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Unschooling vs. Homeschooling...any difference?

Posted by on Nov. 20, 2011 at 11:38 AM
  • 10 Replies

So, I'm new to this particular board but not to the whole homeschooling/unschooling thing.

I mostly unschooled my middle child because of bullying and I needed to pull him out of school because the stupid school system did NOTHING to help him through it or to put a stop to it. So he's been unschooled for almost 2 and 1/2 years.  Oh he's 14 by the way and he seems to learn so much more and faster when he's learning this route rather than the district system.  Does that even make sense??

I also homeschool my 11 year old son for a very different reason.  He's basically homebound because of Chronic Daily Headaches with Migraine Tendancies.  He has a hard time being outside when it's sunny out (though I STRONLY encourage him to go out), the lights in school cause him problems. He seems to be learning much better when I teach him when he's comfortable (usually at night...)

I homeschool/unschool my children not because I can, but because it's out of necessity at this point.  My STBX is having issues with me homeschooling the boys, because in his eyes "I don't have the qualifications to do so and they need the structure of school".

So I guess I have 2 concerns that maybe someone can shed a light on for me:

1.  What exactly is the difference between homeschooling and unschooling and is it possible to do both?

2. And why do people constantly tell me that I'm not "qualified" to teach MY boys English, writing, math, science and so on?  I mean, I taught them how to tie their shoes, get dressed, ride a bike and so on.  Are these people trying to make me feel bad or is it that they don't have the patience to do it themselves?

alright, maybe that was more than 2

Thanks a bunch

by on Nov. 20, 2011 at 11:38 AM
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by Jinx on Nov. 20, 2011 at 11:56 AM
Homeschooling tends to have more structure and use curriculum or different subjects.

Unschooling is more child-led, based on what and when the kids want to learn and mixes in different subjects based on life experiences.

People make comments about us not being able to teach because they are brainwashed by the system to believe that. They think a teacher needs a degree. Its different managing your kids vs a class of 20-30+.

Personally, unschooling will not prepare a child fully for todays demands. I believe that kids need some structure. When they get to the workforce there will be schedules rules and routines they must adhere to.

If the kids want to go to college, there are specific subjucts that must be covered. Without a curriculum, I don't think most peole can adequately teach high school level courses. So, I can definitelty see where people are coming from, especially in regards to unscchooling.

With my 8th grader, doing Algebra, I need to sometimes go through his book to refresh myself on things I haven't done in over 20 years. I definitely would NOT be able to unschool algebra so we use a curriculum that covers what he needs.
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by on Nov. 20, 2011 at 12:16 PM

 the only real difference is unschooling u dont plan lessons, u learn on the go, with homeschooling u plan out what needs to be done. as for what other people think, who cares. if your child is learning, thats all that matters. people have a hard time understanding different life styles.

by Platinum Member on Nov. 20, 2011 at 12:34 PM
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Well, ask any unschooler what unschooling is and you'll get a different answer from each person you ask. LOL Some unschool while making sure math is taught. Some unschool without any order. It is what you make it. I think an element of unschooling is good for all kids.

I would contact the HSCDL or whatever it's called babout your hubby if it gets messy. I'm usually not a huge fan of them but they can probably provide the most HS law educated defense.

by on Nov. 20, 2011 at 1:29 PM

We unschool & what that means for us is that we let the kids decide what they learn, when they learn it & how they learn it.

As far as being qualified most teachers stick to a curriculum for a reason, because without it they wouldn't know what to teach or how to teach it.

The education one gets in collage now days is a joke, there is no real learning for most subjects (students get A's for showing up to class on time).  It is just you paying a ton of money in loans to have a paper that says you know something that most grads don't really know (I have a friend that went to collage to be a computer tech & can't fix her own laptop because she doesn't know what she learned & now 10 years later it is almost all obsolete)

There are so many fields that people go to collage to learn that would be better learned doing apprenticeships instead. For example my husband apprenticed for 2 years with my father as a diesel mechanic & then went to work for a truck dealership that has a shop to repair trucks. He has been in this field for over 14years with the same company for 12 of those years, the guys that went to school to learn to do this job don't make more money then he dose & they still have the debt to pay, so they actually make less money after paying the loan payments each month!

by on Nov. 20, 2011 at 10:55 PM

They tell you that you are not qualified to teach because most of our society is brainwashed into believing that a "degree" makes you intelligent or qualified.  My two oldest are in highschool now and we are learning alot of the stuff (especially math) together.  I have quality time with them that most people don't get with thier teenagers.  Not only are they learning what is "required" but I also get to talk to them about values and morals, what they want out of life and how to set goals to achieve what they want.  I know when they are upset and get this...WE TALK ABOUT IT!  My oldest is now taking college courses online and next year he will be going away to college.  So don't believe the nay-sayers!

P.S. One of my biggest critics asked me about how to homeschool last month because her son is failing, and getting bullied at school and they have tried everything else

by on Nov. 21, 2011 at 9:26 AM

Thank you SO much for your input.  It does make sense to incorporate the math part of any program you use.  I do feel good about homeschooling the boys, but I would appreciate the STBX and his family to back off and let me teach them they way that we are currently doing.  And maybe that's whats bothering me about this whole experience.  That's sad, that family wouldn't support the way you teach your children.  Maybe that's why he's going to be the EX soon? lol  Thanks again!!

by on Nov. 21, 2011 at 6:09 PM
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Unschooling is one of several methods used by home educators.  For more details see this article

How to home school: 

Home School children out perform Public school children in College and College entrance exams, and this is the case even when the mother does not have a college degree. See more at this link:

A Little Soething To Remind Us

by on Nov. 21, 2011 at 7:55 PM

Well I don't unschool, only home school my kids. Nobody ever has the right to tell a parent they are not qualified to teach their kids. You are their mother and that makes you the best learning tool for them. Homeschooling has way more advantages over public school any day, because of all the bullying and lack of not being taught by the teachers.  You are doing the right thing for your kids and I as a home school parent applaud you!

by on Dec. 5, 2011 at 2:21 PM

So I clicked on those links and was SO amazed that I was doing exactly what I thought I was doing and doing it correctly.  The whole unschooling thing is exactly what my 14 yearold ADHD son needs and I'm still amazed as to how much he can rattle off when I ask him about a particular subject.

Great links!!!!  Thanks so much!!

by on Dec. 6, 2011 at 10:35 AM
I see the difference between unschooling and homeschooling to be that with unschooling you're providing the opportunities, but not expecting an outcome, (or not expecting a particular outcome, or predicting an outcome that has nothing to do with a butt-in-chair education) where as with homeschooling you're providing the opportunities, controlling the outcome, and anticipating an outcome.
I don't know anyone who is "qualified" to teach chemistry and the like. But I question its necessity. If your teen wants to learn it, there's a community college.
Homeschoolers should never be HOMEschoolers, they use their world as their classroom!
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