Homeschooling Teaching Techniques: What Is Unschooling?

What is unschooling and how can it help children? Read on...

Unschooling is a relatively different concept than homeschooling, though with the same general principle in mind.

The goal is to give your child more individualized attention with a more flexible school routine. Where homeschooling and unschooling differ is in scheduling and approach. Homeschooling typically offers a more formalized curriculum depending on the parents. Unschooling looks at life itself as the format through which children can learn.

For example, a homeschooling family might choose a workbook or lesson plan to learn more about insects while an unschooling family will take a walk in the woods and learn hands-on. Not that homeschooling families do not choose hands-on learning but unschooling families choose this far more often.



While both options provide for a flexible learning environment, the unschooling option can be made more child-friendly. Children learn best when they are ready and when learning is made fun. And that is what unschooling is about.

An unschooled child also is able to proceed at her own pace. State requirements must be met in terms of taking formalized tests, and that varies with each state, but it is easier to advance at your child's maturity level with unschooling.

Another example would be the age at which children learn to read. The formalized school environment will demand it by a certain age as may a homeschooled environment. An unschooled child learns to read whenever they are ready regardless of what other children their age are doing.

Having a more flexible routine is ideal for families needing flexibility in scheduling. Rather than needing to proceed at lessons each school day and correspond learning with the exact times of the public school's schedule, an unschooled family can school whenever and wherever they want.

Suppose your family will be taking a vacation during October while other children are in school. Your kids can learn on the road and have fun, too. Every little bit of life provides a learning opportunity.

When you stop for supper on vacation, your children will learn social skills in a restaurant and how to estimate portions and sizes of meals. They can also learn about the exchange of money and budgeting in the family.

Rest areas along your route can provide unique learning opportunities for kids, regarding nature and history. Many road stops have factual information about the area you are traveling through and your children will likely remember it easier since it was not read in a book and was more of an experience.

Staying in motels, if that is your choice, can also provide learning for your kids when they watch the news in different parts of the country. A student in a formalized school structure may read about the fifty states but your kids will live it and learn it. Children are most receptive to learning when it is made fun and interesting and provides real life experience.

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