He loved it while he went but his parents panicked when he got to about year 4 and enrolled him in a mainstream school. He was so far behind it was ridiculous. Took him about a year to catch up and suddenly for him and his brother it went from free as a bird "unschooling" to school and extra work and tutors because they were so behind. They were both reading and writing but that was it.
He's very scarred by that experience.
Anecdotally, I have a SN child who I take to tutoring. The tutor has my DD on a literacy program that she has handed out many times to kids who attend a community run school in my local district that seems to operate under the same principals as unschooling - child led learning, no set curriculum. 100% of the kids referred to DD's tutor from that school need to catch up on work they have missed during the primary years prior to attending high school. They are all behind and not just by a small margin.
I understand that parents of children who aren't coping with traditional schooling feel the need to seek out alternatives. However, I personally do not view unschooling as a viable option because it is too child centric and does not appear to have any set outcomes or minimum standards.
I expect the statistics of learning outcomes for unschooled children is greatly skewed due to the values of many people who choose this option. I'll emphasise that I have said SOME, not all, but I expect enough to distort any data.
If you have studied the historical role of formal schooling in Australia, you will understand that it comes from a base of socialising children so they will be compliant and productive employees. While it has evolved, this is absolutely still some of it's purpose. Australia needs 'growth' to continue to support the apparent ideals of our economy.
However, what if you questioned the concept of "continued economic growth" at it's core? Why do we need to keep working, buying, using - all at the cost of our environment and the lobg term future?
So, if you were choosing to "live off grid" or "step off the hamster wheel", then you are potentially not going to value formal educational outcomes the way society does.
I know it all sounds like a radical ideal, but a lot of things were "out there" once upon a time.
I have read quite a bit about the unschooling movement. I think my biggest disappointment is that it is being driven and the "evidence" to support the idea comes mostly from one guy who used to be a teacher in the US. So much of the "schools fail because" comments don't apply because our schools are different.
I don't normally put much trust in this site but this link might point people in the right direction regarding research. It also has a link to a 60 minutes interview with an I schooling family.
Last edited by Sonja; 04-07-2016 at 17:16.
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