What is Unschooling Homeschooling? An Island Mom’s Take on This Alternative Education Method

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Hi everyone, it’s April from Relax Lang Mom blog! Today I want to talk about an alternative homeschooling method called “unschooling” that some of you may have heard of but aren’t exactly sure what it entails. As an island mommy living in remote Marinduque, I’m always on the lookout for educational methods that don’t require a lot of overly structured lesson plans or hard to find materials. Unschooling intrigued me as a flexible option that works with our island lifestyle, so I did some digging to understand it better.

Here’s a breakdown of what unschooling homeschooling is all about.

Unschooling is a type of homeschooling where children largely direct their own activities and pace of learning, with parents serving more as facilitators than teachers. The idea is that kids are naturally curious and motivated to learn about the things that interest them. In an unschooling environment, they have freedom to follow their passions and interests to guide their education. There’s no set curriculum or schedules – learning happens organically through everyday experiences, conversations, play, and exploration of topics that capture a child’s curiosity in the moment.

If I decide to go for unschooling mom, my role would be to provide resources on hand for whenever learning sparks occur. I’d support my kids in independently researching topics that intrigue them through books, online sources, outdoor activities, crafts, cooking experiments, and more. There’s flexibility to dive deep into lengthy passion projects or shift gears quickly depending on what piques their interest day to day. Conversations weave learning into our daily island life rather than feeling like isolated “lessons.” My kids would learn not just academics but also real-world skills through independent living activities.

Unschooling puts trust in kids that they have an innate desire to learn and will soak up knowledge like little sponges when given freedom to follow their natural curiosities. It embraces that hands-on, self-directed discovery often sparks more engagement and retained learning than structured teaching. As a busy island mom, I love that unschooling is low-prep and lets me support learning through our normal routines rather than feeling like I constantly need to plan formal activities. It meshes well with my lifestyle here where we often learn practical skills through helping with chores, gardening, crafts, cooking, and enjoying nature.

Of course, unschooling isn’t a one-size-fits-all method. Some structure or additional support may benefit kinesthetic or differently wired learners. It also requires patience as kids follow wandering interests at their own pace. This is the part that unnerved me as a homeschooling parent and decided not to go for it. As facilitators, unschooling parents need to be comfortable not having all the answers and guiding learning through open-ended questions rather than direct instructions.

If you decide to do this, you’ll want to connect with other unschooling families for community and role models as kids may progress faster or slower than standardized curriculums. Ensuring all academic foundations are covered would require research or occasional assessments.

Overall, the freedom of unschooling appeals to my island lifestyle of learning through hands-on living rather than worksheets. It values curiosity-driven discovery, following passions, and personalized education at each child’s individual rhythm. Although I didint adapt it fully, I am incorporating it on the indie curriculum that we’re using. I love that my kids could gain a balance of academics while also cultivating real-life skills, confidence in independent exploration, and intrinsic motivation through unschooling. They’d be prepared for whatever path they choose after experiencing diverse ways of learning through life’s natural lessons.

Have you considered unschooling or have any other questions? Feel free to ask in the comments! And be sure to sign up for my newsletter below to receive more homeschooling tips and ideas tailored for island families.

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