what is unschooling? - Mothering Forums

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Old 01-23-2002, 09:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am just curious.
I see the word used a lot, but I have never been told what it is exactly. I'm sure I could look it up, but it is easier to just ask

Thanks
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Old 01-23-2002, 11:05 PM
 
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Unschooling is when a child learns by following their interests and simply living their lives, rather than following a curriculum or scope and sequence or any other prescribed list of what one "should" know at a certain age.

That's a pretty simplistic explanation, but unschooling is hard to define, imo, because it's different for each child.

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Old 01-27-2002, 01:39 AM
 
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Isn't it hard, as a parent, to ensure that the child learns what he/she will need to without a curriculum of some sort to follow. I think that I could create or adjust a curriculum around my son's interests, knowing what they are, but would have a difficult time trying to do it on a daily basis with no real instruction for me to follow. As of the time being, we are planning to send our ds's to Catholic school, as I don't think that I have the personal discipline to ensure that my children don't wind up really stupid , but I'm keeping my options open. I wish the schools would wise up and realize that not all parents need them to babysit our children everyday, but would perhaps like their assistance in educating our children. I would love to send my child half days when the time comes, then use the curriculum to elaborate on the basis that they create. I don't think I am going to find a school that will be very cooperative. After all, even kindergarten is now a full day which I hate!
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Old 01-27-2002, 02:39 AM
 
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Unschoolers allow their children to let what they want, when they want, how they want. They don't follow a scope and sequence, don't have school days or lessons, don't worry about grade levels, and don't see the need for dividing learning into subjects. They live life. Unschoolers have a great deal of respect for what their kids are learning when they aren't being taught.

John Holt is the writer who coined the term "unschooling" and he has written several wonderful books. I have learned a great deal from his writing, but we are not total unschoolers. We have some structured lessons because my 5 year old likes them and learns well with organized lessons. Some people would still consider this unschooling because it isn't forced and they define unschooling in terms of coersion. But I know some radical unschooling families and what they do is different from what we do. We are very relaxed and my attitude about how my children learn has been affected by reading Holt.
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Old 01-27-2002, 12:42 PM
 
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"Isn't it hard, as a parent, to ensure that the child learns what he/she will need to without a curriculum of some sort to follow."

Ahhhh...that is the heart of unschooling, imo. Unschoolers don't operate from the assumption that there is a single body of information, an outline or curriculum that all people "need" to learn.

We all have strengths, weaknesses, special interests--unschoolers learn what they need to learn to fulfill their own goals. They don't, for instance, memorize times tables simply because they are 10 years old, they don't study oceanography because they are 12. If they do these things at all, it will be because they are interested in doing it, or because they feel the need to know these things and not because it's on the outline for that year of their life.

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Old 01-27-2002, 01:42 PM
 
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Ahhhhh! Joan, you lovely person. You have unwittingly contibuted to Preparation for the 21st C and the Information Era. What our kids SHOULD be learning!

Many thanks for these words.

a

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Old 01-27-2002, 02:06 PM
 
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Hey Sleepies,

some chapters available on-line, but reading the books is the best thing to do.

this site to look at some online chapters

More related stuff here:

http://www.mothering.com/14-0-0/html...hools103.shtml

and here:
Anarchistic Education: It's happening all over the world

Hope this helps.

a

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Old 01-28-2002, 04:00 PM
 
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Interesting discussion over there--thanks for the "head's up." I think I'll lurk a bit. :-)

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