Wednesday, February 1, 2012

10 Reasons Why The Innovative Educator Is In Love with Unschooling

Why would someone with a career vested in the school system be in love with unschooling? Well, frankly it’s because I know a LOT about learning and from what I’ve seen, read, observed and experienced, unschooling is a terrific way to learn. What’s more, unlike schooling, you grow up more prepared for life and the passion, creativity, and the love of learning doesn’t get sucked right out of you.

Here are ten reasons why I love how unschoolers learn:

  1. You can be driven by passion, rather than data.
  2. Learning is customized not standardized
  3. You can learn with those you enjoy being with (or no one at all) rather than those who share your birth year
  4. You have the freedom to learn with the tools you choose because they’re not banned like they are for school children.
  5. You have the opportunity to socialize and make global connections with those who share your passions not just your zip code or date of birth.
  6. Getting to achieve real-life success is better than being measured by bubble tests.
  7. You don’t just read about doing stuff. You do stuff!
  8. You get to be more than a number on a report card, transcript, or data report.
  9. You are able to do work you value.
  10. You are given the freedom to know what you are good at without being forced to take tests, do worksheets or reports.
Parents who unschool realize that the industrial model school’s of today are preparing their children for a world that no longer exists. I love that unschooling parents have escaped from the status quo to provide their children with the best opportunities for satisfaction and success in life and career. Unschooling parents realize that when confined in a traditional school, their children no longer have the freedom to learn.  It is because students are empowered to learn and live in the ways they chose, that I have come to love unschooling.


  1. I can't think of ten better reasons to love something.

    I'm a full-time educator in a public institution, and I struggle with being part of a system that has some serious flaws. The question is: How do we integrate some of these things into public education? We know that not all parents have the ability or drive to unschool, so how do we take lessons from unschooling and apply them to public schooling?

    Great post. Thank you!

    1. I think that creating more opportunities for the youth to be in the broader community, to participate and contribute is a way to get moving on expanding unschooling to school kids. I think they need to have way more access to the resources (human) out there so arranging setups where they get to work with people out there in the field seems like an obvious place to start. Hope this thought is helpful.

  2. I was a teacher in a previous life. Now I'm just an unschooling dad. Well said.

  3. Thanks for participating in the Carnival, Lisa! That's a great list of what to love about unschooling!

  4. So, for those of us with a degree in education, no kids, and a desire to unschool...what do we do?

    1. Begin by unschooling yourself.

    2. John Holt once responded to young adults who wanted to teach, "What skills do you have that you want to teach?' Meaning, what do you know how to do?
      That's where I would start. Then I would open my door to the youth out there. Thanks for asking this question!

  5. @Joseph Kyle,
    Well, you could have a kid, adopt a kid, or take in a foster kid. If not that, how about working at a Democratic School like Sudbury or a learning center like North Star or opening your own!

  6. These are freakin great, especially "You don’t just read about doing stuff. You do stuff!" I think going to business school to learn how to start a business is like trying to learn how to swim without jumping into a pool.

    But I'm curious about something: How in the world do you scale customized learning?