Unschooling

By: Sam Niccum

What is Unschooling?

Unschooling is a type of homeschooling in which the students are in control of their own education. The student can choose when, where, and most importantly, what they learn. Unlike public or traditional homeschooling, there are no required textbooks, strict curriculum, or standardized tests or quizzes.

Pros of unschooling:

  • Tests, quizzes, and grades don't cause extra stress.
  • Students choose what they enjoy and want to learn about.
  • Students have flexible schedules.
  • Friends/acquaintances can be made outside of age group.
  • Students can enjoy more time with their family at home.

Cons of unschooling:

  • Friends and family may criticize for the "unreliable" form of teaching.
  • Some students don't feel prepared for college.
  • Students may have poor time-management skills.
  • Students may feel isolated when they don't understand something.
  • There's no grading system to understand how much the student has learned.
  • Wanted or needed resources aren't always available.

Opportunities that come with unschooling:

  • Unschoolers can get a job and work during school hours.
  • Some companies sponsor trips for unschoolers.
  • Co-op classes(Weekly classes that teach a specific subject.)
  • Daytime activities that public schoolers can't do.

Things to know before unschooling:

  • Parents need to be willing to spend time or money helping their child find the resources for what they're working on.
  • It is helpful for parents to help their child set or reach goals that they have for learning.
  • Parents need to understand the laws in their state for unschooling in their child. Different states have different levels of regulation.

Short & long effects of unschooling:

Short-term Effects:

  • The student's schedule will change.
  • Social habits may change.(Students don't just socialize with their age groups and teachers.)
Long-term Effects:


  • The student's view on all schooling systems will change.
  • The student may use the information/experience they gathered while unschooling to go on to their own career.
  • Unschooling students must create a transcript for college.
  • If the student chooses to go to college, they may start earlier.
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Sources:

  1. Chang, Juju. "Extreme Homeschooling: No Tests, No Books, No Classes, No Curriculums." ABC News. ABC News Network, 19 Apr. 2010. Web. 04 Mar. 2016.
  2. Ellis, Allen. "Welcome!" Why Unschool? N.p., 2013. Web. 03 Mar. 2016.

  3. Farenga, Pat. "What Is Unschooling?" What Is Unschooling? John Holt and Growing Without Schooling, 2004. Web. 03 Mar. 2016.

  4. Farenga, Patrick. "Teach Your Own: The John Holt Book of Homeschooling." John Holt GWS. John Holt GWS, 2003. Web. 08 Mar. 2016.

  5. Fuglei, Monica. "Unschooling: Inspirational Learning Method or Educational Neglect?" Concordia Portland Online. Concordia Portland Online, 21 Jan. 2015. Web. 14 Mar. 2016.

  6. Gray, Peter. "The Benefits of Unschooling: Report I from a Large Survey." Psychology Today. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Mar. 2016.

  7. Gray, Peter. "The Challenges and Benefits of Unschooling, According to 232 Families Who Have Chosen That Route." The Challenges and Benefits of Unschooling, According to 232 Families Who Have Chose (n.d.): n. pag. Web. 18 Mar. 2016.

  8. Hanes, Stephanie. "Free-range Education: Why the Unschooling Movement Is Growing." The Christian Science Monitor. The Christian Science Monitor, 14 Feb. 2016. Web. 11 Mar. 2016.

  9. "HSLDA." HSLDA. Home School Legal Defense Association, 15 July 2015. Web. 17 Mar. 2016.

  10. Laura Ellis. "Where Are They Now? Insights from Grown Unschoolers - Alternatives to School." Alternatives to School. Alternatives to School, 04 June 2015. Web. 10 Mar. 2016.

  11. Olmstead, Gracy. "Unschooling: The Future of Education?" The American Conservative. The American Conservative, 19 Aug. 2014. Web. 04 Mar. 2016.

  12. "The Pros and Cons of Unschooling." IXL. N.p., 7 May 2013. Web. 3 Mar. 2016.

  13. Sanders, Heather. "Unschooling – Do? Don’t? Why?" The Pioneer Woman. The Pioneer Woman, 06 Dec. 2010. Web. 18 Mar. 2016.

  14. Sizer, Bridget Bentz. "Unschooling 101." PBS. PBS, 2003-2016. Web. 04 Mar. 2016.

  15. "Unschooling." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 19 Feb. 2016. Web. 14 Mar. 2016.
  16. http://static.squarespace.com/static/52e092cde4b073428e07a2db/t/52f4436be4b08f72cd944cab/1391739757019/unschoolingart.jpg