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Where Unschooling deviates from a general Culture of Schooling or [email protected] Homeschooling

For years Iíve noticed that many homeschoolers especially new may either use words Unschooling and Homeshooling interchangeably or they are confused how and where Unschooling is different from homeschooling. While lines between relaxed homeschooling and unschooling can become blurred in many aspects and labelling the approach may not always be necessary, it may help to understand that practice of Unschooling deviates substantially from general Culture of Schooling and many practices of [email protected] Homeschooling.

And here is my understanding about unschooling >

Unschooling is facilitated by 'Shifts in consciousness in parents minds' which may emerge by questioning/examining the conditioning & processes & culture of schooling.

This shifting in consciousness (Awareness / Thoughts / Perceptions / Worldview / Conditioning / Ideas) (and maybe also processes) can be called as process of 'Deschooling', which in turn can facilitate unschooling kind of journey of living and growing without schools.

For more clarity, some of the consciousness & processes of unschooling practiced by most unschoolers which potentially deviate from culture of schooling or [email protected] Homeschooling can be described as,

  1. Learning is natural, constant process and need not be put in compartments of specific subjects, curriculum etc. Most unschooling families may not rely on or need specific curriculum with belief that curriculum can emerge from natural, organic living.
  2. Trusting that children are capable of learning on their own and need not necessarily need proactive teaching for learning to emerge. In other words we DROP the idea that, "Children won't learn if somebody won't teach." Proactive teaching may not happen in most families.
  3. Shifting from teacher-student, adult-child models of 'Power-over Authorities' to > 'Respectful Partnerships of equals'. It is mutual growing & learning journey of equals, child+parent+family
  4. Trusting and being open & curious & accepting towards choices of child, than dictating child what to do
  5. Empathic engagement & connection & sharing with children. How are you feeling? What are you experiencing? What are you needing?
  6. More focus on joyful living and the journey of living & growing & learning than merely destinations (like subjects, curriculum, exams, certificates, degrees)
  7. Embracing & trusting that there can be abundant / multiple ways of meetings various needs of living, than following limited conventional strategies of typical School > Exams > Certificate > College > Degree > Job route Exams, Certificates & Degrees are optional, and many unschooling families may not seek them.

For more clarity please also refer to blog I had written in 2017 to explain unschooling using contexts from our journey,

Shared by Muzaffar Shaikh, living in Pune, whose 10 yr old son always has been growing without school and Muzaffar has been connected over a decade with hundreds of homeschool families and associated with home schooling groups in India.
Last Updated : June 24, 2021


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