Unschooling. What is it?
by Beverley Paine
Different people define unschooling differently.
To some it means accepting that children are capable and responsible thinkers and learners from birth and that all we need to do is let them get on with it - get out of their way and let them do what they want. This is also referred to as delight-directed or child-directed learning or radical unschooling. Learning is a social phenomenon centred on individual wants.
To some it means accepting that children are capable and responsible thinkers and learners from birth and that all we need to do is to help them meet their needs, by tuning into who they are as people, getting to know them, helping them create a place for their unique personality and talents within our homes and communities. Learning is a social phenomenon centred on individual needs.
To some it means relaxing about the need to perform to satisfy the desire and goal of strangers within particular time frames that suit management agendas rather than educational and developmental needs. It means being able to select the most appropriate learning tools and resources to match the needs of individual children. It means playing and experimenting with a range of different approaches and resources, picking those that enhance the learning environment and satisfy those learning needs and which reflect our family values.
What I love best about unschooling is that at its heart it challenges the prevailing dogma that education equals schooling. That's the un bit in unschooling. We're all learning naturally all the time: educating our children from home gives us the gift of time to explore and enhance the very many ways we each learn every moment of every day!
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Home education is a legal alternative to school education in Australia. State and Territory governments are responsible for regulating home education. Different states have different requirements, however home educating families are able to develop curriculum and learning programs to suit the individual needs of their children.
For more information visit the
Home Education Association
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general nature only and is not intended as personal or professional advice.
and Natural Learning Conference
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Workshops for parents, activities for children, time to relax and chat to us about our homeschooling experiences.
March 13th-18th 2013
My children were home educated, moving from a school-at-home approach in the first year modeled on kindergarten learning, to unschooling before we embraced life learning as natural learners. My approach to home education is inclusive: people are at various points on their learning journeys and need and want support and acceptance.
My daughter is a stay-at-home working mum of two children and experienced homeschool, unschool, alternative school and high school; my eldest son is 29 and experienced homeschool, unschool, alternative school and part-time high school; my youngest is 25 and was totally unschooled. We're all natural learners.
Robin and I are DIY addicts. :-)
My purpose in life is to inspire others. My unique talents and abilities are empathy and insight and honesty which I use to help others feel confident to open doors in their minds. The universe is an abundant place full of mutually beneficial connections. I choose to focus on these connections rather than the individual elements although the elements are just as important to me. Being of service to others in this way makes my heart sing. Cooperating with and helping others fulfills me.
I am a learner: attending the conference is as much about my personal learning journey as it is yours.
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