| How Children Learn |
by John Holt
| John Holt was the first to make clear that, for small children, “learning is as natural as breathing.” In this delightful yet profound book, he looks at how we learn to talk, to read, to count, and to reason, and how we can nurture and encourage these natural abilities in our children.
|Better Late Than Early|
A New Approach to Your Child’s Education
by Raymond S. Moore
| Raymond & Dorothy Moore spent years investigating the results of early education. They examined other studies and did their own studies. They found that in the early years, up to somewhere around ages 8 to 10, it is best for children to be at home in a loving and supportive environment. They found that children who are kept home until they are ready for school quickly catch up with the early starters.
I do not know what I may appear to the world; but to myself I seem to have
been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself now and
then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst
the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.
~ Isaac Newton
Unschooling can be difficult to describe, especially to those who are not used to thinking outside the box, who are not used to questioning experts, who are not comfortable trying something on their own first before asking someone "how to."
Unschooling is usually described as child-led and/or interest-led learning. To me, it means trusting that your child will learn what he/she needs to learn for his/her life. It's not following some educator or bureaucrat's guidelines. Children are unique and each will need their own unique knowledge and skills to become the adult he/she is meant to be. All we, as parents, can do is be his/her facilitator - providing him/her with the needed resources and the freedom in which to learn.
Children will learn. They crave learning, just as they need air to breathe and food to eat. Remember how your toddler found everything new and exciting? If your child has attended public school, you have probably seen that, after a few years, their love for learning and their excitement about the world slowly faded away. For our family, unschooling brought back that excitement.
Children are like flowers. Give them lots of love (sunshine), some gentle guidelines (weeding), lots of freedom to learn what they want (rain), and lots of resources to learn from (soil), and they will bloom!
I have written many articles about unschooling, which you can find in the Articles section.
Below are a few links that I recommend for your unschooling journey, for a journey it is. Very few people arrive at a complete understanding and belief in unschooling overnight. Most of us take a rather long and winding path to complete unschooling, while others decide to stop along that path when they reach a particular comfort zone that suits the needs of their family. I know all unschoolers will not agree with me, but I believe that one can incorporate some of the unschooling philosophy into their daily life without becoming what some would call a radical unschooler. We each have to find the degree and level to which we are most comfortable and which works best for our families.
- Unschooling Books - My personal recommends.
- Subscribe to my LeapingFromtheBox Blog to read my current thoughts, experiences and resource reviews pertaining to unschooling and homeschooling.
- Jon's Homeschool Resource Page - "A source of neutral, non-commercial homeschooling information."
- Sandra Dodd - A wealth of information about unschooling.
- Unschooling Undefined, by Eric Anderson - One of my favorite unschooling essays.
- School Is Dead; Learn in Freedom! - From Karl Bunday's opening paragraph: "This site is about learning in freedom, taking responsibility for your own learning. It shows you how to use your own initiative in learning, so you can use schools and teachers just when they are helpful to you, and voluntarily chosen by you."
- Family Unschoolers Network - Billy and Nancy Greer provide a weath of information on their site, including a newsletter and a catalog for purchasing the many resources that their family has used successfully. Check them out!
- Heather Madrone's Homeschooling Page - More essays and information on unschooling and homeschooling in general.
- The Six-Lesson Schoolteacher - A must-read essay by John Taylor Gatto, New York State Teacher of the Year, 1991.
- Life Without School Community Blog - "An on-line publication and blogging community. We homeschool. We unschool. We live our lives without school."
- Live Free Learn Free - "A print magazine for unschoolers and other natural learners. Published every 2-3 months, all material is written by those who home educate – both parents and children."
- West River Academy - "An accredited Private K-12 Umbrella School operating since 1993. Offers minimum oversight, maximum freedom and 100% trust of parents! Homeschool YOUR way with our assistance. We offer a no-hassle High School Diploma Program, family consultations."
- Secular Homeschooling magazine - I love Secular Homeschooling magazine! I rarely subscribe to homeschooling magazines, but this one has my money! Read my Secular Homeschooling magazine review. "Secular Homeschooling magazine is a non-religious magazine that reflects the diversity of the homeschooling community."
- The Unschooling List - There are many e-mail lists for unschoolers, but my all time favorite is The UL!
- Unschooling List - High volume, very casual list - while the focus is unschooling,
everyone is welcome.
- Subscribe by sending email to firstname.lastname@example.org. In the body of the message put "subscribe unschooling-list your name".
- For more e-lists, check out the Methods page in the E-lists section.