Cover art for podcast Elevating Motherhood

Elevating Motherhood

130 EpisodesProduced by Lori Beth AuldridgeWebsite

A weekly podcast covering a variety of topics about modern motherhood including parenting, homeschool, health, pregnancy, birth, self-care, community, friendship, and more! Recorded on the island of Maui with your host Lori Beth Auldridge, M.A., M.F.A.


026. Self-Directed Education with Austin Rees

Many of you know, I’m big into alternative education options. We personally homeschool our three children, but I know that’s not the best option for every family. The good news is, there are so many options when it comes to our children’s education—what works for one child might not work for another, and that’s okay. Options do exist. We don’t often hear about all of our options, but today we’re going to shift that with our guest Austin Rees. She is here to share her family’s alternative education journey with us.

Have you ever heard of self-directed education? Or Sudbury schools? Or a democratic school?

I thought I knew a little about the self-directed part, but Austin’s story really opened my eyes to a whole new approach that I can see working really well for a lot of kids. This episode is going to stretch your mind, heart, and imagination. It shifted my already alternative view of education.

Austin Rees is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant and Licensed Massage therapist who specializes in infant craniosacral therapy. She is also the creator of Nourish & Align. One of Austin’s favorite past times is facilitating introspective and integral retreats for women and birth professionals.

She is a mother to four children: Bella 16, Declan 14, Henry 12, and Maggie 6, and is married to her college sweetheart, Brad. She and Brad both decided early in their parenting journey to educate their children at home. After homeschooling with various curriculums they began researching self-directed education and the Sudbury school model.

When Brad retired from the military in 2015, they chose to move to Baltimore, Maryland. They picked that city because it was close to the Sudbury School, Arts & Ideas. So after 7 years of homeschooling, they enrolled them in a democratic school based in self-directed education where they have all been thriving ever since.

Austin & Brad’s commitment to their children’s education is inspiring. But that’s only one of the many take-aways from this episode. I’m really stuck on the “stop, pause, & care” notion she mentions part way though.

I’d love to hear what your takeaways are from today’s show. So after the episode, hop over to my Instagram @loribethauldridge or the website to share your thoughts on this type of education. I can’t wait to continue the conversation with you! Love the show? Please leave a review on iTunes!

Sponsor: Branch Basics Go to for my personal review of their products! 

Helpful Links/Topics From This Episode: 



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