Many people have heard of homeschool, public and private school as well as the many other options for educating our children. A new word has become a little more popular these days and that word is unschooling. Unschooling is a form of educating our children but in a more non-traditional way than even homeschooling offers. You can think of unschooling in the most basic form as educating your child without school.
As a family unit, we have drifted to more unschooling our children than we used to do. It blends well with our more formal (if you can call it that) style of eclectic (using what works for each child) homeschooling.
But in this article I’m going to explain what is meant by the term unschooling.
Often times you’ll hear of unschooling referred to as child-led learning. This means that the child learns skills that interest them at a pace that works well for them. Parents work more as facilitators who oversee their child’s learning of said interests rather than standing up and teaching the interests or skills as one would do in homeschooling or other traditional school settings.
Uses Natural Growth
Unschooling helps children learn day to day skills like cooking, cleaning and other tasks by simply partaking in activities every day. A child who is unschooled will often show more interest and curiosity in how things work. This means that they’ll naturally show an interest in learning how to do things the adults in the house are doing such as cooking or laundry.
This form of allowing your child to learn about things that interest them and learn at their own natural pace allows for a less structured educational environment. While some naysayers feel that the lack of structure is bad for the unschooling child, it actually teaches these children how to become more structured in a way that works for them as an individual versus being force-fed structure.
Unschooling may sound absurd to those who feel that children aren’t equipped to educate themselves as us adults would. While some children may not benefit from unschooling, each parent will know how their child is doing with this form of “education”. You can think of unschooling as sitting back and guiding your child to learn about their interests via experiences versus book learning.
I hope that this has clarified what unschooling means and the opportunity it can give a child who may not learn in the traditional fashion. Unschooling can be a positive change for your family. If you’re thinking about unschooling then please do your research, understand how you’ll handle unschooling and be certain this is the right path for you and your child.
In His Grace,