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When we made the decision to homeschool, I didn’t really know for sure what all it would entail. As a former teacher, I thought I would make some plans, teach lessons and then my kids would complete the work I had in mind for them.
Related Post: Choosing to Homeschool
I knew that it wouldn’t be super intense, but I figured there would be some sort of curriculum we would follow. Living in an RV for the first 8 months of my daughter’s “kindergarten” year made traditional homeschooling VERY difficult.
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Then I realized that even though I wasn’t formally schooling my kids, they were learning all of the things (and more) that they would have learned with traditional schooling. My daughter pretty much taught herself to read and write and she does mental math like it’s no one’s business.
While I had always loved the IDEA of unschooling, I wasn’t sure I wanted to label our experience as such.
Related Post: Why I Don’t Lesson Plan and What I Do Instead
Then I realized that we have ALWAYS unschooled.
It is our way of life, not just our education philosophy.
We have provided a learning-rich environment since the beginning.
So what’s the big deal with unschooling? Why is it becoming more and more popular?
Here are 101 reasons why unschooling is our jam:
- Unschooling is fun!
- It’s the most holistic way of learning.
- Kids will discover their true passions.
- There is no “falling behind”.
- Discovering passions early in life leads to more satisfaction in adulthood.
- Learning is focused on experimentation.
- It allows children to build autonomy.
- Children will learn a strong sense of responsibility.
- Learning and life happen simultaneously.
- Information is best retained when it is learned by choice.
- You learn too!
- There is ample time to master topics.
- No time cap on certain “subjects”.
- Kids are actively learning instead of passively learning.
- Save your printer ink— there isn’t a surplus of worksheets.
- Your kids will be intrinsically motivated.
- It promotes self-growth.
- The natural learning process can be completed from start to finish.
- It builds character.
- More time for sleep for appropriate physical and emotional development.
- Natural gifts and talents are built upon.
- Learning styles are met naturally.
- Kids will learn to think on their own.
- You can travel and still be “schooling” at the same time.
- You learn more about your kids.
- You model life-long learning for your kids.
- No need to worry about entertaining baby or toddler during lessons.
- Encourage independence.
- Creativity is increased.
- Your child leads the learning.
- Work is meaningful.
- Kids can learn at their own pace.
- Encourages and increases curiosity.
- No need for planning lessons.
- More time to play.
- Kids are happier when they self-direct.
- No expensive curriculum.
- Flexible schedule.
- No need to worry about “time off” when a new baby joins the family.
- Anything can be used as a learning resource.
- No stressing over activities to plan out and lead.
- They already know what to do… no instructions necessary.
- Your kids will learn about themselves.
- Kids can hone in on their own interests.
- It’s never boring.
- Kids can set their own goals (and rejoice when they meet them!)
- The learning naturally changes as the child changes.
- Kids can answer their own questions through what they learn.
- Families can learn together.
- Siblings can learn together.
- There are no “grade levels”.
- Sick days don’t mean missed learning.
- There is no end to what can be learned.
- Children can gain an entrepreneurial spirit for later in life.
- Personality types are honored and respected.
- Child has no fear of failure.
- Self-regulation is learned.
- No pressure to “perform”.
- Parent gets to facilitate/provide resources and learning aids as needed.
- Unschooling is becoming a more mainstream schooling option because of its proven success.
- There is no distinction between work and play.
- Opportunities to connect with other unschoolers like at the Free To Be Conference.
- Children will learn self-discipline.
- Several “subjects” can be intertwined into a chosen project.
- Perfect for kids who have struggled in a traditional education setting.
- Kids will learn strong self assessment skills.
- No testing.
- No arguments over “school work”.
- No anxiety over choosing the right curriculum.
- Kids can learn anywhere, at anytime!
- Always new learning “material”.
- It’s a great conversation starter with strangers.
- It weirds out most people.
- Older children can work at a job without it interfering with school.
- Teaches a healthy form of self-expression.
- Individuality is celebrated.
- Kids with learning disabilities can thrive doing work they excel at.
- When kids/adolescents see a vital need for a subject (i.e. algebra) they will dive in without hesitation.
- No set calendar year.
- No dreading that least favorite subject or project.
I asked and here are reasons why fellow moms have chosen to unschool:
- Children are people, not second class citizens as our culture likes to treat them. They deserve respect, trust, and a say/consent in their lives so they grow up treating others the same and learning the consequences of their choices. This makes them responsible and compassionate adults.
- Outside anytime.
- Freedom to fail, young and often.
- To keep a close and trusting relationship with my children for as long as possible.
- Hopefully prevent rebellion with nothing to rebel against.
- So I can learn from them.
- Empower them, to trust/believe in themselves…know they are loved and not being measured or in competition with others as children.
- Preserve the gift of childhood.
- Raise them with a global perspective and respect for others who are different, but equally valuable contributors and “souls” on this planet.
- Implement some social justice and ecological responsibility in our daily lives.
- I trust my children’s motivation and ability to learn, and I want them to know that!
- I want my children to believe in themselves and to feel the pride that goes along with self-directed learning.
- I want my children to never think of learning as a tedious job with regular M-F hours; I want them to enjoy being life-long learners!
- I want my children to know HOW to learn.
- I value creativity and critical thinking over obedience.
- My children are future adults, individuals in their own right, and I respect them as such.
- Play is important!
- I want them to explore their passions for as long as they’d like, and to really know their strengths and interests.
- We don’t have to cram travel plans into 10 weeks in the summer.
- Connection! I love being around my kids!
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Do you unschool? What were your reasons for starting? Drop me a line in the comments!