Unschooling: Forget Homeschooling, They’ll Figure it Out Themselves

A growing number of Canadian families are educating their kids—or, more accurately, allowing them to educate themselves—by discarding schedules, workbooks, building blocks and milestones. Is this crazy or can it really work?

Unschooling: Forget Homeschooling, They'll Figure it Out ThemselvesOn any given school day one thing will always be true in Raquel Molina’s Vancouver Island home: Her two kids will not be in school. While they will be doing their learning at home, outside of the established education system, the Molina kids are not home-schooled. In fact, a search of their house would turn up nary a lesson plan, textbook, workbook, schedule or any other vestige of a structured educational environment. And a few other things about this household might raise a few eyebrows. Molina lets the family’s day take shape according to natural rhythms—every day is like a day off—and the kids do whatever they want with their time, at all times. Kabrin, 10, and Isabel, 6, derive their learning from practical experience, hands-on play and everyday situations such as shopping at a store and cooking in the kitchen. “Part of me would like to sit my kids down and teach them math and all these different book-related things. But I don’t want to do that to them,” says Molina. “I will never sit down and say, “Let’s learn.’ Ever.”

Molina is unschooling her kids—and that’s a very different thing than homeschooling them. While home-schooling parents often remove their children from public schools for religious or other philosophical reasons but seek to transplant the academic environment from the classroom to the kitchen table, unschooling families seek to shed all the trappings of the formal education system. That means no lessons, no schedule, no structure and no exams. While it’s not exactly clear how many families in Canada are currently unschooling (unschoolers are usually lumped into homeschooling statistics, which themselves are very problematic), there’s a sense among experts that this trend is picking up steam.

free to be me

A direct descendant of free schools (such as England’s Summerhill School) and the anti-establishment movements of the 1960s, unschooling is all about choice and freedom for the child. Dr. Carlo Ricci, an associate professor at Ontario’s Nipissing University’s Schulich School of Education and editor of the Journal of Unschooling and Alternative Learning, notes that this educational philosophy is, above all, learner centred and democratic. “The learner-centred part is that young people get to choose what they want to learn, when they want to learn and how they want to learn it, and the democratic part is that they have a say in controlling their environment,” he explains. Ricci and other unschooling advocates take a very severe view of how our current education system operates. They feel that school isn’t a place where children learn well but rather makes kids “dumber” because it forces them to focus on topics beyond their interests. Children, in their view, are the last acceptably oppressed group and need to be given more power and choice. Modern schools are prisons and were created in order to establish control. Marks and grades are tools of manipulation and are used to oppress students. “Schools are very undemocratic places, where young people have very little control over their bodies, minds and spirits and are constantly being told what to do and how to respond,” says Ricci, who follows unschooling principles with his own two kids.

And while the rules vary by province and board (in general, British Columbia and Alberta tend to be the most understanding, whereas Quebec is the least), unschooling parents, for the most part, need not worry about running afoul of truancy laws, says Paul Faris, president of the Home School Legal Defence Association of Canada (which also represents and provides consultative services to unschoolers). As a rule, provinces and boards are most interested in knowing that a child’s education is being taken care of and, for the most part, simply require parents to notify or register with the school board at the start of the year. In Ontario this is generally all that’s required (unless someone at the local school or board raises an objection), while in other provinces, such as Alberta, parents must register, submit an education plan and meet with a facilitator who is tasked with providing input and guidance.

But unschooling isn’t just an educational methodology—it’s a philosophy of life that often affects every part of day-to-day living for those who practise it. And taken to its fullest, most extreme degree, it shapes everything about the way a mother and father raise their children—something that’s known as “radical unschooling.”

For Calgary mom Cindy Bablitz, author of the upcoming (2011) book, School’s Out Forever: The Art and Science of Unschooling Life… So Far (self-published), who unschools her three kids, Noah, 11, Tristan, 8, and Elijah, 5, the mainstream-parenting focus on rules, discipline and punishment is negative and destructive. Instead, she says, “our unschooling life allows space for relationships to be paramount.” Bablitz originally started down this path because a friend had begun home-schooling and Bablitz was curious. Her son was ready for Kindergarten, and she viewed this as a perfect year to try home-schooling while researching its advantages. She started as a home-schooler, but as she read more and more on the topic, she slowly evolved into an unschooler.

