What is Unschooling and How do You Unschool?
I must get asked this 4 or 5 times a week. Unschooling is often described as child led learning or child directed learning. It is sometimes called natural learning . I sort of cringe when I hear the term “child led” as implies that the parent is passive in the process and sort of follows long with their child as they wander aimlessly… I will describe it to people who know little about homeschooling in general- let alone unschooling- as exposing your children to the opportunity to learn. I am well connected to my child and try to stay in tune to their interests- so I will often expose then to things I think they may- or may not- and see where it goes will also say that I think unschooling is an ideal and most families I have met strive to this ideal but everybody finds what works best for them. If you have respect for your children and trust their ability to learn then you are well on your way. It can be a big leap of faith in the beginning and for some people feel very natural and “right”, for others may feel counter-intuitive and strange- particularly if your kids have been in school before.
The term unschooling was coined by John Holt. An author of 10 books on education, John Holt founded the unschooling magazine Growing Without Schooling.
A model similar to unschooling, using the child-led learning approach, is sometimes used in schools, such as the Sudbury Valley School.