Home > unschooling


June 26th, 2006 at 01:06 pm

Unschooling is the most common term for 'desire led leaning' or 'child directed learning' or 'unstructured learning'
And it goes totally against what most of us were indoctrinated to believe.

Unschooling mainly means, not forcing a child to learn. Not sitting them down for X number of hours (and not finding extra work to fill said hours) Not having a predetermined timeline set by average kids.

Bit different from the 6 hours mandatory for learning, the rest for fun. But in fact it is more like the origional word 'school' it meant free time in Greek, and apparently lots used their free time to learn. Unfortunatly now free time is for TV or playstation while school means work... I think we messed up in translation.

But how do you know they are learning? What if they learn the worng things? What if they don't learn anything? What are they doing if you are not making them sit for schoolwork?

Those are all the questions I still have about it. I don't have a lot of answers but the more I look into unschooling the more I reinforce two lessons.

lesson one: Unschooling can be used as an excuse to not teach period, or even worse as an excuse to not parent. I hate this lesson, every time I see unschooling used I cringe in fear that it will be another bad example of not parenting or not teaching.

Lesson two: I am an unschooler! I like this lesson. While I hate being lumped in with the first type of parent, I love being lumped in with the actual desire led learners.

I love seeing new ways my children learn without busy work. And an added bonus, it is cheaper..well not really. It is cheaper on busy work (why buy it if you don't want to use it) but more expensive in that your children have time to check out everything and anything, and we want them too! So we buy the violin weather or not our kid will complete training and be a master, we just want them to check it out. We buy the paint set weather or not our kid will be the next Da Vinci, we just want them to check it out. The hard part is being frugal while providing all the opportunity. The easy part is finding interest and time.

2 Responses to “unschooling”

  1. contrary1 Says:

    I unschooled a batch of brilliant high schoolers for 4 years once....the greatest thing I ever did. I started out doing the traditional home schooling model & knew by the 2nd day that wasn't going to work with us.

    I found a great mentor & a couple online groups to participate in for support and off we went. At a fast pace I'll add. The girl was quicker at designing her un program........the 2 boys just sort of meandered through things, spending time playing computer games and reading. They all 3 are facinating people at this point in their lives, and I'm grateful I got the opportunity to work with them.

    I don't understand the poor parenting bit, perhaps because I never did this with younger kids. But, my older ones hadn't been parented prior to me getting them perhaps there are similarities.

    We did spend money on this system, but with my kids I had them working too, so if they wanted something huge, I would match funds for them.
    The girl went to Europe a couple times (world history, of course!) and the boys wanted to build a computer or two....
    Borrowing or renting equipment would be my suggestion, to see if the idea was a real winner, then buy whatever.

  2. princessperky Says:

    Renting/borrowing I need to look into that more.

    Thanks for sharing about your kids, I love to hear success stories. Reminds me I might be able to do it.

    The poor parenting bothers me, but it isn't like there is not bad parenting in regular schools!

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