I am becoming interested in unschooling. When our family first decided to homeschool I heard the term ‘unschooling’ and thought that it meant simply not teaching your children. I could not have been more wrong.
Everything I read about unschooling sounds great…and honestly not to different from what we are doing. So now I am trying to learn all that I can about unschooling. I am reading and researching unschooling just as I did with homeschooling a few years back. I am following a really great unschooling blog. There is a ton of information out there and I am so excited to read and learn more about it!!
I am first looking into the philosophy of unschooling. These are some of the thoughts of unschoolers and what I think of each one:
Children are natural learners. I have always believed that a person learns through curiosity. And I also believe that we learn all of the time not simply during ‘school hours’.
Many years ago I fell in love with the book ‘Learning All the Time’ by John Holt. (I now know that John Holt is huge when it comes to unschooling…I never knew!)
Children do not all learn in the same way. This is one of the reasons that I homeschool!
First, you have different styles of learning. One of the first books I bought when we decided to homeschool was ‘Discover Your Child’s Learning Style’. It helps you discover how your child learns so you can better assist them in learning.
Second, children are prepared to learn at different stages. I have always agreed with this. There is a healthy range for reaching basic developmental milestones such as rolling, walking, and talking. But these ranges cease to exist once a child enters school. All children are expected to be learning the same things at the same time…even if they are not developmentally prepared to learn!
I have recently experienced this while teaching Alex to read. He is having a hard time with it so we are slowing down for a while. I recently read (in this article) that boys are not ready to read until age 7 or older. Ava is 3 years old and will be reading by the end of the year I think. Different kids, different learning styles, and different learning ranges. Homeschooling allows me to address each of their needs individually.
Unschoolers claim that learning how to learn is more important than any specific subject matter. If you look at the homepage of my blog my tagline is ‘I believe learning is a lifestyle’…this unschooling stuff is sounding really good! I do not simply want to teach my kids subject matter, I want to teach them HOW to learn! I want them to know that if they have a question they have the resources to find the answer. I want them to remain natural learners, always.
So this is what I have learned so far about unschooling. I can say that it is looking pretty good to me!