As a unschooling family here in Australia , We do not follow ANY lesson plans, I do not force my children into learning anything they are not interest in doing and my children are encouraged and free to do, pursue and try everything they are curious about ! My children live each day as if it was a normal part of life, to others this may seem like something you would only let your child do on a weekend, because monday to friday children should be at school or doing "school like stuff" , filling in worksheets ,listening to lectures ,preparing for exams so they can prepare themselves for adulthood ,right? Well not to us! and many other unschoolers, as we see learning as a part of life, we know each child is different,has different curiosities,learns things in a different way and we allow them to LEARN from these,because why shouldnt they? People learn best by following interest led learning,and this is exactly the same for children. I read a great blog post recently from Sara another unschooling mum about interest based learning ,she absolutly nailed it for me and it is exactly how my own unschooling children go about learning things,and myself included- you can view that post here !
An Unschooling child's learning looks ALOT different to those at school , and thats because it is! Unschoolers believe that children should only learn all that THEY require , when they require it, and the truth is alot of things we are taught in school is forgotten by the time we are adults,is NOT needed in our daily lifes or jobs OR can be easily solved with ADVANCED softwares, eg google searchs,youtube videos , calculators etc within a few minutes instead of a few years of continuous formal learning.
How much of that long division, latin history ,annoating and interpreting a poem ,Trigonometry,periodic table memorising or algebraic equation lessons have you had to use in your adulthood? See alot of Unschoolers see these examples above and many more, as a learn if you need bases, meaning learn only if or when you would need them. So if your child never needs or wants to learn about the periodic table ,if its not relevant to their lives, if it doesnt affect their way of living not knowing about it, then why should they have to learn it? but on the other hand ,unschooling works that if your child does become interested in science,chemistry and natural elements , and wants to know about the periodic table then that interest and curiosity will drive them to research and "learn everthing they can to expand their knowledge about the elements in the periodic table ect", when they decide they may need it, maybe they are studying to be a chemist, or are just intregued by science,this could be when they are 9,12,18,29,25,43 or however old they may be,unschoolers know and believe that when the time comes a child will learn all that THEY require,learning is a lifelong journey, it doesnt start at school, it starts at birth !, it doesnt end after school hours, it never ends !Unschooling is really about allowing your child to continue to enjoy their childhood,while most children go off to school and learn from behind a desk,unschoolers live life,learning just happens as a side effect.
So how do unschoolers learn?
Well exactly how you would learn something you are interested in, you research,you ask questions or ask help from others who understand it better, you seek resources to further your learning , you learn from trial and error,you learn by finding the best way for you!
You learn by doing, by seeing and by interacting. With my three unschoolers we are ALWAYS having open discussions on everything we see or they notice while out in the community,within nature or even at home in the garden , I like to call this wildschooling , we have discussed everything from photosythesis,pollination,captain cooks landing and so much more. Try it ,next time you notice your child noticing something, ask them a question or answer their question with as much detail as you can , these make the perfect natural learning moments
So how would you turn a child who is unschooling,not following any lessons except their own curiosity into a report to meet home-school registration requirements?
Its really not to hard as you can turn EVERYTHING your child does into "subjects" .
From the outside looking in , my children may seem like they are never learning,always at the beach,playing roblox or doing nothing all day but it is the complete opposite, so much learning happens each and everyday for my 3 unschooling children,they are all unique, enjoy different things,learn from each other ,learn from daily life and everyday opportunities.
To view my children government approved unschooling reports for this year 2023 and their government approved learnign plans for this upcoming year 2024, click the link below.