FHD’s series on Homeschool Methods Explained continue! This week, we’re discussing Unschooling (aka Child-Led Learning)! You may have heard of this teaching and learning method, but compared to the Classical and the Charlotte Mason method, this one is a lot more modern.
Unschooling was developed by John Holt in the 1970s, and the focus is on the child and following what they’re interested in learning about at the moment. So, it’s a break from the confines of workbooks and curriculum structures, and it appeals to many families.
The role of you as a homeschooling parent is to be the guide to your child’s learning journey. You are the one who provides the resources, the experiences, and the opportunities for your child to get where they want to get to next. Many parents do include some formal resources, such as those for math, to help give their child a base from which to spring into applying the concepts to real life.
This method may look different in different homeschools, but the basic idea is that it is different than conventional school. Most people can agree that it is ‘real-world’ learning as opposed to learning in a prescribed way within the confines of four walls. They stray away from worksheets, quizzes, and more and focus on the question “What would I like to explore today?”
It’s hard to fully explain what it looks like in a homeschool because it’s not a prescribed or scripted method. Just imagine what your days with your child will be like when they get up and aren’t crammed into a room forced to learn things at a time when the curriculum says so. Do you think they’ll be nervous, dreading the day ahead? Or will they be full of energy, ready to pursue the interesting knowledge that fills our world?
Your child has the time and freedom to become experts in their fields of interest!
You can follow your child’s natural learning progression and avoid the tears and frustration at being forced to learn a skill before it’s their time. (For example, some students are later readers and writers!)
It’s legal according to the government, but you can check on your own state’s requirements.
They may not do as well on conventional exams when it comes time to take them because they haven’t had the years of practice.
They may not understand the need for schedules and time management the same as those who have been publicly educated.
You may find that this method is very misunderstood, so you as a homeschooling parent could receive some criticism since many think that unschooling means no schooling.
More and more people are growing tired of the conventional education system in the US. Children are frustrated, stressed out, and often not learning as much as they could. School is seen as drudgery and a bore. But, with unschooling, you could open up the world of knowledge to your child, and make learning fun, energizing, and exciting.
Unschooling Websites, Blogs, & Resources
Homeschool Methods: Unschooling – The Canadian Homeschooler
Homeschooling Approaches – Unschooling – Homeschool.com
Unschooling – The Homeschool Mom
What is Unschooling – The Natural Child Project
Unschooling: Laws & How to Start – Time 4 Learning
Typical Unschooling Day – Unschooling Mom2Mom
FREE Student Directed Learning Printables – Leslie Maddox
Radical Unschooling – A Revolution Has Begun by Dayna Martin
Check out our Homeschool Methods Explained Series
- Homeschool Methods Explained: Classical
- Homeschool Methods Explained: Charlotte Mason
- Homeschool Methods Explained: Unschooling
- Homeschool Methods Explained: Unit Studies
- Homeschool Methods Explained: Montessori
- Homeschool Methods Explained: Eclectic or Relaxed
- Homeschool Methods Explained: Roadschooling
- Homeschool Methods Explained: Worldschooling
- Homeschool Methods Explained: Waldorf
- Homeschool Methods Explained: School at Home
- Homeschool Methods Explained: Online Homeschooling
- Homeschool Methods Explained: Moore Formula
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