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Do unschooling kids actually learn?

As a unschooling parent the greatest reward is knowing that my child can and does learn naturally without school - EXAMPLES SHOWN BELOW

So of course the top question everyone asks when you tell them your children are unschooled, is .. WTH were you thinking !!

no they say...

What are you serious, but how do they learn ?

It comes as such a shock to them that yes ! In fact children do learn without being forced to sit at a desk 5 days a week, follow a planned lesson and without the use of textbooks.

In a unschooling world children are free to play and pursue whatever interests they might have, lets say they enjoy playing Roblox, - like I have mentioned in my previous posts all the subjects Roblox covers while your child is playing, As they get better and more in-depth with their curiosity for the game, they begin to research using YouTube and google on how -to videos, hacks they can use,or how they can make their own game in roblox,ect -they begin to message friends on the game and for all this they need to spell and read , if they are unsure how to spell certain words they will come to you and ask how you spell it, - you spell it out - They type it in . If they are not sure what a word or sentence says, they will come to you,

and you read it out for them ,they begin to remember and with whatever your child does in the day , some learning is developing and over time it all advances

there is 2 ways that a unschooling child learns


learning develops from natural curiosity for something your child actually enjoys doing .In order to enjoy their curiosity your child will advance their learning skills .They will begin to research, ask questions , watch videos , copy work, and turn to you for help to further their enjoyments (meaning maybe they want a new microphone and webcam for their birthday so they can start to create their own YouTube gaming videos( my daughter last birthday), or maybe they want new paints and art pads so they can test their creative skills (my daughter this Christmas that just past 2021) or maybe like this year for my daughters birthday she wants a sewing machine, so she can have a go at making some textiles.(As she has lately been sketching her own clothing dress designs from time to time. and also she has been watching YouTube videos of making things, like a girl who makes rugs? rugs yes I know.) But this is her interests, and so from all her above curiosities she has learnt a variety of new skills and gained alot of new learning tools,


learning happens from daily life living, throughout each day their is always learning that your child is doing and its happening subconsciously. like reading price tags, labels, instructions, advertisement signs, media text , watching different youtube viral videos , lego building , gardening,chores,pocket money,pretend play,listening to the news,over hearing conversations, on outings.asking the time,talking on phone calls and so on.Next time when your at the beach notice how your child observes the waves, builds a sandcastle, collects specimens , observes the rockpools,picks up little sea creatures,runs,climbs,flips. This is all learning and each of these things covers subjects.

There is a never ending variety of learning tools in this modern environment that your child uses in daily life.

what should my child be learning , -you ask?

Forget everything you have ever been taught , children do not need to know what verbs, nouns, or adjectives are , children do not need to know algebra, they do not need to know about ancient Rome or need to know other pointless things they teach in school , do you know why? Because none of the stuff we were taught at school, are needed in our real lifes as adults, when have we ever been to a job interview and they ask so do you know what a verb is? or what is the capital city of Australia.

The thing is ,If there ever comes a time when we do need certain " subjects" for say a job, - or we become interested in certain topics. We do our own research ,then in that moment !

- when we need to use it ! not 15 years earlier when we were at school, where we have forgotten all that we were taught .Thats what unschooling and the natural learning path is all about ,learning when the time suits you, when you are passionate and curious .

Thats how learning as a unschooler works. You learn only what you need , to enjoy your life comfortably.

Your child should learn whatever they are interested in, whatever they need for their own life's ,forget what you were taught ,embrace the natural learning path your child is on

what if they are behind ?