In the Bablitz household there are no time outs, just discussions—the philosophy they live is respectful of each family member. “The goal is for decisions to be consensual. Everyone should be heard and have the experience of being honoured and valued. In the way that we live as a family, no one person’s needs trump another’s, just because of position or hierarchy or chronology, says Bablitz. For example, a conflict over heading home after a long visit to the neighbourhood playground (Mom wants to leave, child does not) would begin with Bablitz re-examining her own motives. If her kids want to stay because they’re having fun, that’s just as valid as her choice to leave. So, how does the standoff resolve itself? “After discussion, sometimes my agenda wins out, sometimes someone else’s does, but always each person is made to feel that they were heard and that they contributed to the decision. Everything is negotiable.”

Radical unschoolers are very interested in empowering their children, and that can result in a level of permissiveness that many parents may be uncomfortable with. For Bablitz, the immediate response when her children have an idea that they would like to try is to say “yes.” She recalls helping her son build a cardboard-box fort. It occurred to her, as he was working away with a sharp knife, that mainstream parenting would likely have denied him
the opportunity to create simply because of the tools required for his project. “Unschooling means fostering a consensual rather than an authoritarian mindset,” says Bablitz. “Consensual choices also mean that we honour our humanity. For example, we set no firm bedtimes or mealtimes. We don’t set a militant schedule that will be out of sync with our biology. We wake when we wake and eat when we’re hungry,” she says.

While not every family operates this way, the unschooling lifestyle almost always requires at least one parent—usually the mother—to stay home and supervise the kids. Living day-to-day in a house filled with children, with no schedule and no moments of respite, can be completely exhausting, says Halifax mom Marsha Abarbanel, who is unschooling her five kids, Kate, 18, Dan, 16, Sarah, 14, Matt, 12, and Sam, 9. They don’t own a television, and she severely limits the amount of time her kids spend on the Internet. “They’re home with me all the time. I don’t get a break. Which is okay, except in February, when it’s awful and you can’t go outside. And it can be loud, and it’s almost always messy,” she says. Another drawback, Abarbanel explains, is the fact that a romantic getaway with her husband is pretty much out of the question, as the babysitter would have to devote 24 hours a day to taking care of her kids, something few people (even close friends) are prepared to do.

knocking down the building blocks

Not every family practises unschooling in its purest form. For example, Abarbanel sets aside time and uses home-schooling curricula to teach formal math lessons (albeit in an informal setting—usually the living-room floor, with blankets) to her kids. That’s a change from most unschoolers, who simply allow learning to arise from everyday activities. Instead of using textbooks, these families maintain that their children can learn basic math skills by adding and subtracting while preparing a dish in the kitchen or by looking at price tags while shopping at a store. Shannon Cowan socializes with many unschoolers but chooses to use a curriculum and learning activities to teach her six-year-old daughter, Zaira, including an hour or two of formal instruction each day, and will probably do the same with her younger daughter, Teegan, 3. But she adds, within the program Zaira’s learning is quite free in that she is not confined to a desk doing worksheets or a full day of structured learning. “I read a lot about brain development, and I understand that there are some windows of opportunity for children to learn certain things,” says the mom from Errington, B.C. “I have my child in swimming lessons to learn swimming, and I have her in fiddle lessons because she wants to learn fiddle, so why wouldn’t I teach her how to read?”

But those who adhere to a more alloyed form of unschooling insist that a child’s desires be the only governing force on their education. “We need to teach young people to focus on their passions,” says Ricci. “It’s important that we teach them to say no, and to quit, and to empower them to follow what interests they have.” So if a child hates science, that’s fine—they don’t need to waste time plowing through it, especially because, Ricci insists, they will pick up whatever they need for life by just observing the world around them. And if they don’t read until they’re 10 years old, no problem—they will pick it up naturally, when it’s right for them. Same for math, says Molina. “When one day they develop an interest in something math-related, I’m sure they will learn math,” she says.

