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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Beverley Paine with her children, and their home educated children, relaxing at home.
Together with the support of my family, my aim is to help parents educate their children in stress-free, nurturing environments. In addition to building and maintaing this website, I continue to create and manage local and national home educating networks, help to organise conferences and camps, as well as write for, edit and produce newsletters, resource directories and magazines. I am an active supporter of national, state, regional and local home education groups.
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We began educating our children in 1985, when our eldest was five. In truth, we had helped them learn what they need to learn since they were born. I am a passionate advocate of allowing children to learn unhindered by unnecessary stress and competition, meeting developmental needs in ways that suit their individual learning styles and preferences. Ours was a homeschooling, unschooling and natural learning family! There are hundreds of articles on this site to help you build confidence as a home educating family. We hope that your home educating adventure is as satisfying as ours was! Beverley Paine
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The information on this website is of a general nature only and is not intended as personal or professional advice. This site merges and incorporates 'Homeschool Australia' and 'Unschool Australia'.
The Educating Parent acknowledges the Traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Owners, the Custodians of Australia, and pay our respects to Elders past and present and extend that respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people viewing this website.
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