Unschooling is an unconventional way of educating your kid, just like homeschooling. These are not new philosophies since they have been around as long as the traditional education system has existed. However, while homeschooling is often unstructured or standardized, the state has given proponents of unschooling the green light to use it as an alternative to regular K-12 systems.
Unschooling is Older than You Think
Conventional systems are regarded as the traditional education system even though they are a new phenomenon. Unschooling is seemingly more natural to young students than the teacher-centered method because it existed long before the development of conventional learning institutions. Without formal education, children underwent unschooling since the dawn of civilization. However, the reverse is true today as conventional education has evolved into a highly competitive environment even as that was not the intention by its early proponents.
Homeschooling and unschooling are intimately intertwined, and most people mistake one form for the other. Unschooling is a class of homeschooling, and it was beer defined back in the 70s by John Holt, an education expert.
Generally, unschooling stimulates a child’s natural curiosity and follows a student-centered approach. Children tend to seek out knowledge as they grow older. Therefore, unschooling taps a child’s interest during multiple life situations so that they are able to better retain the lessons than during a controlled curriculum.
Like homeschooling, unschooling does not have a traditional grading system. This works in their favor because students do not have to attain any set grades because kids can be wrong and still learn from their setbacks. Unschooling promotes innovation and problem-solving as opposed to getting the right answers in a test. As John Holt observed in his book, How Children Fail, the prevailing school system causes students to be afraid of failing and consequently fear the resulting lessons.
The current education system is standardized and trains students for a particular set of jobs. Unfortunately, the job market is an ever-changing landscape, and the World Economic Forum predicts that close to 70% of students will have to settle for nonexistent careers or be out of a job.
On the flip side, unschooling encourages students to explore their curiosity. Also, the system encourages kids to be persistent students throughout their life. These tenets encourage problem-solving, and graduates of an unschooling system can leverage their adaptability in the dynamic job market.
Final Thoughts on Unschooling
Unschooling, like conventional education, has its ups and downs. One drawback of the system is that children do not have an opportunity to interact with their peers and further on integrate into society. Moreover, low-income families are disadvantaged since they normally have to choose a conventional system.
On the other hand, your unschooled children get a chance to explore their curiosity, unlike in a conventional system. Also, you’ll easily instill principles not found in a regular classroom. For instance, your children will not view failure negatively, but as an opportunity to learn something they weren’t aware of.
Have you ever unschooled your children? Leave a comment and your thoughts about the system.