So, you’re new to homeschooling or want to try something different. You’ve undoubtedly run across the method called “unschooling”, but aren’t really sure what it is or how to do it, right? What is unschooling, anyway?
Unschooling is the least structured style of homeschooling. No curriculum is used and boundaries are not set. Does that sound weird to you? Well, it can be uncomfortable for a lot of parents to give their children this much educational freedom, but for a lot of families, this is just the right method! There are a few things you need to know before you start.
The main focus of unschooling is to allow your child to express interests. Let the child select the topic. If flowers are the interest, tell her/him about the various flowers, their functions, parts of the flower, photosynthesis, rare flowers, etc. When your child has had enough of that topic, they will tell you! Unschooling allows the child to decide how much she or he wants to learn. Sometimes they will be interested in the same thing for a month, sometimes a day.
The parent can expose the child to new, interesting topics using articles, videos, books, magazines, puzzles and games. Go to a museum, a library, or a park. Take field trips to new places! You as a parent should explore new topics, too. After all, the more you know, the more you can teach your child.
Learning is all around us! Show your child how to cook and why fruits and vegetables are so healthy for you. Learn how to sew. Take calculators to the grocery store and have them help you stay on budget.
Be patient. Some concepts are easy to grasp, and some are not. Some topics will be very interesting to your child, some will not! Kids learn in all different ways. Encourage them to be curious and give them the tools to explore the world around them.
If you’d like more information on unschooling, check out this article on PBS.