What Is Unschooling?

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When it comes to homeschool life, there seems like an endless number of options on how to educate your children. So, if you’re not into the prospect of sending them to school to sit at a desk for 9 hours a day, there are things you can do instead. One of the methods that many families are turning to is Unschooling — and yes, it’s pretty much like it sounds.

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What is unschooling?

The biggest difference you’ll find between homeschooling and unschooling is that unschooling has way less structure and planning to it. This fact alone makes it super appealing to parents. 

Unschooling tends to focus on the passions and interests of the kids while combining that with being out and about in the world. 

If you wanted to compare unschooling to the traditional school setting, imagine something totally opposite to the kids sitting in a classroom, and that is what it is. 

boy playing on a trail through the woods as part of his unschooling
Photo credit: Adobe Photo Stock

Are unschooled kids successful?

While this may seem like a loaded question, keep in mind that success can mean so many different things. Most parents believe that unschooling does a great job of preparing their children for the real world.

You’ll find a lot of parents and kids working on life skills like cooking, exploring nature, traveling and reading maps, and even sitting around during the day reading the classics. 

What are the pros and cons of unschooling? 

The pros of homeschooling tend to outweigh the cons in the minds of most parents. For this reason, it’s becoming quite popular.

Pros:

  • Flexible
  • Child-led learning
  • Life skills and world knowledge
  • Freedom to make choices

Cons: 

  • Lack of structure
  • Worry if they’re on “level” with their grade

The biggest thing to remember when it comes to unschooling is that it allows your child to thrive and find ways to grow and learn more about their passions. 

Unschooling means every day is a blank canvas that gives you and the children the freedom to plan out fun things that are laced with learning

How do you plan an unschooling day?

That’s just it. You really don’t plan. You can wake up and talk about interests and then figure out a way to help your child dive into them and learn about them. The more you can help them to find out what they’re passionate about, the more they’re going to want to continue to learn new things.

An unschooling day can consist of a day of reading, drawing, exploring nature, walking, or just planning a fun trip to a local museum, aquarium, or anywhere such as that. 

Make sure you’re aware of the local homeschooling rules in your state before deciding to start your unschooling journey. There are things some states do require as far as longs and reporting. Then, start exploring!

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