Last year’s pandemic drastically changed our way of living. It not only forced us to adapt to the unpredictable situation around the world but we were also pushed beyond bounds, urging us to adapt, innovate and broaden our ways to life. Of all the challenging things and situations that we have had to adapt with in the different aspects of our life, education is one sphere which has taken a big hit and has been pushed to scout for new ways to revamp in these very competitive and unique times.
We now have more options to choose from than ever before and out of this comes a very one-of-a-kind approach to the way we see and understand education – The UNSCHOOLING.
What is unschooling?
Unschooling is an alternative form of education than that of home-schooling or the traditional classroom schooling. The learners are free to pursue their own interests and refine their skills to adapt to the real world instead of being obligated to the follow a fixed pattern or a curriculum. An option to step out of the organised way of living and to step into a world of boundless uncertainties – so that we can cope better and learn faster and become resilient when situations we don’t have answers to dawn upon us.
Not knowing or not having a plan must have seemed a bad idea until now. Unschooling not only gives the learners more freedom but it also gives them the opportunities to try out a little bit of everything before coming to a decision. Unschooling is the rebel child of education.
Curiosity leads the way…
Learning from one’s own life experience is the essence of unschooling, allowing the learners to experiment, explore and discover their way (literally) around life and from a very early age to create healthy passions, a non-competitive or an overly materialistic environment.
The learners’ choices are prioritised and their hearts are allowed to lead the way. This encourages the students look at learning as something fun and interesting than something that is compulsory. Something to look forward to. They get to pursue to hobbies whilst also learning the important skills required to survive in the modern world. More along the lines of Captain Fantastic…that teaches you all the important life skills with a unique approach.
The philosophy of unschooling lies in understanding that every individual is different and special. It is designed to highlight our differences and accept them breaking the chain of the rat race. Imagine the world as a factory manufacturing the same type of individuals – the same characteristics, competencies, abilities, expertise, etc. Now, these individuals, freshly pumped out of the factory, have to spend their life discovering and refining the skills that make them different, while unschooling does this right from the beginning, respecting their differences. Unschooling aims to relieve the learners of this pressure and the competition by letting them select what they want and hone their skills at a very early stage in life when making mistakes is considered fun and part of the learning process. After all exceptional times call for exceptional ways.
Why wasn’t I unschooled?!
Well, the history of unschooling is fairly recent. Unschooling came into the picture around the early 2000s, so it’s natural that it is still considered a novel method. It has received its share of praise and criticism over the years, but, what hasn’t?
Not everyone’s cup of tea…or coffee!
Unschooling, although, seems like an amazing way of looking at and pursuing education, it is not for everyone. But hey! Don’t fret. For those who want the best of both worlds, they have the option of selecting unschooling along with an organised curriculum, i.e. there are options to prepare your child for the university entrance exams while getting unschooled.
I’m open to experimenting! Gimme all the deets!
If you are interested or would like to discover more about unschooling methods, you could get in touch with one of the many unschooling communities in your city/country. You’ll be surprised to see how many of these communities there are!
What are your thoughts about unschooling?
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