Most unschoolers share a serious aversion to the educational building blocks and developmental milestones so important to many mainstream experts and parents, insisting that these are artificially constructed and of no value whatsoever. Anita Roy, editor of unschooling.ca, believes that these educational practices were created during the Industrial Revolution to cultivate a skilled and obedient workforce. “Building blocks… it’s such a tired cliché,” scoffs Roy, who unschooled all three of her kids, Zaman, 20, Bashu, 18, and Kian, 17, in Nanoose Bay, B.C. And she adds that if students don’t want to learn generally undesirable (but potentially important) subjects such as algebra and trigonometry, that doesn’t really matter because the vast majority of students learn it and then immediately forget those lessons upon graduation. “The burden of proof is on the school system to prove the usefulness of something that’s promptly forgotten,” she says, noting that students can always go back and pick up courses on a need-by-need basis, if they choose to do so.

But Dr. Peter Trifonas, an associate professor in the department of curriculum, teaching and learning at the University of Toronto’s Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), worries that unschooling parents are simply abdicating their responsibility and that there’s no solid theory to support the efficacy of these methods. “I’m really uncomfortable with leaving anything open to a blind ignorance and faith that things will go right,” he says. Moreover, Trifonas adds that unschooling students run the risk of being one-dimensional and that kids don’t always intuitively know what they’d like to learn about when they’re not presented with an array of options as they would be in a school setting (although he admits that this can happen to kids in school as well).

And Dr. Myron Dembo, author of Motivation and Learning Strategies for College Success (Routledge) and professor emeritus of educational psychology at the University of Southern California, notes that experiential education alone is not enough to impart higher-level learning. Rather, to form a proper base of knowledge, experiences must be prefaced and followed up with fact-based lessons, readings and other learning tools, and he worries about the gaps that unschooling may leave in a basic knowledge base. Further, Dembo notes that unschooling may produce some adverse consequences not anticipated by all parents who start down this road—that, for example, parents who allow their kids to steer clear of math and science because they don’t interest them are in effect excluding them from further studies and careers in these areas. “As a parent, are you willing to eliminate opportunities for your children? Clearly, some doors will be shut,” he observes.

stepping back into the fold

Still, Ricci insists that a high school diploma is not the only key to unlocking the doors of colleges and universities, calling this a “false worry.” He notes that there are at least 10 different ways to get into post-secondary education without a transcript, including opting for open universities, such as Athabasca in Alberta and Thompson Rivers in British Columbia, or waiting until you’re 19 years old and considered a mature student. But Roy’s middle son, Bashu, certainly didn’t wait that long — he took his first university course at the age of 12. The school—Vancouver Island University—didn’t have any established guidelines for this situation, so it simply asked for a letter from a local principal, vouching for him, and Roy found one who would comply. After getting an A+ in that first class, a philosophy course, Bashu went on to earn 12 credits, taking Japanese and English composition, and then, at the age of 14, decided that he wanted to try out high school to take drama and music with students his age. “Our unschooling didn’t preclude Bashu from going to school. It just meant that it wasn’t coercive and he had a choice,” says Roy.

Bashu, who is now 18 and spends his time composing and performing music, remembers that he looked older than his age and that his university mates assumed he was at least 16. The philosophy course was mainly comprised of discussion and quizzes, with few formal requirements. “I loved it,” he says. Bashu is glad that he went to university so young, remains a fan of unschooling and has no idea what’s next — perhaps more university or college and definitely more music.

