Google+ Authentic Parenting: Un- homeschooling, Does It Exist?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Un- homeschooling, Does It Exist?

I often read people say that they un-homeschool (yup, I don't hear them say it since I don't have these conversations IRL) , or they homeschool with some 'un', or they 'un' certain subjects. I started wondering if that is even possible.
Isn't the whole point of unschooling to chuck out the concept of curriculi and subjects?

Image: katiescrapbooklady on Flickr
Don't get me wrong, I completely endorse any amount of child directed learning, given that any is better than none. Furthermore, I can understand that unschooling is not for everyone, for a variety of reasons, and an adapted way of unschooling (or even a carefully selected school) might be more convenient for some parents.

But back to the unschooling. Can we speak of unschooling when there are curriculi and subject and lessonplans? Unschooling is about learning from life, and life in itself is not divided into neat subject matters. (well, actcually even subject matters aren't divided into neat subject matters, a simple example is that you do need math for physics).
Secondly, unschooling is about following your interests, if one follows a lessonplan, trying to cover all the subjects, how much of these 'interests' remain?

Telling your child that they can choose the language they learn, or the book they learn from or the grade they'll be in, is leaps away from unschooling.

Call it child led homeschooling, and I will agree, but I see little 'un' or in homeschooling. It remains a form of schooling, albeit better adapted to the child's rhytmn and learning patterns than formal education.



  1. Hiya Mamapoekie
    I'm currently doing a PhD. Part of my work is to scope my subject. So I decide what I need to learn to acheive my objective, I write myself learning plans and action points, I construct time limited plans for what and how I want to learn. It's not dissimilar from lesson planning (I used to be a teacher) - but the student is me. And it's entirely self-directed. If I want to achive X (the PhD thesis), I need to do this, and these sub points follow from that, which means that this week I need to discover Z. Overall this will contribute to my PhD as ABC and form an element of chapter 1.

    So, it's highly "un" and highly planned... the autonomy and the structure are mutually beneficial. They can mutually coexist!


  2. Hi,

    Joined in just now..Sorry for the delay dear!!Have added your blog to my blog aggregator...


  3. Hi,

    I think you hit on a good point. It seems people apply their own interpretations to unschooling and homeschooling.

    Unschooling encourages exploration of activities led by the children themselves, facilitated by the adults. There seems to be alot of room for creativity in unschooling. And there seems to be a bit of creativity in defining unschooling.

    A couple of questions in my mind are: Does unschooling mean there is no structure? Is the point of unschooling aimless meandering?

    I see unschooing as the adult watching and observing the child as they play, work, and interact with life. During the process the adult learns what interests the child has and how they like to learn.

    The adult as a facilitator then facilitates the process of learning those areas that interest the child in a way that lets the child get totally involved. I believe the process of learning is where the confusion comes in about "un" and planning or we might use the word structure.

    There is structure and process in all of life. There is some randomness for variety and fun but lots of structure.

    So does planning or structure have no part of unschooling in your mind or am I misunderstanding?

    I do agree that to simply import school into the home and then offer choices of curriculum to a child that might better fit their learning style is not the concept of unschool. However there are people that call this unschool and I agree that is not the concept of unschooling.

  4. I think I have miscommunicated my point here. I don't think structure interferes with unschooling per se. As long as the child is either able to adapt or ignore an imposed structure, or if it is a structure the child imposes on himself.
    I do object the idea of courses/curriculi/subjects being brought into the unschooling idea. Frankly that is not unschooling or life learning.

  5. Thanks for the clarification.


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