About Me…


Jenni Mahnaz

I am passionate advocate of self-directed education (SDE). I have unschooled several teens in NYS (both upstate and in NYC) and worked closely with Manhattan Free School (now ALC NYC) and ALC Mosaic in Charlotte, NC.

Over the course of 20 years, I have worked with children in many different learning environments. After a brief stint as a special education teacher in the NYC public school system, I finally discovered the freedom of SDE. Years of frustration over pointless power struggles, meaningless assignments, odd philosophies, and unreasonable demands suddenly made sense- I was operating within a system that wasn’t in line with my core beliefs about learning, children, and the basic human existence. I now find joy in helping other families self-direct confidently.

In addition to working with self-directed families to find their educational footing, I am also a photographer who captures the freedom of SDE & childhood through my camera lens- all of the photos on this site are my own. My work regularly takes me between NY and NC, where I live with my husband and our two young children.

Jenni Mahnaz Photography

Private Services »
Contact »
(917) 912-3031