Unschooling is recognizes that every person learns differently and that there is no need for all of us to learn the same things. This radically different method of home-based education is still new to most of us but is worth learning about. It essentially takes the ‘musts’ and tosses them aside. The notion that children must be able to read by the time they are six and they must learn math this way or that – are all tossed aside and replaced with the freedom of learning language in a natural way when the time is right and learning math through everyday life. We can all agree that there is no need for every one of us to master trigonometry or know the dates of each of histories major events. Unschoolers recognize this and allow the child’s inner strengths and desires to be met through at-home studies, apprenticeships and lessons – allowing the child to become somewhat of a master in particular areas – on things that are important or exciting to them. Think of the large number of adults who have never been given the opportunity to discover their inner talents because they were too busy memorizing formulas and dates.
Unschoolers live, work, learn and play in the real world. They are given the freedom to go down less tarvelled paths – ones they choose – and learn lessons from those decisions alongside their mindful parents – who are not there to merely enforce rules and act as an authoritarian, but to work as the child’s mentor and partner.
Unschooled children don’t learn to separate from their parents
Unschooled kids don’t learn anything and can be considered to be lazy parenting
To many people the term unschooling is often mistaken for lazy parenting or neglectful parenting. People find it hard to believe that these parents – who choose to be present and engaged with their children – would prefer them to be home all day as oppose to at school for 6 to 8 hours. Because unschooling allows the child to lead and direct what they are learning, many think the parents are uninvolved in this. However, quite to the contrary, unschooling parents are very involved in all aspects of the child’s life and are constantly trying to find people to help their children learn. Successful unschooling requires the parents to be very involved.
Unschooled kids aren’t properly ‘socialized’
The socialization issue is one of the biggest worries people have about home-based education. It’s commonly thought that kids who don’t go to school will grow up scared of everyone and not be able to function properly. The opposite is true for unschoolers who actually get to participate in a wide variety of opportunities that provide social engagement with their peers, as well as with people of all ages and walks of life – something not available in the average school.
Unschooled children and they miss out on important childhood experiences
Unschooled children don’t use books or curriculums
Books are important tools for every child and the notion that unschoolers don’t use books, is far from true. The difference lies in the unschooler having the freedom to chose books that they are interested in – not ones that the parents require them to read. The same applies to curriculums – which are, when used, very well planned and focused on the child’s interests.
Unschooled kids don’t learn to follow directions
While unschoolers don’t spend their days being put in line-ups and given assignments that must be done in a particular way, they are certainly capable of doing so. Unschooling parents put more emphasis on their children developing their independence and keep in mind that most unschoolers participate in lessons that require them to follow group rules.
Unschooled kids aren’t prepared for university or college
This is one of the most common myths you hear about unschooling and it’s absolutely not true. Today, many universities and colleges quickly accept unschoolers based on their portfolios which illustrate their interests, skills, volunteer work, activities, etc. A number of unschoolers will spend time during their teen years acquiring their GED so they have traditional transcripts to show.