Hannah Frankman was sure she was college bound. She likes to say that in another life, she would’ve been a Ph.D. student right now. So what led her to start rebelEducator instead?

In this episode of the LiberatED podcast, host Kerry McDonald talks with Hannah Frankman about her journey through the world of alternative education.

Hannah grew up homeschooled, has never attended college, and has worked in alternative educational companies all her adult life.

The pair discuss how Hannah’s ideas about the education system in the US were developed, and what led her to make some of her decisions about her own education (and later her career).

Hannah also talks about the different alternative education models becoming available to kids, and outlines some of her favorite schools implementing these systems.

Topics Covered

  • Hannah’s background so far, and her experience growing up homeschooled (0:00)
  • What were Hannah’s inflection points, and why did she continue homeschooling throughout? (4:03)
  • Would Hannah prefer independent homeschooling or the new innovative alternative schools if she was growing up again? (7:32)
  • Why did Hannah never go to college? (11:48)
  • How did Hannah’s experience as a homeschooler work as an asset throughout her working career? (15:45)
  • How did Hannah develop an interest in libertarianism? (19:16)
  • How did rebelEducator start? (23:48)
  • What’s the future for rebelEducator? (28:46)
  • Hannah’s favorite alternative education models currently (32:14)


Some of Hannah’s favorite alternative schools. (A bigger list can be accessed here)

Prenda: A microschool network currently available in 5 US states. Prenda works with different state funding options in each state in exists in, and is tuition-free for parents in each state. Prenda has world-class microschools, where students can learn and interact in a smaller environment with kids of all ages and backgrounds and learn collaboratively.

The Socratic Experience: A virtual middle and high school focussing on a specialized, philosophical approach to learning. Ideal for kids who want to chase big ideas and have long discussions about complicated topics.

Sora Schools: A virtual middle and high school focussed on project-based, hands-on learning. The curriculum at Sora Schools is much more motivated by action than by ideas.

Interesting quotes

“I slowly realized that going to college to get a degree that you didn’t need to start working is a horrific financial decision, and that really didn’t sit well with me as someone who was developing more and more independence, autonomy, and self-responsibility. Starting my adult working career by spending tens of thousands of dollars that I did not have, on a gamble I did not need to make, felt incredibly wasteful. I just couldn’t wrap my head around it” – Hannah Frankman (12:15)

“I (also) realized that college wouldn’t exactly be all the things that I had hoped it would be. I had this dream in my head of college being this magical place full of friends just waiting for me to show up. And then, I slowly started to realize what college was actually going to be, which was two years of gen-ed studies and a lot of people partying all the time and a lot of requirements that you would need to fit into that didn’t map to your interests. So I almost started to feel that this was a step back from what I was doing in highschool, which was to study whatever I thought was interesting, from the best professors in the world for each course” Hannah Frankman (12:45)

“Trust your intuition about what would and would not work for your child and what your child does and doesn’t need. It does not matter that you don’t have an education degree. A lot of teachers will tell you this, but trust that you know much more than you think. We were designed as a species to raise our children to adulthood without outsourcing it to some other ‘experts’. You know how to raise your kids, you know what your kids needs, trust that.” – Hannah Frankman (36:20) (On the one piece of advice she would give to new parents seeking to enroll their kids in an alternative education pathway)

You can listen to the entire conversation on Apple Podcasts!

Kovid Bhaduri

Kovid Bhaduri

Kovid Bhaduri is a self directed learner and the author of “A one stop guide to productivity”. He has previously worked in SEZ research and spends his free time playing music and learning economics.

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