in our daily lives.
In her quest to inspire, support and live grassroots change, she has been at the leading edge of (and ahead of it, in some cases) many progressive trends and movements. She is recognized as a pioneer in independent publishing, unschooling, environmentally sustainable business practices, home-based and women-owned business, and green politics. Her work is rooted in her experience of motherhood, which taught her about the emotional, social, cultural, economic, educational and environmental responsibilities involved with bringing a child into this world.
Trained as a school teacher in 1969, Wendy quickly rejected the factory model of processing children and became an early proponent of experience-based, self-directed learning. She founded The Canadian Alliance of Home Schoolers in 1979 as a national support and advocacy organization that kick-started the homeschooling movement in Canada, cooperating with John Holt as he breathed life into a parallel movement in America. In 1987, Wendy wrote School Free - The Homeschooling Handbook
, which is now in its fifth edition and has become a best selling classic around the world.
Her more recent book on the subject, Challenging Assumptions in Education
(2000), is a controversial look at what's wrong with public education and at the hows and whys of deschooling our families and society. It is on the reading list for college education programs internationally and was updated and reissued in 2008.
In 2002, as a way of encouraging and supporting families to trust their children to learn without being taught, she founded Life Learning Magazine
. She also edited the book Life Learning: Lessons from the Educational Frontier
, a collection of essays from Life Learning magazine, which was published in late 2008.
Wendy's most recent book (2012) is Beyond School: Living As If School Doesn't Exist
. It is a collection of seventeen essays about how families and individuals can live and learn without coercion or struggle, and with trust, respect, dignity...as if school doesn't exist. Together, they create an impassioned but well reasoned case for a different way of helping children and young people learn about today's world while becoming equipped to live in tomorrow's world.
To read Wendy Priesnitz's complete biography, please visit www.wendypriesnitz.com