It is absolutely my personal belief and opinion that unschooling is the very best way for children to reach their maximum educational potential.
So… what is unschooling?
- Unschooling is how we learn from the second we’re born to the second we die.
- It is the natural learning process of first observing, gaining interest, experimenting, and self-educating.
- It is having respect for children as human beings with the intelligence to pick up and learn anything and everything on their own time.
- It is knowing that each person is a unique individual, and deserves the right to follow their own passions. It is knowing that people should be allowed to excel in certain areas of their choice, and should never be punished for not liking something enough to excel in it.
- It is the wisdom that an expert level of knowledge in some areas is better than a mediocre knowledge in many areas.
- It is not pushing knowledge upon an unwilling mind. (Which is why I scraped by with a C in chemistry)
- It is rejecting the belief that a child has to “be taught something” in order to learn it.
For example, a baby (No matter what culture in the world) observes walking.
It is the same with talking. In my house it is the same with potty training. That’s right, I do not potty train my children! My children potty train themselves between ages two and three. Do you know why so many other potty training children regress and reject potty training? It is because potty training is the very first lesson we take away from our children as soon as they gain the natural interest in it, and we make it our own personal project. That is a natural automatic turnoff. You don’t believe me? Well then, let me elaborate…
Unschooling is using that interest to the advantage of the learner.
Unschooling is exposing your children to real life, and being excited to discover their own natural personalities and interests that develop on thier own so beautifully.
Unschooling was my 10-year-old daughter (the horse) telling me she wants to learn to crochet. Me, showing her how to do it step-by-step. Her, working for five hours straight on her first project with zero push from me. It is letting her do it as much or as little as she wants. It is finding out a week later she is now better at it than I am!
Unschooling was my eight-year-old daughter (the monkey), who has never expressed very much interest in reading, but wants to play a game that requires it. She observes how important and convenient reading is. It is watching her try to sound out every word in the house, and patiently answer her when she asks (for the 4th time) what sound “ch” makes. It is watching her go from a kindergarten to fourth grade reading level within 4 weeks.
Unschooling was my six-year-old son (the dog) watching me give birth and immediately devouring all knowledge of life cycles in every species. (It is priceless to hear a six-year-old correct an adult on the difference between a chrysalis and a cocoon).
Unschooling was my two-year-old son (the ox) being interested in letters and numbers. We all played with him about it. By the time he was three he could draw every letter, and tell us the sounds they made. This was a very big deal to us since his condition prohibits much arm and hand movement! He is now four, and easily reads some words. He surprises us everyday!
If you have reached the end of this post, you may consider yourself interested in unschooling! To learn more about unschooling and it’s fascinating results, pick up a book by John T. Gatto or John Holt. Both of those authors are fabulous!