Unschool vs Homeschool and Which is Best for Your Child

What is unschooling?


Unschooling came about in the 1960s and is said to be a true "Open Classroom" experience. It has a the world is your oyster vibe to my understanding. Unschooling is completely learner lead, meaning there is no set coursework or assessments. Children naturally learn more about their personal interests and/or hobbies through discovery and play.




How would your day look as an unschooling family?


I loved getting a glimpse into an unschool routine from Katie at The Surly Housewife. She used the a quote by Mark Twain to describe her decision to unschool her children, which I can absolutely relate to as a former elementary teacher. In a traditional school setting, there is barely time for authentic problem solving and imaginative play, even in kindergarten. In a more loosely structured routine, your learner will grow in many ways beyond his or her academic abilities that may not have had the same opportunities in public school or a similar structure.


“Never let formal education get in the way of your learning.”



What can homeschool offer that unschool doesn't?


Homeschooling is based around state standards and oftentimes curriculum, which comes with assignments, homework, quizzes, and tests. There must be time scheduled for learners to dedicate to schoolwork in order to meet deadlines and grade requirements. For many parents, this structure mirrors traditional school, making it an easier adjustment out of that type of setting or into school should their child choose to enroll in later years.


Sarah at Raising Royalty shared how much time is expected to be dedicated to instruction per grade level in this post. Before I began homeschooling my son, I had the idea that we would be chugging through hours of schoolwork each day and that it would be torture for us both. Luckily, that is not the case!



How flexible can homeschool be?


Although the term homeschool leads us to think learning must be done in the home, this isn't the case at all. Many homeschooling families form groups with others, plan field trips to support the curriculum, and change the environment for learning whenever they feel or want.


While homeschooling involves more structure and requirements of a learner in order to meet desired goals and achievements, there are many areas in which flexibility is an option. Although we have a routine, the time that we follow the routine changes from day-to-day. I allow my son to wake up naturally, I accomplish my household chores, and check off my work duties, but those tasks never follow the same timeline every day.


If you're interested in what to expect before committing to homeschool, pop on over to this post. I'm keeping things super transparent about what happened in the first few weeks of our home education journey and giving you my biggest tips.



Which method of learning is better?


Both.


For every situation, there is an ideal outcome, which is true of bringing up our children as well. Despite each unique situation, every family wants the best for their children and that looks different when it comes to individual learners and the needs that must be met for them each.


The possibilities of teaching your child come in everyday situations, stories we read in books, and interactions we have with others. You know your child best, including the way he or she will find a path in life that will enrich their lives and provide the best environment for growth and overall progression.

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I'm Lauren