Monday, June 21, 2010


I saw a news piece the other day (and by other day I, of course, mean 3 months ago... ) and it has got me thinking.

Have you guys heard of UnSchooling? It falls under Home Schooling, but is not at all the same thing. It is learning without boundaries, textbooks, classrooms, or formal education of any sort. It's about process, not content ( if you want more). Unschooling parents believe that their kids will learn better by setting the rhythms of their own day and learning what they choose to learn rather than by what someone is telling them to learn. I can totally see benefits to Home Schooling... but this isn't that.

I personally just don't get it. My apologies to anyone reading this if they are an Unschooler... maybe you could give me your perspective and the benefits of it. As an educator though, obviously I deeply believe in the purpose, advantages, and transforming power of formal education. The social skills as well as the ABC's. The problem solving abilities as well as the deductive reasoning. The conflict management as well as the memorization. Discipline, work ethic, and yes, fun!

The extra crazy thing to me is that the radical Unschooling parents let their philosophy merge into their parenting style. Laissez Faire to the extreme. The mom in the piece said that there is no judgement in their home. They don't punish because they don't have rules. There are no chores. The kids eat whatever they want, go to bed when they want, do what they want. The kids are responsible for setting the rhythms of their own days.


Now, I know I'm not a parent yet or anything, but it seems to me that that is the whole role of the parent. Instruct your child in the way they should go... because you're the PARENT. You just might know what they need more than they do. Discipline, mold, teach, instruct, guide. Let there be consequences if they are needed. Set them up for success for the rest of their life. Do what you can to turn your child into a loving, responsible, aware, compassionate individual.

Okay. I'm going to stop now. This whole movement just doesn't make much sense to me. There are over 150,000 families in the U.S. who it does make sense to though. Pretty interesting stuff.

Here is a link to the news piece I saw if you want to check it out yourself.


  1. I agree that it seems ridiculous. I can't wrap my head around how that's an efficient and quality way of giving your child an education. Plus, even if it is, would be it be recognized as a valid education by the outside world and future employers? It just seems hokey and like you're wasting your child's potential future.

  2. I'm a 19 year old lifelong unschooler, and it definitely makes sense to me! I've never regretted the life of freedom I've had and have. Because unschooling requires such a radical shift in the way you think about and view learning, it's difficult for most people to grasp, but whatever you may think, it really does "work"!! I write a lot about unschooling on my blog, so if you're interested in reading more, you can always check it out:

  3. Very interesting, Idzie. Thanks for contributing. I think I will check out your blog because I am very curious about some stuff- Have you entered the work force yet? Are you going to college- and if so, how do you feel prepared for it, and if not, what work are you wanting to get into and how are you going to get there? Many others questions too. I'll hop on over and see what life looks like for you.

  4. You write, "Now, I know I'm not a parent yet or anything" ...

    When you are you might find you've changed your mind about a lot of things.

  5. I'm a homeschooler, not an unschooler but some of the things I've heard blow my mind as well. I just don't understand it. And I admit it. I believe kids need structure and instruction, at least my kids! lol