K-12 education is undergoing what some would say is evolution while others are calling for revolution. Charter schools are becoming more popular. Public schools are taking on parenting roles, clothing, feeding and supplying medical care to children in the belief parents can’t or won’t do the job.
Choice is the byword. The last couple of years have seen the rise of “Unschooling” as an approach that thumbs the nose of public education. We’ll share some information about the movement. You judge whether it make sense to you or not. Feel free to share your thoughts.
What is Unschooling? Simply put it’s the belief that children/people will learn by living. The individual will decide what they are interested in and determine whether/when they want to read or do math or anything else. The idea this that one pursues what interests them. Here’s what one mom said in a blog post called The Natural Child Project:
“Our son has never had an academic lesson, has never been told to read or to learn mathematics, science, or history. Nobody has told him about phonics. He has never taken a test or been asked to study or memorize anything. When people ask, “What do you do?” My answer is that we follow our interests – and our interests inevitably lead to science, literature, history, mathematics, music – all the things that have interested people before anybody thought of them as “subjects”.
John Holt, on his website HoltGWS.com says: “Unschooling, for lack of a better term (until people start to accept living as part and parcel of learning), is the natural way to learn. However, this does not mean unschoolers do not take traditional classes or use curricular materials when the student, or parents and children together, decide that this is how they want to do it. Learning to read or do quadratic equations are not “natural” processes, but unschoolers nonetheless learn them when it makes sense to them to do so, not because they have reached a certain age or are compelled to do so by arbitrary authority. Therefore it isn’t unusual to find unschoolers who are barely eight-years-old studying astronomy or who are ten-years-old and just learning to read.” John goes on to offer links to various articles that provide more information.
We’ll finish this report with a link and some material from a 20ish Unschooled. This person was raised as Unschooled and shares some information. Their website is titled: I’m Unschooled and Yes I Can Write Here are some of the topics they address. Read their full article for details.
- What about socialization?
- What about college?
- What about structure?
- You unschoolers will never be able to function in the Real World™!
- But kids won’t learn unless you make them
- Won’t unschoolers have gaps in their education?
Those are just some of the topics covered. Is Unschooling something that fits your philosophy or view of the world?