A method of homeschooling that is gaining in popularity is unschooling. The unschooling method of homeschooling is also known as natural learning, child led learning, interest led learning, or delight directed learning.
The Unschooling Method of Homeschooling
The unschooling method is accredited to the teachings of John Holt. It is a non-structured form of child led learning. Unschooling is not comprised of traditional schedules or formal lessons. Since unschooling is delight directed learning, it also does not have a set curriculum.
Holt believed that children should be allowed to pursue their own goals and interests. Holt believed that learning is not the result of teaching. He believed that if children had access to enough of the world, they would naturally learn more than they could in a structured curriculum driven method. Since learning is delight directed, it feels less like a chore.
There are no specific classes, books, subjects, curricula, or schedules in unschooling. As a child’s interests change and grow, so does his learning. With unschooling, a child uses whatever resources and learning materials available to learn everything they can about a given subject. Learning grammar, spelling, math, science, and history are natural by-products of following their interests.
When to consider the Unschooling Method
- Desire to allow your child to direct their learning
- Prefer to avoid boxed curriculum
- Enjoy unstructured learning
- Flexibility to pursue your child’s interests
- Desire to promote the entrepreneurial mind
- Ability to provide many sources of stimuli – books, magazines, board games, fieldtrips, private lessons, expeirments, etc – to help your child discover his interests
- Ability to trust your children to pursue learning about the things that delight them
It is key to remember that unschooling does not mean no schooling or no learning is occurring. Unschooled children tend to pursue their interests with passion until they’ve satisfied their curiosity, then move on to their next interest. Since they have the time and ability to pursue their interests, they have the become experts on the subjects that interest them.
Since children do not follow a typical schedule or curriculum in unschooling, they *may* have trouble adjusting should the need arise to return to a standard school setting.
If you’d like to abandon curriculum and use the world as your child’s classroom, this is a must read!