Bashu says he had no issues with adjusting to structured educational environments, and Roy adds that unschooled teenagers who knew few boundaries growing up almost always do well when they start working at a part-time job. “Kids, as soon as you give them a paycheque, will do structure,” she laughs. And while there’s little quantitative evidence on the success or failure of unschooling kids when they go on to careers and life, Ricci observes that, at least anecdotally, these students tend to do well. He notes the numerous examples in business, entertainment, high tech and other areas of people who found success only after getting away from the system. “A lot of them are individuals who dropped out of school or talked about how school was an interference and an obstacle in their learning,” says Ricci.

Back at the Molina house, Raquel says that she’s not at all worried about her kids’ prospects down the road. She hopes that they will follow post-secondary educational pursuits — if they choose to do so — and is confident that they won’t encounter serious roadblocks because of their unschooling background. “It’s getting to be more common now,” she says.

Contributing editor Tim Johnson was actually “old-schooled,” a long-forgotten educational practice that involved blackboards, desks in rows and paying attention to the teacher.

32 responses to “Unschooling: Forget Homeschooling, They’ll Figure it Out Themselves”

  1. Meghan says:

    A very fair analysis of unschooling. My only problem with the article was actually not in the article at all, but in the assumption that “old-schooling,” as you called it, is a long-forgotten educational practice. In fact, it is still the primary method of instruction in most schools today. Only superficial differences (smartboards instead of blackboards, for example) separate many classrooms today from those of your childhood.

  2. worried says:

    It’s pretty sad that a woman like Cindy Bablitz is going to write a book on unschooling. Her children were taken away and live with their father and attend public school in Edmonton not Calgary. She is a great researcher and can write anything you want to hear but her boys have no mom now and no unschooling. You can’t sleep all day and homeschool. People that use homeschooling or unschooling whatever they call as an escape to not have to get out of bed and send your kids to school ruins it for the ones that do it properly

  3. jessi says:

    pretty sure that was a joke. :p

  4. future defender says:

    I fear for the future of “unschooled” children. I fear for the future of those who have to live in the same community as, and end up supporting “unschooled” children.

    If the education system is broken, let’s fix it. Let’s not abdicate our stewardship of the future of our society by regressing to “unschooling”. It is simply another word for “failing to educate.”

  5. Dad of 5 says:

    As a father of five, I find it absolutely absurb these parents can not foresee the difficulties and challenges they are setting their kids up for as they grow older. In all fairness kids don’t even know what’s out there to learn about. That’s what good parenting, schooling and education is all about – waking children up to the world and their own inside potential. I’m scared to think what our society might be like in 20 – 30 yrs when these unschooled kids are supposed to be the leaders of that generation…scary indeed.

  6. mission to stop unschooling says:

    I have no issues with homeschooling that meets the education standards. To hide unschooling under the umbrella of homeschooling is another thing. They say they teach a child what they want to learn when they want to learn it. Reallly!!! How does a child know what they want to learn when they don’t know what there is to learn? As a parent It is our responsibility to teach and lead our children. As far as i can tell unschooling is uneducating. This type if schooling seems to teach the child they are the centre of the universe. No rules. Go to bed when you want, learn what you want, do what you want. What a selfish way of life. These children are in for a rude awakening when they get into the real world and find out the world doesn’t revolve around them. Go ahead tell your boss you’ll do what you want to do when you want to do it, if they have enough education to get a job. We all should be deeply concerned about this issue as they children will become our burden in the future. The govt needs to step in.

  7. youvegottobekiddingme says:

    How incredibly stupid. So these parents have decided to go back to giving their kids the type of education that people had before schools existed. how nice to deprive your kids of an education. there was a reason schools were created. You see, all those years ago when people didn’t attend school they were not smart and did not achieve well in life. It’s really simple – no learning structure, either at home or in a school equals no success in life. This is the most insipid, lazy parenting. Poor kids.

  8. backley34608 says:

    These kids will pay dearly for this as adults.

  9. Hoppy says:

    You will pay for not unschooling

  10. Amy says:

    They’ll sound like fools in adult conversations about anything relevant to society in terms of history, science and math like subjects. uhhh, “World war what?”

