adventures in unschooling

Unschooling?

To me unschooling is trusting that children know best what they need to learn and how to best learn it. I see myself as more of a facilitator than a teacher. I make as much information about the world as I can available to my children and then follow their lead. I answer their questions and help them find the answers when I don’t know them. I let them follow their interests and encourage their talents. I also sometimes push them to do things they find difficult – but often I find they do this themselves.

Unschooling is a philosophy, not a method, style, or system of educating. People often argue about what is real unschooling and what is not. But really it’s different for everyone and embraces many forms and structures.
I recommend the following authors if you would like to read more about unschooling:

John Holt

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John Holt coined the term unschooling.

John Taylor Gatto

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The Six-Lesson Schoolteacher by John Taylor Gatto

More writing by John Taylor Gatto

Grace Llewellyn

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I read this book in one night and knew home schooling was for me!

Good articles explaining unschooling can be found at the following websites:

holtgws.com
John Holt & Growing Without Schooling.

www.naturalchild.org
A website celebrating attachment parenting and unschooling.

Unschooling Undefined
Jon’s Homeschool Resources

Unschooling Quotes

“It is, in fact, nothing short of a miracle that the modern methods of instuction have not yet entirely strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry; for this delicate little plant, aside from stimulation, stands mainly in need of freedom; without this it goes to wrack and ruin without fail. It is a very grave mistake to think that the enjoyment of seeing and searching can be promoted by means of coercion and a sense of duty.”

“I am beginning to suspect all elaborate and special systems of education. They seem to me to be built upon the supposition that every child is a kind of idiot who must be taught to think. Whereas, if the child is left to himself, he will think more and better, if less showily. Let him go and come freely, let him touch real things and combine his impressions for himself, instead of sitting indoors at a little round table, while a sweet-voiced teacher suggests that he build a stone wall with his wooden blocks, or make a rainbow out of strips of coloured paper, or plant straw trees in bead flower-pots. Such teaching fills the mind with artificial associations that must be got rid of, before the child can develop independent ideas out of actual experience.” — Anne Sullivan (1866 – 1936)”I am beginning to suspect all elaborate and special systems of education. They seem to me to be built upon the supposition that every child is a kind of idiot who must be taught to think. Whereas, if the child is left to himself, he will think more and better, if less showily. Let him go and come freely, let him touch real things and combine his impressions for himself, instead of sitting indoors at a little round table, while a sweet-voiced teacher suggests that he build a stone wall with his wooden blocks, or make a rainbow out of strips of coloured paper, or plant straw trees in bead flower-pots. Such teaching fills the mind with artificial associations that must be got rid of, before the child can develop independent ideas out of actual experience.”

Anne Sullivan, Helen Keller’s mentor and friend

“What we want to see is the child in pursuit of knowledge, not knowledge in pursuit of the child.”

George Bernard Shaw

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