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What is your honest opinion of "unschooling"?

I don't really have an opinion either way. Just curious =)

"Unschooling refers to a range of educational philosophies and practices centering around allowing children to learn through their natural life experiences, including child directed play, game play, household responsibilities, and social interaction, rather than through the confines of a conventional school. Exploration of activities is often led by the children themselves, facilitated by the adults. Unschooling differs from conventional schooling principally in the thesis that standard curricula and conventional grading methods, as well as other features of traditional schooling, are counterproductive to the goal of maximizing the education of each child."

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Asked by caitxrawks at 8:43 PM on Jan. 1, 2010 in Just for Fun

Level 17 (3,823 Credits)
Answers (43)
  • I think it's great, if the parent actually takes the time and does it the right way. I have heard of a lot of unschooling parents just basically letting the kids go and do whatever, and never really learning anything. But the ones that actually take the time and do it the right way, I think it is a great thing. I looked into it before for my kids, but I am more comfortable with the homeschooling rather than the unschooling.

    Answer by fallnangel93 at 8:47 PM on Jan. 1, 2010

  • What I think of it depends more on the parent practicing it than on the philosophy itself. I think there need to be goals, but those goals can be guided toward with far less structure than typical schooling. There are a lot of merits to the idea of unschooling, but if someone interprets this as *hands-off* (by parent) learning, I think that is a mistake. By about age 7, kids need to work toward goals - sure, let them choose how they work towards them - but have them....and help guide and influence them to competently work towards them.

    I have two grade school children (and two younger) -- they soak up learning....but now they are ready for things to work towards. I would not consider myself an unschooler, but some would. I see myself as more of an ecclectic homeschooler.

    Answer by Kid_Coach at 8:48 PM on Jan. 1, 2010

  • I think it's great but I do think there a place for structured learning in it. It's got it's good points and it's bad points like everything out there.

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:50 PM on Jan. 1, 2010

  • I think it can be great, or it can be a parent's excuse to be lazy.

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:51 PM on Jan. 1, 2010

  • I think that up to a certain age it's ok. But when the child needs to learn his math, he needs to be in a classroom and not playing dress up.

    Answer by SaraP1989 at 8:52 PM on Jan. 1, 2010

  • We used mostly unschooling until 5th grade then started formal schooling. I love it. :)

    Answer by Whatkids at 8:54 PM on Jan. 1, 2010

  • SaraP, math can be taught in many ways. We learned skip counting by counting on a swingset. We learned graphing and sorting by m and m math. We taught fractions by cooking and decimals by measuring. Life is full of math. Incorporating it into your daily life is easier on kids then drilling them at a desk! It also makes them see the need for it and they don't develop the "I hate math" attitude.

    Answer by Whatkids at 8:57 PM on Jan. 1, 2010

  • I think that there's a balance. In society, you need education that's down on paper- a diploma that says you actually did work at a school to obtain this degree- in order to get some of the higher paying or higher ranking jobs. However, I find that by taking on professional titles in a volunteer organization, I have learned more and contributed more, therefore felt more comfident and capable, then when I was in school. If students are able to find a balance between academics and life skills, we are all better off for it. How you teach this to a child, I haven't the slightest clue.

    Answer by sweetphoenix529 at 8:57 PM on Jan. 1, 2010

  • I think it's baloney. I'm all for homeschooling as long as it's done properly and the kids are learning well and at the same level as their peers in school. But when parents don't like a school, or how their kid's being treated, etc, and just pulls them out and says they're "unschooling" I cringe. I know a number of homeschoolers, who do it properly, and their kids are smart as heck. But unschooling, no, not right in my book.

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:05 PM on Jan. 1, 2010

  • Having a traditional education, including college, lets future employers know you can learn, learn the job. I just don't see how anyone can make a living without some kind of traditional education. Not and go very far, unless of course they are self employed.

    Answer by Raine2001 at 9:11 PM on Jan. 1, 2010

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