  11. Kerri says:

    I am PROUD of my unschooled children. Since we left the traditional school system, they have grown so much socially, academically and spiritually. It was their lack of interest in learning and being under stimulated that sparked the change. We simply chose to listen to what they had been trying to express to us for years. (“How was school today?” “Boring.” You get the picture.) They have each developed a deep interest in subjects and topics most children their age could care less about. For example, a discussion of Anne Frank turned into a full-out research project where they spent the better part of 3 months learning everything they could through every type of media about every World War. Our children do not learn ‘unconventionally’ – they learn NATURALLY. Their learning comes from galleries, museums, libraries, observatories, parks, movies, books, games, experimenting, exploring, and simply ‘being.’ It is unrealistic to believe a child being forced to absorb and thus regurgitate information makes them an educated individual with the ability to articulate their own ideas on life. Our children spend a lot of time in the company of others. Their circle of friends is not limited to those who share the same postal code or demographics. They carry on healthy and inspiring conversations with people of all ages, and are impressive when in the company of adults. They are able to behave better than most adults in public places and yet know how to let their hair down on the playground. If a topic comes up they are unaware of, they are not afraid to ask questions because their is no test and they will not be docked marks or forced to miss recess. They show passion in their relationships with people. Although I cannot speak for every unschool / homeschool parent, my experience has been that collectively all our children are growing to be independent thinkers, social butterflies with a wide variety of interests who share a zest for life and learning. These are the children who will resolve social injustice issues, repair our wounded environment and teach us that learning goes far deeper than gold stars and awards. Personally, this is evident in the fact that at ages 11 & 13 years old my children have their own Fair Trade business, perform many hours of volunteer services all year through St. John Ambulance, serve food in soup kitchens, perform personal projects like v-logging about social justice and eco-alternative topics, are working towards getting their pilots license, amongst many other projects. Through all these projects they learn light-years beyond what the standard curriculum offers. I disagree they will ‘pay for this as adults’ or ‘sound like fools’ as they have already shown nay-sayers what is really important in life: integrity, self-esteem, charity, kindness, etc. etc. etc.

  12. Darlene says:

    I completely disagree that these kids and their parents will ”
    pay” later in their child’s life. I have met many people that are considered “educated” with many degrees and Ph.D’s etc., and they are some of the most stupid people I have ever met.
    Book smarts does not make for intelligence.

  13. cc says:

    hahaha you seriously think that? unschooled kids spend DRASTICALLY more time interacting in the REAL world, with people of all ages.. not just other kids their age. people always remark at how shocked they are to see my son interact so easily with people of every age.

    he knows far more about the real world, history etc. than an “traditional” schooled kid I know.

  14. MS says:

    Actually I often come across kids and adults who show abject ignorance in some topics of discussion, and invariably these are all people who went to traditional schools… I think your argument there is really weak.

  15. Arli Vy Svarc says:

    Thats so wonderful! My son is 8 now he was born intetested in things. Since entering school his want and desire to learn about things has saverly dropped! I want to now unschool him. Do you think his confidence in learning again will come back ?!!!

  16. Mbculhane says:

    Arli, I took our our son out at 8 because I felt I couldn’t do worse then the school. He has ‘relaxed’ and gone back to his curious, happy self.

  17. Interested in BC says:

    My partner works as a student advisor at a university and he’s described to me the difficulties that many homeschooled kids have when entering as first-year students. The ones that come to his attention seem to be more fragile than the students coming in from traditional schooling, and have a higher level of anxiety when they are not able to choose everything about their experience. Many have a hard time adjusting to the structure and deadlines and can be overly-dependent on their parents for the normal day-to-day decisions and scheduling. I wonder why or if unschooled children tend to be the same way. There are successes and failures that can be shown anecdotally for both homeschooled/unschooled kids as well as kids coming from traditional schooling. All this anecdotal evidence one both sides seems to add up to “know your own child and pick their education wisely.” Are there any independent, non-special-interest-group based studies that show the efficacy of one method over the other, long term?

