Wednesday, June 30, 2010


I have spent the last few years seriously researching educational alternatives to public school. Currently I have been reading about unschooling. The wikipedia page on unschooling describes it pretty well - found here. And for anyone interested, I'd recommend reading anything by John Holt. I have been studying unschooling to be informed in all forms of education so that we choose the best fit for our family.

From John Holt's book, Teach Your Own:
'When pressed, I define unschooling as allowing children as much freedom to learn in the world as their parents can comfortably bear."
I have been reading these books by Holt
1, Learning All The TIme
2. Teach Your Own: A Hopeful Path for Education
3. How Children Learn

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Home education
Unschooling is generally considered to be a form of home education, which is simply the education of children at home rather than in a school. Home education is often considered to be synonymous with homeschooling, but some have argued that the latter term implies the re-creation of school in the context of the home, which they believe is philosophically at odds with unschooling.

Unschooling contrasts with other forms of home education in that the student's education is not directed by a teacher and curriculum. Although unschooling students may choose to make use of teachers or curricula, they are ultimately in control of their own education.[9] Students choose how, when, why, and what they pursue. Parents who unschool their children act as "facilitators," providing a wide range of resources, helping their children access, navigate, and make sense of the world, and aiding them in making and implementing goals and plans for both the distant and immediate future. Unschooling expands from children's natural curiosity as an extension of their interests, concerns, needs, goals, and plans. Unschooling is a range of educational philosophies and practices centered on allowing children to learn through their natural life experiences, including child directed play, game play, household responsibilities, work experience and social interaction, rather than through a more traditional school curriculum. Unschooling encourages exploration of activities led by the children themselves, facilitated by the adults. Unschooling differs from conventional schooling principally in the thesis that standard curricula and conventional grading methods, as well as other features of traditional schooling, are counterproductive to the goal of maximizing the education of each child.


footprintsinclay said...

Sarra, thanks for your research, this is very interesting. Josh and I are looking into home schooling options too and this sounds wonderful (this is the Jen that lives with Gail, well for one more day and then she is off to the beach!)

Royall said...

I hate the term "unschooling" (I think because it sounds like unteaching or unlearning) but I do like what it means. I think the home can be a much richer learning environment than school. I've seen some things while working in the school systems that disturb me and I wonder if I might not decide to teach my kids at home (actually I'm hoping that one day Matt and I will be be able to take all our kids out of school for 6-12 months and travel while I teach them). I think that decision will hinge on a lot of different factors though. Holt's books have on my to read list for awhile I'm glad to hear what you think of them.

Serena Cherry said...

This is a thought-provoking issue! They did a segment on the Today show about "unschooling" that made it look really awful. It is too bad that the name has such negative connotations! I think it weighs heavily on the parent to make sure they are really involved. I would think it would be so much pressure! I love learning about what to do better, though and am fascinated!