Though not new by any means, one method to homeschooling that’s gaining popularity is Unschooling. Actually, can we even call it a “method”?
As a reference point, unschooling is similar to Charlotte Mason education, in that there tends to be a much greater focus on turning day-to-day life into a learning experience rather than separating it from academics. But it’s generally quite unstructured, unlike CM.
There are different approaches to unschooling. Some parents are quite purposeful about creating learning opportunities and environments where their children can explore and be guided in their learning. Others allow more freedom on the child’s part to decide what will be learned and when.
From my perspective, there are a couple reasons why I think unschooling has been growing in the past few years.
First, it’s a natural response to the public school classrom setting, where children are in a highly structured educational environment following a scope and sequence for their grade levels. Some would probably say that unschooling goes too far opposite of public education to an extreme, which could definitely be true of those who take a more “anything goes” approach with unschooling. But I’ve heard from multiple homeschool moms over the years say (including my own): homeschooling is nothing like teaching in a public or private school. So why treat it like one?
Second, in this current business culture of startups and bootstrapping, there’s an upward trend in employers who don’t look at academics when hiring. Instead, they care about actual talent, skills, work ethic, and responsibility. All three of these are difficult to teach in a structures school schedule; they’re picked up in everyday life. I think we’ve got an upcoming generation with the potential to value life skills over rote academics, and it shows in the growing popularity of unschooling.
The other day, I was given a link to a series of articles about a survey done of unschoolers who are now adults. If unstructured education sounds scary to you, you might be surprised by the findings… Things like:
- Unschoolers are less likely to pursue higher formal education, but go all out when they do.
- Unschoolers have a higher tendency towards artistic pursuits as adults.
- A high percentage of unschoolers become entrepenuers.
Check out the survey by clicking the link below — find out what grown unschoolers think of unschooling.
What do you think of Unschooling? Comment below!