Every child learns at different stages some learn to read and write at the age of 4 some after 13, some learn their times tables by the age of 8 and some never do.It doesn't matter how or when a child learns- as learning is a never ending thing.Maybe the question instead of asking what if they are behind ?, should be , do they really need to be learning this at all? or at this age? I mean does a 8 year old really to to be able to fluently read.why? So just trust your child that when the time comes, they will learn what is necessary to them , hey who knows they may even be a young adult when they decide they need to use it.

so when our unschooling journey started near the end of 2020 - I wrote down some notes of each of my childrens learning abilities

This is what I wrote for my youngest son then 5yo in kindergarten

June 2020


  • learning to use and navigate his way through technology ( iphone,xbox)

  • can count to 17 - confuses after with 80 ect , can not read numbers

  • knows simple math in the 1 digits , 2+3=5 ect

  • learning to spell his own name

  • doesnt know what alphabet letters are / nor any reading or writing skills

  • doesn't know any time,money skills

  • doesnt understand left from right, what first or last means

  • starting to join in with family convos

  • loves to roleplay magic, superheros

end of year/start of new year reflection report 2020/2021

  • Huey has shown interest in money he know knows 100c = $1 , he knows his $1,$2 ,50c 20c ,10c and 5c

  • he can now count past 50

  • can tell me what most numbers are between 1-10,also some various 2 digit number , 15, 31 ect ( he is able to write them down aswell)

  • he knows his left from right

  • he now knows the difference between the beginning of the line the end of the line start and finish , he know 1st 2nd and 3rd place meanings

  • he can write his own name,know the letters H and U , and knows the letters x, y,a and d as this are on xbox controller

  • he has learnt to swim while going to beach and surfing

  • learning different underwater sea creatures and mammal names from his toy collection he loves playing with , hump back whale, blue whale , reef shark ,octopus ect

  • always asks questions, loves roleplaying superheros (drama) - directs me and gives me lines to do and say.

end of year reflection 2021

  • Huey can add double digits as well as large multiplications together , his maths has advanced incredibly over the last year he can easily and fastly add 22+35 etc and 1000+200+55 etc together

  • he can read out large numbers in correct place value th h t o / 1245

  • counts way over 100

  • can add his money together 50c + 20c+ 5c = 75 etc

  • he can now read tags at shops in correct decimal $1.89 = 1 dollar and 89 cents

  • starting to know small 2x tables ( doubles )

  • he can read analog clocks , does not yet know meaning of half past quarter to etc

  • he loves playing Minecraft and can navigate and build all by himself on Xbox and iphone, can set phone stop watches , check weather apps , download apps ( almost completely can navigate on phone himself )

  • knows almost every letter in alphabet from sight, still can not write them all tho

  • knows how to write mum, dad, hi,bad,mad,hulk gun,huey

  • no real reading skills yet

  • starting to understand the world, has different countries , and different states inside those countries like Australian states NSW TAS ect

  • has been finding his own gems ,rocks and crystals , knows words like amethyst , quarts, slate ,bedrock, gravel ,

  • knows his 10 % , knows his 50% are the same as half of , can tell me almost every question i ask related to them

  • (beginning to understand divided by 2 and x2 are like the same.

He has also learnt alot from our adventures exploring the wild , being amongst nature and has learnt alot of random facts about animals and real life living from YouTube videos - he will come and share these facts with me and teach me knew things- like dogs have more bones then humans ,a fresh water snail kills 20.000 people a year or other interesting things.

He has learned alot of great life skills,how to use power tools, chores, baking ,feeding the dogs ,skateboarding, and so on . One thing I have noticed also is just how much confidence and happy he has become .He communicates and joins into our conversations, he has his own thoughts and opinions, He always cracks some bloody funny jokes and he is just the sweetest thing always telling me how much he loves me !

its about the journey , the learning path they take is up to them

so - That is some of the things I recorded from the start of our unschooling journey July 2020 to the end of Dec 2021 - you can see their just how much my son has naturally learned, he has not done any lessons, no textbooks, I have not forced him to learn anything.Everything he has learnt and done is up to him. - As you can see he is more advanced in his maths skills then his english , and thats completely fine - when he is ready , I know he will get there.

He has learnt through playing and enjoying his childhood, what he learns and when he learns it , is completely up to him.