  18. x says:

    Really? Homeschoolers are often recruited by top universities for their self-motivation and drive to succeed, I’m really not sure what your partner is talking about. I was homeschooled and the transition to university was about as smooth as it could ever have been. I kept waiting for “it” [the elusive, stressful “transition” everyone was dreading] to happen; by November of my first semester, I finally realized that I had completely escaped it. None of my homeschooled peers ever mentioned any transition-related struggles, either…

    I can’t speak for unschoolers, however, as I’m not one and I’ve never really met one. I do have some serious reservation with the parenting practices described in the article above, however.

  19. Sharon says:

    Not sure where you come from? In my neck of the woods, we like to talk about our lives and day to day BS…rarely, if ever have i heard even the elderly people talk about history and wars, unless yesterday and the time spent trying to keep up with their grandchildren…and the wars associated with.
    The fools are the ones assuming that anyone would even care to talk about anything related to history, science and math subjects? IF there ARE wars to be discussed it usually pertains to the daily battles with my own household!
    World War what? hmmm, let’s try current.

  20. Crimson_Poppy says:

    Enter high school grade 12/30 students who surrounded me, and were nearly illiterate and ignorant beyond belief. I met a few truly intelligent people in 14 years of 10 different schools, but the vast majority were not, despite having decent marks. There were even fewer who like me could see the mind numbing oppression going on, or who took to learning outside of curriculum. I do not agree with every belief stated in this article, but I don’t have to, because despite what school tried to ingrain in me, I can decide things for myself as a sovereign and somewhat intelligent and informed being. Some of the most ignorant and uninformed people I have met, attended and ran the schools I went to, and for me that is a fairly large sample size. Teachers constantly stated with bitterness how us students could not comprehend “The real world”, that we were ignorant and coddled, what a nasty surprise real life would be… How real is having tenure, good salary and benefits and presiding over hundreds of children, with no chance of being fired the real world? I lived in the real world, where my family was broken, where I became the parent with daily responsibilities, where my friends lived in utter poverty and crisis with alcoholic parents. Two of them were mostly home schooled, and one taught me the sounds for the alphabet and helped me learn to read without judgment, in grade five! Something school had failed to do.They had the most real life perspective I had ever seen, and were strong, confident, intelligent kids, and from what I saw it was the nurturing and supportive education that their mother provided that allowed them to do so well academically. They had social skills, did not create problems at school and grew up to do fine in the workplace which unfortunately they entered too soon due to poverty. In the real world, putting food on the table and paying for heat and clothing is ultimately more important than attending school, as when the basic needs for life are not met you can not attain ones further up in the hierarchy.

  21. siggi74 says:

    ” parents who allow their kids to steer clear of math and science because they don’t interest them are in effect excluding them from further studies and careers in these areas. “As a parent, are you willing to eliminate opportunities for your children? Clearly, some doors will be shut,” he observes.” Em….Is this guy on crack? There is plenty of evidence to suggest that people can, IF they become interested, at ANY point in their life, pick up and learn subjects like math and science. On the other hand, kids who don’t have any interest in math but are forced to learn it regardless, will only retain a fraction of the knowledge and skills acquired. They will generally retain the stuff that is relevant to daily life and their chosen professions. This very far from being a sufficient reason to subject kids to 10-13 years of forced math instruction…..

  22. jo says:

    I’ve chosen to be here reading this article so my perspective is skewed in favor of it’s ideas.

  23. Valerie says:

    Hi I am interested in unschooling my 2 children as well. How do I go about becoming an unschooling parent? Do I just announce I am taking my child out of the system completely? Help me please. I live in Alberta.

  24. Amennone Cero says:

    Time for a lesson few know: It is iillegal to use legal birth certificates and legal names. Consider googling ” legal name fraud “. Time to grow up kids!

  25. Ettina says:

    I was unschooled from grades 7-9 and 11-12, due to a disability that made standard schooling intolerable for me, and this article presents kind of a caricature. For me, unschooling involved two things – interesting conversations with my parents about ideas (which could be started by either of us, but only continued if I was still interested) and hanging out in the university library all day reading books and going online. I am now a university student, and I passed the SAT very highly, which I wouldn’t have if my learning had stopped when I left school. As a society we seem to have forgotten that children have a biological imperative to learn, and it’s harder to stop a kid from learning than it is to make them learn.

