Saturday, April 30, 2011

Limiting Unschooling

I have heard of, read about and communicated with people who referred to themselves as part-time unschoolers, relaxed homeschoolers, eclectic homeschoolers, academic unschoolers and other terms.
. . . .
Limited kinds of unschooling will have limited benefits.

The Big Book of Unschooling, page 41 (or try 45)
which leads in to
photo by Sandra Dodd


  1. I'm new to unschooling. I often describe myself as a relaxed homeschooler because I am still learning about and finding my way in unschooling, but also because most of the people I talk to send their kids to school, and I think the term "unschooling" freaks them out.

  2. I agree Sandra...In my mind you live it or you don't. I realize it takes some people a long time to get there and it's too bad...

    School doesn't exist in our lives, we live and learn period.

  3. I feel that the use of the term "eclectic unschooling" or "relaxed" is really just a way of saying you are doing what works for your family and are not really adhering to any particular set of rules, be it rules on how to homeschool or rules on how to unschool. The trouble seems to be when we are all wrapped up in the rhetoric rather than, as you say, observing our kids and seeing what works for them, and for us as parents too. I personally know quite a few families who fall into the "eclectic" category and dont seem to be suffering from it, ours included. Knowing why you do what you do is all well and good but labels to me are trouble. I think the better part of people I know who are homeschooling happily have just found their niche, whether or not it has a name, and are just going with it.
    Just a few thoughts, Best, Micah.

  4. I just did a google search of "eclectic unschooling" and this blog post came up. What an odd idea. I'm having a hard time understanding what exactly it means. If it really means, not adhering to rules, what exactly are the rules?

    1. an an eclectic homeschooler i define it as freedom within a structure (like montessori)
      freedom from testing, grades, curriculum, set specific subjects or plans, or my lecturing
      but also structure in terms of schedule
      such as chores. set time for reading (but he can read whatever he likes
      using the child's interests for school, flexibility
      example would be when he wanted to spend four days working on a model of a shrine (which i counted for social studies) i dropped our schedule and let him.

      but it isnt unschooling, not even by halves, so i find the explanation of "limited unschooling" confusing

    2. If you don't call yourself an unschooler, then nothing I've ever written should matter to you. :-)

      Sructure has costs. You won't get the benefits of unschooling, but if you're not setting out to find those, then it doesn't matter.

  5. The body of the post says "eclectic homeschooling," Jenny. People call what they're doing all kinds of things. If they really do want to understand unschooling, my site is there, and Joyce's, and Pam Laricchia's and a few others.


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