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Unschooling: Understanding Your Role as a Parent

By: Krystle Crossman

Unschooling is something that a lot of parents are curious about but are unsure about what their role is. Unschooling is self-directed learning. The child is free to explore and learn on their own as opposed to sitting down and working on lesson plans. The purpose is to allow the child to be curious, explore their surroundings, and be excited about learning new things. As a parent there are things that you can do to help your child while keeping the unschooling method:

1. If you are planning on unschooling your child you need to remember that you are not enrolling them in public school for a reason. Break the tradition of lesson plans and schedules. Most of us had an education where we followed a bell and a piece of chalk running across a chalkboard. This may be a hard habit to break but it is essential if you are committed to unschooling. The whole point is to not have a schedule and to let your child be free to learn as they please.

2. Let your child lead their learning. If your child wants to experiment with bubbles or learn how to make silly putty push all of your thoughts about what a mess it will make away. They want to learn about something so let them lead the way within reason. If they want to learn how to make cookies, let them take the lead but remain by their side and make sure that they are safe but are still directing their lessons. They are going to be curious about things every day and if you stifle that curiosity it defeats the whole purpose of unschooling.

3. Parents are teachers by nature. Every time your child asks a question and you answer, you are teaching. Whenever you show them how to do something whether it be how to make a cake or how to solve a math problem, you are teaching. As long as they are learning from you that is what matters. There are things that they will not be able to figure out on their own and that is where you will come in.

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One thought on “Unschooling: Understanding Your Role as a Parent

  1. Judith

    This is a very interesting site. I home schooled three children. As a result my children appreciate education. They seek knowledge. NYC is one of the best cities for home schooling because of its many libraries, museums and other public institutions. IN addition the public transportation system makes getting around town practical (except when the fare hikes are exorbitant) I think home school it the best alternative when the public schools become untenable. If the family can live with one parent working while the other educates the children or both parents work and develop their own system. Home schooling means parents have to learn to spend lots of time with their children. Patience, understanding, self control are virtues that a home schooling parent either has or learns. It is wonderful.


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