  26. chris jensen says:

    Many ignorant readers here. We homeschooling our 12 year old son through
    a program called learnathome. We have a teacher, a curriculum, and regular checkups to monitor progress and show homework. It’s AWESOME! In 5th grade my son attended public school for the year. He was well liked by students and staff. To my surprise he was popular and fit in quite well. It was so easy for him he was bored. Becoming “uneducated”. Backslid in his education. I was asked by the teachers to discontinue the supplementary education at home and to let him play more. My son disliked the system. Kids didn’t listen to the teachers. They Interrupted them and mocked them. The kids don’t want to be there because they are pumped up to do other things, learn interesting stuff, and run around and accomplish the bare minimum! Also, he was very unhappy with the segregation of kids on the playground. He started “hide and seek tag” for all kids and ages. There was a big shock when he was inviting kids from younger grades. This is apparently unacceptable. School friendships are fleeting and unguided.
    My son, as per his choice, is back in learnathome. Having worked hard to “catch up” last year from how far he backslid in public school. He has his core friends and they are very tight! The older kids help the younger kids. They play with others regardless of age, disability, race etc. We have NO desire to go back into the public school cattle drive!!! As for “lazy”. What a joke! Getting up early to ditch your kids for the day and let them learn “whatever”…now that’s lazy. Staying with your kids and being accountable for them daily, involved in their life, communicating in a safe and reliable place. That’s lazy? Wow I would say that parenting has become culturally lazy. As parents want to selfishly further themselves and their careers while leaving their children for others to raise. Oh we are considering “unschooling” next year so my son can learn what he’s interested in. Or should I say learn. If you do your research you will find that children have a natural propensity towards learning. Children who have not participated in the school system have continued on to college with no problem. They are often more mature and better suited for the change from “structured learning” to structuring their own learning. As for me…my son makes me coffee and breakfast in the mornings. Knows how to do laundry and dishes. Cleans the house. Helps with yard work. Plays well with others and is respectful towards others EVEN ADULTS AND ELDERS! He is passionate about reading and science. Well I could go on and on! But I’m feeling a little lazy now. Think I will sleep in and play Nintendo with my son today and maybe learn something tomorrow….or maybe go for a hike together and learn about nature. Or sit around and watch movies and eat popcorn. Or maybe catch a matinee while kids are in school….avoid the crowds…..why? Because we can :-)

  27. chris jensen says:

    Maybe you should do your research before determining “absurdity”. It is absurd to post information based on ignorance. I’m surprised that kids “wouldn’t know what’s out there to learn” without public school. Hmmm unfortunately the real world is not similar to public schooling. In the real world we are responsible for our own decisions. We are accountable for our actions. And must determine our course of education or lack thereof. Don’t take the easy way out. Perhaps you should make an “effort” to learn more about what you are judging. You can’t really compare what you do not understand. Just saying…..

  28. chris jensen says:

    I fear for the future of schooled children.

  29. chris jensen says:

    Very cool ??!!!!

  30. Phy says:

    Schools are about obedience, control, and competition. Most people have net yet grown out of this. Life is your teacher! School doesn’t teach, it’s a system of slavery that most of you adults are still part of. Why are so many of you ignorant… because schools did not teach you how to question anything but to follow and obey like good little sheep ;)

  31. Natasha Grey says:

    Fantastic article and just what I needed to read. I am currently at home with my three year old son and while my heart feels like this is the right thing to do, the outside culture says differently. Its nice to know that others feel the same way and are actually doing it! I think I will too! Thanks for the confirmations.

  32. Dominique says:

    I love your response! I was going to comment something similar as well to tell off these ignorant people who know nothing about homeschooling/unschooling. Its sad that they will never experience the joy that comes with spending everyday with your kids :)