Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Child-led / Unschooling Teaching Method and Free Curriculum

I thought that a good beginning post to the Three R's Academy would be to explore some of the teaching styles that are available to homeschoolers everywhere. As I started listing them, I thought, "I'd like to see more information on them in one place, as well". That is where this got long.

So I'm going to do a series on teaching styles. Today I'll be focusing on Child-led or Unschooling.

The term unschooling was coined by John Holt. After many years supporting and speaking for school reform, Holt felt that the changes he as working for was not supported. He had been labeled "a 'social critic' or 'public intellectual' rather than just a school reformer." As soon as he heard about homeschooling, Holt was an instant supporter.

In John Holt's opinion, "People, even children, are educated much more by the whole society around them and the general quality of life in it than they are by what happens in schools."

Not everyone is on board with the unschooling or child led way of learning. The Best and Wisest Parent by Susan Douglas Franzosa suggests:

John Holt visualizes exemplary parents, exemplary children—and an excrable society.

Today unschooling is understood to be the use of no formal curriculum but make use of the all the learning opportunities that you find in every day in life. Unschooling does not force information on children before they are ready for it. In theory a child will ask you to explain things and that is when you teach them.

Some free curriculum that follows the Unschooling method can be found right in your home. Anything that you do with your child can be a learning experience; from baking great grandma's secret cake recipe (history, science, cooking, math, and communication) to taking a walk in a flower garden (life cycle of a plant, types of plants, earth science, math, history, and communication).

Be sure to come back to see more about other teaching styles, for instance: