In Defense of Unschooling | IDEA

In Defense of Unschooling

Posted by Sara Schmidt on Jun 09, 2010 - 10:12 PM

Lately, there has been a surge of questions, comments, and in many cases, diatribes against unschooling. Most of these have been spawned from two very brief, very biased (in many peoples' opinions), news-oriented television programs--not from actual research completed on unschooling itself. In response to so much misunderstanding and heated--even hateful, in many cases--commentary, I decided to write out my own defense of unschooling.

My family and I are not technically unschoolers. I'm very attracted to the word and what it means, and we do "unschool" in some ways, but we still prefer to use some Waldorf curriculum in our life. That works for us. Different methods work for different families. I support unschooling just as I do other forms of homeschooling, and I don't mean to isolate or offend anyone in my lengthy response.

Here is a link to my six-part article defending unschooling. Each segment links to the next, much of it responding to direct comments from one of the news videos. I hope that it will at least open up a few minds to the possibilities out there, and help people understand that there are many paths possible toward an education. I've also included several links to other great unschooling resources that people may be interested in reading or watching; I would highly encourage anyone who wants to know more about unschooling to do so.

Here is an excerpt from my article:

Recently I wrote an article for IDEA: The Institute for Democratic Education In America about the paradigm of the public school system in America. Since we're all used to it, we think it's the “right” thing"even though it's a very young concept. I have been fortunate enough to travel a little and see the way different countries do so many things differently--from schooling to social manners and skills, day to day living and care to how they treat the Earth. Though I am by no means an expert, I do know firsthand that just because our parents did something--and definitely just because Americans do something--that doesn't mean it's the "right" way.

That's why when presented with alternatives, I would think that parents, educators, and other professionals would be open minded to learning about different ways to accomplish their goals...